[Public Notice with particular import to residents of MiMo, Upper Eastside, Edgewater, Midtown, Omni areas] FDOT to Host Public Meeting for Roadway Project State Road (SR) 5/Biscayne Boulevard Miami — The Florida Department of Transportation District Six (FDOT) will hold a public information meeting for a roadway project along SR 5/Biscayne Boulevard from NE 13 Street to NE 78 Street.
The public information meeting will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at Unity on the Bay, 411 NE 21 Street, Miami, FL 33137. Attendees may arrive at any time from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Graphic displays of the project will be shown and FDOT staff will be on hand to discuss the project and answer questions after the presentation.
The proposed work for this project includes:
- Installing five new mid-block pedestrian crossings at:
- NE 16 Street
- Between NE 23 Street and NE 24 Street
- Between NE 30 Street to NE 31 Street
- NE 32 Street
- NE 74 Street
- Installing pedestrian signals at the existing signals of NE 15 Street and NE 17 Street
- Installing a pedestrian crossing at the intersection of NE 54 Street
- Installing a raised landscaping median at various locations which include:
- NE 59 Street
- NE 66 Street
- NE 67 Street
- NE 70 Street
- Upgrading pedestrian curb ramps and signals to current standards at various locations Construction is expected to begin in June 2015 and last about four months.
The estimated construction cost of the project is $780,000. Please contact Public Information Specialist Sandra Bello if you have any questions about this project at (305) 470-5349 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FDOT encourages public participation without regard to race, color, national origin, age, gender, religion, disability or family status. Persons who need special assistance under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 or who need translation services (free of charge) should contact, Brian Rick at (305) 470-5349 or in writing at FDOT, 1000 NW 111 Avenue, Miami, FL 33172 or by email at: email@example.com at least seven days prior to the public meeting. www.dot.state.fl.us
Consistent, Predictable, Repeatable
www.dot.state.fl.us February 4, 2014 Maribel Lena, (305) 470-5349; firstname.lastname@example.org
A round of applause and some Miami pride is in order.
The launch of Future Cities 100, a list of the top city innovators and changemakers worldwide, features two local civic heroes: Carol Coletta and Manny Diaz.
Carol Coletta, Vice President for Community and National Initiatives for the Knight Foundation, came to Miami from CEOs for Cities in Chicago, where she was accustomed to the freedom of car-free living. Since her arrival in Miami, she has been a vocal supporter of civic engagement initiatives around transit, including our friends at TrAC. If you have never heard her speak, she is truly inspiring and extraordinarily candid. She is doing great things. A TransitMiami Shout Out to the Knight Foundation in thanks.
Former City of Miami Mayor and President of the US Conference of Mayors, Manny Diaz, is championed for leading Miami’s ongoing transformation from a sprawled suburbia to a sustainable, functioning city where people want to live. His Miami 21 plan is cited as being “well on its way to setting a standard for other cities.”
Watch the UBM video on Manny Diaz here:
FIU & MIT are convening a new think tank representing academic, industry, government and environmental groups to discuss the economic, social, technological, and environmental challenges and strategies that will advance the achievement of sustainability in transportation infrastructure in Florida.
Funded by a block of concrete and asphalt companies, the official purpose suggests they do want to hear from people, too.
It’s absolutely free to take part in this.Transportation Infrastructure Sustainability Summit Tuesday, October 29, 2013 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM Kovens Conference Center FIU Biscayne Bay Campus 3000 N.E. 151 Street, Miami, Fl. 33181-3000
Lead by Franz Ulm of MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub and Irtishad Ahmad of FIU OHL School of Construction, this is great opportunity to engage the people and interests that are literally paving our region’s future. That said, this the photo they use to promote the summit:
If you need any additional information, you can contact: Bernadette Chung at email@example.com or at (305) 348-3537.
Miami-Dade Public Transit “solves” homeless “problem” by removing the seats on the Metromover.
