Letters to the Editor

Commissioner: Miami should ante up for a Tri-Rail station

Miamians complain about traffic congestion in Downtown Miami daily. They tell stories of major roads reduced to parking lots, long delays going to and from work and major events clogging all downtown streets.

We listen to these complaints carefully. The city of Miami implemented a free trolley system and the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has petitioned a study to provide best practice regarding events and streets, for which Miami-Dade County and FDOT are responsible. But truthfully, we have been trying to perform open-heart surgery with a first-aid kit.

The Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is the Miami-Dade County committee tasked with carrying on a continuing comprehensive planning process on transportation. This organization has failed Miami and the surrounding neighborhoods by studying for the sake of studying, which by definition is inaction. It is time to act.

William Arthur Ward said, “Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long, you miss them.” The Tri-Rail connection to Downtown Miami is a great opportunity to start alleviating traffic in our urban core, freeing thousands of commuters from the condemnation of their cars, forced by a lack of mass transit and just as important, removing 110 tons of CO2 annually off the road. Additionally, Tri-Rail will connect Downtown Miami to the rest of the state to the north allowing the county to shift its focus to public-transportation needs traveling east and west.

I have listened carefully to Mayor Tomas Regalado’s opposition, but as a city we cannot afford to let an opportunity like this slip away.

We owe it to all the constituents in Miami to move forward and support the inclusion of a Tri-Rail connection into Downtown Miami and the use of our funds to execute that inclusion. The MPO and the county, unfortunately, have not stepped up to the challenge in providing Miami residents alternative means of transportation, as is their responsibility.

It is time for the city to act in the best interest of our constituents and help fund the construction of a major mode of transportation to our world-class city.

Residents and visitors don’t see this as a county, state or city function; they want solutions from their government, not opposition. Miami’s Downtown has a higher GDP than Disney World, and we must act to clean the pipes of this great engine.

Marc Sarnoff, commissioner,

District 2, Miami