Broward’s history is relatively short compared to many other places in the world. Much of our population has arrived over the last 60 years. From the scant 84,000 people living in Broward in 1950, we have grown by almost a factor of 21 times to a total 1.9+ million people today. Our transportation system has grown rapidly to meet the mobility challenges that come with a growing population. Our homes and neighborhoods have spread west from the early developments along the Flagler Railroad near the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the eastern edge of the Everglades.
The early Flagler Railroad that connected Fort Lauderdale with the rest of the country gave us a legacy of strong north-south connections. Much of our development occurred along the eastern coastline early in the 20th century. People moved to Florida in greater numbers during the latter part of the last century and as new cities and houses were built in western Broward, our roads developed in a grid system.
Growth in the last decade has slowed by comparison to our population explosion at the turn of the 21st century. Yet, we expect another 214,000 residents to live in Broward by 2040. Today, there is little land left for more people or roadways. In Broward, we are sandwiched between the Everglades and the Atlantic Ocean. We no longer have room to widen our roadways or build new roads.