As with every opportunity to engage on local transit issues, TrAC Miami is urging the public to come to the CTAC meeting on Wednesday, October 23 at 5:30pm to let them know what you think. (Government Center, 18th floor)
Is MDT is cutting off their nose to spite their face? One 2-person seat remains on each car for ADA compliance, but what if there are three people who actually need to be able to sit down? Like your mom, your grandpa or a pregnant woman and her children. An employee attempted to explain the new policy as follows: MDT has “struggled” to reduce use of the free public MetroMover by people who take up excessive space with their personal belongings. A number of users have complained about the mess and odor that some, likely homeless, people bring to our public transit. So what if said problem person takes the whole seat? What does MDT consider “struggling” to resolve this and improve the quality of our transit. Are the not concerned this could reduce ridership?
So…why not enforce a restriction of seats to one per person? There’s already funded security in the MetroMover cars.
One alternative that has been considered and rejected includes charging something minimal to ride the MetroMover – something that would be financially impossible. Time will tell if no seating becomes politically impossible.
As of tomorrow, October 1, it will be illegal to text while driving. Advocates for safer streets have been lobbying for this for years (nod to Florida Bicycle Association, CommuteOrlando), but we’ve only now joined the 41 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgina Islands to make it illegal. There are still some glaring loopholes that set us apart.
In Florida, texting while driving is only a secondary offense, meaning law enforcement can’t pull you over solely for the action. The ticket itself is only $30, but multiple offenses become moving violations and add points to your license/ raise your insurance premiums.
In Florida, it remains just fine to text or drop an email when you’re at a red light – which sounds okay until you realize that motorists are obliged to check for people still in crosswalks as well as green lights. It’s also fine to take calls, change your Pandora station or use Google Maps.
If you’re like most people, you think you’re better than the average driver and don’t know you’re four times more likely to get into a serious collision (re: hurt yourself, not just your car) when you reach for the phone. Be careful out there. And please, put the phone down.
In this morning’s Sun Sentinel:
The I-95 Express Buses get a lock of flack for their unreliable transmissions that leave riders “late for work” and feeling like they’ve been “held hostage.” This sounds just like my car! My station wagon doesn’t make it into the Sun Sentinel, though.
When my car’s transmission fails (frequently, despite a recent, costly rebuild and lifetime warrantied parts), I don’t really have anyone to complain to. I wish it was easier, but I still think it’s pretty lucky to have the 95 Express. It’s a pain being late to work regardless of whose transmission just died. BUT when it’s your car, you are looking at 3-5 days with no back-up car with which to get to work plus another bill in the hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Public transit has some real benefits over driving. #1 being that I can get work done on the bus (yay, Free Wi-fi!) or catch up with Words with Friends. Texting is both legal and safe! #2 meeting interesting people or just people-watching helps me feel charged up at the start of the day, rather than frustrated. #3 $2.35 each way is probably what 35+ minutes in my station wagon costs these days, excluding taxes, title, insurance and all that stress. I‘m sure it’s miserable sitting on the side of the road waiting for someone to come fix your ride or pick you up with another bus. I promise you, it’s more miserable when the bus doesn’t automatically come and you have to pay for your trouble.
Of course, the bus takes longer. Here is my very multi-modal commute from Midtown Miami to north Downtown Fort Lauderdale:
- CAR: to the bus stop in Downtown Miami that is NOT on SE 1st and 1st.(If you wait there, the driver will pass you and point to where you need to run.) I get a ride, but otherwise, I could use my Car2Go membership. $0
- WAITING for a bus that says “to Downtown Miami.” You MUST ask the driver which Express they are driving, or you will end up in the Everglades. I mean, Miramar. (True story). $0. or $1.25 for a cortadito.
- BUS: Very comfortable. Wifi is dependable. Northbound means a practically empty bus. Pro Tip: Bring a sweater or sit in the front. $2.35
- SHUTTLE: Free shuttle from the Broward Blvd Tri-rail down Broward, south on Andrews, around the Courthouse. $0
- BIKE SHARE: From the Courthouse, I pick up a B-cycle and head to work. About 2 miles in 10 minutes. $0 (membership is $45 a year)
This commute takes over an hour. However, at every point, I’m interacting positively with people around me and can take calls from the office. The biggest problem for me is not having a car at work – and Fort Lauderdale doesn’t have Car2Go. My job usually requires a lot of driving from Hallandale Beach to Pompano Beach and everywhere in between. If it wasn’t for bike sharing and some help from colleagues, I’d really be in a bind.
