More than four years ago, when Congress passed the Obama stimulus, nobody in Fort Lauderdale would have imagined that a ripple effect from the legislation might become a "Wave" for Broward County commuters and businesses.
"This is the beginning," said Diana Alarcon, director of the city's transportation and mobility department, smiling as she described the new Wave streetcar project for downtown Fort Lauderdale during a recent public workshop in Oakland Park.
Steve Augello lives in Spring Hill Florida, just outside of Tampa. Like a lot of dads, he always made his 17-year-old daughter, Alessandra, check-in with him when she was out. Augello also had a rule.
“You weren’t allowed to have that cell phone out while you’re driving,” Augello remembers telling Alessandra. “I even tested her a few times I called her when she was driving and it always went right through to the recorder.”
Over the weekend, public transit advocates in Miami built a temporary train station along an imaginary transit line. They called it the Purple Line, sticking with the theme of Miami’s other two commuter rail lines, the Orange and the Green. Organizers of the project say this mock train station is going to help improve public transit in the city.
For many years I both lived and worked in Coral Gables, and since my house was less than a mile from work, I decided to ditch my car and purchased a scooter. I conveniently biked, walked or scootered around town. I could get to the beach or the Grove by scooter, bike or public transportation.
Several times a week, Miami reminds me of Los Angeles. For better and worse. We're both the land of sunshine, palm trees (theirs are taller) and beautiful beaches (ours are nicer based on ocean temperature and clarity, but we're missing out on the mountains). And both places have much beneath the surface of our beautiful things. Extreme wealth and poverty pressed up against each other, but rarely mixing -- largely because both places are so deeply devoted to the automobile.