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Adding More Traffic to US1 would make it even worse.

Evac Traffic Keys.png
US1 Traffic.png

Marc Serota/Getty Images.                                                                                                            Miami Herald (9/6/17).

Traffic evacuating the Keys for days and days as Hurricane Irma approaches.       

The Keys have a unique problem – we all use the same and only road, US1, to evacuate.  Years ago, the Courts and the State required the local governments to develop growth limitation regulations (ROGOs) because overdevelopment was creating dangerous levels of traffic during hurricane evacuations. We still have many remaining ROGOs before the scientifically-determined and legally-mandated  ROGO development cap reaches maximum build-out in 2023, and evacuation is already too crowded and dangerous. The Keys are already overdeveloped due to a 2012 mistake in the hurricane evacuation modeling that was used to calculate the buildout limit for 2023.  It's crazy to add 1300 more development units when we've already exceeded the number of allocations that would enable safe evacuation.

More residents & more traffic

  • Adding 1300 more rental housing units means about 4,000 more people trying to evacuate on our only road out, in addition to the 6,000 more residents anticipated from the remaining building allocations.

  • Marathon, Islamorada and Key West want to add this additional housing to our already-overcrowded islands, despite the scientific evidence that additional permanent residents would make evacuation even more dangerous for everyone. 

  • Marathon, Islamorada, and Key West say, no problem, these thousands of additional residents can just leave at 48 hours before landfall of hurricane-force winds, and then the rest of us.

  • HOW would they require 4,000 more people to leave early?

    • They have no answer for that.​

  • WHY would these 4,000 more people leave early?

    • They have no answer for that, either.​

  • We all know from experience that many people wait till the last minute to evacuate, even with a mandatory evacuation order. People have jobs. It takes time to prepare for evacuation. They hope they won’t need to leave. When they finally do, it’s not likely to be 48 hours in advance, and they will clog the roads for everyone.

No assurance of 48 hours notice

  • The scientists we rely on from the National Hurricane Center tell us they can’t reliably predict when a tropical storm will become a hurricane, or how rapidly it will intensify. They warn us that we can’t count on 48 hours notice of a rapidly intensifying storm (and climate change may accentuate the problem).  

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As the hurricane experts warn, “Water is the danger – Water accounts for 90% of the direct deaths”. 

Water surrounds us as
we try to drive to safety.

North Roosevelt Boulevard, Key West, FL - during Hurricane Wilma.
(photograph by Mike Hentz of The Key West Citizen on NOAA Website)

The Dangers of Storm Surge

by The Weather Channel

Visualize storm surge at different depths in this great Weather Channel video.

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