The End of the Road

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
The End of the Road
7:38 pm
Sat July 19, 2014

Free Rides In 95 Express Lanes Coming To An End For Hybrid Drivers

Self-loathing Prius owner Bobby Wells bought his car for the free rides in 95 Express.
Credit Kenny Malone

To be perfectly honest, Bobby Wells, a Harley-riding, python-owning Miami lawyer, doesn’t really like his Toyota Prius.

But he does love that red and blue “95 Express” registration decal on the bottom left of his hybrid car’s windshield.

“Yeah,” said Wells, “the reason I bought this car was to get that sticker.”

I-95’s express lanes — where the price of admission ranges from 50 cents to $10.50 depending on traffic — are free to registered hybrids. But that’s not going to last forever.

Read more
The End of the Road
6:45 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Why Most Highway Signs Aren't All Caps Anymore

The sign at the end of the road.
Credit Gregory Castillo

A drive down I-95 is full of dozens, probably hundreds, of tiny design decisions that are ultimately about driver attention. From the lettering on a road sign to the shape of a road, engineers are constantly trying to find a sweet spot between getting a driver’s attention and distracting them.

As part of our End of the Road series we wanted to ask an expert about the thinking behind some of the things drivers see everyday on I-95 but aren’t supposed to pay much attention to.

Read more
The End of the Road
4:47 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

What It's Like To Have A Gun Pulled On You On The Highway

Photos of Alyce and Neil Robertson from the beginning of their marriage and from recently.
Credit Alyce and Neil Robertson

Alyce and Neil Robertson were running late to a wedding one day 20 or 30 years ago. Because they were running late, they were arguing in the car, until some maniac on the road did something crazy.

Naturally, some of the details have slipped over the years. But the two agree they were on their way to a friend’s wedding and Alyce was mad at Neil for making them late. Here’s how they remember the rest...

Read more
The End of the Road
6:55 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Are "Lexus Lanes" Really Lexus Lanes?

The term "Lexus Lanes" seems originated in the mid '90s and became a synonym for all express lane projects. But how accurate is it really?
Credit Concavo Wheels, (Creative Commons License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

Brian Rick is on a crusade. As a spokesman for the Florida Department of Transportation he has chewed the ear of dozens, maybe a hundred people -- reporters, friends, anybody who refers to 95 Express as the “Lexus Lanes.”

“You don’t see a Lexus every two or three cars," Rick says. He notices the pickup trucks and work vans. "If you're delivering auto parts or you're delivering medical supplies... that's where reliability becomes essential. "

Read more
The End of the Road
4:09 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

WLRN-ify My Commute: Let Us Give Your Daily Drive The Public Radio Treatment

Let's go for a ride.
Credit tiverylucky / freedigitalphotos.net

We spend a lot of time together on the road, you (audience) and us (WLRN). If you’re like most of our listeners, we’re with you in the car just about every day -- through your speakers, at least.

But we want to take it to the next level: We want to actually get in the car with your family, your friends, your coworkers.

Read more
The End of the Road
6:00 pm
Sun June 8, 2014

Seriously, What's So Great About I-95?

Credit Kenny Malone

As part of our End of the Road series -- about the final 87 miles of I-95 -- we’ve asked a lot of questions: Why don’t people seem to get in trouble for speeding in the express lanes? What even is the speed limit in the express lanes? When you accidentally cut someone off, what should you do when they pull a gun on you?

Read more
The End of the Road
12:37 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Displacing Overtown Residents To Make Up For Rupture I-95 Caused

Benjamin Brown, 80, sits in the living room of his family home a week before movers arrived to pack his belongings and move him out. Brown’s last day in his home was April 28.
Credit Emily Michot / Miami Herald

At times, the two-story white house with bright blue shutters and columns that seem to reach for the sky was mistaken for a church in Miami's Overtown neighborhood.

But for 80-year-old Benjamin Brown, the property that had been in his family since 1917 always meant just one thing: home.

Read more
The End of the Road
6:39 am
Mon May 19, 2014

How A $1 Billion Hole In The Ground Will Impact I-95

PortMiami Tunnel is officially complete as of Monday, May 19th.
Credit Port of Miami Tunnel Project

The PortMiami Tunnel--a $1 billion hole in the ground that began with a task force more than 30 years ago--finally celebrates its completion Monday.

