The End of the Road

The End of the Road
5:29 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

I-95: America's 2,000-Mile Political Lens?

Tennessee governor Bill Haslam, head of the Republican Governors Association, recently claimed that the GOP was becoming the party of I-95. While it's not unheard of to use Interstates as a political lens, using an entire 2,000 mile Interstate is a little strange.
Credit Graphic by Kenny Malone

You’ve heard of “big tent” political parties. How about “big overpass” parties?

Is GOP the party of Interstate 95?” read a headline from McClatchy Newspapers last month.

About two weeks after the November midterm elections, the Republican Governors Association met in Boca Raton. During a press conference, newly appointed chairman -- and Tennessee governor -- Bill Haslam told a group of reporters about a recent revelation.

Read more
The End of the Road
10:29 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Blazing The Waze: FDOT Is The Traffic App’s First U.S. Partner

Earlier this year the Florida Department of Transportation entered into a partnership with the traffic data company Waze. The Israeli startup, now owned by Google, lets “Wazers” use a smartphone app to report the location of crashes, congestion, potholes, road kill and police officers among many other things.

The agreement is purely a “data-sharing” partnership. Waze gets access to the stream of information produced by the road sensors FDOT uses to monitor traffic flow on Florida’s major highways. And FDOT gets access to the myriad reports filed by Wazers.

Read more
The End of the Road
11:06 pm
Sun November 30, 2014

The Words Invented By South Florida's I-95 Drivers

Regular commuters along Interstate 95 have created some terms to describe what they see on these roads.
Credit Gregory Castillo / WLRN

When Arthur Bowditch Fay set out to chronicle his 300-mile Interstate 95 commute from Spotsylvania, Va. to Leonia, N.J., he came to the realization that the English language did not have the words to describe what he was seeing and doing.

So he invented those words:

dreamile (noun)
[dree-mahyl]
“The distance traveled while... daydreaming. Usually nothing of the dreamile is remembered.”

Read more
The End of the Road
12:52 am
Mon November 3, 2014

I, 95: A Man's Findings On A 300-Mile Commute

Arthur Bowditch Fay decided to pay attention to everything he possibly could while on his bi-weekly 300 mile I-95 commute. He compiled the results in a book titled "I, 95."
Credit Graphic assembled by Kenny Malone (I-95 shield comes from "I, 95" book cover, map from Google Maps)

No bicycles allowed. Turn signals, believe it or not, are required before switching lanes. And if your car breaks down, you are supposed to move it, within six hours to be exact.

Those are some laws on Interstate 95. And then there are the laws of I-95:

FIRST     The less time you have to get to a destination, the more likely you will encounter traffic.

SECOND     Important signage will be displayed improminently or out of sight.

Read more
The End of the Road
7:14 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Two Roads, One Billboard And A Miami Legal Battle On The Word “On”

Andy Hancock stands beneath a billboard structure built in 1985; it was one of 10 allowed on Miami highways at the time. The sign is now owned by Clear Channel.
Credit Kenny Malone

About 30 years ago, Hancock Advertising, Inc., was awarded eight of the first 10 permits to put billboards on the City of Miami’s highways. Seven of those billboards went up on Interstate 95. It would take a two-year legal battle over the word “on” to determine whether or not the eighth sign was also on I-95.

Read more
The End of the Road
4:26 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

I-95 Is Still Insanely Bumpy And Here's Why

The patchwork concrete rehabilitation on southbound I-95.
Credit Kenny Malone

“Miami’s Southbound Interstate 95 from 153rd Street to 125th Street looks -- and feels -- like it was engineered by Pablo Picasso,” we reported last August.

Well, apparently I-95 is still in its Cubist phase.

Read more
The End of the Road
2:27 am
Wed October 1, 2014

If You See Blacked-Out 95 Express Signs, Here's Why

The northbound 95 Express toll sign and gantry is roughly two miles past the 95 Express entrance.
Credit FDOT (http://sunguide.info/sunguide/index.php/gallery/express_lanes)

At best, the signs were confusing. At worst, an incentive to illegally pylon-jump between express and non-express lanes.

On Wednesday, the Florida Department of Transportation will shut down two problematic electronic 95 Express tolls signs: one above the northbound 95 express lanes near Northwest 54th Street and one on the southbound lanes near Northwest 144th Street.

“It really doesn’t add benefit at this point,” says Rory Santana, who runs the 95 Express system for FDOT.

