As DesChenes suggests, high speed monorails over existing highways would eliminate environmental impact and give much more mobility. We have the means easily in our grasp if only we would abandon the insane and useless drug wars and foreign invasions.
Read the original article here in the Gainesville Sun, Sunday, May 12, 2019
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-
More roads are not the solution
By Richard DesChenes
Special to The Sun
It never ceases to amaze me that our government leaders pretend to listen to the voters, but then do what they please. We, as a collective, overwhelmingly voted to allow felons the right to vote and for people to have access to medical pot. The legislature messed around and created special barriers to both, effectively negating our ballots.
Now, the highway and tollway extension plans that were railroaded through the Legislature, going against the will of the people of rural Florida, show how money plays its hand in government.
We really do need a better way of getting around, and through, Florida. But more roads across wetlands, farms and ranches are not the solution.
Expanding and improving existing under-utilized highways would be a good start. They already connect north and south Florida.
Highway 19 is a good example. The state already owns the right-of-way.
It just needs to widen and improve the road through some areas, and add some interchanges that would allow better access to the east and west state highways, which could also be widened and then connect to the interstate and turnpike.
Mass transit has always been poo-pooed by our leaders as being too expensive and not practical. Light rail between St. Petersburg, Tampa, Orlando and Daytona Beach has been proposed numerous times, but shot down for spurious reasons. I sometimes wonder if any of our legislators have ever been to Disney World and taken the monorail that circles the parks. It moves millions of people every year efficiently, quietly and relatively pollution-free.
How difficult could it be to build a similar electric monorail system above the median of Interstate 4 or Interstate 75, with stations at major points?
It be would be nice to hop in a monorail car, surf the web as I ride above the interstate, and zip from Gainesville down to Ocala, Orlando or Tampa/St. Pete. Heaven forbid that it drops off, or picks up, people at the various airports.
It doesn’t have to be a high-speed bullet train. A series of cars on a 30-minute schedule, running at 60 MPH with computer controls would probably fill most of our needs. Along with the advent, and the exponential expansion, of ride-share services, passengers wouldn’t need a vehicle at their destinations. The state wants to get cars off the interstates, but then forces them to other places where the money people own the property.
They want to build their empires and along the way create more sprawl by building ticky-tacky homes, condos, apartments and strip malls that will exacerbate the traffic issues they were supposedly fixing.
I guess we should be satisfied that the state Legislature is not in session year-round. Who knows what other damage they could do if they worked full time?
Richard DesChenes lives in Archer.
A monorail outside the EPCOT theme park at Walt Disney World. [JOHN RAOUX/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/ FILE]