Best Of 2007

BEST LEGISLATIVE IDEA: A regional approach to solving transportation problems

Local business leaders saw that the elected officials weren’t making a transportation solution happen, so they took matters into their own hands. For more than two years, led by the Tampa Bay Partnership, they worked with legislators to create the Tampa Bay Regional Transportation Authority, a seven-county agency with the power to build new roads and — more importantly — transit systems on a larger scale than is now possible. The bill creating the agency passed this year and Gov. Charlie Crist signed it — even if Crist had pre-viously vetoed $1-million in startup funding for the new board. Now all the agency has to do is pull together elected leaders from all seven counties, get urban and rural lawmakers on the same page, create a plan to solve our current and future transportation problems and find a way to pay for it that the public will accept. Simple enough.