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Old April 13th, 2012, 12:41 AM   #4201
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Originally Posted by ftlauddude View Post
Honestly, that intersection needed a re-make since it was due and was reaching its life expectancy--yes roadways and bridges have a life span too!
It's one thing to argue that a road is due for repair or reconstruction (I agree btw that that interchange was near the end of it's life). But it's another thing entirely to argue weather we SHOULD continue affording to build the way we have been for the last half century or so, and therefor to repair or rebuild any of these roads at all, or think of more efficient ways of moving people around cities. This is an especially pertinent argument now with so many of our roads and infrastructure cracking and crumbling in this country.
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Old April 13th, 2012, 01:18 AM   #4202
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It's one thing to argue that a road is due for repair or reconstruction (I agree btw that that interchange was near the end of it's life). But it's another thing entirely to argue weather we SHOULD continue affording to build the way we have been for the last half century or so, and therefor to repair or rebuild any of these roads at all, or think of more efficient ways of moving people around cities. This is an especially pertinent argument now with so many of our roads and infrastructure cracking and crumbling in this country.
Calle, to be able to reach to that point you'll have to change how our cities are. We're NOT a dense city; therefore, building mass transit all over town won't change anything. If we were more concentrated in one place things would be different. Another thing is the mentality of our country. Americans tend to be car-dependent. We're not like Europe; although some areas of the country have a very different mentality than us. Your ideas are not feasible nowadays; in the future maybe. So we don't have any other choice than fix what we have...
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Old April 14th, 2012, 04:11 AM   #4203
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Calle, to be able to reach to that point you'll have to change how our cities are. We're NOT a dense city; therefore, building mass transit all over town won't change anything. If we were more concentrated in one place things would be different. Another thing is the mentality of our country. Americans tend to be car-dependent. We're not like Europe; although some areas of the country have a very different mentality than us. Your ideas are not feasible nowadays; in the future maybe. So we don't have any other choice than fix what we have...
We should capitalize on areas of our cities that are already dense. For our spot, Miami Beach, Downtown Miami/Brickell, Downtown Coral Gables, and Downtown Dadeland come to mind. Also Some strategic corridors like flagler/ eight street. We should exploit these areas to the fullest, making them as dense as possible, and implementing good public transit options. But this needs us to kick out politicians who are unwilling to change the car-dependent mentality.

I was shocked today when I had to go to Downtown Coral Gables... The sun had come out and it was head-on, and it was beginning to warm. I came through a quiet little street with beautiful trees on both sides and Spanish-revival architecture in the houses, and suddenly I came out of the trees to the office towers of Downtown Coral Gables... it looked surreal... The area is dense, with amazingly good architecture, and a high quality of life. The streets are bustling with people, and buildings are still on the road to completion. I know it might sound funny, but with all of those towers adorned with crowns, balconies, arcades, and tholos' it looked like New York but with a much more sexier style of architecture in a much better climate.

I wondered if somebody would just have the bright idea of introducing some light rail and widening the sidewalks just a litte more.

I am personally willing to vote those hard-headed politicians out.
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Old April 15th, 2012, 07:29 AM   #4204
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Calle, to be able to reach to that point you'll have to change how our cities are. We're NOT a dense city; therefore, building mass transit all over town won't change anything. If we were more concentrated in one place things would be different. Another thing is the mentality of our country. Americans tend to be car-dependent. We're not like Europe; although some areas of the country have a very different mentality than us. Your ideas are not feasible nowadays; in the future maybe. So we don't have any other choice than fix what we have...
Dunno where I wrote advocating "mass transit all over town" in my post but sorry if you misunderstood slightly. We definitely do need more of it, I wasn't suggesting criss crossing town with it however. I am fully aware of how financially infeasible it is. Besides, it's spell's job to constantly remind us all of that in case we forget.

I also understand the inertia of the American mentality. However you would be surprised to see how quickly that will change as gas prices go to $5/gal... $6/gal... $7/gal... The world isn't about to run out of oil, but it is definitely running out of cheap easy to extract oil. And as more Miamians urbanize, it will get easier and more politically sensible to build metrorail.
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Old April 15th, 2012, 07:55 PM   #4205
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RE: city density

There is a GREAT podcast (and also website) called Strong Towns which makes the argument that only the dense part of cities pay their way in taxes. All the far flung infrastructure we've built since WW-2 is slowly bankrupting every form of government. The average suburban household doesn't pay enough in taxes to even cover the costs of maintaining the road outside their home, let alone provide other local government services.

