Elimination of the proposed boondoggle is just what the state needs
TALLAHASSEE, February 3, 2021 — The announcement today of a bill filed in the Senate (SB1030) and soon to be filed in the House, to repeal the bill that created M-CORES, the program that would construct 330 miles of unneeded and fiscally dangerous toll roads through rural Florida, was welcomed by No Roads to Ruin Coalition partners from across the state. After 93% of public comments were opposed to M-CORES, the failure by FDOT and outside analysts to identify any need at all for these roads, and the brutally obvious fiscal reasons to stop the M-CORES process in its tracks, repealing the bill and devoting the billions of dollars it would have devoured instead to critical state needs is exactly what Floridians need.
“Need should have been established before wasting millions of dollars on M-CORES workshops, but that was not possible, because there is no need,” said John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER, WWALS Watershed Coalition. “US 19 from Crystal River to Thomasville, Georgia has nowhere near enough traffic to justify the Suncoast Connector toll road, before even getting into the damage it would cause the Suwannee River, springs, farms, and forests. Cancel M-CORES and spend some of the money directly on pandemic relief, rural broadband, solar panels and batteries, and hurricane shelters,”
Newton Cook, President of United Waterfowlers of Florida said, “United Wildfowlers of Florida opposes the toll roads because they will bring urbanization and sprawl to natural lands. The toll roads are directly in the path of the Florida wildlife corridor, lands that are essential for connections between South Florida to the Panhandle. New toll roads are unnecessary and existing roads can be expanded or improved upon.”
Bill Maturo of Florida Veterans for Common Sense stated, “Florida Veterans for Common Sense, a not for profit organization composed of veterans throughout Florida, is adamantly opposed to the construction of these toll roads. We believe that climate change is a national security issue, and that anything that contributes to, rather than mitigates, climate change is a threat to our country. The construction of these roads will add in many ways to the warming of our state and nation, and should be eliminated.”
“The League of Women Voters of Florida does not believe that the M-CORES project was properly conceived or vetted by the legislature. Public opinion has shown that these roads are not currently needed nor are they necessary in the near future. Additionally, the roads have the potential to greatly damage our vital Florida ecosystem” said Patti Brigham, President of the League of Women Voters of Florida.
Emma Haydocy, Executive Director for Florida Bay Forever added, “I can think of no better way to celebrate World Wetlands Day than with the introduction of a bill to repeal M-CORES. At a time when all Floridians, from the Panhandle to the Florida Keys, face steep challenges in water quality, climate change, and restoring America’s Everglades, this timely legislation will ensure that we build, rather than diminish, our resilience to these threats in the decades to come.”
Stacey Gallagher, Development Coordinator for the Sea Turtle Conservancy, said, “The shallow seagrass beds along the Big Bend coastline of Florida are a globally-important developmental habitat for young green, loggerhead and Kemp’s ridley sea turtles. This habitat is incredibly vulnerable to runoff and other impacts from overdevelopment, which inevitably will occur if the disastrous M-CORES plan moves forward. We must repeal M-CORES now and ensure that this fragile marine ecosystem is preserved for the future.”
“The M-CORES toll roads are an unwanted, inadequate, and uninspired response to automobile traffic in Florida. We cannot allow our imagination to become limited—let us exhaust all other options to invest in existing infrastructure. Don’t force the words ‘I told you so’ into the mouths of your children and grandchildren: repeal the roads!” said Emma Turner of Young Leaders for Wild Florida.
In 2019, the Florida state legislature passed SB 7068 to authorize the design and construction of 330 miles of new toll roads through the heart of rural Florida. The bill creating the Multi-use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance (M-CORES) was signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis on May 17, 2019, despite a veto request from over 90 organizations and businesses from across Florida.The No Roads to Ruin Coalition, devoted to stopping the unneeded and costly plan, was launched in August 2019 and is now 106 organizations and businesses strong. For more information go to the No Roads to Ruin website: http://noroadstoruin.org/
Unless you want Florida to waste tons of money like Texas did on broke-from-the-start toll roads, please help get SB1030 passed to end M-CORES.
- Last day to comment against M-CORES, and NRTR publishes analysis of comments 2020-10-14
- PDF of this press release
- Letter to Florida Governor DeSantis 2019-05-01
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
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