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Monday June 19, 2006

FIU refuses Metrorail stop

Larry reports that there’s a problem with the planning of a Metrorail East/West line. Seems that FIU is refusing to allow the last stop to be built on its campus. This is completely insane on a number of levels, and the fact that the FIU administration is sticking to it does not bode well for the U’s future. What’s more, they’re refusing to even comment about their reasoning.

Well, I say they’re taxpayer funded, and mostly attended by locals, and they have to do what we say. Maybe a phone call or two (305-348-2111) to FIU’s (soon to be grossly overpaid) president would help.

Meanwhile, I’m glad to see that something like what I want is in the works for Metrorail. I still say connect it up with Miami Beach, though. There again, residents have to speak up and not let backwards-looking forces kill the deal.

Bonus chuckle: check out the multiple redundant headings on the page with Larry’s column: “Larry Lebowitz / Streetwise / STREETWISE BY LARRY LEBOWITZ / Metrorail project stopped in its tracks / By Larry Lebowitz /” And in case you forget, his name is repeated again at the end, this time with a different e-mail address. LOLz Herald!

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Monday July 10, 2006

Larry Lebowits interviews Gabriel of Transit Miami and rounds up local transit-related blogging. Cool! (Hopefully the Herald will fix the hilariously messed up links by the time you read this.) Herald readers landing here, if you’re really only interested in transportation click ‘Traffic’. And here’s that Metrorail anagram. Update: Yes, they fixed it.


Thursday June 23, 2005

Larry Lebowitz on TC

Speaking of traffic issues, this past Monday on Topical Currents, Joseph Cooper had Larry Lebowitz, the Miami Herald’s traffic columnist. The conversation managed to hit a lot of the things that Critical Miami regularly gets pissed off about, including the on/off HOV expansion (and the political manipulations that killed it), the dangers of cell phones, people who drive slow in the left lane, and traffic lawyers who can fix a ticked for a hundred bucks.

It’s a really interesting conversation, and a treat for connoisseur of the blasé npr voice. As of right now, the show is archived on TC site (here is a direct link to the mp3), but get to it quick; it might be gone by tomorrow.

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Monday September 18, 2006

What's up with the holes in I-95?

Highway work 4 (clearly a fucking jackhammer)

Have I made it sufficiently clear that I like Larry Lebowitz, and respect his writing? Good. With that out of the way, I call BULLSHIT on his latest article.

It talks all about the difference between the road surface of ‘95 between BPB and Dade, and the pothole repair strategies of FDOT subcontractors. Fine, sofar as it goes. But color me stark raving mad, they’re putting those holes in, not removing them. Why? I don’t know. Maybe they’re installing sensors of some sort. But check the holes: they’re at suspiciously regular intervals. Some of them are are perfect-rectangle-shaped. And check my photo sequence, shot of a crew working on I-95 late one night: the approach, they’re doing something with a big fat hole, two big holes, and as above, a picture of some dudes very clearly jackhammering the highway (the latter is digitally brightened, which is why it looks different). Explain that!

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Tuesday April 1, 2008

Key Deer

key deer

Someone asked awhile back what I thought of the Key Deer situation. The size of dogs, key deer have lived in the southern Keys since the whole area was attached to the mainland. They were hunted into near-extinction in the 1940s, and are today they’re on the endangered species list, and have a sanctuary in the southern keys, where development is highly limited, and fences block access to their habitat. That rubs some locals the wrong way, and some have taken it out on the defenseless animals killing them, often in grievous ways.

So, I’ll tell you: I think anyone who willfully harms one of these creatures should be sentenced to a slow and painful death. At the same time, if the government passed laws that infringe on property owner’s rights (and this applies to many more situations then just this one), I think they should be made whole — compensated for the difference between the land’s previous value and the land’s subsequent value. Bought your land after the laws were passed? Tough luck. But if you bought land, and subsequent laws make it impossible to do what you wanted to do with it? Well, that smells like a form of eminent domain to me, and I think the law should treat it as such.