The new urbanists have given us arguments about quality of life, but Strong Towns looks at the financial picture, which is frightening. I can't recommend the podcast enough.

They did a presentation in Miami a few months ago or so. I'd say there were 75 people there, but sadly, I didn't see any government officials who need to hear the financial argument the most (before they inadvertently completely bankrupt our future).
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Old April 16th, 2012, 02:21 AM   #4206
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Looks good I'll check it out.
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Old April 16th, 2012, 08:46 PM   #4207
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SPEED LIMIT

Step on the brakes: I-95 in Broward about to lower speed limit.


The installation of express lanes on I-95 in Broward is causing some sections of the highway to reduce the speed limit to 55 mph on Tuesday.

By Michael Vasquez

mrvasquez@MiamiHerald.com


Eventually, the addition of “express lanes” to Interstate 95 in Broward County should speed up the daily commute. But first, get ready for the slowdown.

Effective Tuesday, construction work to install two toll-charging express lanes has prompted a temporary speed limit reduction, from 65 miles per hour to 55, in South Broward. At first, the lower speed limit will be in place between the Miami-Dade-Broward county line and just north of the Griffin Road exit.

A few months from now, however, on a date yet to be determined, the lower speed limit will also be applied to much of central Broward, as the construction work creeps north. At that point, all of I-95 from Sunrise Boulevard south will be capped at 55 mph.

“If they’re doing it for the construction, it makes sense,” said driver Agnes Rodriguez of Pembroke Pines, who usually cruises I-95 at 70 mph. But Rodriguez added she’d vehemently oppose any effort to keep the speed limit at 55 after the road work is complete, because purposefully slowing down traffic has its own problems.

“You can have an accident at 30,” Rodriguez said.

No worries there. Once work is complete, the speed limit should return to 65 mph throughout Broward, but that won’t happen for quite some time: construction is scheduled to be finished around November 2014.

Florida Department of Transportation spokeswoman Barbara Kelleher said the construction will also require some lane closures, but those closures will be limited to late evening hours. During the morning and evening rush hours, traffic lanes will be created on the road shoulders to allow road work to progress while simultaneously keeping the usual number of lanes open.

“Obviously, be alert for the lower speed limit, and be alert for lane shifts,” Kelleher said, though she added, “if they’re traveling during the day, there really shouldn’t be a big impact to the flow of the traffic.”

Drivers should also be mindful that the Florida Highway Patrol will be enforcing the lower speed limit, though there won’t be any influx of additional troopers into the area. FHP spokesman Sgt. Mark Wysocky said state troopers, understanding the potential for confusion, “may be lenient for a short period of time.”

“A lot of it’ll depend upon the speed,” Wysocky said. “If somebody’s doing 23 miles over the speed limit, they’re still going to be cited.”

Miami-Dade’s express lanes began operating in 2008, collecting tolls between the Golden Glades interchange and downtown Miami. The cost of the tolls fluctuates based on the level of traffic congestion.

Registered carpools and hybrid vehicles can ride toll-free, while others must pay using a SunPass transponder. Gov. Rick Scott has praised the express lanes as successfully helping reduce traffic congestion, and plans are in the works to extend the lanes all the way up to the Broward-Palm Beach county line, as well as install them on other highways such as Interstate 75 and the Palmetto Expressway.

