Local Politics

I've stayed away from these topics, largely because I know next to nothing about them as of yet (not that that stops many bloggers). I've only been in Fort Lauderdale for a year, and that's hardly enough time to figure out where the best restaurants are, much less get a sense of which politicians are larger douchebags than other ones--although I've certainly got an idea of who the biggest one is.

So it was with great pleasure that I read this article in today's Sun-Sentinel. One of the things I loved about living in San Francisco was the fact that it was easier to not own a car than it was to own one. The public transportation system there is easily one of the best in the nation, and it was cheap too. For $55 a month, you can get a fast pass that gives you unlimited usage of the bus and BART system, and that will get you anywhere in The City in about as much time as it'll take you to drive, fight traffic, and find parking. I couldn't insure and keep gas in a car for three times that much.

So it was with hope for the future that I clicked on the above story--I'll gladly pay an extra penny in sales tax if it means I don't have to fight traffic on Federal or I-95 everyday.

The commission now must approve a plan to expand transit and ease congestion over the next 30 years. The People for Progress group that is campaigning for the tax crafted a $12.6 billion proposal that includes passenger rail, increased bus service and synchronized traffic lights, but their ideas have been under intense fire.

Business executives and environmentalists joined U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Miramar, Lauderhill Mayor Richard Kaplan and other elected officials in urging commissioners to move ahead with the November referendum. They characterized improved transit as vital to the county's future, considering the growth that is projected to occur.

"I cannot imagine the gridlock and pollution when Broward County has 1 million more people if there is not an expansion of mass transit," said Barry Heimlich, president of the Broward County Audubon Society.

Now there are a lot of details to be hammered out--where will the trains go, how extensive will the bus service be, etc--but if this thing passes, it'll be a step in the right direction. I'll be following this story very closely in the coming weeks.

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