Message to Florida DOT: The Time for Real Change Is Now
Today on the Streetsblog Network, we've got a powerful demand for safer streets in Florida. Transit Miami has posted an open letter to Florida Governor Charlie Crist and the state's DOT, calling them to account for the lamentable showing the Sunshine State makes in Transportation for America's recent report on pedestrian fatalities, "Dangerous by Design." Here's a taste of what they had to say:
More from around the network: In Texas, Michael Lindenberger at Dallas Transportation digs into the TexPIRG report on the links between campaign money and how transportation dollars are spent, and comes up with his own conclusions. David Daddio at The City Fix asks if we are really looking at the end of the American exurbs. And Bike Portland puts the funding for bike infrastructure into perspective.A pedestrian signal in Winter Park, Florida. (Photo: quite peculiar)Florida has managed to take the top 4 spots [for danger to pedestrians] nationally; this clearly is not a great achievement. The common denominator for all 4 metropolitan areas is the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), which is responsible for designing most of the roads within these urban environments. We believe that (FDOT) should be held accountable for poorly designed roads within our state that result in hundreds of preventable pedestrian deaths each year.
The decades of auto-centric culture within FDOT needs to come to an end. A major paradigm shift has to occur within FDOT from designing roads for cars to designing them for people. There is no simple solution, and it will take a leader who is capable of changing an organization whose sole focus seems to be moving more cars faster, rather than considering pedestrians and bicyclists.