Multiple facets of our community are abuzz with transportation- and mobility-related talk.

We’ve got the Miami-Dade 2013 Transportation Summit scheduled for June 6 and the “Transit Talk” pre-summit summit a week in advance on May 29.

Now we’ve got yet another transportation-/mobility-related event scheduled for a week after the summit, on June 12. It seems the transportation debate in greater Miami is really heating up . . .

The Good Government Initiative (GGI) at the University of Miami is hosting a luncheon called “Can We Conquer Congestion? Mobility for 21st Century.

CanWeConquerCongestion_20130613

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

11:30am – registration | 12:00pm — lunch | 12:30pm — conversation

Northern Trust | 700 Brickell Avenue | Miami, Florida 33131

For your Average-José, there’s some good news and bad news. It’s always best to serve the bad news first:

Bad News: This is NOT a free event, which is something that would generally, under most circumstances, discourage me from posting here on TransitMiami. There’s an elaborate fee schedule for various types of groups:

  • $35 — Individual Ticket (standard/default)
  • $30 — GGI Member
  • $50 — GGI Contributor (Individual Ticket + $15 donation)
  • $500 — Sponsor Table for 10
  • $20 —  Student / Concerned Citizen

Good News: The Good Government Initiative has graciously agreed to offer readers of TransitMiami a special registration discount of $5, hence the reason it’s being posted. Thank you Good Government Initiative — sincerely!

That’s right! Just as you always hoped and knew it would, your TransitMiami readership is finally beginning to pay off! To get your crisp Abraham Lincoln knocked-off the registration price, be sure to enter the following promo code into the electronic form when registering as a “Student / Concerned Citizen” ($20): TRANSITMIAMI .

After the $5 discount, that $15 bucks will cover your lunch (hey, lunch!) and presence at the discussion. Note: the actual level of participation permitted by the public in this “discussion” is to yet to be determined/witnessed. . . . Read on for the justification of my admittedly skeptical disposition . . .

The more ambiguous news — toward which you should be correspondingly ambivalent — is that an event titled “Can We Conquer Congestion? Mobility for 21st Century” is featuring the Executive Director of the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX), Mr. Javier Rodriguez, as one of its main speakers (?!).

Javier Rodriguez, Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) Executive Director

Javier Rodriguez, Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX)
Executive Director

Let’s be clear here: TransitMiami has absolutely nothing against Mr. Rodriguez on a personal level.

Professionally, though, we do take issue with the agency whose reins he controls: MDX.

One need only look through the dozens of TM posts since 2007 revealing the obsessive toll-imposing and highway-constructing machinations of MDX to know how we feel about the agency.

Around here, MDX holds the un-honorably earned reputation of being one of the main progenitors of suburban sprawl and endless highway construction. It’s these forces that underlie congestion and diminish quality of life in our community. MDX is a tenacious antagonist of true urban mobility in the Miami of the 21st century.highway_knot_01

So, please understand that our dissemination of this event comes with a healthy dose of caution and skepticism, probably even an unfortunate hint of cynicism too.

On the other hand, though, there’s also going to be representation by some organizations whose missions and and on-the-ground operations actually reflect the pursuit of our community’s well-being.

Other speakers include the likes of former Miami-Dade County Commissioner, Ms. Katy Sorenson, President and CEO of The Good Government Initiative, as well as people like Ms. Anamarie Garces de Marcilla, Executive Director of Urban Health Solutions and current chair of the Consortium for  Healthier Miami-Dade’s Health & Built Environment Committee.

[***Full disclosure: this author serves on, and is a supporter of, that volunteer committee.***]

Other anticipated speakers include Mr. Joe Giulietti, Executive Director, South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (the agency which manages Tri-Rail) and Mr. Mark Lesniak, Executive Director of Omni Parkwest Redevelopment Association.

Trirail-Logo

So, if you have the time and the $15 bucks to spare for lunch where people will be talking about transportation and mobility, go for it! And don’t forget to tell them that TransitMiami sent you with that promo code.

Let’s just hope that after sharing all of these critical — but well-intentioned — sentiments, the kind folks from GGI still uphold their $5 discount to TransitMiami readers!  After years of your blood, sweat, and tears, TM readers, you definitely deserve it!

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One Response to Can We Conquer Congestion? Mobility for 21st Century

  1. Mike Arias says:

    In reference to Mobility Issues of Concern for the 21 st century please note that everyone knows that the current roadway and transportation infrastructure currently in place in Miami Dade and throughout the State of Florida is currently not adequate much less within a 15 year time frame when the local population in Miami dade is projected to double to 5 1/2 or 6 million residents.

    All I can say Heaven help all of the commuters, pedestrians, and bicyclists that are currently traveling on numerous unsafe and very hazardous roadways as well.

    By then Miami Dade will proably surpass the States of California and Texas and become the number # 1 State in the Nation leading in motor vehicle related fatalities in all related categories for motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclist as well.

    Can you imagine what the traffic conditions on the major roadways will be like on US # 1, I-95, 826, 836 and other roadways as well. Perhaps, by then everyone will be driving flying vehicles like in the Jetsons cartoons.

    A transportation plan needs to be developed and implmented with realistic funding and time lines for completion which should be presented to the public resident / taxpayers as soon as possible. In addition, many of the roadways currently need to be upgraded to the current safety standards in order to make them safer for all users.

    If not it will be nothing more than broken promises and / or smoke and mirrors that everyone is familiar hearing either excuses or alternate makeshift solutions.

    Perhaps the 1/2 penny or 1 penny transportation sur tax ( at this time cannot recall current or exact amount with so many proposed tax increases )will need to be increased to a full penny or more as well as increasing the gasoline sales tax surcharge to adequately fund the much needed local transportation and roadway infrasture improvements.

    Every local resident taxpayer needs to help fund these much needed local transportation infrastructure and roadway improvements if not the commute times during rush hours on weekdays will most likely double or perhaps even become triple within the next 15 years.

    simply pay now for the upgrades needed or you will pay much more later with longer commute times and increased fuel costs due to excessive idling in gridlock traffic conditions !!!

       0 likes

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