Thank you, Miami Herald Editorial Board, for giving the frustrated commuters of South Florida a venue to discuss traffic problems.
Where do I begin?
▪ Pedestrians: At least from where I commute, the problem is jaywalking.
I’ve seen people step out from between cars and stroll across busy Miami Avenue downtown.
I’ve see them crossing en masse from the bus stop on Southwest 152nd Street, walking right in the middle of six lanes of busy traffic.
I’ve see them walking across U.S. 1 like they’re on a country road.
▪ Bicyclists: The problem here is twofold. An appalling lack of bike lanes in Miami and an appalling number of bicyclists who do not follow the rules of the road, blowing through stop signs and red lights, and riding the wrong way. I almost took out a guy in Coral Gables when he rode right through a stop sign and into my path.
Lucky my brakes were good, or he would have been a hood ornament.
▪ Tourists: I know our economy depends on tourist dollars, so God bless them. However, when they get on the already-crowded roads in rush hour, it makes a bad situation much, much worse.
The city and county could do their part by not scheduling multiple festivals in the same week and not starting them mid-week. There seems to be a lack of planning.
▪ Mass transit: What mass transit? A 30-year-old train system that goes nowhere. When the half-cent sales-tax increase was passed in the early 2000s, it was promised that Metrorail would be expanded south of Kendall. That never happened. Southern expansion is desperately needed.
▪ Unsynchronized the traffic lights: People who frequently drive U.S. 1 through the Gables and South Miami know exactly what I’m talking about.
▪ Gridlock: There seems to be absolutely no enforcement of the “don’t block the box” laws. People routinely stop in the middle of intersections trying to avoid traffic lights.
▪ The fast lane: Folks, don’t even think of traveling in the fast lanes on an expressway like Interstate 95 thinking you’ll just go the speed limit. You’re just pissing people off!
Sandra Wikle, Miami