Read the LTE on the Chronicle’s website here.

The backlash against the Northern Turnpike Extension isn’t about not accepting change, it is about protecting a way of life, our environment and our water supply. All of the proposed routes will dramatically and irreversibly affect it all.

Growth has been steady for years and it’s a no brainer that the Suncoast 2 is only going to increase that growth. The turnpike will dramatically accelerate that growth creating urban sprawl and turn Citrus County and the Nature Coast into another Orlando Metro.

The Chronicle keeps referring to those who spoke against the Turnpike as “protestors” and non-county residents. From the sign in sheet by the Sierra Club: Citrus County: 63; affected counties: 15; Alachua: 1 and Blank: 1 for a total of 80.

These people were concerned citizens there to communicate their concerns about the Turnpike with the County Commission.

Make no mistake; what the governments of Levy, Marion and Citrus counties and the towns of Dunnellon, Chiefland and Inverness decide will not only affect the communities and the people this road will actually touch, but the surrounding areas as well. The road will take homes from people along the route and farms along the route, often owned by generations, will either be taken or divided.

Remember, in 1999 a similar project was suspended due to lack of volume and support from local governments. FDOT Raymond Ashe: “Even with a higher traffic volume, the lack of local support alone would have killed the project.” We can do this!

Another Chronicle article states: “The new road will be funded entirely with toll revenues”. FDOT has an abysmal track record in projections for toll collections. The Suncoast 1 which opened in 2001 was projected to make $150 million by 2014 and in 2019 (18 years later) made only $29 million.

“Initial projections, which tend to be the ones that are the least accurate, get the project green-lighted. To the DOT, those projections are used ‘to judge general feasibility, need and interest,’” Florida Turnpike Enterprise division spokeswoman Christa Deason explained in an article by Craig Pittman.

In my opinion, substitute gas-lighted instead of green-lighted!

The bigger question: Why do our communities have to bear the burden of relieving traffic on Interstate 4 and Interstate 75. Those communities are the ones who supported the runaway growth, now they should live with it.

By the way, I’ve lived at this address since 1986.

Sally M. McDavid