Leslie Brown, a Coast Guard officer who lives in Fort Lauderdale, said the current level of congestion on I-95 makes it difficult to reach 65 mph even when it’s legally allowed — lessening the impact of the speed limit change. “The traffic is usually so awful anyways,” Brown said with a laugh.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/04/1...#storylink=cpy
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Old April 20th, 2012, 11:56 PM   #4208
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OMG guys... every day I grow more tired of driving around this city... I had to go twice to a mechanic's in 27th and Flagler today, at different times of the day (early morning and early afternoon, not even close to "rush hour")and I had to eat the WORST EFFIN TRAFFIC ever to and from the suburbs... it is excrutiating traffic. I witness several instances of almost-accidents and one full out accident where a Jeep got literally sandwich-crashed between an 18-wheeler and a Mercedes... To make it all worse, I had to bear with countless drivers who drove 20 on a 40 road on the fast lane, and what to say about the woman who thought because she had a big ford that she could just get in my lane while going in between my car and some other's without putting any signs and going about 40 mph. She missed hitting one of us for just inches. And what to say about the incredible amount of traffic cameras the city of Miami purposefully puts to get tickets on the smallest offense. No wonder they're not interested in providing transportation... they're getting money from all those little annoying cameras. I cannot stand this anymorrrrrreeeeeeeeeeee. lol I'm having a breakdown here, and wonder how the crap has our freakin' county and city not built an extension through the entire length of 8th street or flagler to get all these people off the streets.

Crap, I'd be down to take the train every day myself! I'd rather not drive and save myself from anxiety and desperation at seeing my life at risk for a 40+ minute one-way drive.


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Old April 23rd, 2012, 03:59 AM   #4209
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I wish I could say I share your pain but I don't. So all I can say is, I'm sorry.

I don't live in the suburbs anymore. I took the last housing crash as an opportunity to buy a place closer to downtown than I could possibly have ever afforded before then. And why? Because I was feeling the way you are now, years ago when traffic and sprawl wasn't as bad (I can't even imagine how much worse it's gotten since then)!

And people in the suburbs of America wonder why no-one will buy their houses. Europeans figured it out long before we did, rich in the city centers, ghettos around the outskirts, not the other way around. Looks like the James H Kunstler's of the world were right.
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 02:29 PM   #4210
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Got to agree, dumped the car, live in downtown, and haven't had to deal with traffic in almost 3 years. Besides the 5 minute walk to work and the stress free daily movement, I save a ton of money.
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 03:09 PM   #4211
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I-95 work to create detours at Hollywood Blvd., Stirling Road

By Michael Turnbell, Sun Sentinel
4:39 p.m. EDT, April 21, 2012

Get ready for nighttime and weekend lane closures and detours on four major roads under Interstate 95 in southern Broward County.

Officials say the inconveniences are necessary while the I-95 overpasses are widened for express lanes.

First up are Hollywood Boulevard and Stirling Road, where lane closures will start in May. Full closures of both streets under the interstate, which will be scheduled at night and on weekends, will occur later this spring and summer, said Tish Burgher, a project spokeswoman.

During the full closures, workers will demolish a portion of the existing overpasses, set new beams and work on the concrete bridge decks.

Drivers will be notified two weeks ahead of the closures via portable message signs at the interchanges.

When Hollywood Boulevard is closed, eastbound traffic will be detoured south on State Road 7, east on Pembroke Road and north on U.S. 1. Westbound traffic will be detoured south on U.S. 1, west on Pembroke Road and north on S.R. 7.

Crews last Wednesday night shifted I-95 traffic in both directions to the inside lanes to prepare for the widening.

The speed limit on I-95 from just north of Griffin Road to the Miami-Dade/Broward county line was reduced earlier this week from 65 mph to 55 mph for the construction. The reduced speed limit will remain in place until late 2014.

Similar work is planned at the I-95 bridges over Hallandale Beach Boulevard and Pembroke Road. Burgher said work schedules for those two overpasses haven't been announced.

The Florida Department of Transportation is holding public meetings to answer questions about the bridge work.

They will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. April 25 at the International Game Fish Association, 300 Gulf Stream Way, Dania Beach, and from 6 to 8 p.m. May 1 at Orangebrook Golf & Country Club, 400 Entrada Drive, Hollywood.

mturnbell@tribune.com, 954-356-4155, Twitter @MikeTurnpike

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/bro...,4495620.story
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Old April 24th, 2012, 04:12 AM   #4212
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I wish I could live closer to the city center
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Old April 25th, 2012, 11:31 PM   #4213
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Well i don't know what your finances are like or if it's already too expensive but my advice is buy sooner rather than later. These prices are only going to go up with every rich Brazilian that moves into this town.

