Can Miami Change, or is Car Culture in its DNA?

Esteban Bovo, chair of the Miami-Dade County Finance Committee, recently provoked the ire of transit advocates when he said that car culture is in the DNA of Miami.

"In response to a request that the Commission prioritize funding for better public transit, Commissioner Bovo displayed an outdated perspective that is out of sync with the needs of our ever-growing community," report Eli Stiers and Leah Weston.

Stiers and Weston "strongly disagree" with Commissioner Bovo's "indifference to the status quo," arguing that Miami residents would chose other modes of transportation if they had more options for doing so. Moreover, Stiers and Weston disagree with Commissioner Bovo’s characterization of immigrants and retirees as seeking the open road by moving to Miami.

Finally, there's also Bovo's support of funding for road construction: "In his final comments on the video, Commissioner Bovo segued into a discussion about road construction, undoubtedly to allocate more millions from the budget for an ever-expanding morass of highways, which are antiquated and overcrowded from the moment they are opened.  This kind of thinking is outdated, and this method of addressing transportation in our rapidly-expanding metro area is unsustainable."

Compare this with the leadership in another region of the country, which could also claim to have a car culture in their DNA, Texas. There, new Texas Department of Transportation Executive Director Joe Weber recently called for increased funding for commuter and freight rail projects.

Full Story: Miami-Dade County Deserves New Thinking on Transit

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