ORLANDO, Fla. – U.S. Federal Highway Administrator Greg Nadeau and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer today hosted the fifth of 11 nationwide regional forums on the Beyond Traffic draft framework at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. The Beyond Traffic report examines the trends and choices facing America’s transportation infrastructure over the next three decades, including a rapidly growing population, increasing freight volume, demographic shifts in rural and urban areas, and a transportation system facing more frequent extreme weather events. The report predicts increased gridlock nationwide unless changes are made in the near-term.
The town hall style meeting allowed citizens, elected officials, metropolitan planners, transportation industry partners, business owners, and community leaders to learn more about the framework and ask questions about the trends identified in it. Administrator Nadeau and Mayor Dyer also solicited input from the participants on their region-specific experiences and asked to hear ideas for solutions to those challenges.
“Our Beyond Traffic framework recognizes that the immense population growth that Florida will experience in the coming decades will greatly impact the way people and goods move in the region,” said Administrator Nadeau. “Today’s conversation with local stakeholders and community members was productive, providing us with insightful feedback that we will use as we finalize the framework.”
By 2050, the population of the Florida megaregion is expected to increase by over 80 percent. But, with almost 17 percent of its bridges rated structurally deficient or functionally obsolete and 26 percent of its roads in mediocre or poor condition, Florida has critical infrastructure investment decisions to make in order to accommodate this increase in population.
“In Central Florida we have worked collaboratively to advance our transportation system to include SunRail, LYMMO, bike share, car share and enhancements to our airport,” said Mayor Dyer. “While we are proud of the transit advancements we have accomplished in Orlando, we should not focus our transit decisions on those things that impact Central Florida alone. Long and short term transportation decisions go beyond municipal and county boundaries. This forum provided a platform for leaders from around the state to begin working collaboratively with one another on transportation decisions and how they impact the future mobility, growth and economic prosperity of our communities.”
Following remarks by the Mayor and Administrator and a presentation from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Beyond Traffic team, Mayor Dyer, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie, Palm Beach Mayor William Capote, and Miami-Dade Transit Director Alice Bravo participated in a town hall-style panel focusing on the impact of Beyond Traffic trends in the region. The last half of the program engaged attendees in a facilitated conversation, giving them the opportunity to share feedback that will inform the final Beyond Traffic report when it is published in 2016.
To learn more about Beyond Traffic or to read the full framework, click here.