I’ve walked 90% of District 5 and our District has residing in it from the poorest to the riches people in our country. Within our District we have tremendous resources and must utilize these resources to improve our District 5 in order to create Private/Public programs to help our most vulnerable residents.
Miami Dade County has a Zoning Master Plan that is outdated and was designed at a time when Miami was experiencing an industrial revolution and what was necessary at the time was to separate industry from residential. Fast forward and today we have a County that has residential at one end and jobs at the opposite end thus, creating the movement of masses across our county in the mornings and afternoons. We are living in a technologically advanced era and I will move our county in that direction by working with companies that are looking to relocate their corporate headquarters and our local developers to create new work force housing around these corporate headquarters. Below are just a few benefits if my plan were enacted:
1. The county has spent millions of dollars on transit reports. The first thing I will do is study those reports and identify the problems in the different sectors of the County. Only then, will we be able to address and find solutions for our transit situation and how to improve our transportation system.
2. We have vast water ways, including the Miami River and our Bay. Beautiful natural resources that we currently and unfortunately do not use. All other countries around the world that contain these waterways have water ferries. I will work to create a Private/Public 120 passenger water ferry system from MIA (servicing the Cruise Industry and transporting their passengers instead of using the 836 expressway, alleviating the burden on traffic), Tri-rail and the Metrorail at Le Jeune Road and the Miami River. Running down river to the new Mall on 17th Avenue, the Court House, Jackson and UM Hospital (Med. Complex), Downtown, continuing south to Old Cutler and North Biscayne, Crossing over to Miami Beach, Mid Beach and North Beach. I will work with the City of Miami and Miami Beach to have the Free Trolly stop at the Water Ferries ports. Our residents from Kendall can use Uber to travel to the Miami River on Le June Road, Hialeah residents can hop on the Metrorail and Miami Beach residents can board on the free Trolly. Miami tourists would love our water ferry system. I would work with the private sector to create this system at zero cost to taxpayers and minimal charge to Miami Dade County residents, while giving leisure to charge tourists and the cruise industry passengers a premium.
3. Prioritize Smart Traffic Light technology to avoid having to wait at a traffic light for three minutes while there is no traffic on the cross streets. This system uses sensors to read traffic and change the traffic lights avoiding the three-minute wait for example; at 10 traffic lights you can save 30 minutes of traveling time.
4. We are living in the most technologically advanced moment in our history and are stuck using old technology and always behind the ball, trying to catch up. I will aggressively look at new tech and other cities throughout the world that have faced and resolved problems similar to ours, learn from their solutions and bring Miami Dade County into the future, finally get ahead of the ball.
The current situation on our streets, especially with biking, is extremely dangerous and unacceptable. We must create biking rules and laws creating a specific chapter in our laws that apply to biking. My plan includes training our police officers and giving our police the tools to actually be able to enforce these laws and standards. An example includes police traffic ticket books making no mention of any citations associated with biking. This is unacceptable and must change! How can they give a ticket if they do not even have a physical ticket book to do so?
For pedestrians, we will line our streets with more trees to create natural shade and provide sheltered bus stops for shade and shelter in the case of rain. This will protect our seniors from the harsh sun rays and rains.
My plan will also make sure our sidewalks are clean and not broken and are safe for pedestrian traffic.
We are living in a new world and it is estimated that after Covid-19, a full 20% of the work force will be working from home, reducing our transportation needs. We also have a great deal of parents that have expressed their desire for online and home schooling, this would also reduce our transportation needs. My plan of a county wide Water Ferry system along with building housing adjacent to the work areas will also reduce the need for billion-dollar mass transit programs. We must evaluate our new world demands before committing to billion-dollar transit projects that will increase our taxes and not fully address our current problems.
I would not change our public transportation or reduce it. Instead, I would enhance it by looking at technology and private industry to increase our transportation system with out cost to the tax payers.
It has been very irresponsible to use our transportation dollars to fill holes in our budget. The county’s bureaucracy has taken advantage of taxpayers by re-allocating funds directed for public transportation, thus never resolving the County’s transit problems. I will put an end to this practice and see that the funds are properly utilized and solve our transit problems through innovation utilizing a mix of public/private cooperation in order to propel our wonderful County into the future and make life easier for our residents.