[UPDATE] Tennessee St. Bike-Bus Lane Project

By: Lanetra Bennett, Angelica Alvarez Email
By: Lanetra Bennett, Angelica Alvarez Email

[UPDATE] Tallahassee, FL - March 7, 2012

The West Tennessee Street project is still in its infancy. Talk of the project has been in the works since 2008. The plan would convert the oustide lanes between Monroe and Ocala to just bus and bicycle lanes. The plan, still up for public debate, has hit a slight road block, or so city leaders thought.

Commissioner tell us they got wind that the Secretary for the Department of Transportation, Ananth Prasad had said the six lane highway is a state road, that the city has no jurisdiction over it, and that when the project is finally submitted to the DOT, he would deny it.

City commissioners immediately contacted him.

City Commissioner, Andrew Gillum says, "He wanted to clarify with us that he has every intention of allowing of process of getting public input, debating what the options are along Tennessee Street, and then presenting the Department of Transportation with something that they can consider."

We tried reaching Secretary Prasad for comment, but he was not available. Since word had gotten out that the Department of Transportation might deny the West Tennessee Street project, commissioners thought it best to hold this special meeting to share what they had learned in their conversation with Prasad.

So for now, Mayor John Marks says they will keep going with their plans. He says, "We will go through with the public hearing to find out what the citizens want."

The city has not yet submitted any final plan to the Florida Department of Transportation.

The next public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, March 14 at 9 a.m. to accommodate business owners. In the past, many business owners have said they do not support the project. They fear the construction and congestion will deter customers. .

[UPDATE] Tallahassee, FL - March 1, 2012 -

Local business owners are concerned about changes being proposed to one of Tallahassee's busiest streets.

They say Tennessee Street will no longer be busy, nor will their businesses.

Robert Hines just opened his business on West Tennessee Street eight days ago.

He says the City of Tallahassee is throwing a curve ball at him.

Hines says, "The investments that we put into this place to have something new happen, a change in this economy is something I do kind of fear. I'd love for things to be a little more stable, feel a little more secure before any big changes would happen."

The changes would be turning one of the driving lanes on Tennessee Street into a bus and bike lane.

One local business owner says, "They can't even determine to stop at a red light and you're going to expect them to know that they can go into that lane over there and make a right-hand turn? I'm sorry, but, I have a real problem with the intellect of some of the drivers on Tennessee Street."

The Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce held an informational meeting Thursday to allow business owners an opportunity to voice their opinions.

Another man at the meeting says, "It's going to make people use other streets, so it's going to send all of our customers to Tharpe Street, to anywhere else but here."

Tom Carella's business has been on Tennessee Street for 38 years. He's also worried a reduction in traffic will mean a reduction in business.

Carella says, "It is my income. It's how I feed my family. It's how I buy things in the community."

Someone working with the project told the crowd at the meeting, "What we're tying to do is look at creative ways to allow the traffic to keep flowing and keep moving, so that this area can keep growing and developing."

There will be a couple more public meetings at city hall before the commission votes on the issue. Those public meetings are scheduled for March 14th and 28th at Tallahassee City Hall. The plan goes before the commission April 11th.

For information about the plan, "Moving Tallahassee: Cars Optional," go to talgov.com.

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Tallahassee, Florida - March 1, 2012 -

Tallahassee business owners fill Momma Goldberg's Deli on West Tennessee Street. Many are voicing their opinions that they are against the Tennessee Street proposal. They're concerned changing the number of driving lanes will negatively affect their business.

The Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce's Growth Management and Governmental Affairs Committees is addressing an initiative known as "Moving Tallahassee - Cars Optional." This initiative is a pending proposal to implement a pilot program involving the conversion of the outside lanes of Tennessee Street, between Monroe and Ocala, from vehicle travel lanes to restricted use of bus (mass transit) and bicycles.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Alligator Gar Location: Panacea on Mar 9, 2012 at 10:29 AM
    Excuse me, but Tennessee St/Mahan Dr. is a FEDERAL highway (U.S. 90). Has anyone contacted the USDOT?
  • by Frank on Mar 9, 2012 at 06:21 AM
    Our city commissioners have lost their collective minds with this farce project. I heard Mark Mustian say, in an interview, that it is a way to force people to use the city bus system. Force? Sounds like removal of freedom to me.
  • by tallytech Location: Tallahassee on Mar 9, 2012 at 04:29 AM
    Look Guys: the city has some extra money it needs to get rid of before the fiscal year. They don't plan on redoing the street; just spending the money on architects, planning commission and attorney fees. If you don't believe the city has too much money left over, then look at all the projects going on in Cascades and other neighborhoods. Remember folks, its the middle of a depression of sorts.
  • by Barry Location: tally on Mar 9, 2012 at 01:24 AM
    Tallahassee has too much traffic on that road to be designating a lane to buses and bikes. You can barely handle the flow of traffic now with them all open. Doesn't take an engineer to see we can't allow this idiocy, just comments sense. Drive it and see.
  • by phil Location: tally on Mar 8, 2012 at 07:33 PM
    So there are 51,000 drivers a day on Tennessee between Ocala and Woodward. Did anyone survey those drivers? The businesses are against it, the SGA is against it, even the state workers union is against it. Oh, and the DOT that owns and maintains the road is against it. Why not listen to these people? Who cares about the resurfacing? That is done to all state roads every 7 yrs. Starmetro has a whopping two bus routes on Tennessee St. Before we go changing to a dedicated transit corridor, why not do some real ridership building? Have buses out there with 5 min headways. develop a ridership base. Have a real bikeway/greenway on Call or Brevard. Many drivers have shifted from Gaines. It is hard enough to find the money and get public support to widen a road, we should not be surrendering these corridors to a minority viewpoint. Ever heard of "dictatorship of the minority"? That's what happened on Gaines, and Franklin. Why not let real transportation planners do transportation, not the landuse and comp planners.
  • by Gman on Mar 8, 2012 at 11:52 AM
    All Tennessee Street Businesses can kiss my business GOODBYE! I will not be going out Tennessee Street EVER again! I live in NE Tallahassee and will take I-10 when I go west, not Tennessee Street!!
  • by Gman Location: Tally on Mar 8, 2012 at 11:20 AM
    This whole "plan" is INSANE, who in their "right" mind would eliminate a lane of traffic of a 6 lane primary road??? Really, bikes and buses??? ROFL... PULEASE DO NOT WASTE MY MONEY!!! PAVE THE ROAD AS IT IS!!!
  • by Anonymous on Mar 8, 2012 at 10:25 AM
    This is a US Highway so even if the state chimes in, the Feds will stop this when it gets to their level....what? Obama hates cars? Oh, OK. Nevermind.
  • by TrafficDr. Location: Ft. Braden on Mar 8, 2012 at 10:23 AM
    Here's an idea for no charge! Instead of reducing the traffic lanes on West Tennessee St. for a bus/biker's lane, why not get rid of its useless existing planted median by paving it and installing concrete barriers on each side for students, bikers or pedestrians to safely use and then egress from same at established cross-walks... Duhh!!!!!
  • by anonymous Location: tallahassee on Mar 8, 2012 at 10:03 AM
    I do not agree with the project, however, Robert Hines should not be complaining since this has been in the works since '08. This is no "curve ball".
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