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May 3rd, 2008 3:35 PM by David W. Welch
Unfortunately, this is one of those cases where politics over powered good sense. We have so many legsilators here in Central Florida who have worked to get this through, but some other Senators saw this as just a "nice to have" when it is a real need. The day this died in the Senate a report came out ranking Orlando as number four in worst traffic. Tens of millions have already been spent, and a lot of local effort to prepare for commuter rail has been put forth. Now, thanks to some of our neighbors to the south we stand to lose out on $300 million in federal money to get this done.
As a Realtor, I see the importance of this in improving the lives of everyone in the Orlando metro area. It reduces traffic congestion and reduces emmissions so we can enjoy cleaner air. It also makes life more affordable for those who have to spend hours on I-4 everyday in addition to hundreds of dollars a month in gas to sit in traffic. This project may only be 61 miles long to begin with, but it would serve as a backbone for a public transit system that could directly improve the lives of probably a million people.
Central Florida contributes more to the state's revenues than probably the rest of the state combined. I know that Orange county is the largest net "donor". Unfortunately, I believe there are politicians more interested in the next election than the long term health of our state's citizens and economy.