If we were to create a fictional story based this week's top five stories, it might go something like this:
Traffic engineers use funds from parking meters to build the Orlando-Miami rail line. The colorful yellow meters do not actually pay the city for parking and were supposed to fund Florida’s desalination facilities. One outraged citizen got a hold of public-radio host Ira Glass, who is now producing a radio story for “This Floridian Life.”
Alas, none of those are stories. Here are the non-fiction versions:
A passenger rail connecting South Florida and Orlando is on track to start running next year.
But not everyone is jumping for joy.
A group of real estate experts serving parts of northern Palm Beach and Martin Counties says it has serious concerns about All Aboard Florida.
The $1.5-billion railway project would add 32 passenger trains to the 14 freight trains already running on the Florida East Coast Railroad tracks. Stations would be located in the downtowns of Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.
The I-95 express lanes' toll increase made it to the top of our list this week, only furthering the idea that South Floridians can't live without their vehicles and highways. Two more stories involving roads and transportation also made it to the top five this week, which made us wonder... are you reading while driving? If so, stop!
The Florida Department of Transportation has pedestrians in mind with a new plan for Biscayne Blvd.
FDOT estimates it will spend upwards of $780,000 on new crosswalks and sidewalks along the busy road. Construction will span 3.9 miles from northeast 16 to northeast 74 street.
“Everyday on the news you always see there is a pedestrian hit by a car – a lot of people don’t follow the rules,” says community member Malcolm Moyes, who thinks the additions will favor area pedestrians.
Covered in white, synthetic hair, dollar bills, paint or disassembled and wrapped in wire. Those are a few of the ways in which bicycles have been transformed into art pieces for ARTcycle: Bikes Become Art, a new exhibit at the Coral Gables Museum starting Jan. 23. The creator, cyclist and graphic designer Tachi Llamas, designed the show to commemorate riders who have died on the road.
In a state that is noted for its dedicated car culture, it seems a given that residents and tourists would benefit from any measurable decrease in road congestion, car exhaust, and air pollution. As National Bike Month winds down and South Florida, communities make moves to become more bike friendly, it pays to talk about the potential environmental impact of having more bicycles and less cars on Florida's roads.