Southeast Florida is constantly changing. Our region is forecast to grow by more than 2.5 million new residents by the year 2025. Metropolitan areas, like ours, face problems caused by this growth and the land development impacts related to it. As a result of our development patterns and our dependence on the automobile for transportation, we have problems that include suburban sprawl, the loss of open and green spaces, increased traffic congestion, longer commutes, and air pollution. We now have more people, more cars on the road, and more vehicle miles traveled (VMT) than ever before and we are still growing. With emissions from motor vehicles contributing to more than 50% of the air pollution in our area, we need to actively find and implement strategies to reduce the number of vehicles on the road and their associated emissions and protect our air quality.
The Outreach, Planning and Mobile Sources Section of the Air Quality Division actively participates in and promotes alternatives to land use planning and development which are less automobile dependent. We recommend pro-active long term planning methods that will result in the prevention of any further deterioration of our air quality and quality of life. We recommend that any plans for future development include air quality measures or provisions that will support alternative methods of transportation. These measures include promoting the use of mass transit such as buses and Tri-Rail, carpooling, vanpooling, ridesharing and the use of alternative fueled vehicles. We support and promote the use of alternative fuels and alternative fueled vehicles for uses within new developments, the inclusion of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, bikeways and bike storage facilities, and the use of pedestrian and bicycle friendly designs which will include native tree shaded areas.
In coordination with the Broward County Planning Council and the South Florida Regional Planning Council, we participate in the review of Development of Regional Impact (DRI's) projects, requests for amendments to the Broward County Land Use Plan and to the Broward County Trafficways Plan. We assess and comment on how the proposed changes could possibly impact our air quality, ensuring that they will not cause exceedances or violations to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). For additional information you can contact us at 954-519-1220.