So, the highway we built to relieve congestion on the boulevard is now a parking lot during the peak rush hour periods, what do we do? Well, we revert to the rail solution, after we removed much of the rails and likely allowed people to move into developments alongside whatever relic was left. The picture above shows the former reaches of the FEC rail corridor in the heart of the CBD. Yes, that is four lanes of track you see.
Sadly, most people still tend to see tri-rail as the “rail to nowhere” rather than a possible solution to the aggravation they face daily in bumper to bumper traffic on I-95. Although, I agree Tri-rail isn’t the solution for everyone, there is still a large percent of daily commuters which could depend on the service for their daily commuting needs or to easily access the regional airports. I know a recent excursion by Ryan on Tri-Rail to
Recently, Tony Ortega of the Broward-Palm Beach New Times took us along to experience his personal daily experiences on Tri-Rail. Tony’s experience, unlike the accounts of many other journalists I’ve read, accurately displays the sentiments and experiences I’ve heard since the double tracking of Tri-Rail was completed. An obvious sign that the service has improved is the 36% increase in daily passengers seen over the past year.
“But lately, the success of Tri-Rail is getting a little out of hand. We’re going to be sitting in each others’ laps soon.”
Tony’s take on the reliability of Tri-rail begs the question: Why aren’t more I-95 commuters willing to give the service a shot?
“Since I began keeping detailed records in July, only six northbound trains I’ve taken were more than 15 minutes late, and only one was more than 20 minutes behind schedule (last week, some idiot’s truck broke down on the tracks in Hialeah, and by the time it was hauled off, my train was an hour late). The morning southbound, since I pick it up nearly at its start, is almost never late at all.”
He describes how the train travels through some of the more uninviting areas of our region, a grim reminder that perhaps we haven’t done enough to steer the right kind of developments within easy access of each station.
“On the way, the “train to nowhere,” as it’s often been derisively called, takes riders through a
South Floridalandscape that doesn’t make the travel brochures. The rail corridor cuts through industrial parks and warehouse farms. If you look out the west-facing windows, you get glimpses inside the back bay doors of machine shops and other manufacturing plants. It’s an ugly if honest view of South Florida‘s harder industries, where no business would waste the money to put up a pretty façade to face a railway.”
If anything though, Tony’s article and daily commute shows us that there are useful alternatives available which are effective for daily use. The system can be built to serve the needs of many more people in a manner which will become both reliable and convenient for all commuters. Vital links are still missing to move passengers from tri-rail to the daily business centers, but, at least we are now seeing the passenger traffic that could warrant east-west expansions.
“My morning Tri-Rail leg ends at the Broward Boulevard station, where I disembark and begin the best part of my day, flying downtown in the bike lane past cars stuck in traffic.”
Like, I’ve mentioned before, the growing popularity of Tri-rail will force us to use either the CSX or FEC rail corridor to a greater extent. I still hope that the FEC corridor can be developed into a tri-county LRT system, finally interconnecting the three main municipalities like never before (or at least since the tracks in the picture above were reduced and negated.)
“The FEC line Seeburger is helping to develop would place stops only a mile or two apart, in downtowns and near other attractions. It’s the one tourists would be more likely to use or folks on their lunch hour. Commuters would find it too slow.”
“They have to be complementary,” he says. “And if they’re not, there are a lot of things that go south on us… It doesn’t make sense to have two commuter systems a mile apart from each other.”
Amen to that.
Subscribe via Email
Find us on Facebook
- No One on Making Miami’s Mean Streets Safer
- Dan on Miami at Manhattan Prices
- Marta Viciedo on Making Miami’s Mean Streets Safer
- Rudy on Imagining Townhouses in Little Havana
- Mr. E. on Lackluster Mayoral Candidates Promise More of the Same on Transportation
- hello miami on How Miami Greets Its Visitors (and Locals)
CategoriesAccident Architecture bicycles bike lanes Bike Miami Days biking Biscayne Boulevard Brickell bus Climate Change Coconut Grove complete streets Downtown Miami FDOT High Speed Rail Metrorail Miami Miami-Dade County Miami-Dade Transit Miami 21 Miami Beach Museum Park News Parking Parks Pedestrian Pedestrians Pic o' the Day Planning Real Estate Development Rickenbacker Causeway Sprawl Streetcar Traffic Transit Transitography Transit Oriented Development Transportation Tri-Rail Uncategorized Urban Design Urban Development Boundary Urban Growth Urban Planning Walkability
- American Cities Face Rising Hunger and Homelessness Crisis December 12, 2013Despite economic improvement across the country, a recent survey of 25 American cities finds homelessness and hunger are on the rise. With the federal government cutting resources, providing for the neediest is expected to be harder next year.
- Could Private Donors Save Cincinnati's Streetcar? December 12, 2013There's hope yet that Cincinnati's embattled streetcar project might proceed after all. Mayor John Cranley, who campaigned on canceling the project, has announced he's willing to allow the project to proceed if the private sector pays to operate it.
- BART Headed Back to Bargaining Table December 12, 2013BART and its unions were tantalizingly close to resolving a long labor dispute two months ago when they reached agreement on a new contract. But a provision overlooked by negotiators has scuttled the agreement and sent both back to the drawing board.
- Summit Prescribes Walking as America's "Wonder Drug" December 12, 2013At America's first ever "Walking Summit", physicians, planners, developers, and community activists gathered to discuss how physical activity can help heal people and communities.
- Developer Buys Affordable Housing Complex in D.C....to Preserve It? December 12, 2013The Rose Green Cities Fund has purchased an affordable housing complex in a gentrifying area of D.C., not to capitalize on rising prices but to protect affordable ones. Unlikely, you say? The Fund's mission is to preserve affordable housing.
- Envisioning a Future Urban Dronescape December 12, 2013Jeff Bezos' proposal to deliver packages by aerial drone has the potential to upset traditional models of logistics and distribution, but it's most powerful effect may be on the urban airspace. Are blue skies ahead for Bezos' vision?
- Judge Tosses Controversial Hollywood Smart Growth Plan December 12, 2013A judge has sided with three civic groups challenging a new community plan for Hollywood that permitted increased density around transit stations. In a tentative ruling, Judge Allan J. Goodman called the plan "fatally flawed".
- Crude-By-Rail Slowed by a Red Signal December 12, 2013With many oil pipelines stalled due to popular opposition and/or regulatory hurdles (e.g. Keystone XL and Northern Gateway, or even refineries opting for more flexibility) there seemed to be no end to the growth in moving oil by rail...until now.
- New Report Explores the Benefits of BRT December 12, 2013By synthesizing existing literature and utilizing four detailed case studies, a new report from EMBARQ explores how bus rapid transit can impact the quality of life, productivity, health, and safety of city residents.
- Already Shedding Riders, London's Bike-Share Loses its Sponsor December 12, 2013Amid declining ridership, Barclays Bank has announced its intention to cancel its sponsorship of London's bike-share system after only paying half its promised investment. The announcement is just the latest challenge for the stumbling system.
- American Cities Face Rising Hunger and Homelessness Crisis December 12, 2013