The Express Buses would benefit from improvements, but not the ones I keep seeing on the TransitMiami facebook page.
- Better Wayfinding. There are so many bus stops in Downtown Miami and around the Tri-Rail station. Make it easier to find the Bus!
- Better Signage on the bus. Yes, I ended up in Miramar. I’m not proud of it. I think that as soon as the bus gets to Downtown, even if it has more pick up points within Downtown, it should be marked with its final destination. No one in their right mind picks up an Express bus to go 2 blocks.
- Later hours! I work 8:30am-6pm. I have to leave early to catch the bus home. No bueno.
- Same pick up and drop off stops. I don’t understand why the bus picks up at SE 1st & 1st and drops off at NW 8th and 1st, 12 blocks away. Can anyone explain this to me? Does the Corner Bar subsidize this? They should…
TM Readers, have you taken the Express Bus? What do you think?
The Middle River Neighborhood in the City of Fort Lauderdale is considering three options for their section of North Dixie Highway, including rejecting $2.3 million is MPO funding that would include a road diet, new and improved crosswalks and a solid green bike lane that would continue along the section to the north (into Wilton Manors).
Neighbors and local business owners packed a public meeting tonight and some argued for paving the swale on one side with a 12 ft wide shared use path (sidewalk) instead of accepting funding for the green lanes. Why would they want to do this?
Some arguments made for the “shared-use path” option:
- Even if the speed is 30mph, I drive 40mph, at least, so cyclists should ride on the sidewalk for their own safety. [Response: that’s why city is recommending multiple traffic calming measures, including speed tables at crossings.]
- No one has ever been killed by a car reversing out of a driveway while they were riding a bike on a sidewalk. [Response: You’re lucky. Many people are not.]
- Narrowing the travel lanes to 10’ will slow down traffic too much and how can that be legal when trucks can be 8 ½ ‘ wide. [The purpose of this project, even the shared use path option, is to discourage tractor trailers from this roadway.]
- Why do we need any of this? Can’t we just leave everything the way it is? [Response: Well, yes on both. If we don't use it, another city project in the LRTP pipeline will.]
- Is there any proof that bike lanes increase property values? The local economy?
My response, of course, is there are several. Here are a few that come to mind:
- In 2010, rents along NYC’s new Times Square-area green bike lanes increased 71% – the greatest rise in the city.[APTA]
- When San Francisco put its own 4-lane Valencia Street through a project similar to the one proposed for Dixie Highway (road diet, adding bike lanes and better pedestrian crossings], nearly 40% of local business owners reported increased sales and 60% reported more area residents shopping locally due to reduced travel time and convenience. Two-thirds said business improved overall. [San Francisco Bicycle Coalition]
- Across American cities, houses located in areas that are particularly bicycle and/or pedestrian friendly are worth as much as $34,000 more than comparable houses with just average walkability/bikeability. [CEOs for Cities]
- Toronto merchants surveyed in 2009 reported that patrons who came by bike or on visit not only stopped in their stores more often, but spent more money per month than those who came by car. [Clean Air Partnership]
- Find more stats in this article: Want to make money? Build Your Business on a Bike Lane (FastCo.exist)
There are more reasons to support the “green bike lanes” option:
- It has secured funding. Changing the concept negates the funding approval years in development and would leave the city to find money elsewhere.
- The bike lane concept includes funding for bio-swales, a critically needed and environmentally sound flood mitigation tool.
- Continuity. The lanes are planned for the contiguous section directly to the north. It is unfortunate the local politics and funding challenges have lead to so many sidewalks that end and bike lanes/trails/paths to nowhere. I hope that doesn’t happen here.
- People who ride for transportation are not required to ride on sidewalks, no matter how wide they are. Those who do, put themselves at risk at every driveway and reduce to safety of the path for kids and those walking their dogs.
- Road treatments like this reduce speeds and therefore improve safety for everyone. [NYC DOT]
There was a time when city officials and engineers were the ones fighting the bike facilities here in South Florida. The times are changing – will a different kind of local politics prevent our governments from doing the right thing in favor of cars and trucks?