BTW, I passed through the deer’s territory on the recent trip, but didn’t get a chance to hang out with them. Apparently they’re very friendly, and will come right up to you and eat out of your hand. Awwwww.

Image: Larry Korhnak/University of Florida.

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Monday May 22, 2006

Larry Lebowitz calls bullshit on the recent survey that declared Miami #1 in road rage and on Miami-Dade Transit’s Commuter Challenge. Even he has to admit, though, that the “survey numbers probably reflect a greater truth.”


Thursday August 23, 2012

Taken for a Ride: How the transit tax went off track. I came across this researching for the trolley article, but it deserves an extra mention. A special report put together by Larry Lebowitz and a small team at the Herald back in 2008, it tells the story of how the transit tax passed in 2002 was squandered. It’s interesting to go back and look at now, not least because it harkens to a time when the Herald was at least trying to do ambitious multimedia reports like this.


Monday September 4, 2006

Miami-Hialeah’s is tied with Houston for the dubious honor of being the sixth most congested city in the nation. A Reason Foundation report on traffic in the US. “3.9 percent of Miami-area workers currently use mass transit, but it accounts for 69 percent of the area’s planned transportation spending over the next 25 years.” (via Larry Lebowitz)


Monday April 24, 2006

Miami gridlock is a map of poor leadership, plans. Larry Lebowitz reflects on the recent shutdown on Biscayne, and what will happen after the various road re-re-reconstruction projects are complete. “What you won’t find is a lot of extra roadway capacity. Now imagine those same roads supporting traffic from 70,000 new condominium units, a Performing Arts Center, two new museums in Bicentennial Park, 600,000 square feet of stores at Midtown Miami, and another 10-story mall across from the PAC called City Square.”


Friday July 14, 2006

‘Posted on Thu, Jul. 13, 2006: Miami-Dade Transit workshops tonight, Monday’. More funky business from the Herald web team, and again directed at Larry’s stuff (maybe they’re getting back at him for mentioning blogs). Has anyone seen the print edition, and is this in there?


Wednesday May 16, 2007

Some podunk research comes out about driver rudeness, and everybody’s up in arms about it, blogs, the national news, you name it. Finally, Larry Lebowitz has taken the time to poke holes all through the study. It’s shoddy. Update: Another interesting tidbit: the survey got the rankings basically by asking people in each city if they thought the drivers in their city were more or less courteous then in other cities. In other words, the study shows that Miami drivers think they the rudest.


Tuesday February 5, 2008

Larry Lebowitz on the Metrorail expansion’s serious problems: The US DoT is lowering its “rating” on the North corridor expansion and yanking is $700 million for the project, throwing the whole system into turmoil: “[T]he Federal Transit Administration will be lowering the rating because of the county’s inability to maintain and modernize the entire system after 2015. If the county can’t afford to pay for the transit system after the $1.3 billion North opens, why would it be able to do so for the $2.2 billion East-West?”


Wednesday September 28, 2005


Larry Lebowitz is cool. Here he is breaking down the latest on the HOV-lane battles (the upshot: I-95 is going to have HOV in effect in both directions morning and evening between the Golden Glades and I-195). And here he is breaking down a recent proposal for a fleet of water-buses on the intercostal. He asks a lot of serious questions revolving around the practicalities of having a substantial number of people using the waterways as a way to commute to work. And while we know that practicalities are secondary when our local government gets it in its head to do something, we admire his homework.

And without end-of-the-line parking, commuters could face multiple transfers: wait for a free bus to the docks, followed by a 45-minute boat ride downtown, perhaps a three-block hike in Miami to the Metromover, and then walk a few additional blocks to the office. (. . .)That might sound like a typical day for a New York, London or Tokyo office worker, but it is much too inconvenient for South Floridians raised on a diet of drive-everywhere car culture.

True enough. Our nagging suspicion, though, is that public-transportation boats would be terribly fun, and that this project, even if it ends up dying like the previous water taxi (operated by a private company in the 90s), it’s worth a shot.

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