And who knows, with the way Christina Kerchner is nationalizing everything South of Rio, it might not be too long before all the rich Argentinians flee as well... Guess what city in the US will be their #1 pick for real estate as well?
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Old April 26th, 2012, 01:45 PM   #4214
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New high-speed rail effort won't preclude train service on Treasure Coast
By Henry A. Stephens
Posted April 18, 2012

Treasure Coast officials and Amtrak supporters. who have been working for about 13 years to bring passenger service back to the Florida East Coast Railway, say they don't see All Aboard Florida as a threat.

"We're pleased to hear about All Aboard Florida," Amtrak Government Affairs Director Thomas "Todd" Stennis told his company's supporters last month. "Passenger rail is truly beneficial for everyone. The (All Aboard) and Amtrak projects are different projects with different interests. Both operations will benefit everyone on the FEC corridor."

His comments followed the announcement from Florida East Coast Industries, a Coral Gables real estate and transportation company affiliated with the Jacksonville-based railway, of plans to start an estimated $1 billion private passenger service that would cater to business travelers and tourists going between Orlando and South Florida with no stops in between.

Both services are planned to run on the same FEC tracks from West Palm Beach north to Brevard County.But the differences include:

• All Aboard Florida would be privately funded by FEC Industries. Its trains would take FEC Railway's own track between stops in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, then take a nonstop trip on the same track to Brevard County, possibly Cocoa, and turn west.

To do this, the company would have to build 40 miles of new track to its destination in Orlando for a 240-mile total route. Project leaders have expressed interest in expanding to Tampa and Jacksonville if the initial project works.

• Amtrak, meanwhile, is the familiar federally subsidized national passenger service. Its trains would take state-owned track from Miami to West Palm Beach, switch over to the FEC track, then stop at new stations in Stuart, Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, Melbourne, Cocoa, Titusville, Daytona Beach and St. Augustine before rejoining existing Amtrak service in Jacksonville for a 326-mile route.

To make this happen, Amtrak needs to work out a tri-party agreement with FEC Railway and the state, which has set aside $118 million toward the effort.

"There is nothing about All Aboard Florida that would preclude the Amtrak project from operating," All Aboard spokeswoman Christine Barney said. "We see 50 million people currently traveling the highways (between Orlando and Miami) each year."

The FEC had passenger service once before. Back in the first half of the 20th century, the railway provided its own trains. But it ceased the service in 1968 amid a union strike, declaring it a money-loser in a day when gasoline was cheaper, the road network was expanding and most Americans preferred driving.

Barney said the state's economy and tourism, plus gas prices, are a "different world" from prior conditions.

Barney acknowledged All Aboard Florida's plans are preliminary. It needs to nail down the ridership and engineering in studies she expects to be complete in May. But so far, she said, the Miami and Orlando population and tourism nodes appear to make it financially feasible.

Kim Delaney, growth management coordinator for the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council, said she could support a passenger line with the only stop in the Treasure Coast area being West Palm Beach.

"This will be more like a high-speed express," she said, "And you can't be an express if you have to stop often."

Still, Barney said, her clients plan to meet Treasure Coast officials to see if maybe there are strong enough reasons to add a stop.

Martin County Commissioner Doug Smith said he's confident All Aboard would add a Treasure Coast stop in the future, if not right away.

"As the capacity increases, so will the need to add additional stops," he said.

Fort Pierce Urban Redevelopment Director Jon Ward said he couldn't justify a local stop for All Aboard Florida. Treasure Coast cities don't have the population to warrant stopping a nonstop train between Orlando and South Florida.

"They need to maintain their high speeds," Vero Beach City Councilman Dick Winger added. "If you make them stop at all cities of all sizes, you won't have high speed."

http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2012/apr/...reclude-train/
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Old April 26th, 2012, 01:50 PM   #4215
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I'd like to imagine that we can see the FEC and Amtrak trains running side by side up the East coast of Florida. It could be like in Germany and Switzerland where the ICE (fast, fewer stops) runs alongside the InterRegio (slower, more stops). Hopefully they'll share stations.

Also, I realize that none of this is really new information. But it is nice to see that the leadership of both organizations are interested in working together. It seems there is both the money and the interest to get this thing going. I'm so much more excited about this than I ever was about the high speed rail. Could you imagine if we had the SunRail, All Aboard, Amtrak, and the Tampa-Orlando high speed rail all coming on line within a couple years of each other?

