Legislative Affairs

Forward Pinellas monitors topics related to land use and transportation as they move through the state and federal legislative process. The Forward Pinellas Legislative Committee plays an integral role in this process, providing direction on legislative matters and preparing educational materials for action by the full board. For more information about Forward Pinellas legislative affairs and committee, contact Principal Planner Sarah Caper.

Legislative Committee

The legislative committee generally meets once a month. The committee prepares legislative priority positions, monitors active legislation and discusses a range of potential concerns and issues related to state and federal legislative affairs. Each year, the Forward Pinellas Board appoints members to serve on the committee. All committee recommendations are taken to the full board for approval. Legislative committee agendas are available online.

2019 Members

  • County Commissioner Dave Eggers
  • Indian Rocks Beach Mayor Cookie Kennedy
  • St. Petersburg Councilmember Brandi Gabbard
  • Clearwater Councilmember David Allbritton

Policy Positions

Each year, the board adopts policy positions that direct the legislative focus for that year. Throughout the legislative session, the legislative committee and full board follow the progress of bills that relate to these positions.

2019 Policy Positions

Priorities

Each year, the Forward Pinellas Board adopts priorities for local and regional transportation projects. This provides the public with clear direction of future transportation investment and relates back to the Long Range Transportation Plan. Below are some of our priority projects.

A Balanced Solution
Every year, Forward Pinellas adopts a priority list for funding. This year, the board adopted 28 local priorities that include local and regional projects across a variety of modes. these priorities fall into three general categories.

Reduce Traffic Congestion
Improving the flow of traffic is a priority for our residents as we develop and grow.

  • SR 60/I-275 at Westshore. Fix the bottleneck to help our residents travel to Tampa & beyond – top regional priority
  • US 19 Interchanges. Continue to elevate US 19 through Tampa Road & Nebraska Avenue
  • Dunedin Causeway. Add two lanes and toll booths to the Honeymoon Island entrance to address backups
May 21, 2019 draft Florida Department of Transportation rendering of the full reconstruction of the Westshore interchange, showing the addition of two express lanes in each direction and connecting to the Veterans and Howard Frankland Bridge.
FDOT’s draft rendering of the full reconstruction of the Westshore interchange, adding two express lanes in each direction and connecting to the Veterans and Howard Frankland Bridge

Make Transportation Safer
Decreasing deaths and injuries is critical, especially for vulnerable users like bicyclists and walkers.

  • Pinellas Trail Loop. Complete this shared use path to allow easy travel around Pinellas County
  • 22nd Street South Complete Streets. Support redevelopment with connectivity – our annual Complete Streets award
The City of St. Petersburg's plans for a portion of 22nd Street South from 9th Avenue South to 11th Avenue South, with a 12 foot sidewalk on one side of the road, 8 foot parallel parking intermixed with trees, 10.75 foot shared bicycle and traffic lanes (one in each direction) and a 14 foot sidewalk. The total right of way is 56 feet and the curb to curb distance is 29.5 feet. The roadway is brick and there are street trees on grates on the widened 14 foot sidewalk.
The City of St. Petersburg’s plans for a portion of 22nd Street South from 9th Avenue South to 11th Avenue South

Enhance Transit Services
Connecting jobs and training with housing that is affordable, necessitates expanded transit opportunities.

  • Central Avenue Bus Rapid Transit. Provide fast, reliable transportation from beach to bay
  • Aerial Transit Feasibility Study. Innovative solutions for mobility and access in Clearwater & St. Petersburg

Partners

Forward Pinellas works closely with partner agencies to ensure coordination on legislative affairs.

Links
Florida MPO Advisory Council
American Planning Association Florida Chapter Policy and Advocacy
American Planning Association Policy Guides