Letters to the Editor

Don’t create road to nowhere that harms UDB

Re the Sept. 6 article, Dolphin Expressway extension gets mixed reaction: In 2004 when the Miami-Dade Commission had an agenda filled with proposed developments to extend the Urban Development Boundary, a group called Hold the Line was organized and stopped the commission. I am proud to have been a leader as president of the Urban Environment League along with the Tropical Audubon Society, the Sierra Club, and hundreds of residents from the many communities that comprise Miami-Dade County. The Commission wisely stopped this attack on the natural environment of the western limits of the county.

Why now would the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority engage in an archaic move to build a road to nowhere through the UDB? New planning strategies for communities across America are to create transportation that will accommodate the population. The only imaginable reason to extend the UDB is to enable those developers who continue to insist upon moving the population further west by draining the Everglades, plundering the farmlands, further crowding the roadways, destroying the aquifer recharge system, and depleting the future water supply.

When the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority was commissioned in the 1990’s it was with the intention of removing the congested roadway conditions that the people of Miami-Dade County had to endure. Former Miami Beach Mayor Seymour Gelber was an initial member of the authority. I served with the mayor on the Miami Beach City Commission that was most supportive of the purpose of MDX. Miami Beach and many of the communities to the east of the UDB were also supportive of the Hold the Line movement.

It is most disappointing to see what the authority has become — a political lobby to move the line. I have always been proud of the western edge of the county when traveling on 1-75. It respects the UDB line. You know you are in Miami-Dade County where you can see the preservation of the Everglades and recognize its importance to the community. As soon as you pass the northern edge of the county, and enter Broward County, you immediately sense that county’s lack of respect for the natural elements. Homes span west as far as you can see — extending to the eastern edge of Florida’s west coast.

I hope MDX will reconsider the disastrous proposal to extend a highway beyond the UDB line. It is poor planning and lack of a future vision for the county.

Nancy Liebman, Miami Beach