Wednesday September 28, 2005

Streetwise

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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  1. The Daily Sketch    Wed Sep 28, 02:15 PM #  

    I’d love to jump on a water taxi. And this whole hour extension is driving me nuts on I-95. Seems like a ploy to drive more revenue towards the Turnpike.

  2. alesh    Wed Sep 28, 10:53 PM #  

    what’s the solution? I dunno . . . i’ve spent the last five years commuting from Miami Beach to Hollywood . . . against the major traffic flow, and pretty much enjoying the smooth drive. This change will probably make that commute a little more difficult, shutting me out of the left lane.

    I’d be okay with that if it caused more people to carpool, but I doubt it will. $4/gallon gas is much more likely to lead to carpooling, and that’s going to happen regardless.

    The whole thing is fucked – the traffic engineers want to do whatever they can to get traffic flowing more smoothly (fewer cars on the road is the best way to get that), but they can only do so much.

    Higher gas prices are actually going to accomplish this (not only with more carpooling, but with a higher use of public transportation, more working-from-home, etc.), but not in the way we’d realy like: if we’d put a $1 /gallon tax in place two years ago, we’d be in the same place we’re in now, except that the cost of the growing pains would have gone to us, to use as we want (ie to fund development of alternative fuels or energy independence). As is, all that extra money has gone to fund Sauid Arabia. More power to them, but their oil pumping is probably peaking as I type this, and our hydrogen-economy learning curve is going to be that much steeper (read: more painful) for it.

    Whatever… I’m driving a beautiful BMW that I bought used for about 1/5th of the cost of a super-cheap new car. I’m basically living in the lap of luxury, and I (along with the rest of you) deserve a much harsher wake-up call then $4/gallon gas prices (it’s been $5 in europe for years).

    I’ve said it before: even the worst-off of us in Miami has it much better then the vast majority of the world. The worst possible scenario we can look towards is still going to leave us just fine.

  3. alesh    Thu Sep 29, 08:06 PM #  

    test