“It’s probably the best thing that’s ever happened here”

The elevated toll lanes on Tampa’s Lee Roy Selmon Expressway just turned a year old. No doubt there’s lots to like about the facility, but I certainly hope it’s not the best thing to ever hit Tampa:

It’s probably the best thing that’s ever happened here,” said LaSchael Parks, who lives in Brandon and travels to Tampa daily to attend evening classes at South University near downtown. “There’s no way I’d get there as fast as I do without it.” When the expressway opened July 18, the Tampa-Hillsborough County Expressway Authority estimated that 6,000 vehicles would use the road each weekday by October. That prediction was close to reality: 5,989 vehicles traveled the reversible lanes each weekday that month. A year later, about 16,000 vehicles pass under the toll gantries on any given weekday, authority spokeswoman Sue Chrzan said.

More here; via Related: Why Tampa’s “best thing ever” might work in Oahu UPDATE: Thanks to Peter Samuel for the correction. The Tampa facility wasn’t privately financed.