Last week leaders from across the state joined with Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau for “Beyond Traffic,” a forum and interactive discussion about emerging trends that will affect our policies, decision making and how those impact the future of our nation’s transportation system.
Over the last year, Orlando has made great strides in our efforts to advance our transportation system. Our regional leaders have worked collaboratively to advance SunRail, LYMMO, bike share, car share and enhancements to our airport to accommodate All Aboard Florida, which will connect Orlando to Miami. These projects make Orlando more competitive in attracting businesses and a diverse workforce.
While we are proud of the transit advancements we have accomplished in Orlando, we should not focus our transit decisions on those things that impact Central Florida alone. This is why it was so critical that the “Beyond Traffic” forum brought together mayors from across the state including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie, Palm Bay Mayor William Capote and Director of Miami Dade Transit Alice Bravo to discuss long and short term transportation decisions that go beyond municipal and county boundaries. The forum provided a platform for leaders to begin working collaboratively with one another on transportation decisions and how they impact the future mobility, growth and economic prosperity of our communities.
This forum and continued dialogue are important for many reasons. Florida has a projected growth of 80 percent over the next 45 years, increasing our population to 31 million. In addition, nearly 100 million visitors come to our state each year for business or leisure.
Our state’s residents and visitors should have many choices when it comes to transportation – whether to take the train to work, drive to the coast, bike along our trails, take a flight from our world-class airport or cruise to a favorite vacation destination.
Accommodating our state’s expected growth will require a significant investment in transportation and I look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with our community and business leaders and policy makers to advance a robust transportation network in Orlando that benefits residents and visitors throughout the entire state of Florida.
– Buddy Dyer, Mayor