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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Monday, August 14, 2006

A South Florida loophole

is being closed.

It's the end of an era for thousands of Miami area drivers who, in their own special way, have been sticking it to The Man for the last 45 years.

By the time you read this, the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority should have finally shut the eastbound on-ramp to the Airport Expressway (State Road 112) from Northwest 39th Street, just east of the 15th Avenue toll plaza.

The free ride is over for port-bound truckers, bus and taxi drivers and crafty commuters who have been short-cutting through Liberty City and Allapattah to dodge the toll since the early 1960s.

Officially, MDX closed the ramp due to safety concerns. Crews are retrofitting the existing five-lane plaza with new equipment that will allow SunPass users to electronically pay their toll at 50 mph, instead of at the current 20 mph limit.

The fear: Too much high-speed SunPass traffic will be weaving from the toll lanes on the left side of the expressway to the Interstate 95 on-ramps on the right. At the same time, slower-moving 18-wheelers, buses, taxis and minivans have been entering the expressway from the renegade on-ramp on the right and trying to immediately weave to the left en route to Interstate 195, the Julia Tuttle Causeway and the beaches.

It's a valid concern given the anarchic approach of too many aggressive drivers.
Don't you just love Florida bureaucracy. It takes 45 years before they wisen up to what local drivers are doing.

The lengths people will go to avoid paying a toll. If its a daily commute I understand it better than those who do it on a irregular basis. Truck drivers will pass the cost on to their customers.

If TFM had his way, all roads would be free. We pay taxes, why should we be paying tolls too? Especially on highways that paid their construction bonds off about twenty years ago.

To TFM, the 50 MPH Sunpass lane is a recipie for disaster. Mix slow and fast moving traffic together is never a good idea. Unfortunately it will take a tragedy before the Expressway Authority re-thinks this insane idea.

One last comment on this Miami herald article written by Larry Lebowitz.

Hundreds of suburbanites from west Broward suburbs don't mind paying the toll for the Gratigny Parkway, but would rather traverse the local side streets and dodge the Airport Expressway toll before venturing onto I-95 just north of downtown.

Don't make me laugh Mr. Lebowitz. No one likes having money, big or small, taken out of their pocket. People may accept it, but we don't have to like it.

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