Monday, October 13, 2014

Tampa Bay's Transit & Population Density Problems

The Tampa Bay Times pointed to a recent study that's very topical given our region's ongoing transit debate.  It showed how Tampa Bay fares quite poorly when it comes to transit accessibility, or how well we get people to their jobs.

The region ranks 34th out of 46 major metros in "number of jobs within 30 minutes of walking and transit."  You can see the heat map here.  This is a reflection of limited walkability and bus routes.

But the study also shows another major handicap the Tampa Bay region has faced when it comes to both traffic and sports issues: population density.

At end of day, the region's sprawl is why we've been fighting for decades over the location of things like Tropicana Field, Raymond James Stadium, the airport, etc.

Because no matter where you put a major facility, its going to be inconvenient (i.e. more than 30 min away) for more than half the region's population.  Transit may change that...but that remains a heated debate topic.

Then again, it would also help if the region would change its collective mindset as to what an "inconvenient" drive is.  Again, fans in some of the more established sports cities think nothing of a 60- or even 90-minute commute to a game.

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