Monday, August 07, 2017

What's driving us to all this road rage? BAD zoning decisions by local elected officials under pressure from developers ... by gimleteye

Cynicism calls when the Miami Herald publishes stories like this, from the weekend, "What is driving us to all this road rage?" Because county politicians made us this way, would be one answer.

Planning for transportation has never kept pace with zoning decisions that seed more development. The "jobs at any cost" lobby sheds plenty of campaign contributions. Not so much, when it comes to people or neighborhoods attempting to reign in growth.

Once, there were Florida governors who at least paid lip service to the notion of comprehensive land use planning. State law included transportation concurrency and in principle the idea that "carrying capacity".

Not this governor. Rick Scott wants to be the next US Senator from Florida, running against incumbent Bill Nelson.

One of Gov. Rick Scott's major failures: dealing a death blow to growth management in Florida.

It's not far off what Donald Trump aims to do: eviscerate regulations that "inhibit" job creation. So when the Miami Herald and other state newspapers bemoan road rage; ask why the paper doesn't include the diagnosis in context of failed political leadership. Rick Scott, Exhibit A.

Today, Mayor Carlos Gimenez is dead-set on supporting a plan to move the Urban Development Boundary in far west Miami-Dade County to extend state roads further south into the last remaining farmland in America's winter breadbasket.

Building more highway lanes to alleviate traffic congestion is disproven by outcome. It's imaginary thinking like losing weight by opening your belt buckle.

Recently I had the enlightening experience to gauge traffic by driving from New England to Miami. The traffic was congested in all the predictable places; Boston, New York, Washington D.C. Then, driving south from the Georgia border, the traffic not only increased after Jacksonville but so did the agitation of drivers. Once south of Palm Beach, the ordinary rules of the road gave way to instant lane shifting and after the Miami Dade County border: chaos.

The only prescription is intelligent mass transit. It will cost much, much more -- billions more -- than if elected officials planned for this outcome in the first place. There are too many people, in too small an area, with infrastructure bursting at the seams.

That's not taxpayers fault. It is the fault of voters who put the seal of approval on elected officials who refuse to stand up for the public interest. Next time, connect the dots, with your votes.

No comments: