Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Update on the 3/19 MDX South MIami-Dade meeting. Toll hike on state roads 836 and 112 might not be final -

Toll hike on state roads 836 and 112 might not be final - Miami-Dade -

What will be the future for South Dade roadways? 

Pay significant tolls or have roads suffer from neglect? Will we be forced to pay a daily toll to travel in ‘Lexis Lanes’ on the former buslanes (RIP dreams of mass transit – there has been a huge backslide, why invest in mass transit when we can relieve the pressure, for revenue, and create more incentive to stay in your cars).  There are many transit needs and this is a discussion that must involve as many people and officials as possible. Decisions will impact home values and desirability due to practicality for residents in some areas to be able to commute to work in various areas of the County or may promote additional urban sprawl by moving highways out to areas not currently developed. How will future decisions affect infill?

The locally held March 19 MDX meeting was very well attended.  Well attended that is by Roll Back Tolls group and interested residents, but the local elected officials were suspiciously absent and conspicuously silent on an important issue; the future transit policy for south Miami-Dade.  

Cutler Bay Mayor Ed MacDougall was the only local elected official to attend. Thank you Mayor Mac. It is sad to report that there was not a single representative from Palmetto Bay present at the meeting. What a shame – an opportunity avoided to take some leadership or at least gather first-hand information from the MDX representatives as well as the many interested residents.

It would have been a good time for local leaders to share concerns and some constructive ideas with the MDX board. Perhaps even make some common sense proposals such as proposing that the Florida Legislature repurpose the proposed Hotel Bed Tax from funding for private sports stadiums for billionaire owners to instead a broad use, funding meaningful and widespread transit improvements rather than continue to literally ‘nickel and dime’ (or in some cases $2.40 each way) commuters to death. 
Read the Miami Herald article:
“All I hear is more tolls, more concrete and more cars,” said Cutler Bay Mayor Edward MacDougall, one of the speakers who addressed the MDX board.

Carlos Garcia, co-founder of the anti-toll group, voiced the general feeling of people who spoke, urging board members to delay the increase.

“Please hold off,” said Garcia, who like other group members wore a T-shirt with signs saying “Enough is Enough.”

It is a shame that Palmetto Bay’s Mayor and council are missing in action on this debate. It could not have been the location.  The MDX board held this meeting in our neighborhood.  Palmetto Bay’s Mayor and council were not required to face rush hour traffic or car pool to downtown Miami, but despite the convenience, it is more than apparent that these horses could not be led to this water.

Remember the lack of attendance in the very new future when you find that you had no voice in the direction of the transit policy for US1 and South Miami-Dade in general or when you travel the local highways and find yourself paying more in tolls than in gas while billionaires are collecting tax dollars from tourists for their private property instead of investigating in the common good and community infrastructure.

Thank you Cutler Bay Mayor Ed MacDougall for showing interest and political spine. A rose to you for your participation.  And thorns to all those elected officials who choose to avoid participating in the dialogue in setting long-term policy for South Miami-Dade transit. Showing up after others do the heavy lifting and trying to jump to the front of the parade Madam Mayor and Council members is worse than never showing up at all.

Get involved. The future is being determined now.


  1. Why take a political risk when you can wait it out and stand with the winners when it is over, claiming you were always supporting the winning side?

    1. Call your commissioners and make-em take a side.

  2. @JaneMiamiMarch 21, 2013

    THings we don't want to hear from MDX

    1. That we are customers. No, we are tax payers and these are our roads
    2. That we can opt to drive on roads like US1 and Bird road and burn fuel
    3. What do you mean, you didn't know about the tolls ... we had a poorly publicized meeting
    4. We know whats best for you, trust us
    5. Just get a SunPass
    6. We are out of money!
    7. Our landscape architect proposed those $7,800 trees
    8. You can't wear your protest T-shirt in our public meeting
    9. You can't video tape in our public meeting
    10. HOT lanes on busways