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Nonprofit transportation research group TRIP released a study last week that names Florida’s interstate highways the 9th most congested in the country.

 

The study shows that travel is increasing too fast for states to keep up, but Greg Stuart, executive director of the Metropolitan Planning Organization in Broward County, says the study bodes well for Florida’s future.

 

Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Miami-Dade County has a new partnership in the fight against traffic woes.

The smartphone navigation app Waze has just added the county to its growing list of governments that are connected to its traffic data system. When users report traffic accidents, Miami-Dade will now know about it.

“My goal is that on any day, whether it’s a weekday or a weekend, people get in the habit of using the app to plan their trip, 'cause that just helps everybody,” said Alice Bravo, the director of transportation and public works for the county.

Monroe County Sheriff's Office

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office is reminding boaters to take one more step before loading up and leaving the Keys: Tie down your boat. If not, you can wind up like the unfortunate driver Tuesday morning whose boat came off its trailer on the Overseas Highway in Marathon. A tow truck was called to the scene and the Florida Highway Patrol is investigating. Besides that expense, failing to properly secure your boat is a civil infraction that can result in a ticket.

Tim Padgett / WLRN

South Florida drivers have a certain reputation and driving fast is a big part of that. Last year, 798,000 people in Florida were pulled over for speeding. A little more than 136,000 people used some version of a traffic school to mask the points on their license so that insurance premiums don’t go up.

And now, I am a part of that; I was going 88 in a 70-mile-per-hour zone in St. Lucie County.

If you're going to be hitting the road for the holidays this year, make sure to pack some extra patience - you'll have a lot of company out there.

About 5.2 million Floridians are expected to drive somewhere for the holidays this year. That's a 2 percent increase from last year.

Mark Jenkins of AAA said that the increased number is due to the recent dip in gas prices.

"We're looking at the cheapest gas prices in seven years," he said. "That's more disposable income, more of an incentive for [people] to take a trip."

Miami Beach Prepares For Art Basel Traffic, Raises Parking Rates

Dec 3, 2015
Traffic in Miami Beach.
Carl Juste / Miami Herald

You can expect traffic delays in Miami Beach this week. Art Basel began on Thursday and runs through Sunday.

 

  Miami Beach transportation director José González expects the number of cars coming in for the event to be similar to previous years. “Between the MacArthur Causeway and the Julia Tuttle Causeway, vehicular volumes go from about 200,000 to about 350,000 vehicles a day.”

New Toll Relief Program Allows Negotiation Of Fines

Sep 17, 2015
C.M. Guerrero / El Nuevo Herald

A new program called Operation Toll Relief will give Miami-Dade County residents a chance to negotiate down fines from unpaid tolls.

The program is a partnership of the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority, the Florida Department of Transportation and the Miami-Dade court system.

"The program does not excuse toll violators," says Judge Sam Slom, the chief administrative judge over county court. "What the program seeks to do is to adjust the amount due for those violations to an amount which we perceive to be fair."

Chabeli Herrera

How South Florida gets around, or doesn't, is increasingly a matter of public debate. Climbing commuting times, more tolls and long-promised but never delivered public transportation projects like BayLink are pushing our collective patience. It costs commuters money and costs the economy lost productivity.

As the region has grown across political boundaries, transportation planning has not kept pace.

Creative Commons via Flickr / Phil Hilfiker (https://flic.kr/p/ziW5x)

South Florida commuters are wasting a lot of time stuck in snarled traffic.

That’s probably not a big surprise, but the area does not make the top ten list for the most gridlocked commute times according to the 2015 Urban Mobility Scorecard from the Texas Transportation Institute.

These most recent numbers put the average time a South Floridian spends languishing in traffic at 52 hours. That’s an hour increase from the previous year and has increased since 2010. 

South Florida is ranked 12th overall for the worst commuter traffic.

Charles Trainor Jr. / Miami Herald Staff

Miami ranks as one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S. with the highest number of red-light running fatalities.

The National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR) launched an interactive map Wednesday, charting the 7,799 red-light running fatalities that happened nationwide between 2004 and 2013, according to the most recent data from the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration. 

PlusUrbia / Courtesy

Change may be coming to Calle Ocho.

In the 1960s, the street running through the heart of Little Havana was transformed from a small neighborhood road to a one-way, three-lane highway intended to alleviate traffic flowing downtown. 

As a result, cars have reigned supreme, taking away the pedestrian-friendly atmosphere the street used have.

Keys InfoNet

Since March 16, the last drawbridge on the Overseas Highway has only opened once an hour.

Before that, it opened twice an hour — which caused massive backups through the village of Islamorada in the Upper Keys, said Islamorada Mayor Mike Forster.

On Thursday, the Coast Guard informed the village that it would be extending the test period of once-an-hour openings for another 30 days, Forster said. The test period had been scheduled to end this Tuesday.

"It's been pretty effective," Forster said.

Jeffery Katz / Florida Department of Transportation

The Miami-Dade Expressway Authority voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a program that could give regular commuters a refund at the end of the year.

But like all rebates, there’s some fine print.

The new Cash Back Toll Dividend Program empowers MDX to refund users a percentage of their tolls if the organization happens to be running a budget surplus.

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

    

Amid all the glowing reviews of Art Basel week, some art lovers also had complaints.

Getting to and from arts shows  was not always a pleasant experience for people who wanted to enjoy the exhibits and happenings this past week.

Parking in Miami Beach, Midtown and Wynwood - where most of the activities were taking place - was almost nonexistent past 5 p.m.

Lyng Ramirez of North Bay Village said she walked for blocks to her destination because  “parking is an issue.”

freedigitalphotos.net

Drivers complain about cyclists taking over the road. Cyclists complain about drivers not sharing the road. Pedestrians are afraid of getting hit while crossing the road.

Palm Beach County's police department and the Florida Highway Patrol will be on the lookout this week to make sure everyone's following the rules.

It's the second time police take over to make sure everyone's behaving on the road. The first time around, police issued 148 warnings and 175 citations between Palm Beach and Hillsboro Beach.

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