TAMPA, Fla. — The nonprofit group Congress for the New Urbanism has named I-275 as one of the top highways in the country that should be torn down.
The group says they are, "working to build vibrant communities where people have diverse choices for how they live, work, and get around. We believe that well-designed cities and neighborhoods are crucial for our health, economy, and environment," according to their website.
In their post, "Freeways Without Futures 2019," the group cites a local movement — #blvdtampa — that says I-275 should be torn down and replaced with a boulevard more suited to local traffic.
"The transformation of I-275 into a wide, landscaped boulevard, featuring bike and pedestrian paths and either light commuter rail, bus rapid transit, or a modern streetcar would give Tampa an urban spine around which to grow," the group wrote.
They say the economic benefits of the boulevard are "substantial." They estimate the cost to rebuild the highway as ranging from $3 to $9 billion.
Instead, the group says the boulevard option would open up dozens of acres for development, boosting the city's tax base. They also say it would raise property values in the neighborhoods around the highway.
"Although the proposed 11-mile removal of I-275 is ambitious, local organizations such as Sunshine Citizens, Heights Urban Core Chamber, and the Tampa Heights Neighborhood Association, as well as several members of the Hillsborough County commission and candidates for Mayor of Tampa, support transformation of the highway," the group said.
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