The pain should be unbearable just about now — that is, the pain of readjusting to the heightened traffic gridlock now that school is under way. Of course, Tropical Storm Erika has had its own painful effect on the traffic scene.
But there is relief on the way. Since we began our traffic initiative, H*ll on Wheels, decision-makers in Miami-Dade have been thinking with renewed urgency about quick and moderately priced solutions, such as rapid-bus routes, trolleys and redirecting traffic one way during rush hour.
That’s all good. But the question of malfunctioning traffic lights is one of those fixes that is still grating on motorists’ nerves.
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez recently told the Editorial Board he is setting aside thousands of dollars in his proposed budget to truly synchronize crucial traffic lights by better linking them to the main frame so they can be adjusted in real-time traffic.
We recently asked readers to tell the county’s transportation managers the intersections that need immediate attention:
Frank Kruszewski, Miami Beach:
In Miami Beach, there is zero synchronization at the intersections of Alton Road at 17th Street and at Dade Boulevard and 20th Street. You go from one red light to the next. Gridlock!
Gabriel Perez, Coral Gables:
The intersection at Le Jeune Road and Southwest Eighth Street must be looked at. Going north on Le Jeune during the day takes at least two or three light changes. And this is all the time!
Tim Carson, Miami:
The right lane on northbound Southwest 117th Avenue at Bird Road should be changed to right-turn-only, and also have a right-turn light. Most cars turn right in that lane. But if just one car goes straight, it backs up when the light is red, and no one can take advantage of turning right on red.
Roger Hailey, Miami:
I pick Southwest 36th Street and Le Jeune Road near the airport.
Cameron M. Kelly, Miami:
I pick Bird Road and Southwest 37th Avenue.
Francisco Roig, Miami:
When the light is green at the intersection of Southwest 42nd Avenue and Andalusia in Coral Gables, vehicles turning onto Le Jeune north cannot progress because the next traffic light at the intersection of Le Jeune and Coral Way is red. Clogging is a chronic problem here.
Shari Whitcomb, Kendall:
Thank you! I’ve been wondering whom I can advise of this nightmare intersection for months: Kendall Drive and Southwest 97th Avenue, just east of the overpass at the State Roads 878/874 ramp northbound. It can take four light changes to make it through the intersection.
Maria Luisa Castellanos, Miami:
There are many chronically clogged intersections in Miami. But the worse are where major east-west roads such as Eighth Street, Bird Road and Coral Way cross the Palmetto Expressway. Going east in the morning and west in the evening is a nightmare!
Liz Kenneally, Miami:
Here’s where there are constant long lines because the green lights are super short time: 1. Bird Road and South Dixie Highway, 2. Southwest 80th Street and Dixie Highway, 3. Southwest 24thStreet starting from 63rd Avenue to the Palmetto Expressway, going west.
So, from this sampling it looks like there’s a lot of aggravating gridlock to the south and west in Miami-Dade.
That can’t possibly mean that traffic’s flowing smoothly in the north, can it? Anyone? Let us know.