Transit Miami is honored to have been nominated in the Best Local Blog Category of the 2008 Netroots Awards. Voting is online and open to anyone through June 1, 2008 (Click here to Vote). Show us some support!
Via SFDB (One of our strongest “competitors”…)
Department of Transportation Secretary Mary Peters entered the blogosphere on April 29 with a blog called the Fast Lane. Looks like FHWA, FTA, and other DOT officials will also contribute to the blog. Comments are allowed on the blog, so they are interested in a two-way conversation.
It is good to see transportation officials embracing modern communication methods. Let us hope Stephanie Kopelousus, Florida’s Transportation Secretary, follows the example and begins an official Florida DOT blog. Or it would be nice to see the District Secretaries blogging and taking comments from the public on local projects. Perhaps we could suggest it. Email the Secretary at email@example.com if you want to suggest the idea.
For our regular readers, you will definitely notice the changes. For those who may be joining us for the first time, you’re looking at an evolution in progress. TransitMiami has left Blogger as its platform for communicating with you, and has moved to WordPress. WordPress offers a bit more flexibility, more stability, and loads more opportunity for managing the information we want to provide to you, our members.
As we continue to expand more into WordPress, to start using more of its capabilities, we may experience some growing pains. For example, right now, some of our members are unable to see that we’re back up and running after a short break. Problems like these should iron themselves out as the domain registrar change that just went through ripples through the Internet Blogosphere.
After these somewhat minor issues do work themselves out, and the lights come back on for all of our readers, our bloggers will soon learn that they have more tools at their hands that will enhance their experience of writing. This should allow us to deliver the transit and urban development news to you faster, clearer, and in a format that is easy to read!
We are not anti-car zealots, we strongly believe that the key to creating a sustainable community is a multi-modal transportation policy rather than the uni-modalism that currently overwhelms Miami-Dade. It appears that in the eyes of some, Transit Miami has lost its focus, becoming too obsessed with creating a city that is designed and navigable to humans, rather than the voluminous heaps of metal we all wander around in.
A Message from the Publisher
I started Transit Miami for one reason: because I care about my community. The way I see it,
While we appreciate Critical Miami’s kudos and acknowledge their own fine work over the last few years, we definitely feel that it is their site that is out of touch with reality in this case. Perhaps Critical Miami is baffled because they are not likely educated on best practices in contemporary urban planning. Frankly, we find it contradictory that a site that calls for “holding the line” so adamantly would be so misunderstanding when it comes to better land-use policy.
To be clear, Transit Miami never stated that worsening driving conditions was the best way to improve transit. In fact, we stated the opposite, “Additional parking will increase congestion…” The developer, not Transit Miami, originally proposed the position of hampering a vehicle’s ability to access the EWT development. We supported his decision and original plans to reduce parking capacity at EWT due to the direct links his structure would have with the adjacent Metromover structure (just as we supported reductions in parking at the Coconut Grove Metrorail Transit-Oriented Development) and never once suggested making driving more difficult, only parking.
The interesting part is, we aren’t even advocating for anything drastic. For example, we promote the Miami Streetcar project, which calls for constructing a streetcar line through one of the densest and fastest-growing urban corridors in the state. This is not very drastic at all, especially in a city with a woefully underdeveloped mass transit system and sizable low-income population. We promote decreases in minimum parking standards. This is not so radical either since it reduces the overall development cost, making housing more affordable. There is a sizable body of scholarly literature available that correlates the underlying message of our letter: increasing parking capacity increases driving demand like dangling a carrot for cars.
This means two things: in order to be more sustainable from a transportation perspective we must improve and expand our transit capacity and we must improve our accessibility. The transit component is straight forward enough. However, continuing the auto-centric status quo gives the illusion that we do not have to change our transportation habits and there will always be some fix or policy to make things better for driving. This could not be further from the truth and is flat out irresponsible. This is why we are against excessive minimum parking requirements, because it is like mandating more beer for an alcoholic.
Regarding the second component, accessibility, this means changing our zoning to allow mixed land uses and creating higher densities. This will enable people to travel shorter distances for their employment, retail, commercial, recreational, and residential purposes (if they so chose.)
Note: the goal of changing our land use policy is to enable people to have a choice when it comes to personal mobility, where walking or driving can be considered equal alternatives. This is a fundamental component of transportation equity.
This increases the viability of walking and cycling, which incidentally is the cheapest way to get around. However, if you continue down the auto-centric policy paradigm, you are not facilitating the type of conditions that make walking, cycling, transit, and higher density a formidable option.
Regarding the division between the City of
Ryan never said or even implied that Miami was going to have a transit system like Montreal’s – he simply implied that Montreal had a quality transit system and that Miami should strive to improve theirs in order to achieve a higher transit standard and all the external benefits that go along with it. That is tough to misconstrue. In addition, he never mentioned or even remotely implied that
Bicycle as a means of Transportation, not just a Vacation
We don’t recall any sort of official “challenge,” however Critical Miami is unequivocally wrong about their assertion that such a program cannot work anywhere in Miami. Just because Critical Miami is a bike enthusiast doesn’t mean you understand how bicycling systems operate or can function in an urban setting.
Regarding Critical Miami’s comments about it taking generations to enact the type of changes we advocate, this has been proven otherwise. Enrique Penalosa, the former Mayor of Bogota, Colombia, created a thriving bicycle network in his city and within just five years captured 5% of the daily transportation needs. It just so happens that Mr. Penalosa was recently in
The fact of the matter is that changes occur when the funding (and mentality) is there in support. Sure, cities evolve and mature and most changes do not occur overnight, but the mentality Critical Miami presents falls in line with the mentality that has accomplished nothing in
-This article represents the views of the entire Transit Miami Staff…
- Transit Miami gets a nice shout out for bike advocacy (Riptide 2.0)
- Circular Sprawl Communities from the sky (Deputy Dog)
- The A2 is the latest plan for Eco-friendly Hypersonic flight, capable of reaching Mach 5 without a single Carbon Emission (Luxist)
- The 5 most incredible (alternative) school locations around the world (Deputy Dog)
- America’s Greenest Cities (Popular Science)
- Miami adds some Bike Parking along Coral Way (Spokes ‘n’ Folks)
- A Building too Sophisticated for LEED certification (Inhabitat)
- Sweden’s Ice Hotel (Bldg Blog)
- Vintage Streetcar Artist (Telstar Logistics)
- Benefits of Pint Sized Parks (Streetsblog)
”My opinion is that this development is doomed…”
“This developer went bankrupt in the 1980’s and I think we’ll see a repeat performance within the next 6 months. What do I know, though? I’m no real estate oracle.”
I believe this whole thing has been blown disproportionately out of the water, starting with an exorbitant $25 million for defamation. How can anyone quantify that much in damages to begin with? Luckily for Lechuga, the lawsuit likely won’t hold much water in court according to herald interviews with local attorneys. From what I can tell, this has the appearance of a glorified publicity stunt amid a crumbling housing market. Who am I to say anyway? Only time will tell…
Given the sudden disappearances of Bob: Miami, stuck on the palmetto, and the disbandment of MVB, we would like to assure our readers that the writers of Transit Miami remain committed to serving the best interests of our community. It is, after all, our only intention to better the community we live in and create public spaces which are livable for all Miamians…
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