We congratulate Miami-Dade county mayor Carlos Gimenez for taking an active role on the MDX board of directors. In this video of his first meeting this past February the mayor outlines his goals for his role on the MDX board.
First and foremost we are pleased that moving forward, we the citizens and toll payers will finally have representation from elected county county officials. The mayor’s participation, along with that of district 3 commissioner, vice-chair Audrey Edmonson will go a long way to changing the tide of “tollation” that has kept our community in the dark by way of un-elected and out of touch directors.
We look forward to having open and candid discussions with with the newly updated MDX board about how to change MDX’s role in providing more non-auto central transit development. For the good of our community, today and into the future.
The Triple Squeeze by FDOT on I-95 Express Lane: Your wallet, your highway and your life.
We’ve been saying it for years now; what FDOT did on I-95 to squeeze in express lanes without adding the needed capacity is causing accidents and fatalities. We are grateful to Channel 10 WPLG Miami and Jeff Weinsier for the in-depth coverage on this crisis facing daily commuters on the I-95 express lane.
What is revealed in this story is how the dangerous mix of narrower travel lanes, higher speeds and those plastic “delineator” poles that allow “lane diving” from the non-tolled lanes into the express lanes, has cause thousands of accidents and many fatalities.
12,192 reported accidents in just 3 years!
At first I thought that I was seeing a misprint on the number. But it’s no mistake. There have been over 12,000 accidents that Florida State Troopers have responded to related to the I-95 Express Lane. That is over 4,000 accidents per year or roughly 11 per day. This is unacceptable FDOT! We always believed that safety was the highest priority for the agency. Clearly, this is not the case.
State Troopers speak out about their experiences
As you see in the video report above State Trooper Joe Sanchez has to actually step out in the travel lane of the express lane to approach a violator that has pulled over in the very narrow emergency lane. Trooper Bill Smith a over 30 year veteran, asks “What does it take to actually address the problem?” We the commuting public, tax payers, toll payers and now legislators are waking up to the unsettling reality that the use of those plastic polls are a key contributor to the dangerous conditions.
The Palmetto Expressway already has the unique distinction of being one of the most dangerous highways in the state of Florida, never mind Miami-Dade county. I personally know of two people that lost their lives on it over the last 10 years. Now, FDOT is moving forward with it’s half baked idea of implementing Express Lanes. To say this is foolish knowing what they know of the I-95 express lane debacle is kind. They will be implementing the same big lane squeeze from 12′ down to 11′ travel lanes and narrower emergency lanes as they did on I-95. And from the looks of the pictures on their website and video, more plastic polls giving drivers a false sense of security.
Don’t let FDOT proceed on the Palmetto Express Lanes until they put safety first.
It’s time to start calling and emailing your state representatives, senators and county commissioners to stop this Express Lane nightmare before it’s too late. Do it for your family, wife, kids, friends and neighbors. We must demand that FDOT re-align their values before spending more time and money making another epic blunder like the I-95 Express Lane project.
Carlos Garcia, co-chair, Roll Back Tolls, firstname.lastname@example.org
“Major impacts are anticipated on Kendall Drive, where traffic will be shifted and lanes will be narrowed for extended periods as the entrance ramps to the Turnpike are reconfigured.”
The Florida Turnpike Enterprise announces construction of northern leg of their Express Lane widening from Killian Drive (SW 104th street) north to Sunset Drive (SW 72nd street). The highway will be widened from 6 lanes to ten lanes to accommodate new express lanes (aka Lexus Lanes) on the inside portion of the road.
Finally! Our county commissioners are engaging on the massive toll hike by MDX and the financial impact it is having on individuals, working families and businesses in our county.
This resolution (R-355-15) asks MDX to freeze toll rates or reduce toll rates(Roll Back Tolls). It also calls for MDX to eliminate CPI inflation indexing of toll rates. Yes! Something we have been asking for since MDX approved it in 2013. Watch video below.
You can click the image of the resolution below to see the full resolution.
For over three years Roll Back Tolls has lead the charge in asking Sun Pass, the electronic road toll collection agency, to update it’s system to modern standards. As a high tech company, they should not have any barriers to providing better transparency and full cost disclosure to users.
Sun Pass users should easily know exactly how much they are actually spending in tolls on a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis.
Stop Dumbing It Down
Remember the original Sun Pass transponder that beeped every time you paid a toll and showed the amount of the toll on a LED screen? You could even see your current balance right from the transponder. Call me old school, but I like knowing how much I’m paying for something. The modern Sun Pass transponders don’t beep and do not give any information like the original did and this is where the problem exist. Today, we know exactly how much we are paying for everything. Go to Publix and by a gallon of milk, bam, there’s the price. Receive your property tax statement, you get a line by line detailed explanation. But travel on most toll roads in Florida like the Turnpike and you are left guessing how much you just paid. Next time you take the Turnpike to Disney in Orlando or down to Homestead see if you can easily find out how much you just paid in tolls. Heres a hint, you’ll need a calculator and access to your Sun Pass account.
Neither the Sun Pass App or the on-line account give you a running total of how much you spent in tolls. It does give you the individual cost of each toll but no total. You literally have to add it up yourself if you want to get a total. Why? Is Sun Pass afraid that people may alter their driving habits if they actually knew how much they are paying? Users have a right to know in an easy modern manor how much they are paying.
Our suggestions for a better user experience.
Update the Sun Pass app and on-line account system to give users the option of receiving an e-mail summary of usage. This could be on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. The email should give the total paid in tolls for the selected time period. This could also be sent to users via text message when users are not driving. Todays mobile devices can detect when you are stationary and not moving at a high rate of speed.
New users should be given the choice to opt-into receiving this information.
When these updates are implemented, hopefully sooner than later, all Sun Pass users should be notified of these new options and should be allowed to opt-in for this information.
If Sun Pass tolling is going to be the method of choice for paying for transportation infrastructure in Florida then we need to know how much we are actually paying.
Lets put an end to “Tollation”, tolling without representation. #tollation
Sign the petition that would require all tolling agencies in Florida to seek voter approval for new tolls and future toll increases. This petition initiative seeks to get the issue on the November 2016 ballot in Florida.
We are asking that all toll payers and Sun Pass users total up their toll bills (individual and house hold) for the last 90 days and send a copy to our elected officials. You can log in on line at www.sunpass.com or call 1-888-865-5352 and speak with customer service for the information. If you no longer can afford to drive on a toll road in town, tell your elected representative how this has impacted your daily commute and quality of life. Below is an email list.
In and effort to bring more awareness and education about the money you pay, the tolling agencies that collect tolls and how these agencies use your toll dollars, we bring you this new initiative. Things you will learn:
• How to log into your Sun Pass account and total up how much you are actually paying.
• Download the Sun Pass app to your smart phone.
• Learn if any portion of your tolls may be deducted from your taxes.
• How to petition Sun Pass to update their system to send you e-mail and or text message notifications for toll usage/cost summary.
It is time to wake up our elected officials to the reality that MDX and their non-elected board is out of touch with the economic hardships of daily commuters that need the roads simply to get to work. And to make them aware of the secondary impact “toll avoidance” is having on our county roads and communities from drivers that can no longer afford to take MDX roads.
Additionally, please sign our on-line petition demanding that MDX “Roll Back Toll” rates for drivers just as they did for the truckers. Don’t believe MDX when they say it can’t be done, because they already did it! Watch the video.
We have to keep the pressure on high and make this one of the top issues in next November’s elections for local and state positions.
If you know someone who would be interested in receiving this information please ask them to sign up on our e-mail list on http://rollbacktolls.com/join-our-email-list/