Local biketivists from across Miami and Broward joined around 200 more transportation planners, engineers and bicycle professionals in Tampa yesterday for the first National Bike Summit, hosted by USDOT. The event kicked off a campaign that USDOT Secretary Ray LaHood promised to do for bike safety what ‘Click it or Ticket’ did for seat belt use and Mothers Against Drunk Driving have done for DUI. It has no catchy name yet but the idea is simple: We need a cultural shift in this country so that nowhere is it socially acceptable or legal for motorists to disrespect cyclists. LaHood and other speakers promoted more bike lanes, more tickets for those who pass cyclists too closely and an aggressive education campaign targeting people who ride and drive on proper, safe behavior.
There is more at Streetsblog but Transit Miami thanks all who traveled to Tampa to represent Southeast Florida. Special shout out to Bike SoMi, the City of Fort Lauderdale, Broward Complete Streets, Green Mobility Network, Atlantic Bike Shop, Fort Lauderdale Critical Mass, and many others I may have missed. There were also three of us from the Broward B-cycle program, including myself.
Florida Bicycle Association Executive Director Tim Bustos sent us this recap of the event:
“When we first got the official notice that there would be a bike summit in Tampa, we were ecstatic! Although many of us are already actively engaged in trying to improve the dismal bicycle crash record in Florida, we really felt like this kind of exposure, and the support of USDOT would be very helpful. The only catch was that it was happening in 10 days! Wow. Having put on many events like this over the years, I knew that most conference planners require at least six months – and a year is preferred. However, USDOT staff vowed to make it happen, and, since Secretary Ray LaHood has already announced that he would be stepping down soon, I can only guess that he wanted to be sure it happened before he left. So, no problems – just opportunities!”
“First steps were to contact all of our members possible – as soon as possible, as well as colleagues and affiliate organizations. This blitz was followed with a conference call between USDOT and FHWA staff to offer our assistance with planning efforts in Florida, and to suggest speakers.”
“Given the incredibly short window of opportunity, the bike summit actually came off very well. USDOT was hoping for at least 150 participants, and there were almost 200 in attendance! The speakers were also very well qualified and engaging, and spoke to the issues of community design, traffic engineering countermeasures, law enforcement, and current bicycle education efforts in the state. The only area I felt was lacking was the subject of funding programs. Given that MAP-21 (the new transportation funding bill) is still relatively new, and many people are still trying to figure it out – including FDOT, we felt this could have been a welcome addition to the line-up of presentations, but to me, it seemed to be conspicuous by its absence.”
“Still, Secretary LaHood should be commended for his intent to pull off this conference before he left office, and his staff gets bonus points for pulling it together at warp speed. And, as I mentioned at the end of my presentation on bicycle education, I look at this event not as a one time effort, but the beginning of a renewed effort throughout Florida to make bicycling safer and more enjoyable effort in Tampa, and throughout the state.”
(Community Commentary) It’s time for the
Lipton Sony Ericsson Open Nasdaq Key Biscayne Grand Prix Miami Masters Tennis Tournament! If you live, work, ride, beach, etc anywhere near the entrance to Rickenbacker Causeway… we recommend bicycling or mass transit. Or, at least, podcasts. With Miami-Dade County Bear Cut Bridge renovations already underway, event organizers are urging drivers to be extra careful. They reached out to TM directly and asked us to share the following with you: In short, organizers suggest you GET THERE EARLY. They don’t want anyone missing their Tennis. Also,
- Expect new traffic patterns to and from the Crandon Park Tennis Center.
- Bear Cut Bridge will continue to have two lanes traveling in each direction, just as in past years, however the outermost westbound lane of the bridge will be open to pedestrian and cyclist traffic only. As a result, westbound drivers headed toward Miami may be required to change lanes before crossing the bridge. The eastbound traffic pattern toward Key Biscayne will remain unchanged.
- Eastbound pedestrians and cyclists will be guided across Crandon Boulevard by a uniformed police officer. Drivers are urged to share the road with additional care.
- Consider taking the bus! Route B/ 102 will make regular stops at the Tournament’s main entrance, as well as the Brickell Metrorail Station, Brickell Financial District, Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami Seaquarium, the City of Key Biscayne, and Cape Florida State Park.
- Patrons who park in the Tournament’s General Parking lot, located on Arthur Lamb Road across the street from the Miami Seaquarium, will board free shuttles to the main entrance. Shuttles will run continuously throughout the day and up to an hour after the last evening match has been completed.
