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Village slates US-1 Busway forum for January 20

The Village of Pinecrest will host a community forum to provide information about the Miami- Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) US 1 Express Lanes Study about proposed tolled express lanes on the South Dade Busway with a portion located parallel to the Village’s main commercial corridor.

The study, led by MDX in cooperation with Miami-Dade Transit (MDT) and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), analyzes potential enhancements to the South Miami Dade Busway that could maximize use of existing roadway capacity, reduce congestion along the US 1 corridor, enhance transit service and improve traffic operations.

Pinecrest officials have invited MDX representatives to provide a general presentation geared to Pinecrest residents and business owners at 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 20 in the Pinecrest Community Center, 5855 Killian Drive.

The study considers the viability of a variably-priced tolled road that would permit motorists to travel without traffic from approximately SW 232nd Street in Cutler Bay to SW 98th Street in Pinecrest connecting to the Palmetto Expressway.

If the study shows viability, it will be constructed within the current South Miami-Dade Busway right-of-way. Bridges would carry the express lanes over intersections which would increase traffic flow as buses and cars could bypass traffic signals.

The Village Council has voted in favor of two resolutions regarding the project. The first resolution, passed Sept. 11, 2012, expressed the Village Council’s opposition to the proposed project and asked the Miami-Dade Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) to suspend the current study, remove the project from the 2030 Long Range Transportation Plan and redirect its focus to extending the Metrorail south. The second resolution, passed on the same date, urged MDX to hold formal presentations for area homeowners, business groups and other interested groups.

“The MDX plan replaces open space with intrusive transportation infrastructure that could fill up the entire corridor right-of-way and extend over cross roadways, adding to the visual blight produced by FPL’s proposed 80 to 100-foot power lines,” said Councilmember Bob Ross. “Pinecrest residents, particularly those in northwest Pinecrest where the Palmetto Expressway overpass may be widened, owe it to themselves to become informed.”

After the presentation, MDX representatives will be available to residents to ask questions on a one to-one basis. The meeting will conclude with a summary of comments obtained by MDX and an opportunity for residents to voice their thoughts about the proposed project.

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