Yesterday, the Tampa Bay Times ran an interesting piece on large landowners and the “Future Corridors” projects that will build toll roads in rural areas, while creating substantial Environmental issues. The project advocated by Jeb Bush and killed by Charlie Crist has been revived by Governor Rick Scott. In July, I editorialized about the Heartland Parkway, the signature project of the “Future Corridors” initiative.
As the Times story indicates this isn’t simply an innocent initiative meant to stimulate growth and provide needed infrastructure in rural areas. It amounts to a taxpayer funded boondoggle to directly benefit the state’s biggest landowners. At the same time, Governor Scott has not provided the type of leadership needed to develop public transportation and better highways in urban areas that is required. Perhaps since these areas did not support the Governor he is less committed to developing a sustainable infrastructure where he lost in 2010. Or perhaps it just fits with the Governor’s continued assault on the Environment and rewarding large campaign contributors and industry.