Florida traffic information is available by calling 511 or visiting www.fl511.com.
You can read more about these traffic modifications in our earlier blog post here. However, wherever you go, be safe. If you witness something that you think should be here, please try and get a photo plus any related information and contact us here.
Two tricycles, recently tuned up for the seniors at Bay Oaks – Miami’s historic retirement residence – gone. Broad daylight. The tricycles were locked and hidden from view behind a gate on the private property of the non-profit old folks’ home, just this week; just before any of the residents got to ride them.
Who does this?
Most of us have had a bike, car or other means of transportation taken from us.
It’s horrible. Violating. Nightmare and rage-inducing.
I’d like to believe there is a special place is Hell for such individuals, but the optimism is fleeting.
And then my friend told me about the BikeSpike.
How we used to (try to) prevent bike theft:
- Register your bike’s serial #. Keep insurance, any proof of purchase, up to date pictures.
- Paranoia. Only park in secured, enclosed Bike Corrals, bike valet or else use your local bikeshare program.
- Find your bike locked with a flat? Don’t leave her behind! It could be a trick!
- Just ride a really crappy bike! Or ugly one. But, but… why??
- Sign every Petition asking eBay and Craigslist to require serial # posting with ads. (I did.)
now really, really soon, there’ll be app for all that: The BikeSpike. It’s definitely the future of bicycle theft prevention. Let’s help get there faster.
“Spike your Bike with the world’s smallest GPS chipset with built-in antenna, an on-board accelerometer, and a connection to a global cellular network.”
Basically, the BikeSpike is the ‘Find My iPhone’ for your bike that we’ve all been waiting for. More than just allowing you and your local PD to track down your stolen wheels….
- You’re at work. Someone knocks your bike over – at your house. You get a text message.
- Your favorite city bike planner needs you to list all the places you ride so he can defend your safe-ish routes. You can share your data.
- You want to keep track of your training stats and compete with friends on your team who supposedly hit 35 going up the Bear Cut Bridge this morning. Um, yeah. BikeSpike tells the truth.
- In the event of a collision, the BikeSpike knows you’re down before the driver can even get away. Calls 911 plus your mom/significant other/roommate or whomever you designate.
- On a happier note, your many fans can follow your progress in a race, and thus can catch you at all the good cheering points. It fits all aero in a spiffy custom carbon-fiber bottle cage.
Wives, moms and boyfriends: The only way to make sure you get one for your beloved bicyclist is here. Early Bird price is temporarily $149. Why not get one for your favorite TM writers?
And if you’ve lost all hope, just remember: Sometimes, the good guys win!
- Bike Advocates Rule
- Craigslist Victory + High Speed Chase in the Pacific Northwest
- Lost & Found, Take 5.
- Local Hero, theMiamiBikeScene.
- Bike Love, the movie.
Keep your two (& three) wheels safe!
Your writer is a slight woman, sometimes confused for a minor, who dreams of a South Florida where everyone feels safe crossing the street. Friends, family, and in these videos, my boyfriend, would clearly prefer I keep myself away from traffic. I hate to stress them but – when pro-pedestrian/pro-safety traffic modifications are installed, I just can’t help but try them out.
So, for today’s transit humor (because no one was hurt), here are two videos of myself and my wary significant other, trying (and failing) to cross the street at 48th & Biscayne Blvd.
FDOT: Thank you! It’s an important first step. City of Miami Police: where are you??
Interesting note: Found this Florida attorney’s webpage on ‘Penalties After Violating Pedestrian and Crosswalk Law’:
“If there is a person attempting to cross a road while in a marked crosswalk you are required to stop until the person has cleared the crosswalk. Most crosswalks are marked by painted lines and a yellow sign with an image of a person walking… The rules here are pretty obvious, and most drivers wouldn’t move their vehicles through a crosswalk if a pedestrian was there.”
As the voice asks in Part 1: “They just don’t see the sign, love. They… can’t… possibly…”
This lane marking is approved by the US Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration and is part of the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
“Public Transit has to be at the center of our national policy.”
