Gov. DeSantis signs measure to hurry transportation projects, clamp down on ‘activism’ on roads
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Tampa traffic
'It is going to prevent localities from agenda-motivated lane reductions to force people out of their cars.'

Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed legislation making it easier for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to finance major transportation projects.

DeSantis recently touted 20 major transportation projects throughout the state that will be kickstarted through a program he pushed. The legislation will help accomplish that goal.

“These are all projects that are being accelerated,” DeSantis said at a press conference in Polk County. “It means some of these projects are going to be started and/or completed 10 to 20 years ahead of schedule.”

The Legislature approved $4 billion for DeSantis’ Moving Florida Forward program in the 2023 Legislative Session. This year lawmakers passed HB 1301, which DeSantis signed Wednesday and which makes it easier for FDOT to finance the 20 projects while they are being constructed.

DeSantis highlighted two of those projects. First, a plan to widen Interstate 4 from US 27 in Polk County to the Osceola Parkway. The plan will include express lanes, and the Poinciana Connector project, which will link State Road 429 at its end point at I-4 with County Road 532, will begin while the first project is still underway.

The 39-page bill contains other provisions to streamline transportation projects and agencies in the state, including a $15 million boost to FDOT logistic center programs. But it also contains measures aimed at preventing local governments from using transportation policy for, according to DeSantis, ideological projects.

The bill prevents public transportation agencies from using state funds for marketing or advertising on public vehicles. DeSantis suggested that such funds could be used to push diversity, equity and inclusion or other progressive ideology, but didn’t cite an example of that happening in Florida.

Another piece of the bill bans state funds going to public airports, seaports or other transportation agencies that enact mask mandates in violation of state law, something DeSantis pushed for during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bill also increases public meeting and public notice requirements when a local government wants to repurpose existing lanes on its roads. This, DeSantis said, was needed to prevent “activists” from promoting congestion on roads to convince people to give up gas-powered cars.

“It is going to prevent localities from agenda-motivated lane reductions to force people out of their cars,” DeSantis said.

Gray Rohrer


13 comments

  • Tom

    April 3, 2024 at 12:50 pm

    There must be some parallel universe out there that only republicans can see – what on earth is he talking about?
    “The bill prevents public transportation agencies from using state funds for marketing or advertising on public vehicles. DeSantis suggested that such funds could be used to push diversity, equity and inclusion or other progressive ideology, but didn’t cite an example of that happening in Florida.”

    Reply

    • Silly Wabbit

      April 3, 2024 at 1:16 pm

      He kwazy.

      Reply

  • Impeach Biden

    April 3, 2024 at 1:18 pm

    Dont Kalifornia my Florida. That is what our Governor is doing.

    Reply

    • Rick Whitaker

      April 4, 2024 at 7:24 pm

      IM, don’t you mean, “don’t desanatize our florida”?

      Reply

  • tom palmer

    April 3, 2024 at 3:05 pm

    I am a little unsure what traffic congestion has to do with electric vehicles.
    Still waiting for the FDOT report on gypsum roads, which was due Monday.

    Reply

    • Dont Say FLA

      April 4, 2024 at 1:00 pm

      Potholes. Electric cars are currently extremely heavy for their amount of rubber that meets the road. That means more potholes, and more potholes mean more congestion. For now. This will get better, of course, as energy storage weight decreases.

      Reply

  • The truth must be told

    April 3, 2024 at 3:54 pm

    These projects came at the expense of other projects. There was 4 billion dollars provided by the legislature last year of the total 7 billion needed. In that missing 3 billion was many many MANY needed improvements across the state that will unfortunately see major delays in their delivery because good ole honest Ronnie has ensured his road builders get these projects they wanted to build. It’s a scam, it’s all a scam, look at the facts look at the details that’s why this article is mixed with “ideological” to infuriate people and divert the attention away from what ILLEGAL moves were made here. Dont believe me? Ask the questions you’ll see.

    Reply

    • Dont Say FLA

      April 4, 2024 at 12:55 pm

      A real leader would hold these road builders accountable for their products.

      Make the asphalt companies pay for our car insurance. It’s their roads they built that have us all crashing into each other all the damn time.

      Cigarette companies were finally held somewhat responsible.

      When will road building companies face the music for what they’ve done to all of us? Will they ever? More likely “never.”

      Who will tear up all these impervious, flood producing hardened surfaces when we all zipping around 100 feet up in the air passenger-ing in our own self-piloting drone mobiles?

      Will the road building companies tear all the roads back up? What will be done will all the waste? Will the work come out of their massive profits? LOL. Or will the work be their new source of massive profits? YEP

      Reply

  • Michael K

    April 3, 2024 at 8:26 pm

    Poor Rhonda reminds me of Joe McCarthy who saw a communist behind every tree. It did not end well for Joe and it will not end well for Rhonda. He’s determined to beat out Missississippi for the bottom of the barrel.

    Reply

  • Lex

    April 4, 2024 at 8:29 am

    The thing that makes me mad is how expensive making a road has gotten… $54 million a mile is insane no matter the location. Something needs to change so they can just pour asphalt.

    Reply

    • Dont Say FLA

      April 4, 2024 at 12:49 pm

      Lex! We agree! OMG!

      Except the part about “just pour asphalt.” To that I say:

      Everybody drives pickup trucks and SUVs wishing and pretending they’re tough off-road kings, so let’s just pour gravel and let them people the off-road queens they fantasize they are.

      Reply

  • Dont Say FLA

    April 4, 2024 at 12:46 pm

    It’s not about forcing people out of their cars.

    It’s about letting people be out of their own cars without being killed by somebody else using a car if/when they collide.

    Pedestrians, bicyclers, scooter-ers, most all non-car road users do have cars and they use their cars whenever they need to. Some folks just realize they don’t always require a whole entire car just for one person to go somewhere without more stuff than could be carried.

    It’s about people who don’t want to be required to use a car if the car were not necessary for a trip beyond you placing some metal and airbags in between your own body and all the cars on the roads.

    Reply

  • Jeff O'Neil

    April 8, 2024 at 1:19 pm

    When your banner shows this as this one does, it tells the whole story of who is behind it.
    Florida Politics
    Culture Wars
    Just another Grifters On parade Rag propping up White Boots Ronnie!

    Reply

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