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Old April 27th, 2012, 02:26 AM   #4216
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I'd like to imagine that we can see the FEC and Amtrak trains running side by side up the East coast of Florida. It could be like in Germany and Switzerland where the ICE (fast, fewer stops) runs alongside the InterRegio (slower, more stops). Hopefully they'll share stations.

Also, I realize that none of this is really new information. But it is nice to see that the leadership of both organizations are interested in working together. It seems there is both the money and the interest to get this thing going. I'm so much more excited about this than I ever was about the high speed rail. Could you imagine if we had the SunRail, All Aboard, Amtrak, and the Tampa-Orlando high speed rail all coming on line within a couple years of each other?

Finally the free market.
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Old April 27th, 2012, 04:08 AM   #4217
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Not meaning to be a killjoy here, but does anyone else here see the potential catastrophe of succuming to the temptation of stopping at every stop for the Miami-Orlando HSR? This would kill the trip times and with it, any desire to get out of your car and onto a train to go there. They need to keep the stops to a min. One stop (and one only) in Miami, FLL, WPB and Orlando, that's it. No other stops anywhere else and no multiple stops in any of those towns either.


I would take a train that stops at all stops from say, the suburbs in to downtown Miami. But there's no way I'm taking a train that stops that often ALL the way to Orlando, I'll just drive my car thank you!
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Old April 27th, 2012, 10:07 AM   #4218
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Agreed with that assesment, but since there's no HSR coming to Florida anytime in the foreseeable future I guess we don't have to worry about the logistics.
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Old April 27th, 2012, 10:36 AM   #4219
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Not meaning to be a killjoy here, but does anyone else here see the potential catastrophe of succuming to the temptation of stopping at every stop for the Miami-Orlando HSR?
I think that is actually the point that the Amtrak person is getting at. All Aboard plans on making only 4 or 5 stops between Miami and Orlando and no stops between Orlando and Jacksonville. Amtrak would therefore serve an entirely different market of riders who are making shorter local trips.
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Old April 27th, 2012, 05:16 PM   #4220
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http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/04/2...-launches.html

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Full Miami trolley service launches downtown

Miami will launch its long-awaited downtown trolley service on Friday.

BY ANDRES VIGLUCCI
AVIGLUCCI@MIAMIHERALD.COM

Ding, ding. Get on board. The long-awaited, long-debated trolley is here, and getting around downtown Miami and Brickell should now get a whole lot easier.

Starting at 6:30 a.m. Friday, the city of Miami will launch its free downtown rubber-tire trolley system that officials hope will persuade people to “ditch the car and hitch a ride’’ for short jaunts to work, play, eat and shop.

The orange-and-green, retro-style trolleys will run every 15 minutes and take passengers on Biscayne Boulevard south from the Omni district, across the Miami River and to the end of the Brickell financial and residential district, with marked stops at every block.

The trolleys will also make three loops: one around Mary Brickell Village, another out to Brickell Key, and a third past Margaret Pace Park just north of the old Omni complex.

Because the trolley will also stop at or near Metromover and bus stations, the Downtown Development Authority says, it will give downtown Miami a densely interconnected transit system unrivaled by any other city in Florida. The air-conditioned trolleys will run 6:30 a.m. until 11 p.m. every day but Sunday. Special runs will be added for Sunday Miami Heat playoff games.

The downtown line’s debut comes six weeks after the city launched the first trolley route, around the Jackson Memorial Hospital health district and down to the new Miami Marlins ballpark. City director of capital improvements Albert Sosa said opening-night glitches that saw delays and jam-packed trolleys have been ironed out.

Ridership is averaging around 500 passengers a day outside game days, when the vehicles are carrying 2,000 people, he said.

The downtown and health district trolley lines will eventually connect along 14th Street, with additional routes planned for the future.

Five years in the works, the trolley system is funded by a number of sources, including the city’s $2 million-a-year share of half-cent transit surtax money, $1.5 million from the state and $4.1 million in federal stimulus money.

Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado will officiate at an 11:30 a.m. ribbon-cutting Friday at Brickell Village.
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