Among the various uses of history, one is to tell a story. Telling a story involves picking out main themes, weighing competing interpretations of events, and relating what happened, usually in something close to chronological order. That is not what we do here. Another role for history is to provide background on current issues, how we got to where we are, with the belief that understanding how conditions that are of concern developed is a source of insight into creating ways to improve them. That is the purpose of this part of our report: to use history to improve our grasp of current transportation issues by indicating their origins. We make no claim that history, and much less our interpretation of it, provides definitive lessons. We do think, however, that an historical perspective complements other approaches. We have selected five issues that pervade current discussions of transportation in Florida. The five are: (1) highway congestion or the adequacy of transportation infrastructure; (2) related to that, whether there is a need for increased funding, especially through raising gasoline taxes; (3) the failure to protect major highways and roads from excessive local access; (4) related to that, avoiding sprawl through “smart communities;” and (5) intermodal transportation.
Transportation Issues: Insights for Florida's History
Friday, March 29, 2002