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Hearing The Voices Of Stoneman Douglas' Diverse Students, Pedestrian Safety At FIU & Termite Expert

Dover, Kohl & Partners
Rendered image showing Southwest Eighth street as a walkable boulevard.

Guests for Sundial April 9, 2018:

It has been almost two months since Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students came together to form the Never Again gun reform movement, following the mass shooting that occurred on campus on Feb. 14. 

A core group of surviving students became the leading voices on the issue of gun reform in the country. But Stoneman Douglas High has more than 3,000 students, and some of them feel that their stories are not reflected in the narrative of their peers.

WLRN reporter Nadege Green has been spending time with students from diverse backgrounds. She joined the program to discuss the Black Lives Matter movement at Stoneman Douglas High before the shooting and how students of color feel that their concerns about gun violence compare and contrast to the message being delivered by their peers.

Rethinking Pedestrian Safety

The bridge collapse at Florida International University's Modesto Maidique  Campus last month has left the community uncertain about how to move forward.

According the FIU student media, plans for the “Worlds Ahead” pedestrian bridge began as early as 2011 to create a safe way for students to cross Southwest Eighth Street, an eight-lane high-traffic road, to get to the campus.

The collapse has left the university and the community with many questions about how to grant safe passage to pedestrians traveling to and from the school.

In a previously recorded conversation, town planner Kenneth Garcia of the design firm Dover, Kohl & Partners discussed how the issue of pedestrian safety should be reconsidered. “Why was a bridge even an option in the first place?” said Garcia.

He explained that the bridge was not very forward-thinking because it was a solution that did not address the high volume vehicular traffic issue plaguing Southwest Eighth street. It merely aimed to not disrupt it.

Garcia and his partners believe that re-imagining the space with pedestrians in mind would yield the greatest benefit to FIU and the community as a whole. He presented an idea to convert the area where the bridge stood into a walkable boulevard.

Garcia's proposal would reduce lanes for cars, a plan that would not alleviate vehicular traffic. But, he said, reducing the lanes would encourage the motorists who do pass through to drive more slowly.

Florida has seven of the top 10 most dangerous cities for pedestrians, and Garcia said making plans keeping the pedestrian in mind could help change that. He shared the images of what his firm envisions for the future of the area across the street from FIU.

Yet Another Invasive Species For South Floridians To Worry About

Urban entomologist Thomas Chouvenc of the University of Florida joined the show to talk about an invasive species of termites plaguing South Florida.

Asian subterranean termites have been present in  South Florida for several decades, but Dr. Chouvenc has recently discovered that this species of termites is affecting not only homes but the trees in our communities as well.

He joined us in the studio to discuss his recent findings and explained how this species of termites differ from others. He encouraged listeners to send him pictures of bugs they suspect to be Asian subterranean termites for identification or ask him questions via email to tomchouv@ufl.edu.