Miami is one of the most congested cities in the world, study found

MIAMI – There’s no secret that when it comes to driving in South Florida, getting behind the wheel comes with a headache.

“Madness, complete madness,” said a driver at the Pompano Beach Service Plaza on the Turnpike.

It seems we all feel the same and you really do see it all out there.

“I absolutely hate driving through Miami,” said another driver. “There’s a lot of weaving, cutting off, stop and go’s.”

There’s data that says Miami is one of the most congested cities in the world. According to a recent INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard, Miami traffic jumped 30 percent from 2021 to 2022, ranking as the 8th most congested city on the planet.

They estimate drivers lose 105 hours in traffic.

Miami is up there on the list with places like New York City, Chicago, and Paris.

So how do we combat more people and more vehicles?

“The solution for traffic is transit,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava

She’s pushing for more transit options so folks who drive and have a choice will leave their car, meanwhile those who are already depending on transit can get where they need to go.

The bottom line is that congestion is eating at your wallet.

“It costs all of us money when people sit in traffic, so we have been working very hard, it’s a top priority of my administration, to reduce congestion wherever we can,” said Levine Cava.  

There’s no doubt packed roads are a way of life in South Florida, but the problem isn’t just in our area, it’s statewide.

Congestion can delay crews from being able to get to crash scenes quickly. Coming up with the solution may be with the help of artificial intelligence.

“We can identify prior to and often times 49 percent more incidents on a roadway are identified in our system than a traditional way including a 911 call,” says David Desharnais, president of Rekor Systems.

The Florida Department of Transportation contracts with them to collect road data.

Think of their system as a digital layer on the roads. They’re monitoring everything including volume and speed through sensors embedded in the road.

In areas where embedded sensors in the road are not possible, Rekor uses video technology to collect the same data.

“I can’t tell you how many crashes I see every single morning and sometimes we see these crashes on our cameras before first responders can even get there, so how does AI help to get emergency services to crash scenes quicker,” asks CBS News Miami’s Austin Carter.

“Typically, a traffic management center’s responsibility is to take a 911 call and route that to a first responder. It requires a couple of things. A 911 call, someone to receive it and make a decision where to actually action that, and what department needs to pick it up. What we do is streamline that process completely,” said Desharnais

CBS News Miami has learned the Florida Department of Transportation is making changes to ensure our infrastructure has the capacity for new residents and visitors.

A historic investment titled Moving Florida Forward is putting four billion dollars into Florida’s major roadways.

The initiative is putting the pedal to the metal on two South Florida congestion relief projects. One is at the Golden Glades Interchange.

Some of the changes include a direct flyover ramp from the eastbound Palmetto Expressway to northbound I-95, widening the southbound lanes of the connector from Florida’s Turnpike to I-95, and widening southbound I-95 from Biscayne Canal to Northwest 135 St.

The state says this will make a faster and safer ride through the interchange. Work is expected to begin in spring 2024.

The other congestion is the Southwest 10 Street corridor in Broward. If you travel through this area, you know getting to and from the Sawgrass Expressway from I-95 can be a headache.

The project will provide two roadways along Southwest 10 Street. One will improve connectivity between the Sawgrass Expressway and I-95, and the other will be a local street along the corridor to reach nearby roads.

Construction is slated for summer 2024. 

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