I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Getting to the Best Solution Part II: Could Yes really mean NO?

I am working to find the very best solution to an acute traffic issue that is building in my district.

Folks have worked very hard to help ameliorate the traffic caused by the rapid growth in Beulah and by the growth of the workforce at Navy Federal Credit Union's rapidly-expanding campus in Beulah.

The four lane project for 9-mile road is well underway, with completion expected in mid 2019.

The Beulah beltway project is moving forward, but this option is 7-10 years away.

Meanwhile, we are grateful for the growth, we are very fortunate for NFCU coming here and bringing jobs, and we understand that a moderate amount of traffic is to be expected when so much is going on in one constrained geographic area.

It is for this reason that I am especially disappointed to hear that a common-sense, low-cost, and quick-turnaround [relatively speaking] measure to provide egress out of the Florida welcome center for NFCU's afternoon shift change, a project that I was told had been blessed at Federal DOT as one of four local projects to help with traffic, has now been scuttled.

Federal officials with which I have spoken have pointed to Florida Department of Transportation as

 the entity that killed this project.

State and local officials have told me that no, it is the Federal Highway Administration, Florida Division, that said "NO!"

Either way, I just want to know who it was that said no.  And just to be clear, a no could be a flat "no" ---or---so far as I'm concerned a "yes" answer could in actuality be a "NO"--if it is accompanied by 50 pages of small print, disclaimers, requirements, a 10-year timeframe for studies,  etc. etc. that actually make a "yes" into a "no" for all practical, economic, and realistic purposes.

So I'm working through all of this right now as we speak.

I'm talking to folks at both the Federal and State level; now some of my calls are not being returned-this is disappointing. On Tuesday, I will meet with NFCU to discuss this matter in depth.

Again and to be clear--I support any and all rational plan (s) to ease congestion in my district--as long as such plans are courteous and fair to all affected property owners, fiscally responsible for taxpayers, safe, and practical.

We shall see what tomorrow's meeting brings......

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