Commuters concerned about drivers using shoulder on Selmon Expressway

Posted at 7:40 PM, Oct 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-17 06:28:42-04

Some commuters are frustrated with drivers riding the shoulder in the morning as cars exit the Selmon Expressway reversible express lanes at East Twiggs Street. 

Shawn Molina, who commutes from Lithia to Tampa, says it makes it difficult for law-abiding citizens to get over once the designated turn lane begins. 

“Those people believe they’re in the right by stacking up in the shoulder lane and that they’ve waited their turn when you’re acting by law like you should and they’re not letting you in,” he said. 

The move is illegal, says Sue Chrzan, Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority Director of Public Affairs and Communications. 

“I understand why they do that, but they’re not supposed to do that,” said Chrzan. 

Chrzan says she can’t put up a barrier to stop drivers from using the shoulder because it needs to be open for emergency vehicles.

However, there are plans to make a second right lane at Twiggs Street. Work isn't expected to begin until next year. Chrzan says the railroad tracks and utilities in the area further complicate the project. But, she’s confident it will be worth the wait. 

“I think it’ll be huge,” she said. 

Molina, who says the exit at Twiggs adds at least 20 minutes to his commute, was relieved to hear about the project. 

“I’ll be happy when it happens,” he said. 

Florida Highway Patrol officials tell ABC Action News they’re keeping this issue on the radar.