The readers’ forum

MDX is overstepping its boundaries

 

Miami-Dade County commissioners created the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) in 1994 to ease traffic congestion and establish local control of toll revenues. Two years later MDX took over the five busiest roadways in the county — the Airport, Dolphin, Don Shula, Gratigny and Snapper Creek expressways. While its foundation and the original intentions of MDX were necessary at the time, in recent months, MDX has overstepped its boundaries and taken advantage of its de facto monopoly over Miami-Dade’s major roadways.

MDX originally approved a fixed toll rate of 70 cents for the Dolphin Expressway in March, and after a 60-cent alternative was introduced, it called for a public hearing where community members and elected officials could voice their opinions on the matter. On June 19, voice them they did.

In fact, I and several colleagues from the Miami-Dade legislative delegation attended and condemned the toll increase at an MDX board meeting. We asked the board to pass the less costly alternative, a 60-cent toll per gantry. Nonetheless, the motion for the lower toll failed on a 7-5 vote, even in the face of widespread public opposition.

Therefore, the MDX board went about its business — not the people’s business — and passed the resolution increasing tolls to 70 cents per mainline gantry and 30 cents per ramp gantry. Before this change, the roundtrip tolls from my district in southwest Miami to downtown were $2.50. If the new tolls are implemented, the cost would rise to $4.20. Commuters who use the expressway will see an increase in what they spend on tolls when the new charges begin next summer.

MDX has vastly overreached its boundaries as a quasi-governmental body and I hope to remedy the situation for my constituents legislatively before the charges come into effect in June 2014. To borrow the term coined by Roll Back Tolls, MDX is practicing “tollation” — tolling without representation.

Even though MDX is a state-sanctioned agency, there are systemic inadequacies within its structure. I’m worried that MDX is not held properly accountable for its decisions because there are no elected officials sitting on the board and it has not prudently explored other options to finance future projects. I’m also worried about MDX’s apparent monopoly over tolls in Miami-Dade County and its inability to engage in active listening with the public.

This decision to raise tolls portrays MDX as having little concern for the economic well-being of the resident, and I will remain adamant in supporting my constituency on this controversial issue.

Jeanette Nuñez, state representative, Miami

Read more Letters to the Editor stories from the Miami Herald

  • The readers’ forum

    FAMU-FSU College of Engineering is a successful collaboration

    As former leaders of Florida A&M University, we oppose the move to decouple the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering and consider this a sudden and unplanned act, devoid of discussion and input from the current leadership of the two universities, the university boards of trustees and the Florida Board of Governors. This action sends the wrong message to the citizens of Florida and other interested parties about how the Legislature and academic institutions should interact.

  • Amend Miami-Dade biking laws

    Re the April 16 article Aventura to use safety grant to educate pedestrians, cyclists, mentioned bicyclists having to ride on the right-hand side of the road. Assuming that this is the law, then the legislators got it absolutely wrong.

  • New start for absentee ballots in Miami-Dade

    Over the last few years, Miami-Dade County has been hit with a plethora of complaints, and even convictions, for the mishandling of absentee ballots, and I suspect that there have been many instances of fraud that have gone unreported. It is time to be pre-emptive:

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category