Toll Booth Coming to Bruce B. Downs Blvd.
If it’s up to Ken Hagan, Hillsborough County commissioner, we’ll all be keeping the change handy for trips up the street to the mall. Frustrated by Pasco County’s refusal to help out with the $28 million tab to improve Bruce B. Downs Boulevard, Hagan proposed that Hillsborough put up a tollbooth at the county line on the BBD. I’ll wait for you to wipe the coffee off your monitor…
One of the problems with Hagan’s proposal is that no one is sure if the county legally can collect tolls for use of the road. Typically, toll booths are used for limited access roads – highways, bridges, expressways and the like. Bruce B. Downs is none of the above. While it’s a main road, it’s also a residential and commercial byway with multiple cross streets and retail complexes every quarter mile. Any type of toll road arrangement is bound to impact local traffic as severely as it does through traffic.
Instead of recognizing this, the county has voted to explore the legalities of erecting a toll booth on Bruce B. Downs so that Pasco County traffic will help pay for the road improvements. Honestly, couldn’t the time and money be better spent exploring other avenues of funding for the necessary road improvements? And there is no doubt that the improvements are necessary, and will become more so when the newest Pasco County developments are built and occupied. Maybe it’s time to sit all the concerned parties down in a room and lock the door until they hammer out a compromise that works for everyone.