It has been a while since I lived South of Gandy and regularly had to make use of the absolutely terrible Gandy Boulevard. Nevertheless, every time I see something on the subject of the crosstown expressway extension, I think about how anyone living in the surrounding neighborhoods could be opposed to it.
According to traffic counts from last year, up to 48,500 cars use Gandy Blvd daily. The above article also noted that the number of Pinellas to Crosstown through traffic vehicles is not yet known.
Going out on a limb, let’s try to estimate.
According to the 2000 census and this Wikipedia article the population in the Gandy-Sun Bay South neighborhood was just under 17,000. This site which sources 2007 data from OnBoard LLC estimates the population of the entire 33611 zip code is now just over 32,000.
We can assume that the entire 32,000 residents in 33611 do not use Gandy Blvd. every day and certainly not at rush hour. However, let’s be very liberal and say that 75% do use it, this would count for 24,000 vehicles or half of the estimated total cars.
After living SOG (south of Gandy) for two years, I relocated to Davis Islands and then on to South Howard for a total of about three years. In three years I can say I barely ever made a local trip using Gandy Blvd. due to the traffic. I shopped at the Hyde Park Publix or Kash N Karry and for the occasional trip to Target or a bigger Publix, I would go at off hours and utilize Euclid and Himes instead.
That said, we can assume that most people living north of Bay to Bay probably have similar driving habits. It’s the same concept that keeps most South Tampa residents off of South Dale Mabry and instead using Church, Manhattan, Westshore and MacDill.
After our above local estimate of 24,000 we have to account for the other half of the cars that use Gandy Blvd daily. I personally believe it is safe to say that around 18,000 vehicles which use the road each day are through traffic and not local business customers; therefore, they would be diverted by building an elevated extension to the Crosstown.
The potential to remove even close to that much congestion from Gandy Blvd. should have local businesses and residents screaming for the relief.