Congestion In The Sunshine State: Two Ways To Reduce Traffic In The City Of Miami, Florida
Road congestion is the one inescapable quality of any major metropolitan area in the world. Whether dense or dispersed, first world or third world, every city on the planet suffers from the notorious “rush hour,” a period of time when the infrastructure of transportation frustrates and disillusions those it’s meant to serve.
Yet, placing blame on governmental administration is narrowing culpability to an unfair degree. Traffic is something that one can find in nature, from sedimentary rock flow to ant colony company moves, and can therefore be studied to obtain suitable methods to reduce it as a daily nuisance. Taking the case study of Miami, Florida, one can derive three major sources of traffic congestion: highway exits, intersections, and roadside accidents.
In 2006, the city of Stockholm began implementing “congestion fees,” which were fees levied on drivers that chose to use frequented bridges and roadways during peak “rush hours.” The fees caused driver rush hour traffic to reduce by a stunning 20%. Similar toll-by-plate fees implemented on Miami highways, such as the Dolphin Expressway or the Rickenbacker Causeway could help reduce the amount of traffic on exit ramps and across bridges.
Large intersections always contribute to rush hour traffic as well. However, there is a way to mitigate the car build-up at these places, and that is by replacing certain intersections with roundabouts. A Washington D.C. study found that replacing busy intersections with roundabouts reduced crashes by a staggering 75 percent. The same study found that roundabouts contributed to an 89% reduction in delays and 56% decrease in average vehicle stops. Miami has some of the most dangerous intersections in the world, usually averaging about ten on annual nationwide lists, so implementation of these alternatives is likely to reduce both congestion and roadside accidents.
Other ways to reduce traffic include reducing the common causes of accidents, including speeding and drunk driving. Of course, this last point is easier said than done, though speed meter installation has proven helpful to reduce traffic accidents and traffic violations on certain Miami-Dade highways and freeways in the past.
To summarize, Miami, like any other city, can reduce rush hour traffic in two simple ways: implementing “rush hour” traffic fees and replacing intersections with roundabouts.