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What the in-the-know people in the room didn’t know about Miami

The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Goals Conference earlier this month brought together Miami’s smartest people to talk about everything from transit, to startups, to development and preservation. We learned a lot. It was great. (You can still see some of that convo on the Twitter thread.)

But in a room full of a bunch of really smart people, we were curious: what don’t they know?

Let’s face it — Miami’s a weird place, with a lot of “what the…” moments. That’s part of what makes it so great. We asked panelists and attendees at the GOALS conference for their head-scratchers, and then took a stab at answering them ourselves. Weigh in!

We suspect Davis knew the answer to this one, being a wetland ecologist and all. But it’s a good question. Did you know 7 million Floridians rely on the Everglades for their water supply? (WLRN’s Elaine Chen also dug a little bit deeper here.)

Schlepping around Miami-Dade is hard without a car, but there are few good alternatives. That’s at least partially because of when Miami became a big city — while other east coast cities developed before cars existed, we really boomed in the car era, meaning it didn’t seem like a problem to sprawl and sprawl and sprawl. Until there were more than 2.6 million of us.

It’s a U.S. National Park, home to 67 threatened or endangered species, and the only place where the American Alligator and American Crocodile co-exist. It’s got some sweet bike trails, and even a canoeing/kayaking trail and tent platforms. So what’s the deal with the fact that most of us never make it out there?

We actually dug into it a bit, and figured out why Hialeah is off the grid. It’s usually because the municipality made its own grid before Miami-Dade County’s system got that far. But it’s worth a deeper dive.

Well… it is on time. Just, ya know, Miami time. (But really, why?)

Maybe there’s not enough crosswalks, or maybe they’re in the wrong places? Maybe we like to break the rules? We’re curious about this one too.

For starters, there are 34 municipalities in Miami-Dade County, each with their own city government. That’s a lot to coordinate. Some of them are pretty close to county hall in downtown Miami, meaning face to face time is easy, but others, like Florida City or Miami Gardens, are really far.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could whiz from Mojo Donut to The Salty Donut using public transit entirely? Or more practically (but arguably less important), make that arduous cross-county work commute without getting in your car? Sure you’ve got the Tri-Rail, but there’s no stop in Miami’s urban core. Brightline, a new inter-city train opening soon that will go from the heart of Miami to Orlando might make that a little bit easier.

We’ll leave this one up to the Gators and Canes out there.

Which questions do you want us to answer? Do you have any Miami questions? Let us know in the comments below.