Traffic will now be able to access the port from I-395 by taking a the tunnel entrance on Watson Island, driving below Government Cut and resurfacing on Dodge Island, where PortMiami is located.

Read more
The End of the Road
8:54 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

95 Express Has Hit New Max Toll At Least 12 Times, But Appears To Be Working

95 Express toll sign at an onramp just north of NW 36th Street.
Credit Kenny Malone

The maximum possible toll on 95 Express increased from $7 to $10.50 on March 1. Two days later at 5:30 p.m., the cost of using the northbound express lanes hit the $10.50 maximum.

Rory Santana from the Florida Department of Transportation says a truck jack-knifed and backed up the highway, so people flooded 95 Express and drove the price into the ceiling.

Since March 1 the cost of a ride in the fast lane has hit $10.50 at least 13 times.  Nine of those cases occurred on the northbound express lanes, seven of which happened between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. 

Read more
The End of the Road
5:13 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

I-95, Road Rage And How The Robertsons Learned Miami Time

A photo of Neil and Alyce Robertson taken around the time of their harrowing I-95 tale.
Credit Alyce and Neil Robertson / Courtesy

There are details of this story that Alyce and Neil Robertson don’t quite agree on.

“We were on our way to a wedding on a Saturday afternoon,” recalls Alyce.

“A Sunday, yeah,” recalls Neil, “we were on our way to a wedding.”

This Saturday (or Sunday) wedding trip roughly 20 (or 30) years ago has become a go-to party story for the Robertsons, who can at least agree that they were disagreeing at the time.

Read more
The End of the Road
9:57 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

What’s With The Redacted Signs On I-95 (And 395)?

Over the MacArthur Causeway looms one of many redacted signs popping up on 395 and I-95.
Credit Kenny Malone

Like novelty-sized pages of redacted government documents, blacked-out road signs are hanging over I-95 and I-395. And inquiring drivers (WLRN contributor Nancy Klingener, for example) want answers:

Read more
The End of the Road
8:12 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Train Is The New... Train? I-95 Traffic Helps Resurrect Old Miami Rail

A Florida East Coast freight train runs through the middle of downtown West Palm Beach. South Florida's urban core developed around the FEC tracks. Now two projects hope to run passengers along the line for the first time in almost 50 years.
Credit Kenny Malone

I-95 misery has bent Henry Flagler's railroad tracks full circle.

Long ago, passenger trains on lines Flagler built turned a community called Fort Dallas, pop. 300, into Miami. Then cars on I-95 turned Miami into the Miami metropolitan area, driving a stake into Flagler passenger trains along the way. Now, in a historic swing of the pendulum, that same highway system may be resurrecting Flagler passenger service.

Read more
The End Of The Road
11:11 pm
Sun April 13, 2014

If You Thought The Driving Was Crazy, You Didn't Know About I-95's Drug-Smuggling Years

In his new book, Tony Dokoupil explores his fathers secret life as drug smuggler.
Credit Courtesy of Tony Dokoupil

Like many born in the '50s, Interstate 95 had some pretty wild days in the 1970s.

Florida was essentially “a 600-mile bong through which pot was pulled into the lungs of the country,” writes Tony Dokoupil. And “Interstate 95 was the glass tube of the bong,” he told WLRN. “You could not get high in America without touching something that had traveled on that particular stretch of asphalt.”

Read more
The End of the Road
7:02 am
Mon April 7, 2014

On The Miserable Road: The Poetry of I-95

Inspired by I-95: A.R. Ammons was on I-95 when he saw the inspiration for one of his most decorated works.

Interstate 95 inspires more than just four-letter words, it turns out.

Twenty five years ago, poet A.R. Ammons and his wife were driving home from a visit with family in South Miami. Somewhere north of Dade County -- on I-95 -- Ammons looked out his window and there it was: one of South Florida’s infamous mountains of trash.

Garbage: A Poem was born.

garbage has to be the poem of our time because
garbage is spiritual, believable enough

Read more

Pages