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.
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...
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. "
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?
They write songs about roads: "Route 66," "Highway 61 Revisited"."Dusty, old roads with iconic signage that belongs on a pair of blue jeans.
“When you talk about ... the road as an attractive proposition, usually it’s open and it’s driveable,” says composer Carlos Rafael Rivera, who teaches American creative music at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. “I-95 is a little bit of the opposite. So I can see how songs would be written in a negative way about it."
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.
In the midst of the passing of one of our own, there is news of a possible alternative to I-95. Our #ThisIsWhere poetry series comes to an end this week, environmentalists tour South Florida, and technology and classical music collide on South Beach.
This week's most read stories include: The demise of the FCAT, drinking beer and practicing yoga, the golden years of marijuana smuggling and six plaintiffs who plan to fight the state’s ban on gay marriage.
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.
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.
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.”