Great post from Tim Hullihan about the turnpike lane expansion. It’s worth noting that this is but one in an array of FDOT projects that I would argue are unnecessary and wasteful (Central Boulevard I-95 exit, Oslo Road I-95 exit, new overpasses in Palm Beach County come to mind as well). As Chuck Marohn at Strong Towns has argued convincingly, the ‘more lanes is always better’ economic development model is fundamentally broken. Check out http://www.strongtowns.org for more.
By Timothy Hullihan:
FDOT’s recent announcement of their plans to expand Florida’s Turnpike in Palm Beach County brought to mind something my father often said, “Bigness is the problem.” When agencies grow too large, they function like massive cruise ships – great at moving forward, but so poor at changing course they need tug boats to help them.
FDOT needs help changing course, or Florida will not capture much of the job creation that will happen in the next decade.
The 1996 documentary Taken for a Ride (available on free on YouTube for educational use) explains how we became a car-centered culture. Today, most of us still spend hours each day behind the wheel as part of our daily routines. The roads we use are over-crowded, stressful places. The parking structures are mostly full, dehumanizing and inconvenient. Our vehicles are expensive to own and maintain, while contributing massively to air-pollution.
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