Miami-Dade County has some of the most congested roads in the country, and the situation is worsening.
The proportion of residents who spend 30 minutes or more in their car commuting each day has surged in recent years.
Currently, more than half of those who drive to work spend at least 30 minutes commuting, a higher percentage than the United States and comparable metros like San Diego and Houston.
A resurgent economy places increased burdens on Miami’s transportation infrastructure.
Although local expenditures for both transit and roadways have increased in recent years, commute times in Miami continue to increase.
Rising employment within Miami-Dade County translates into more workers on the road, further straining existing transportation networks.
Additionally, local transportation funding has disproportionately benefitted cars.
While Miami funds its Metrorail system adequately when compared to other car-centric metros like San Diego and Houston, funding is barely half the levels seen in Chicago.
Promoting additional transportation and mobility alternatives would help spur economic growth while minimizing commute times.
The friction between drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists in Miami has resulted in increased fatalities.
As a result, Miami-Dade County continues to suffer from one of the nation’s highest rates of pedestrian and bicyclist deaths.
On a per capita basis, nearly twice as many pedestrians are killed by drivers in Miami-Dade County as compared to the U.S. average.
Miami’s car culture also poses a threat to the health of drivers. More than 75% of Miami workers drive alone to their place of employment and, on a per capita basis, spend more time doing so than their counterparts in other major U.S. cities.
Long commutes are also associated with poor health outcomes, including an increased risk of high blood pressure, obesity and depression.
Additional bike lanes within Miami would benefit drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians.
Miami has more bike lanes per capita than most large cities; more improvements like these are important to continue.
Fortunately, plans are in development for an additional 30 miles of greenways and trails within Miami-Dade County.