Read more
The End of the Road
7:31 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Inside "Florida's Toll Lane Boom"

95 Express was Florida's first dynamic tolling system but it will not be the last.
Credit FDOT

As part of our End of the Road series, we’ve reported extensively on the so-called “Lexus Lanes” on I-95. In the 95 express lanes drivers can pay a toll to get around regular gridlock traffic. That toll varies based on how many car are piling into the express lanes at that moment. The more demand, the higher the toll -- to keep things moving.

The lanes were the first of their kind in Florida, but a new report from the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting says 95 Express is the future for Florida’s highways.

Read more
The End of the Road
8:48 pm
Sun September 21, 2014

Audience Feedback: How To Fix The 95 Express "Closed" Sign Problem

595 Express uses warning gates to help stop drivers from entering the wrong way into the reversible express system.
Credit FDOT

An internal FDOT report shows more and more drivers are plowing past bright yellow “closed” signs and getting into 95 Express when the lanes are technically shut down for accidents or broken-down vehicles. But the Florida Highway Patrol can’t enforce the signs because they’re the wrong color: yellow-on-black  instead of black-and-white.

Read more
The End of the Road
6:37 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

"Closed" Signs Don't Stop South Florida Drivers From Using 95 Express

More and more South Florida drivers are getting into the 95 express lanes when the sign reads "CLOSED."
Credit Kenny Malone

Carlos Lora doesn’t care what the electronic toll sign for 95 Express says. Fifty cents, $6.00, $10.50 -- it doesn’t matter. After a long day at work as a South Beach condo manager, he’s getting in his Mini Cooper to go home to Hollywood Beach, and he's using the fast lanes to get there.

“And even if it says ‘closed,’ I’m guilty of still jumping on,” Lora says.

Read more
The End of the Road
2:00 am
Mon September 1, 2014

I-95 And Its Eclectic Array Of Road Debris

Credit U.S. Government Accountability Office

The blonde wig flew out of nowhere, “flapping like a bird” as it lodged in the driver’s side windshield wiper of Jorge Garay’s delivery truck.

“Scared the viva Cuba libre out of me,” Garay wrote.

His tale is one of more than a dozen absurd -- and sometimes harrowing -- accounts of close encounters with road debris on Interstate 95 provided in response to a Public Insight Network query.

Read more
End of the Road
10:35 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Stretch Of I-95 Memorializes Fallen Trooper

A stretch of I-95 will be named after Trooper Hurd. In her last three years, she made 409 DUI arrests.
Credit Taimy Alvarez / Sun Sentinel

Two new signs were put up on Interstate 95 this month. They read “Trooper Kimberly Ann Hurd Memorial Highway” to remember Florida's first female trooper killed in the line of duty 22 years ago.

Kimberly grew up in North Collins, New York. Her mother Beverly Boltz says her daughter was a private person with an adventurous side.

“She was always independent. If she said she was going to do something she'd do it," says Beverly. "As a small child, I'd find her up in a tree or hanging out from a branch.”

Read more
The End of the Road
8:11 am
Mon August 18, 2014

What’s With That Insanely Bumpy Section Of I-95?

A "rehabilitation" project is making for a rocky ride on southbound I-95.
Credit Florida Department of Transportation

Miami's Southbound Interstate 95 from 153rd Street to 125th Street looks -- and feels -- like it was engineered by Pablo Picasso.

Just south of the Golden Glades Interchange, the pavement turns into a patchwork of concrete slabs. Hundreds of them, jutting up as high as one-eighth of an inch above the expressway’s surface.

“It felt like we were literally traveling over numerous speed bumps,” public safety advocate Mike Arias wrote in an email to the Florida Department of Transportation. “Like if we were riding over a roller coaster and almost ready to puke.”

Read more
The End of the Road
4:46 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

How Much Do Free 95 Express Trips Cost The State?

Florida's future highway: express lanes but no free rides.
Credit Florida Department of Transportation

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is finished with free trips in the fast lanes. The newly opened 595 Express and the planned 75 Express and Palmetto Express projects do not and will not include free rides for anyone.

But 95 Express, the first system of its kind in Florida, was the exception. Those lanes were created by converting high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes into toll lanes, so HOV toll exemptions were initially grandfathered in.

Read more
The End of the Road
6:48 am
Mon July 28, 2014

FDOT: Florida In Relatively Good Shape If Highway Trust Fund Goes Broke

The fuel tax makes up 90 percent of the Highway Trust Fund.
Credit Just2shutter

While state transportation departments around the country have been scrambling in anticipation of a potential Highway Trust Fund insolvency, Florida officials aren’t sweating quite yet.

The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that the Highway Trust Fund, which trickles down and helps pay for everything from highways to sidewalks, will run out of money in August. The U.S. House of Representatives has already passed a bill that would temporarily fix the problem.

Read more

Pages