I accidentally stumbled on this and realized that this is the future that our local elected officials want for us. From the conservative Reason Foundation:
Miami could significantly reduce severe congestion and have room for the incoming population growth by adding 3,400 new lane-miles by 2030 at an estimated cost of $30 billion, in today’s dollars. That’s a cost of $189 per resident each year. This investment would save 354 million hours each year that residents currently lose sitting in traffic. This does not account for the additional benefits not quantified in this study, including: lower fuel use, reduced accident rates and vehicle operating costs, lower shipping costs and truck travel time reductions, greater freight reliability, and a number of benefits associated with greater community accessibility, including an expanded labor pool for employers and new job choices for workers.
The $30 billion needed to significantly reduce severe congestion is 1.5 times the planned transportation spending under the Miami-Dade Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) long-range plans. Those plans call for $19.3 billion over the next 25 years — $6.0 billion on highway improvements and $13.3 billion on mass transit. While just 3.9 percent of Miami area workers now use mass transit to commute, transit accounts for 69 percent of the area’s planned transportation spending over the next 25 years.
Are you serious? While the sad statistic about transit usage is accurate, it is more an indictment of car-based land use planning, than it is a reason to abandon transit expansion. In spite of the huge investments we make in transit, our zoning laws, and lack of further expansion, keep it from succeeding. Instead of those investments being realized as increased ridership, we call transit a failure and push for more road funding (which will cause even more congestion).
The solution for congestion is giving people the option of not having a car, and you can’t do that until you provide a minimum level of service; a minimum threshold of people need to have access to premium transit for it to be successful. The proverbial ‘chicken and egg’ is not so bad in Miami’s situation – we already have a solid base to expand from in the form of metro-rail. Our challenge is in investing in rail transit lines that will reach the highest number of people (read: Douglas Road, Bay Link, 8th Street, Biscayne…etc), while using real BRT for other limited routes where demand needs to be built up (South Link, 27 avenue).
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