THE MESS WE'RE IN
May 28, 2008
Transportation is the fuel that drives Florida's economy, takes us where we want to go, and makes our quality of life possible, says Doug Calloway, president of Floridians for Better Transportation. Now, growing traffic congestion threatens to rob Floridians of that fuel.
As the fourth largest state and still one of the nation's fastest growing, Florida faces daunting challenges in transportation, says Calloway:
- On average, nearly 1,000 net new residents arrive in Florida every day.
- Florida's highway lane miles -- the key indicator of its road network's size -- have been increasing at only 1.1 percent annually while the state's population has been increasing at a rate of 2.3 percent annually.
- Florida's "Highway Vehicle Miles Traveled" (VMT) -- how heavily the road network is used -- has been increasing at a rate of 3.5 percent annually
- Credible studies suggest that in the next 25 years, Florida will be $58 billion short of the funding required merely to maintain today's highway conditions.
While transportation improvements will be costly, Florida clearly can ill afford to settle for the status quo, says Calloway. The data send a clear and sobering message: Without a combination of additional resources and a fresh approach, Florida's residents and visitors can expect worsening traffic congestion, an increase in traffic crashes and fatalities, and a decrease in the state's economic competitiveness and vitality.
Source: Doug Calloway "How Florida Can Reduce its Transportation Deficit," Journal of the James Madison Institute, Winter/Spring 2008.
Browse more articles on Environment Issues