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FHA to discu$$ EXPRE$$ LANE expansion on ALL Roads. WARNING!

Dear Neighbor,

Everyone knows that we have a steadily increasing number of cars traveling on South Florida’s roadways.  If you’ve spent much time driving on I-95, you’ve undoubtedly become familiar with 95 Express, a new toll system also known as ‘managed lanes.’ These new toll lanes replaced carpool lanes, removing the multi-passenger requirement during rush hour.  Under the Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) new plan, those who can afford to pay these tolls, which can reach as high as $7 each way, may travel in these special lanes with no hourly restrictions, unlike carpool lanes.  The toll prices are variable, meaning as more drivers enter the toll lanes, FDOT raises the price to keep the lanes flowing freely.  While convenient for those who can afford them, these toll lanes can potentially increase congestion in the remaining lanes for other drivers.

The I-95 Embarrassment

On Thursday, February 10, the Federal Highway Administration and the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) will host a workshop to consider expanding these toll lanes all over South Florida – not only for highways, but also for Broward County’s arterial roads like Broward Boulevard and Sample Road. This has the potential to majorly affect the roads you travel on every day.

While I strongly believe this is the WRONG DIRECTION for South Florida’s roadways, its your input that needs to be heard.  The Broward MPO is comprised of City Commissioners from all of Broward’s 31, as well as County Commissioners.  To find which City Commissioner represents you on the MPO, follow this link. You can also sign up to attend the workshop yourself (RSVP is required, as space is limited) and share your feedback with the Federal and local agencies considering the new toll lanes strategy.  See below for information about the workshop and how to sign up.

What: Broward MPO & Federal Highway Administration Managed Lanes Workshop

When: Thursday, February 10, 2011 from 1:30 PM to 5:00 PM

Where: Broward MPO Board Room, Trade Centre South, 100 West Cypress Creek Road, Suite 850, Fort Lauderdale

RSVP: Christopher Ryan, Broward MPO, or – RSVP soon, space is limited

I look forward to your input and participation, and thanks for all you do.

Kristin D. Jacobs

Broward County Commissioner

District 2

Editor –

Thanks Kristin. We agree with you that this is wrong. I have already paid for I-95 and other such roads with my tax money. I support the maintenance of those roads through the gas tax and other revenue streams. Now I am being charged to use them again so the cities and municipalities can have another brainless, band-aid,  no thought revenue stream without thinking past their own noses regarding how much damage they are doing. Never mind that the cost of everything else is going up too.

Secondly, when did the public trasportation system, paid for by public dollars, become sellable to entitilist rich people?????

A truck loaded with goods, bound for a major retail store that is stuck sitting in traffic costs us way more than the measly fee charged to the one car in the express lane. If that couch is not delivered to “ABC Couches”, then the consumer can not buy it. Tax revenue is not usually generated by non sales. I also guarantee that the Tax paid on a lousy second hand sofa, is more than a singular toll road fee. The poor truck driver is burning fuel sitting in traffic, and will not be able to make as many deliveries today, costing us all even more.

Ironically enough, 2 days ago I was stuck in traffic for 20 min. Angry at my fortune I decided to count the express cars passing me. Over a rough 20 min period I counted 43 express paying cars. So given Kristin’s above fiugure of up to $7 per way let’s assume they pay that rate. $7 x 43 cars = $301. WOW WE’RE RICH RICH!!!!!!! About $900 an hour is less than One Walmart makes assuming they have product to sell.

There are thousands of commuters stuck, can’t get to work, burning gas sitting in traffic, not being productive members of society, all because some moron Harvard Biz Grad tells a Commissioner we are making so much money off the 43 cars……. This is unconstitutional.

Another gripe is the placing of the “Orange hazards” as I call them. There is NO margin of error for either driver. When in the far left lane, I always have a shoulder giving me space from the wall, not with these things. Trucks are taking up their lane and part of the next one because they have no shoulder.

If I accidentally hit one of the orange hazards and break it….. how much does that cost the taxpayer????  For the general public reading this, this is your cue to get up off your ass and attend these meetings if you don’t want an expansion of toll roads. This means that your average shopping routine on Commercial Blvd. will eventually have to be paid for. Major east-west thoroughfares, already clogged up, will have fees to use an express lane that takes up one of the existing lanes, making your daily drive even worse and decreasing productivity for the other 2/3 who are now even later for work.

Once again thank you for having a brain Kristin. We need more of those. Here is your award.

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Posted by Andrea Freygang on Feb 1 2011. Filed under Broward County, Business, Local news, Money, Transportation. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

2 Comments for “FHA to discu$$ EXPRE$$ LANE expansion on ALL Roads. WARNING!”

  1. James David

    This is funny, a person without a brain giving a brain award. I am sure you are the first to complain when roads want to expand and need right of way to do it.
    Do you use the bus? Do you realize that if more people use mass transit the less cars would be on the road and the less traffic we would have, thus no need for express lanes. Your article and the commissioner should be pushing for mass transit and greater use of existing systems.

    I do know that if I need to get somewhere in a hurry I can jump on the express lanes and get there. Maybe Apple should be fined for selling iPhones for so much too!

    • Andrea Freygang

      First don’t mistake public transportation with managed lanes. We have paid for these roads, and we already pay for these roads through local taxes. The point is double dipping and also elitism in transportation. If the lanes were being taken for a high speed train/trolley or other public transportation initiative, I would support it, but this is so a few can use it. The commissioner and I do push for mass transit, but you have to consider what type very carefully, and why should we pay for roads we already pay for? With our shining government’s lack of ability to prove it spends funds wisely, we should watch whose pockets get lined closely.
      Regarding the bus, I used to be an avid user of public transportation, but it is not user friendly here nor convenient in any way. However, I position myself so I can walk to the grocery store, we only own one car as a family and try to reduce our travels. If I could get to Miami by train I would, but that’s not a realistic or feasible option, and Fort Lauderdale to Downtown Miami should be a no-brainer – as a resident, I shouldn’t have to think about how to use public transportation – it should be automatic.
      Secondly, the Express lanes don’t get heavy use while the rest of traffic is jammed up, with commerce just sitting there wasting time, money and more. The problem with the Express lane is that 1, those red cones are scary to drive next to and a major safety hazard, and 2) it isn’t publicized that its free for carpools, motorcycles, green cars. Trucks can’t use it, and getting them in their own lane would make traffic in general move better.
      We are not against the use of our current roads for public transportation initiatives, because we know they are desperately needed down here. It’s about how they are doing it, and when you have paid travel lanes on every road east/west, you are practicing elitism not safe transportation initiatives to reduce congestion.


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