Report: S. Fla. officials to make drivers 'suffer'

'Until you make it so painful that people want to come out of their cars'

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – If getting stuck in South Florida traffic doesn't make your blood boil, learning that public officials are behind it all will do the trick.

The Sun-Sentinel reports that officials are hoping that traffic becomes so bad that commuters will eventually ditch their cars to walk, ride a bus or take a train to wherever they need to go.

And the report says the officials are completely aware of driver frustration.

"Until you make it so painful that people want to come out of their cars, they're not going to come out of their cars," the newspaper says Anne Castro, chair of the Broward County Planning Council, said during a meeting last year. "We're going to make them suffer first, and then we're going to figure out ways to move them after that because they're going to scream at us to help them move."

The Sun-Sentinel claims planners are creating congestion by approving development with thinking about how they will affect traffic.

Urban development is on the increase, bringing more cars into the area and cities continue to reduce lanes on the roadways to make room for bike lanes and sidewalks.

City officials encourage development for the tax money, despite the affects it will have on gridlock.

Critics say most people choose their personal vehicles instead of walking in South Florida's hot and humid weather and that if no one drives, or if congestion is too much, businesses would be forced to close down.

Voters in Broward and Palm Beach counties are being asked to raise the state sales tax by a penny to 7-cents, so of which will go to helping commuters by expanding an electric-powered streetcar, bus projects and road improvements.