South Floridians complain a lot about traffic. Jammed expressways, reckless drivers and unreliable public transportation contribute to a perennial dissatisfaction about the state of the region’s roadways – which sometimes not even the best Waze-like app can mitigate.
“Traveling from South Dade to North Broward is a pain on I-95. The lanes are so narrow, it feels downright dangerous,” says Jeziel Garcia, who lives in Parkland.
Miami-Dade County is responding. Next week, commissioners will decide the fate of expanding the 836 expressway. If the $650 million project gets the green light, the 14-mile, six-lane tollway would stretch into southwest Dade County, crossing today’s Urban Development Boundary.
The county is also trying to expand public transit. The Transportation Planning Organization approved the development of the first bus rapid transit system, which would run along South Dade. The county still has to figure out funding.
The bus project came, however, at the expense of expanding Metrorail.
“I wish there was public transportation that could take me somewhat near my destination, so that even if the trip takes an hour, I could at least multitask safely,” says Brian Smith of Davie. “Why aren’t we talking about expanding elevated light-rail transportation in Miami? Or making the Metrorail go to more places, especially east to west?”
On this week's The Florida Roundup, WLRN’s Tom Hudson talks all things transportation with Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez. They’re joined by Doug Hanks, who covers the county for The Miami Herald, Kate Stein, WLRN’s environment and transportation reporter, and Caitie Switalski, WLRN’s Broward County reporter.
WLRN asked listeners what they would like the mayor to discuss.
Some residents like Mike Capote, who lives in downtown Miami, are wondering when the transportation department will be separated from public works. David O’Neal of Plantation wants an answer as to why the roadway projects tend to be delayed.
For Max Ramos of Kendall, it’s three words: “rail, rail, rail.”
This post was updated after the Friday, Sept. 21 episode of The Florida Roundup aired.