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz has been re-appointed head of the Democratic National Committee. This is exciting news to us at TransitMiami because just as the President was making this announcement, Gabriel Lopez-Bernal (founder of TM and now of TranSystems) and I were listening to a promising speech by the Congresswoman at the annual meeting of the Downtown Fort Lauderdale Transportation Management Association, (the non-profit leadership behind the Sun Trolley). She told a packed house of transportation officials, private consultants, lobbyists and parking policy wonks that public transit is not only at the center of national policy now, but it “is essential to our economic success.”
Wasserman-Schultz has been integral to the success of City of Fort Lauderdale in securing $18million in TIGER grant money for ‘the Wave.’ She remarked that everyone should see what the streetcar has down for Portland, Oregon because that is what we should expect for Broward. The fiscal cliff and election cycles have left most of Washington, D.C. silent on the critical needs of our nation’s infrastructure, but Wasserman-Schultz named local bridges in need of repair and livable communities as priorities when she returns to the House Appropriations Committee next term. “We must increase our investment in public transit NOW,” she said.
An optimistic story, brought to you by TM.
If you have ever wandered the Design District, just once in the last
70 150+ years or so, you might remember the awesome beauty of the trees located on NE 39th Street. After MaiTardi closed and construction began on the new, über-glamorous developments in the Design District, locals kept an eye on these wonderfully unique natural beauties and celebrated the fact that the City of Miami’s tree policy would not allow for their removal. Workers demolished EVERYthing you see in the above picture, BUT the trees. The gold mosaics and popular destination (my favorite local restaurant) were missed, but the trees remained. Until today.
Even more shocking, these trees were not dug up to be replanted elsewhere, but literally hacked to splintered bits. We’ll post a picture of the remaining stump tomorrow with the help of daylight.
But for now, we are left to mourn the last remaining natural beauty in this historic heart of Old Miami – and to ask: Craig Robbins, how could you let this happen?
Where is our respect for place? For the shadows, the sounds, the sights of trees that make walking, bicycling… stopping, wandering so richly rewarding?
If you have information on how or why this happened, please share. Thank you.
If there is a reason, where were the pink tags? The permit-required signs notifying neighbors why?
National news continues to cover the tragic death of four local men killed in the Doral parking garage collapse. International news, Twitter and the campaign trails of both Presidential candidates keep returning to the tragic killing of four Americans in Benghazi.
Where is the outcry over continuous deaths of men, women and children who die on Miami roads all the time?
In just the last few days, at least 5 people have lost their lives on Miami’s roads and sidewalks. Speed has been blamed in all three incidents:
A police officer in an unmarked car crashed into a young couple’s SUV at a Hialeah intersection, killing a college student.
A driver cut off another in Miami Gardens, clipping a third car and careening into a group of people sitting at a bus stop, killing at least one of the 5 maimed or otherwise critically injured by the speeding driver.
A third speeding driver killed his passenger as well as a boy and his father in a separate vehicle on Saturday morning.
Five people killed in Miami in three days. Where is the outcry?
A 29 year old man, also waiting for a bus, was killed by a man trying escape the scene of a separate, relatively minor rear-end collision in West Miami. This actually happened two weeks ago but apparently made news when The Miami Herald determined the driver was an icon of Miami’s culinary scene. No charges – not a traffic ticket – have been filed for leaving the scene or killing a pedestrian on a sidewalk in that case.
These are not “accidents.” These are not “cars” killing our neighbors, our friends, innocent people. This is a culture, particular to South Florida, that makes it unsurprising to be passed dangerously close by a car, often an off-duty* police car, on all kinds of streets. Here in South Florida, we don’t expect cars to stop before the crosswalk at intersections – pedestrians are lucky when all the cars stop on the red light. Do you disagree?
The lack of truly pedestrian and bicycle-friendly infrastructure is part of the problem. The fact that our streets are notoriously Dangerous by Design is another critical part. But the piece most easy to dismiss is just as important- enforcement.
The City of Miami Police Department employs around 1,400 people. 17 of them are in Traffic Enforcement. Given the City and County’s exceptional fatality rate in traffic, isn’t about time we do more to enforce our laws?
Who Wants More Traffic Tickets?
