If voters approve the 14% sales tax hike to build a St. Pete to Clearwater train in November, downtown St. Petersburg can kiss lots of business-friendly parking goodbye. Analysis of the rail plan shows half or all parallel parking removed as it is converted to rail lines or car lanes are pushed on to it. As usual, the PSTA has not used any of the $800,000 of taxpayer money to “educate” on this negative aspect of the Greenlight Pinellas plan. Downtown businesses can expect fewer customers to drive downtown for their services (unless they want to drive to a remote train station, park, ride the train, get off and walk several blocks to their business). Local surrounding neighborhoods, like Old Northeast, can expect even more spillover into their streets with people parking for a night on the town. Those looking to drive downtown to other venues and use parking garages can expect them to fill more rapidly, extending their inconvenience of parking. Downtown drivers and pedestrians can expect more delays as a new “rail gridlock” is created with trains altering traffic signal timing, taking priority over other traffic and generally getting in the way in an already crowded part of town. The pictures don’t lie and are all adapted from the PSTA Local Preferred Analysis “Conceptual Engineering Technical Memo”. Yet another reason to vote down the proposed $2.6 billion, 14% sales tax-hiking rail boondoggle called “Greenlight Pinellas”.
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1.1st Ave S. and segment of 2nd St. between 1st Ave. N and S.
3. DOWNTOWN Aerial view of part affected areas. the train and tracks will run from about 13th st. to 2nd St. along 1st Ave. S and N. in a loop.