Another classic example of how MDX (Miami-Dade Expressway) operates can be seen in their latest effort to build managed toll lanes (aka Lexus Lanes) along the South-Dade Busway. MDX claims that this project is only in the “study” faze and that construction is not presently planned. But don’t be fooled residents of Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay! MDX is fully committed to moving forward with this project.
Three of the five phases MDX uses to begin a project have already been completed.
1. General Information (public statement on MDX website)
2. Public Kickoff Meeting (held Sept. 7 & 8, 2011)
3. Alternatives Public Workshop (tier 1 workshop held May 30, 2012)
4. Public Hearing (to be held)
5. Project Conclusion Summary (to be held)
A majority of Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay residents were not even aware of any public meetings that were held by MDX on this project. And that is because MDX is only obligated by state law to directly inform residents within a 500 foot proximity to the proposed project. And MDX does the absolute bare minimum to comply with this requirement. I personally attended every meeting that MDX has held so far on this busway project. In most cases less than 25 people from the public showed up. And of those that showed up many did not ask questions to the MDX representatives.
We maintain that if MDX was made to put forth a stronger effort to inform the public via direct mail, radio, local TV ads, e-mail and text messaging to Sun Pass users, much more interested parties would attend and be involved.
Excerpt from Miami Herald article – Opposition Building to South Dade Expressway.
“We have had two regular meetings and we have notified everybody,” Garcia said. “So, I don’t know where they are getting this information.”
Attar said she found out about the project by sheer luck. She also said that practically no one in the area that she has talked to even knew there was a study.
“There was zero notice on this,” Attar said. It’s obvious that it would not suit MDX’s purpose to have 150 angry people show up at a public meeting opposing their great ideas to build more toll roads. Having attended the public meetings we are still not convinced that this project will lessen traffic along US1. MDX has not made clear how they plan to get commuters on and off the proposed toll lanes without causing more traffic on US1. This valuable corridor should be used for a mass transit solution, not a toll road to put more cars on the road. MDX’s vision of only building toll roads is only providing a short term solution that will fester into a monster “gridlock” problem in the future. It’s time to think outside of a toll lane and support long term sustainable transit options.