If you think traffic is bad now, just wait. It’s about to get worse! New census numbers show Tampa Bay had the 4th highest population growth in the entire country.
But it’s not all bad news, there are some benefits to more people moving in. It can be good for your wallet.
Tampa Bay is already seeing a big spike in property values, new businesses and large companies deciding to move their headquarters to our region.
Restaurants, retail shops and other businesses also report an uptick in customers.
Yet, many people like Sarah Becher, who made St Pete home 5 years ago, worries a lot about more cars on the roadways she uses to get to her nursing job. She often takes the Howard Frankland Bridge and sits through rush hour traffic.
“There is so much traffic and I look around and there are so many license plates not from around here,” Becher explained.
5 years ago she made the big move from Indiana to St.Pete. Now, more people are following her lead. 58,000 people packed up moving trucks and headed to Tampa Bay in 2016.
Local U-haul dealers can’t keep enough trucks on the lot, “It’s crazy but it’s good, it’s a good crazy,” explained employee Tim Turner. “We can come here in the morning and the lot is full. 2 hours later, it’s empty.”
“You can’t deny it is crowded,” added James Locascio.
As for the newcomers, Becher has a message.
“Bear with the traffic. It’ll give you road rage that's for sure, but going to the beach is worth it,” she said with a giggle.
Transportation leaders tell ABC Action News those extra residents will put a big strain on our roads, and could mean more construction in the near future.