For those of you who travel on I-95 north from Miami to Broward, you have undoubtedly seen the 95 Express lanes which are supposed to help drivers going the full stretch from downtown Miami to the Turnpike or Broward avoid the traffic of the local drivers. Rates are increasing from $0.50 to $10.50, as of yesterday. which prompted me to finally write this post.
The way the lanes are currently structured, once you are in the express lanes, you are prevented from going into the general purpose 95 lanes until you hit the Golden Glades, at which point you can either a) take the flyover to continue on 95 North, b) exit to the Turnpike/826 West, or c) get back into the 95 general purpose lanes and continue north on 95 or exit 826 East. Option C should not exist and is the reason that the 95 North express lanes are useless during rush hour.
People take the express lanes and then, at the end, try to merge back into the regular 95 lanes. THIS SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED. Once you are in the 95 Express lanes, you should have two choices: take the flyover or exit to the Turnpike/826 West. The Park and Ride is only accessible from the flyover lane, so there is no reason why the plastic poles separating the 95 Express from general purpose lanes should not be extended into the Turnpike-826 West exit ramp which has two lanes. The left lane of the exit will receive traffic from the 95 Express lanes and the right lane will receive traffic from the general purpose lanes of 95. This will make the 95 Express lanes usable during rush hour and make my $10.50 money well spent instead of just an expensive way of sitting in traffic.
I have send in this suggestion in February, 2011 to Jonathan Davila, who was at that time the Assistant Public Information Officer for the Florida Department of Transportation. His response was as follows:
My name is Jonathan Davila, and I’m the assistant public information officer for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District Six Transportation Management Center (TMC), which handles the 95 Express Project. We’d like to thank you for taking the time to share your comments regarding the project with us.
We agree with your suggestion, and this scenario is currently being taken under consideration for the second phase of the project, which will extend the express lanes to Broward Blvd. in Broward County. Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin this year with an estimated completion date of 2013.
Thank you again for your input. The Department greatly appreciates it. If you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Well, that was over three years ago. How long does it take to install 1/2 mile of plastic divider poles? It is a simple fix to a huge problem.
Hopefully we can get this fixed soon. 595 Express will open this week and I am interested to see how well that is going to work since people in South Florida are known for backing up on exit ramps they have mistakenly taken. What will they do when they find out they can’t exit the 595 Express lanes and they can’t drive over the concrete barrier like they do the plastic poles on 95? Should be fun.
Feel free to contact me directly using the form below if you can provide any input on this issue or just leave a reply to this post.