Dear Governor Crist,

As you may know a recent report produced jointly by the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership and Transportation for America has shown that the following four metropolitan areas within Florida are the most dangerous cities for pedestrians in the United States.

1.         Orlando-Kissimmee, FL

2.         Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL

3.         Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL

4.         Jacksonville, FL

The report titled “Dangerous By Design” concludes that Florida roads are dangerous for pedestrians because they have generally been designed to speed up -not slow down-traffic.

As residents of Miami Dade County, this comes as no surprise to us. However what does surprise us is that Florida has managed to take the top 4 spots nationally; this clearly is not a great achievement. The common denominator for all 4 metropolitan areas is the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) which is responsible for designing most of the roads within these urban environments.  We believe that (FDOT) should be held accountable for poorly designed roads within our state that results in hundreds of preventable pedestrian deaths each year.

The decades of auto-centric culture within FDOT needs to come to an end. A major paradigm shift has to occur within FDOT from designing roads for cars to designing them for people. There is no simple solution and it will take a leader who is capable of changing an organization whose sole focus seems to be moving more cars faster, rather then considering pedestrians and bicyclists. Florida happens to be the most deadly state for bicyclists as well.

With so many retirees and an economy that is heavily dependent on tourism, we hope that FDOT can reinvent itself and begin designing safer roads for future generations in Florida. This pedestrian epidemic needs to come to an end now and it begins with a progressive and proactive FDOT which is capable of designing complete streets for everyone.


9 Responses to An Open Letter To Governor Charlie Crist and the Florida Department of Transportation

  1. Mike Lydon says:


    Thank you for taking the time to draft this important article. Florida’s citizens can no longer be complicit in the unintended consequences of FDOTs engineering practices. We know, without doubt, that conventional transportation engineering practices lead to a placeless built environment, one that is simply unsafe for pedestrians and bicyclists, one that contributes to the obesity epidemic, one that helps destroy what is left of Florida’s beautiful natural environment, and one that adds to the growing crisis of global warming on a daily basis.

    Enough is enough.


  2. RG says:

    Agreed. With this car centric planning, where do you see Florida in 10 years? More pedestrian/bikers dead, more congestion, more pollution, more road rage? Please, do not let this nightmare continue.


  3. TM says:

    I hope individuals will take pieces from this letter and referenced article to send additional emails to your state and local leaders. We need the State, County and Local jurisdictions to all create livable streets. Activism is the key- “the squeaky wheel gets the oil”

    attend the transit summit next wednesday.


  4. Felipe,

    This is a fantastic start - hopefully this report and letters of support form people like you will help FDOT realize that their autocentric practices must come to an end. Their attempts at multi-modal transportation planning are half-hearted at best and further jeopardize our health, safety, and environment.

    It’s time for FDOT and our elected officials to wake up, we cannot continue to degrade our beautiful state any longer.


  5. tjblaze says:

    Well done, Felipe.

    Please let us know if you get any response from anyone with the Governor’s office or the FDOT.

    Please consider submitting it as a letter to the editor to the Herald.

    Squeak on!



  6. Ry says:

    Rails-to-Trails had a form set up a few weeks ago that sends the message to a few Florida state leaders

    Your message will be sent to the following:

    Jeff Atwater, Senate President
    Larry Cretul, House Speaker
    Charlie Crist, Governor
    Andy Gardiner, Senate Transportation Committee Chairman
    Richard Glorioso, House Transportation Committee Chairman
    Debbie Hunt, Department of Transportation Assistant Secretary
    Stephanie Kopelousos, Department of Transportation Secretary
    Jeff Kottkamp, Lieutenant Governor


  7. […] after the Dangerous by Design report came out, I filled out a letter at the Rails to Trails website to be sent to the Florida […]


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