Get real on transportation.
The Manatee County Planning Commission meeting on Peninsula Bay on July 14 illustrated how disconnected land use planning and development review and regulation procedures are from transportation planning.
In fact, while the audience got to look at pretty pictures of new urbanist paradises and the Planning Commission fixated on “accessory units” (used to be called “granny flats,” now “next housing for the next generation”) the ugly picture of traffic gridlock along Cortez Road was photo shopped out of existence.
While the General Development Plan, benign looking blobs in black and white, marches merrily along to the Manatee County Board of County Commissioners for approval, the traffic impact analysis and the very idea of a transportation plan lags woefully behind — yes, details to follow.
Only Planning Commissioner Matt Bower recognized that proceeding with a rezoning approval for a massive number of residential units and commercial development without a plan to consider the combined transportation demands from this project plus Lake Flores, Long Bar Pointe, regional growth and increased tourism was madness or at least willful blindness. I wonder whether the internal traffic shown by the applicant’s study reflected folks who couldn’t leave the project.
We need a West Bradenton and Barrier Island Transportation Management Plan that encompasses all sources of travel demand impacting the area in the form of a TMP District. The plan would coordinate transportation planning efforts among the jurisdictions, the community and the development sites.
The TMP district would have a coordinating committee and game plan with regulatory teeth for ensuring compliance with the plan and its operating program. Compliance with the plan would be part of the development approval process. The TMP district might be coterminous with the county’s tax-increment financing district and be financed through the ad valorem assessment increases.
Worth a try?