Not the Police. No one wants more traffic tickets, your local police department, most of all. See, several years ago, Florida state legislators got ‘tough’ on traffic-related crimes, raising the fines for all kinds of infractions. Unfortunately for our safety as a state, this backfired, because your local cops already have it hard when it comes to giving tickets. 1) It’s more dangerous than Special Ops and far less sexy. No one’s family wants them to be the guy pulling over Joe with a gun.** 2) Police are average people, too. They don’t really enjoy hearing your sob story about how this $250 ticket will keep you from making rent and make your kids homeless. 3) Okay, maybe one or two don’t mind that part, but they hate going to court only to have a Judge fall for said sob story and throw out the case.
Not Politicians. So, Dr. So-and-so gets a ticket, gets upset, calls our Commissioner and threatens all kinds of drama. It’s a hassle. Plus, there aren’t statistics on how many people were not stopped by an officer and then immediately killed someone’s child or dog (that really would get on the news!). In other words, it doesn’t win sound bites or votes.
Not the Public. Most people seem to think traffic tickets are just some excuse for your local politicians and police to make easy money. It’s not ‘easy’ money**.
And yet, hardly anyone speeds in the Village of Pinecrest! That’s not because the lanes are narrower (no) or because there are fewer texting-calling-children wrangling-pompous drivers (no). It’s because everyone knows you’ll get a ticket. New to the area? Everyone else is abiding the law so chances are, you will, too.
If you really want to live in a safer place, where businesses benefit from local traffic and your neighbors and tourists don’t get killed waiting for the bus, then all of us need to drive more safely, follow the speed limit, put down the phone. Always change lanes to give those pulled over a full lane of space. Do the same for people on bicycles, too.
Call your commissioners and PDs and tell them you WANT more traffic enforcement. Do it today. Call 311, give them your address and they can tell you how to reach your elected officials. Do it.
Because your life depends on it.
*You know they are off duty when the car says Bal Harbour and you are on I-95, for example.
**In the last decade, nationwide, more police were killed in cars or by cars than were shot or killed by terrorist attacks, combined.
Hey, at least we’re not Texas!
You know that bicycles can be powered by burritos, cars by gas, some motorcycles by electricity – but how much energy is that, really?
The good people at the for-profit WellHome, a company that helps people make their homes more environmentally sustainable and comfortable, have created this sweet infographic to help us understand The Energy Efficiency of Movement:
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- San Francisco Announces New Pedestrian Safety Program: WalkFirst March 6, 2014With its own “Vision Zero” goals in place to eliminate pedestrian fatalities within a decade, San Francisco has developed the WalkFirst plan to target the most dangerous intersections in the city for safety improvements.
- A Call for 'Cooler' Buses March 6, 2014Edward Glaeser pens an opinion piece on the missing ingredient in the bus riding experience—cool. Not necessarily Mick Jagger cool, but definitely Steve Jobs cool.
- Does the Future of Las Vegas Look Like Orlando? March 6, 2014At a recent Las Vegas city retreat, city leaders and outside experts presented ideas for the future of Las Vegas. Among the ideas proposed: emulate Orlando, Florida.
- How Smart Cities Encourage Citizen Engagement March 6, 2014The extent to which cities will build data collection systems into the infrastructure—or how much we’ll voluntarily gather and share information from our smartphones—has yet to be determined. Here is a survey of what some cities have launched so far.
- Transportation Reauthorization Funding Mechanism May Be Settled March 6, 2014How best to "plug the growing hole" in the Highway Trust Fund which provides the federal revenue for roads and transit: increase the gas tax, new vehicle miles traveled fees, more road tolls, or "corporate tax reform"? All but one is a user fee.
- The Organizations Behind the Growth of Biking in D.C. March 6, 2014Adrienne LaFrance surveys the bike scene in Washington D.C.—from co-ops to bikeshare programs to social groups.
- How to Gain 21 Million Transit Trips a Year in Chicago? March 6, 2014At a recent hearing of the Northeastern Illinois Public Transit Task Force, experts like Peter Skosey made the case for the types of changes necessary to meet Chicago’s goals for increased transit ridership, focusing on transit oriented development.
- Long Road Ahead for Las Vegas-Phoenix Interstate Connection March 6, 2014
- Transit Miami > Articles by: Kathryn Moore