Why Is Traffic an Issue in Miami and What’s Being Done to Fix It?

Those living in or near Miami know the countless problems of traffic congestion. To put it plainly, it’s a nightmare. Our city has some of the most congested and problematic roads in the country and the situation is getting worse with each passing year. But let’s not lose hope, not just yet when the authorities and private investors are developing new solutions to tackle the chaos. Let’s see where we’re at, where we are heading, and what choices we should make to ease life on the road.

How Bad Is Traffic in Miami?

You’d rather be anywhere else in Miami except stuck in traffic. Statistically, we have the 6th worst traffic in the States. Let’s take a look at some numbers that support this conclusion:

  • The extra travel time spent in traffic due to congestions amounts to 30% which means 35 minutes per day and 132 hours per year.
  • But time isn’t the only thing you’re wasting – you’re also spending approximately $1,762 while you’re waiting in the traffic jam.
  • And you’re not the only one who’s throwing money away; Miami’s congestions cut $3.6 billion from the local economy budget.
  • In Miami, as much as 78% of people choose the car as a means of transport, compared to only 50% in NYC and 60% in San Francisco.
  • The morning and evening peak when everybody commutes to and from work register the most significant congestion levels, 50% respectively 63%.
  • Miami’s traffic causes as much as 1.9 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions during peak times.
  • The Magic City has the 10th most congested roads worldwide and the 5th worst congestions in the US at peak hours.

Why Are Things So Bad?

The way our city is built is partially responsible for the horrific traffic we have to put up with. Miami started to develop in the second half of the previous century when vehicles were viewed as the means of transport of the future. Therefore, the roads had been mainly designed to support cars, and not pedestrians or bicyclists.

This makes nowadays’ attempt to integrate public transit in the current infrastructure so daunting.

Furthermore, the authorities often set off to develop areas that are already clogged, which only enhances agglomeration and contrasts with the current planning and zone regulations.

Finally, it’s no news to anyone, Miami is a crowded place; our city’s metropolitan area is the 8th most populous in the country, having more than 5 million inhabitants. No wonder the streets are packed when we all set off for work in the morning at the same time, choosing the same routes.

How Can We Fix Traffic Jams?

  • Start Cycling More: cycling is a good alternative to driving if you don’t have to commute very far. You can do yourself and your city a favor by choosing the bike over the car more often. This healthy habit is also encouraged by the authorities; you’ll find bikes for rent in downtown West Palm Beach.
  • Choose Walking: sometimes the easiest way to get somewhere is walking, and if you live and work in the same area, it’s also the fastest and cheapest way to do it. So, why not leave your car in the garage more often, especially now when planning experts promise to turn the downtown area into a more pedestrian friendly place.
  • Change Your Commute Hours: flexible work hours are becoming increasingly popular especially among younger workers. If your employer offers this benefit, make the most out of it by diversifying your schedule and start commuting to work outside of peak hours. You’ll be surprised how much time you can save if you avoid the morning or afternoon traffic jam.
  • Use the new Brightline rail service: this service connects Miami to Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. It has been launched this summer, and it’s probably the most efficient option for those who leave in one of these locations and work in Miami. Moreover, next year the citizens of Orlando will probably benefit from this service too since the rail promises to extend there.
  • Opt for other public means of transport: Miami’s free trolley service is another alternative that adds to the city’s transit network. The trolley has several links to regional transit routes, and it’s one of the most popular options both for locals and tourists.

Is There a Worse Side of the Story?

Unfortunately, yes. Miami’s traffic havoc not only causes stress and loss of time and money, but it also puts our lives at risk. With so many cars out there and so many angry drivers rushing to get somewhere, the accident hazards are alarming. Let’s look into some statistics:

  • Approximately one in every six accidents in the Miami-Dade County occurs in or near Miami.
  • The number of accidents reported each month exceeds 4,000, which means almost 50,000 per year.
  • Over 300 deadly car crashes are registered each year.
  • The cost of car accidents is on the rise; 25 of the most popular car insurance.
  • Companies have increased their coverage rates by 13.8%. 
  • Hundreds of car accident lawsuits are being filed each year in Miami.

If you have been involved in a car crash, your chances of recovering a fair settlement amount for your damages depend on how you negotiate with the insurance company. So, it’s always better to work with a car accident attorney who can do the hard work for you. A knowledgeable legal representative who has experience in car accident claims can make the most out of yours. One example is a firm like The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary. They specialize in auto accidents so your chances of getting a favorable outcome can be significantly enhanced.

We can’t tackle Miami’s traffic issue for good, but we can do our little bit to improve it by making alternative choices that will result in fewer cars and emissions from vehicles on our roads. It’s going to be a long ride before our city turns into a place where walking, cycling, and public transport are preferred over driving, but each one of us can contribute by making better choices along the way.

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Sources:

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article78819742.html

https://thenewtropic.com/miami-traffic-gridlock-overview-planning/

http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/miami-has-seventh-worst-traffic-in-america-6524525

https://therealdeal.com/miami/2017/04/20/growing-traffic-congestion-in-south-florida-threatens-economic-growth-uli-panel/

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article67616167.html

http://www.lipconlawfirm.com/florida-sees-increase-fatal-car-crashes/

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