FYI Miami: November 14, 2019
Below are some of the FYIs in this week’s edition. The entire content of this week’s FYIs and Insider sections is available by subscription only. To subscribe click here.
MORE SMART FUNDS: Miami-Dade’s transportation decision-makers have asked leaders in Tallahassee to shift a portion of transportation funds allocated for use in the county to include advancement of the SMART Plan, an initiative county lawmakers launched to study, select transit upgrades and secure funding for six high-traffic commuting corridors. The county Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) Governing Board last month OK’d a resolution urging members of the county’s state legislative delegation and Florida Transportation Secretary Kevin Thibault to establish a policy similar to the Federal Highway Administration’s use of federal surface transportation block grants for transit capital projects. The TPO vote came the day the board endorsed a Metrorail extension through Miami Gardens to the Broward County line to satisfy the needs of the SMART Plan’s North Corridor, which with rapid-transit bus for the South Corridor are the only two transit modes selected since the plan’s adoption in 2016.
TRAIL PROPOSALS SOUGHT: The Florida Department of Transportation is seeking proposals for funding projects through the Shared-Use Nonmotorized (SUN) Trail program for inclusion in the five-year work program. The goal of the $25-million-per-year SUN Trail program, which received bipartisan support in the Legislature when it was adopted in 2015, is to create a statewide circuit of interconnected trails for pedestrians and non-motorized vehicles. Funding comes from new vehicle registration fees. Government entities must request funds for each eligible region or individual trail with applicable information by 5 p.m. Dec. 20.
COUNTY URGES TURNPIKE RESTRAINT: Any added lanes on the Homestead Extension of the Florida Turnpike (HEFT) should open as free high-occupancy vehicle lanes for transit buses, registered carpools and other similar services, Miami-Dade lawmakers say. County commissioners voted 10-0 for a resolution sponsored by Daniella Levine Cava and co-sponsored by Dennis Moss urging the state to enact legislation requiring the Florida Department of Transportation and Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise to cancel or suspend “congestion price tolling on the HEFT” – express lanes – and use new lanes to reduce congestion on a roadway drivers already pay to use. “[Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise] has undertaken several construction projects to expand the lane capacity in various segments on the HEFT to as many as 10 lanes,” the item says. “Miami-Dade residents and visitors have endured years of traffic delays and other inconveniences related to the construction of [those] projects [and should benefit from] high-occupancy vehicle lanes encourage carpooling, vanpooling and transit … instead of [being charged] a premium [for] single-occupancy cars.”