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.
Not on my Palmetto 826 Expressway!
It’s time to take action before FDOT moves forward with the same compromise in safety on the Palmetto Expressway, SR826. Yes, you’ve seen the bill boards along the north and south lanes announcing Express Lanes coming to the Palmetto. See the full details including a very nicely produced video explaining how they will go about it.
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