What the 540A Corridor Should Look Like, and Other Recent News

When I first saw Tom Palmer of The Ledger post that the county was going to being considering a plan for the future development of County Road 540A about a week ago, I was intrigued.

He fleshed out that original post on his blog in a story in the paper today, which you can read here.

As a South Lakeland resident who travels on 540A every day, I’m going to be very interested in how the county handles this. I understand the idea that the road was widened in part to eventually handle more development, and there is obviously much more growth potential left in that area. But I also don’t want to lose the somewhat rural atmosphere we have.

Apparently under consideration are apartment complexes and townhomes, leading to slower speed limits and expanded mass transit. As I’ve said before, I’m not sold on mass transit on a large scale, and planning to add population density around the idea of mass transit doesn’t make much sense to me.

It’s almost like trying to force mass transit upon us, especially if affordable/rental housing is added that will attract lower income families who don’t have their own transportation.

Now don’t get me wrong, I understand the need for affordable housing, but I think it’s more practical in a central location. And of course, if I’m being honest, I don’t want to risk my property value decreasing even more than it has already. Not that it’s a guarantee property values would drop,  but it’s a possibility.

As a practical argument against more dense residential development, I still see 540A as a road with a primary purpose of getting me from Point A to Point B. It’s fast and convenient as it’s set up now. If we start reducing the speed limit and add significantly more traffic, we’ll lose that efficiency and possibly end up having to widen the road again.

So, I’ll be watching this debate pretty closely, and might have to attend one of the upcoming public meetings that should be scheduled soon.

Other news

  • The Ledger held one of the area’s nicest events with the Silver Garland Awards tonight, with some of the county’s top high school students in various subject areas. Here’s the list of winners.
  • The county is going to offer residents the chance to get smaller garbage carts. I thought our large can would be a major annoyance, but it’s actually been fairly convenient and I don’t anticipate changing.
  • Winter Haven is going to be hosting a public meeting about the possible construction of a downtown parking garage.
  • The Ledger’s editorial page echoed mine and others’ thoughts on the County Commission’s plan to investigate the constitutionality of term and salary limits. Here’s the editorial.
  • 2012 Olympic hopeful Octavious Freeman of Lake Wales and Santa Fe’s B.J. Knauf stole the show at the Polk County Track and Field Championships in Frostproof.
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