We meet the 2nd Wednesday of each month at St Petersburg Community Church, 4501 30th Avenue North, St Petersburg, FL 33713

Our Disappearing Streets in Pinellas

Oldest Republican Club South of the Capitol

Our Disappearing Streets in Pinellas

by Barb Haselden, President, St Pete Republican Club

Most all local citizens curse the loss of road lanes due to the Sunrunner BRT (bus rapid transit) project on 1st Ave N and 1st Ave S and along Pasadena Ave.
Lane loss is known in the transit world by its politically correct name of “lane elimination”. I call it theft of our roadways maintained by u$.

PSTA, in partnership with another entity you may not be familiar with, Forward Pinellas, technically called the Metropolitan Planning Organization or MPO are to blame.
MPOs are organized by the Feds, State Statute and county charter in most larger counties in the U.S. to plan local transportation projects in unison with local transit agencies (PSTA) and the county.
As with PSTA, Forward Pinellas is out of control.

The partnership of Forward Pinellas and PSTA is expanding more BRT projects in Pinellas as quickly as possible, especially as the lies of the Sunrunner fake ridership numbers have been exposed.

Since the Sheriff put pressure on PSTA to institute fares on the “Fare Free” Sunrunner. This action was due to vagrants living all day on the buses riding around using the Wifi and enjoying the climate controlled environment then exiting at St Pete Beach for the night on the beach, panhandling, selling drugs.

However they served a great need for PSTA. They used the vagrants numbers on the Sunrunner to manufacture fake ridership success of the Sunrunner. But once fares were instituted beginning October 1st monthly ridership numbers crashed by about 45%! And continue to sink. (See monthly ridership numbers)

So How can PSTA justify expansion of the Sunrunner? Most cities that have instituted a BRT quickly with a move to install more to create a second network of connections. So in addition to the existing mostly empty network of PSTA buses there will be a second network, only on their own lane to create a “faster rapid experience for riders”.

Already you will see the project is underway on HW19 South at 54th Ave South to build 2nd Sunrunner BRT which will eventually and quickly take a lane in each direction and go all the way to Clearwater if not stopped.

At the last PSTA meeting Janurary 24th the Director of Forward Pinellas gave a presentation to the PSTA Board requesting approval of $250,000 “Work Order” to start the process on Alt 19!

I attended and gave public comment to the Board shaming them on this over reach to expand the BRT as we see the falling numbers of the failing Sunrunner. It passed.

We are not alone in our rejection of this lane theft.

The Indiana Legislature is currently in session and lane theft is top of debate issues there.

We must fight against this government overreach in Pinellas also.

PSTA board meetings are the 4th Wednesday of each month at 9am.

Held at PSTA Headquarters 3201 Scherer Drive, Clearwater (near Feathersound)

The wolf is at the door in Pinellas.

As Rush Limbaugh always said: “You can’t compromise with the left, you simply must defeat them.


Leave a Reply