• CTAC Joint Subcommittee will meet tomorrow night to discuss including the US1 Express project on the 2035 Long Range Transportation Plan.
  • The City Commission gets pow-pow: Uncle Charlie formally rejected the Mercy Hospital/Jorge Perez land-use change approved by the City Commission. Bad city commission. ¡Eso no se hace!
  • Sunrail may not be dead after all
  • The City of Miami is implementing a Water Conservation Ordinance. Awesome! (It would be great to also require a certain minimum percentage of native - drought tolerant - plants.)
  • US1 Express: Ugghh. ”I would support moving forward,” Gimenez said, alluding to the coming vote on the conversion study. “If it competes with Miami-Dade Transit, so be it.”
  • Miami 21…Where are you?

6 Responses to News Roundup

  1. UDB says:

    The decision to rip up the FEC tracks in South Dade years ago is looking dumber and dumber every day. Just goes to show that BRT is a sham. Why would any community agree to a busway in the future, knowing that it could easily be converted to a toll highway by our brilliant elected officials? Pretty sad that the rest of the country is moving towards real transit, while here we’re all about keeping the status quo under the guise of “innovative” managed lanes.

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  2. Tony Garcia says:

    I understand your concern UDB, but I can’t say I’m against BRT just because it hasn’t worked well in this location. I think that without the necessary changes to land-use regulations then it is bound to fail
    (true of any type of transit). Other critics contend that the connection to Metrorail is complicated, while others say that the busway can be used more efficiently by MDT by creating routes that also use the busway (not simply as a N/S express route along US1).
    Obviously sharing the road with cars is a step in the wrong direction. What do you think should happen?

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  3. James says:

    Honestly, if the solution doesn’t include a bus or a train, you just won’t go for it seems. Well, I am here to bring you yet another dose of reality.. What would work best is an elevated mass transit line… No one would disagree with that. But, now, because the BCC decided to strip the PTP money for their own use on operations and maintenance of the existing system, we can’t do that. There is no funding. NO MONEY, PERIOD!!! So, I look at the bus way all the time as I am travelling north and south on US-1. It is mostly empty. We are decades away from a transit line on that corridor, so, why not do something that will help ease congestion in the short term? The managed lanes have worked well on I-95. Talk with Javier Rodriguez from MDX, who I respect more than anyone in town with regards to Transit. He will tell you the same thing. I think we all have to come to the realization that although it would be nice to leave my car at home, and jump on metro rail line, or circulator street car/trolley, we are just not there because of FUNDING, PURE AND SIMPLE. Reality is reality. Mobility in this county will be mostly by automobile, and anything that can be done to relieve congestion is a good thing.

    The main problem with the bus way now is that it is not elevated over the intersections leading to US-1 from the West. If you elevated the bus way, over just those intersections, not the entire span which would cost way too much, you would find much better trip times, and have no reason not to include autos. Why? Because those tolls will end up filling the funding gap that the PTP was supposed to bring us in the first place. Transit only has so much funding, and if you only include buses, then you can’t tap that potential source of revenue. Really, for people that are supposed to be “experts” in this field, you have a lot to learn. I am guessing the problem here is that while you understand different modes of transportation, and the effectiveness of same, you have very little understanding of how government funds projects. In closing, if you have a better idea, don’t only tell me what we should do, but, also, tell me how to pay for it!!!

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  4. Tony Garcia says:

    James you always stick to these ad hominem arguments attacking my knowledge as a ‘transit expert’ (your term), rather than disputing what I actually say. You have repeatedly made straw-man arguments against statements I didn’t make. Take a chill pill and read what I write before reacting. If you don’t like what you find here don’t read. Besides, who are you to give anyone a dose of reality??
    I have yet to read anything you contribute that isn’t volatile and nasty (not to mention incorrect half the time).
    And yes, as this is a Transit blog, and not a car or highway blog, we tend to prefer transportation alternatives that do not include the car. The PTP debacle cannot be an endless scapegoat of why transit doesn’t work here or else we will never get anywhere.
    I think YOU have a lot to learn about how to effectively cause change in your community: dumbing down plans, and attacking other advocates doesn’t seem to be the right path.

    I think using the bus lanes for paid traffic is bad in principle because we should first try to fix whatever is wrong with the bus line in the first place. See my response above. There are several valid criticisms of the existing use of the lanes that can be addressed before we share this ROW with cars.

    Other than saying that it’s not my favorite option to use cars, I never gave my opinion as to what I thought of the proposed alternatives - rather, I asked what others though should happen to generate more ideas. I happen to agree with you and think the smartest thing to do in this situation is to allow the cars (in a limited way - without the overpasses) and use the money they generate to improve other aspects of that route. (As long as they can guarantee that the money is used for transit, and not another PTP situation).

    In the future try to read what I say before you go on some long rant about how we don’t know anything here. Thanks.

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  5. UDB says:

    The flawed Miami logic for too long has been that transit must be either Metrorail or buses. Commuter rail and light rail are typically ignored.

    The long distance (and associated high cost) of the South Dade FEC corridor never made Metrorail a realistic option. But we had to endure years of debate b/c other parts of the county were getting Metrorail. The busway is a joke b/c like most BRT, as there was never a serious commitment to give the buses true priority at intersections.

    The busway corridor screams commuter rail, but it was never pursued there again after the shortsighted decision to scrap a Tri-Rail extension to Homestead in the years following Hurricane Andrew. (Killed thanks to the nimbys in the east Kendall/Dadeland area, who are still fighting any type of real transit near them) So what we’re left with is a half-hearted busway that leaves everyone longing for more. I’ve heard MDX people say that the managed lanes plan would leave space for Metrorail in the future. That borrows one of FDOT’s favorite tactics- saying that there is a “transit envelope” for the future as part of their highway projects, but then working through design details and policy decisions to make sure that it’s next to impossible to become reality.

    In the end, the feds must really think Miami and South Florida are a bunch of clowns. The Metrorail extensions are basically dead, there is no serious local effort to fund operations for Tri-Rail, and now we’re about to turn the feds’ highly touted “longest busway in the country” into a toll road. So on top of making Tri-Rail pay back its federal money for double tracking, the feds will want a refund on their money used to build the busway. That means no federal money for FEC, Baylink, streetcars, or any other creative rail project. Instead, our future transit will consist of buses running on MDX highways. That sounds really lame to me and does nothing to transform our region in a positive manner through transit and better land use.

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  6. Michael says:

    1. Expand Metrorail to Southland Mall and keep BRT to Homestead
    2. Direct BRT from Government Center (not omni) to South Beach
    3. Start Construction on FEC Corridor north to WPB and
    4. Let Tri-rail die and use those tracks for Higher speed rail

    Everything costs money! Funding transit is more about priorities than purely revenue

    My 2 cents.

       0 likes

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