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Public Meeting Draws
Comment and Concern

135 residents from the affected neighborhoods responded to the public meeting notice and pored over the maps and illustrations displaying proposed routes for a new connector road from State Road 33, south of I-4, to Walt Williams Road on the north side.


According to the FDOT, the project is intended to “provide an alternative to constrained corridors, accommodate Increasing traffic, and improve safety”.


Representatives from the Florida Department of Transportation, the City of Lakeland, and the engineering firm Metric were on hand to answer questions and provide context for the study.


In addition to the formally stated purpose, it soon became apparent that the road could allow a shorter and easier route from the affected neighborhoods south of the interstate to the Wendell Watson elementary school just north of it.. This feature emerged as a primary driver for the informal discussions among the citizens and the planners.


The citizens were mostly wary while the planners were mostly reassuring and focused on the fact that this meeting was unusual in that it occurred so early in the process. It is described as a feasibility study, suggesting that the proposal might be found not feasible at all.


At the final station of the displays, attendees were asked to place a marker on one of the four considered routes, indicating their preference. The route most favored garnered more than three times the number of markers as the second most favored, and while there was thoughtful discussion, there was also banter, skepticism, and suspicion. Some simply seemed to favor the “not in my backyard” approach.


FDOT has provided a comprehensive description and appropriate documents on its website.


THE BLOG “If you build it, they will fume”

North Lakeland residents review a proposed new connector road at the Lake Crago Outdoor Recreation Complex on Tuesday, February 20.

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