Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Miami Herald Editorial Board and Traffic: NOW you ask us? … by gimleteye

NOW, the editorial board of the Miami Herald is soliciting readers' opinions on what to do about our area's massive traffic congestion. We've written on this topic for years. (In the upper left search bar, type "traffic", and see a sampling like "If traffic so calm, why is the Miami Herald spinning in circles" from 2007.) A question: WHERE was the Miami Herald editorial board on this issue when all the unsustainable growth occurred in suburbs and downtown? The answer: AWOL. Nowhere. Absent.

And not just the editorial board: journalists at the Herald were discouraged from pursuing stories that tied traffic congestion and environmental harm to growth.

Where the Herald editorial board writes, "We want to be part of the solution", we can only rub our eyes in disbelief. "The Board will hold local, state and federal officials accountable." Gimleteye to Miami Herald: that train left the station a long time ago, thanks in no small part to your looking the other way, when you could have elevated readers' awareness about the costs of poorly planned growth.

It's happening right now, again!, in South Dade farmland with the 826 Extension. Why don't you start right there!?

"MDX has commenced the SR 836/Dolphin Expressway Southwest Extension Project Development and Environment Study (PD&E). The Public Kick-Off Meeting took place on September 4, 2014. As part of the scope of work, MDX incorporated the scheduling of an Environmental Forum, the purpose of which is to bring together specific key groups focused on environmental interests, elicit their input and comment, and provide a special venue for future dialogue."
"Public kick-off"? How about public-kick-in-the-transportation-ass?

Here is today's missive from the city's only daily newspaper:
There are few issues Miami-Dade residents agree upon, but here’s one: Traffic gridlock and frustrated drivers are killing us. Figuratively and, yes, literally.

We all must deal with this new reality: Weekday rush hour in South Florida in the good ol’ days extended from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and then again from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. But these days, almost every hour is rush hour.

The Editorial Board receives scores of letters every week from local residents who struggle to get from Point A to Point B — be it in a car, on a bus or a bike, on foot, or on rail.

We want to be part of the solution. We are asking our readers to use our page to tell community leaders where the problems exist and what ideas they have to solve them. We’re calling the Editorial Board’s traffic initiative, H*ll on Wheels. Join us, we’ll post your complaints.

After all, who better than readers know the most dangerous intersection to cross on foot?

Or where a street light is out of sync, clogging traffic flow? Or bus routes where it takes three transfers to get there?

What are some routes to avoid bumper-to-bumper traffic on Interstate 95 or the Palmetto Expressway?

We are now the third most populous state in the country, with 19 million residents and 16 million registered vehicles. Enough said.

Traffic congestion is making timely mobility in our community nearly impossible and is negatively affecting too many lives. The issue deserves as much attention as any other in our community.

▪ Bicyclists and pedestrians are being struck and killed by vehicles at an alarming rate. This must stop.

▪ A shocking number of drivers who hit pedestrians flee the scene, even when they’re not to blame. Where’s the sense of personal responsibility?

▪ Our to-and-from-work commutes are eating up our time and damaging our quality of life. This is simply unfair.

▪ Expressway tolls are eating into our wallets, but offer little tangible relief.

▪ Despite new tentacles, Metrorail still doesn’t go where many of us need to go.

And don’t get us started on the speeders, lane weavers and tailgaters.

To his credit, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez realizes we have a serious traffic problem, but how to fund projects for the fixes is a big obstacle, he said at the recent Citizens’ Independent Transportation Summit, where pamphlets addressing the problems flew like confetti.

The Board will hold local, state and federal officials accountable. And we’ll find it who’s tracking down the worst of the drivers.

What else? You tell us.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

South Beach's largest residential property is actually zoned for event space at a capacity of over 200 people. It has two onsite parking spaces. What Miami Beach did was allow Fees in Lieu of Parking. An old hotel that housed a few people could be re-purposed into a hotel with a rooftop restaurant. Now you are expanding the traffic load into the hundreds per block. Then build a condo highrise next to that (maybe ground floor retail) and you've expanded the traffic load into the hundreds again. Repeat the process until you have saturation. The hotel in the 1930s was much less busy then a hotel in 2015. Once the traffic increased the travel lobby request more public parking. Once you expanded that you created more vehicle traffic. Miami and Miami Beach are screwed. They expanded to point of no return.

Anonymous said...

Unsustainable development.

Anonymous said...

Too many people!

Anonymous said...

I hate to be so negative but it is already too late.

The only hope would be to stop further development and that isn't going to happen.

Is it the sun or something in the water that seems to bring out the absolute stupidity and incompetence in the people around here?

Anonymous said...

How about the proposed Flagstone project on Watson Island? Called Island Gardens. It has been festering since 2002 or so. What a dog. If the developer cons someone into investing that scam could ruin Miami Beach and stop all traffic on Biscayne Blvd.

Anonymous said...

The City of Miami Beach ("City") and Miami Beach Port, LLC ("MBP") intend to enter into a F.S. Ch. 163 development agreement (the "Development Agreement") for the
joint redevelopment of the "Property".
Both Miami Beach and Miami were involved in this developer game.

Anonymous said...