A recent CBS4 “investigation” supports our claims that road expansion simply isn’t the solution to the traffic woes in our region. The report puts the new 836 west extension to the “test,” with two vehicles racing to a central meeting point on Bird Rd and SW 137th ave. The results were disappointing to those hoping that the extension would provide western suburbanites with a speedier alternative to the turnpike (you know, because of that exorbitant toll.) What the CBS4 report and many natives fail to understand is just how traffic, roadway expansions, and arterials interact with each other.

To simplify, think of traffic as a fluid (water) and roadways as pipes. The obvious is that when there is a clogged pipe (accident) no water can pass through. Easy enough, right? Now, many people assume that by creating a new path for the water (836 extension) water will be able to flow quickly along this new path. But, given the existing saturated nature of the current western routes (Tamiami Trail, Bird, Flagler, etc.) the new extension alleviates a certain amount of traffic from each corridor, providing no specific time difference impact to any single corridor. If too many cars choose to use the extension, then it too becomes saturated and proves to be just as ineffective as the alternate street routes. In then end, the whole system balances out and our overall personal gain is negligible. Plus don’t forget that any gains will be rendered useless once western expansion continues (you know, because of all that extra “capacity” we created) and more cars are found to fill in the gaps along each of the corridors… Good Luck!

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3 Responses to 836 West Extension, Demystified

  1. C.L. Jahn says:

    Your plumbing metaphor may be better than you think: To make water move faster, you move it through fewer, and narrower, pipes. When you add more pipes to it, and widen those pipes, the flow DECREASES; it slows down.
    Just as the CBS4 report demonstrates.

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  2. JHop says:

    CL has a point, I think. Somewhere I read that a big part of the traffic slowdown experienced in cities is from people changing lanes to jockey for a second’s advantage. Each time you change lanes, someone behind you has to adjust their speed and that ripples backward along the road. That suggests traffic would flow just as well in two lanes as in three — if not better.

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  3. Pat Milone says:

    MDX 836 MANIFEST DESTINY >WESTWARD HO!
    How far? They don’t say exactly. Maybe just far enough “to prepare for the future” as their March 19 handout says.

    … or is it to create the infrastructure required by exploitative land investors, like Altman Companies in Boca (see “rendering” in the Kendall Gazette, Feb.7, 2013) …
    “A 321-unit rental apartment community is being developed at Kendall Square in West Kendall.” … “Lenders for the Development are TD Bank and Behringer Harvard. Bradley Associates and BBX Capital are the equity partners.” … “We are very pleased to be partnering with the Altman Companies on this development, as we continue to build our investment portfolio,” said Seth Wise, president of BBX Capital Asset Management.
    And, Lennar’s Kendall Square is zoned as a “Community Development District.”

    Over 1,000 “units” under construction NOW, on 160 acres previously zoned Agricultural. Cost per unit is over $200,000.00.

    I’m sure these favored interest groups would appreciate our toll revenues funding MORE BONDS for MDX WESTWARD EXPANSION.

    Do MDX Board Members think we’re stupid? (Google MDX Board Members)

    “If you build it they will come.” Well folks, they’re already here, and MDX needs MORE toll money FROM YOU to fund MORE PROJECTS … and STUDIES for MORE PROJECTS! … You don’t think that after spending $6.5 MILLION Dollars on a “study”, they’ll accept “No!” for an answer do, ya?

    For the record, the Public Record, I’m saying, “NO!” to any westward expansion of 836.

    (Google Florida Transportation Commission, the MDX “oversight” agency - somebody’s got their eyes closed to what’s going on down here) MDX Chair Maurice Ferrer’s photo is included with “Members” on Florida Transportation Commission web-site. Hmmm.

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