Today was the second Suncoast task force webinar! If that seemed like short notice it apparently was, as it was only advertised to the public last Friday at 5:00 PM. That left everyone with one business day to signup to speak and get the word out. Understandably many of today's participants were frustrated about that. Many were also unhappy with the amount of technical difficulties that are limiting participation in these meetings, and the lack of information given to the public prior to these meetings about what the task force members are even doing. (How do we know what to comment on other wise?) The first speaker lamented that many people who wanted to speak last time were unable to, and the very next speaker had such a bad connection that nothing she said could be understood.
Predictably, there were far less speakers today. 13 out of 15 comments today were against the roads. Many of the arguments were similar to those made at previous meetings, but since no one on the task force or at MCORE seems to be responding, does that mean we have to keep repeating them?
Here are Some of what I felt were the most compelling arguments against the roads today:
-A road in this area would make prescribed burns very difficult or impossible in the many natural areas that require them in the area.
-All of the auxiliary benefits to these rows, including Internet, sewage and electrical charging stations for cars would be better implemented on already existing roads or in other ways.
-Many noted noted that these roads would specifically hurt wildlife. The South Florida Wildlands Association implored task force members to think of Florida's history. Does do any of the tax force members truly believe that this road can be built without impacting wildlife? Has there been any road in Florida's past that has not negatively impacted wildlife?
-Roads lead to sprawl, and most people and Florida do not welcome it.
-These roads are so nakedly unneeded and destructive. The public comment period is opaque and exclusionary.
-One of my favorite questions was by Michael McGraff, which I've paraphrased: “why are we rushing to create roads, which will fundamentally change the state of Florida and cost billions of dollars, during a global pandemic?”
Read today list of public comments below!
To make a comment at the next 2 meetings this week sign up here (before 5pm): https://floridamcores.com/calendar-of-events/
-From Florida Conservation Voters
-not a transparent process many people can't comment there was no notification of this meeting until 5:01 on Friday afternoon
-there were no materials provided to public ahead of time
-FCV has started a petition to halt this process with currently 800 signers
(can't understand because her technology was breaking up)
-concerned with the lack of info provided to public ahead of meeting
-This would make prescribed burns in the area difficult or impossible
-96 public lands are in this area and would be impacted by the road
-we don't know how technology will develop, referring to the technology panel from earlier, but we do know 100 years of Florida history. Everyone knows this will be bad for wildlife resources
-it will genetically isolate and limit the movement of animals, leading to islands in an urban sea, reducing populations and puts animals more at risk of extinction
-everywhere roads go there is sprawl and the human populations in the area for the most part do not want.
-there is problem with the technology in this meeting, people are unable to speak
-didn't receive notice of these meeting until Friday and had one business day to respond. This is not adequate for public notice
-Managed conservation lands and storm surge areas need to be on the maps
-FDOT won awards for helping wildlife
-IS excited that this will create charging stations for trains buses and cars, reduce air pollution water pollution and people can ride their bikes on the roads
-claims It will create $5,000,000 in savings, reduce childhood poverty and unemployment, and like that it will provide Internet
-however, she believes we need to increase the portable charging stations and she asked the legislature to include more
Mary Louise Foster
-concern for the devastation of wildlife life
-Hwy 19 is already in the path and is underutilized
-this would be a colossal waste of resources
-Jefferson County would not benefit in any shape or form
-Furthermore she believes that this should all be suspended until after the COVID world crisis.
-She couldn't get in to speak last time
-also, the time period of 9 through 12 is not a good time for people who are at work, so it limits the amount of public participation
-this is the worst idea since the barge canal
-this is a misuse of natural, financial and human resources
-all of the goals of this road could be done better in other ways, without having to build the road, such as internet, sewer, charging stations and so on
-I-10 did not bring a boom of economic opportunities when it was built
-Stop designing hypothetical roads to serve hypothetical people, focus on real Floridians
-generally supportive, but challenges the idea that mass transit is safer
-like thatbroadband will be brought to these areas
Corridors imperil Florida's habitat
-This is a boondoggle, no build
-Sierra Club organizer
-The pandemic is limiting normal public comment.
-why are we rushing to create roads that will fundamentally change the state during a global pandemic?
-This is not democracy in action, call it off
-FDOT says it invites public comment but it is a façade
-less than 50% of task force members appear to be on
-the company responsible for advertising these roads is spoon feeding you (task force) positive aspects of MCORES.
-You should ask for a 338.221 the economic feasibility of toll roads report
-Jefferson County would need additional infrastructure should this road come through costing taxpayers in the county money
-it would wreak havoc on downtown, we would have to pay more money for police plus we would lose habitats.
-It would change the character of Jefferson County and Monticello
-concerned that it will not fully protect the watershed
-it is disturbing that there has not been the normal amount of procedure, such as long-range planning and other practices used to produce transparent sets of data