transportation

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.

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Transportation
10:29 am
Mon September 1, 2014

How Changes To I-75 And I-595 Will Affect Your Commute

Credit freedigitalphotos.net

South Florida commuters will see some changes on I-75 and I-595 as improvements like noise buffers and new ramps begin.

Because of work on its express lanes, I-75 will get wider lanes near Sheridan Street, which will come with "noise walls" to keep surrounding neighborhoods quiet.

Broward County engineers are also  fixing the timing on some traffic signals at exits along I-595, particularly where drivers have complained of lengthy waits at the westbound State Road 84 and Davie Road intersection.

The signals should be fixed in the coming weeks.

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All Aboard Florida
4:23 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

"Quiet Zones" Along The FEC Tracks May Silence Critics As Well As Train Whistles

Credit All Aboard Florida

Local planning officials say they have most of the funding in hand to create a giant no-whistles-allowed "quiet zone" from Miami to West Palm Beach. It could be a big quality-of-life improvement for South Floridians who live and work along the Florida East Coast railway tracks.

For All Aboard Florida, the company that's building a new passenger rail line from Miami through Broward and Palm Beach counties to Orlando, this is a big deal that could placate some of its critics. 

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The End of the Road
9:38 am
Mon August 4, 2014

How A Driving Instructor Teaches Floridians To Take I-95

Credit Kenny Malone

(Take this quiz based off of driving instructor Chris Pearson's own tricks and advice as well as Florida's state driving manual.)

"I-95 driving is not for the timid or the meek," driving instructor Chris Pearson says. The former cop says new drivers are so scared of I-95 that he has essentially made it his final exam. Or maybe more accurately his final pop quiz.

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Transportation
11:55 pm
Sun August 3, 2014

PortMiami Tunnel Is Now Open To Drivers

A county vehicle makes its way through the westbound lanes of the PortMiami tunnel on Sunday.
Credit Carl Juste / Miami Herald

The PortMiami tunnel opened Sunday after months of delays.

Originally, the tunnel was to open to traffic starting in May-- an opening date which got pushed back to mid-July before the opening this weekend.

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FreeBee
5:19 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Is This Free Car Service In The Same Category As Lyft And Uber?

FreeBee director of public affairs Linnea Rae says the company's fleet of 20 vehicles are 100 percent electric.
Credit facebook.com/TheFreebee

This weekend, a service called FreeBee will start offering free short-distance rides in Brickell. The electric cars are paid for by advertisers in exchange for branding exposure.

The service's fleet of 20 electric vehicles has already been operating for two years in Miami Beach. 

FreeBee director of public affairs Linnea Rae calls the service a "marketing asset for prospective advertisers" that "caters to consumers by giving free rides around the community."

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Transportation
9:30 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Young Jewish Professionals Now Crowdsourcing Funds To Help Bubbies

Rachel Schapiro, (left) and Hinda Adle, (center) interview Rita Grossman, (right) at a JCS meal site on South Beach. Rachel, and Hinda, are part of a group of young professionals, called the Jewish Community Services Alliance, interviewing seniors. The group is hoping to raise $18,000 by September to receive a $165,000 grant from Florida's Department of Transportation.
Credit Peter Andrew Bosch / Miami Herald staff

Rita Grossman’s lifeline to the outside world is a white mini-bus with big, blue letters that announce: Jewish Community Services of South Florida...Senior Ride.

“I don’t know what I would do without it,” said Grossman, 88, of Miami Beach. She points to her cane propped in the corner of a South Beach community center: “If I wanted to walk anywhere with that, I’d have to start at 8 a.m. and just keep going.”

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Cycling Safety
6:48 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Gov. Rick Scott Signs Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act

Gov. Rick Scott signed the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act in Key Biscayne next to Aaron Cohen's family and Commissioner Jose Diaz.
Constanza Gallardo WLRN

Two years after the hit-and-run accident that killed cyclist Aaron Cohen was killed, the Florida Legislature passed a bill with tougher penalties for drivers who flee the scene.

Gov. Rick Scott signed the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act in Key Biscayne on Wednesday, with Cohen’s family in attendance.

“This happened a year and a half ago and the Legislature reacted,” says Gov. Scott.  “They’ve increased the penalties so hopefully this won’t happen to somebody again. You can’t imagine how this would change somebody’s life.”   

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News
3:51 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

FEC Unveils New Rail Assembly-Line Facility At Port Everglades

Credit Jephie Bernard / WLRN

Florida East Coast Railway unveiled its new assembly-line facility for making trains at Port Everglades on Monday.

The site will also serve as as a port for housing those trains.

The Intermodal Container Transfer Facility, or ICTF, is a public-private venture among Florida East Coast Railway, Broward County and the state of Florida.

The partners say it should be a more efficient train-assembly plant and operations at the train yard will start on Wednesday.

The ICTF took 18 months to complete the project which is expected to provide over 200,000 jobs.

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Politics
5:43 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

In Congress, Road To Funding Highways Jammed

Credit Florida State Archives

  The federal pot of money preserving local roads and bridges may soon be empty, yet lawmakers on Capitol Hill are miles apart on a solution. Not only local infrastructure but the overall economy is sure to feel the impact.

While increasingly fuel-efficient cars and trucks are easier on the wallet and the environment, they may prove terrible for the asphalt and steel beams on which they ride. Consuming less gas means fewer gas taxes. The federal Highway Trust Fund relies on an 18 cent gas tax on every gallon of regular. For diesel fuel that tax is 24 cents per gallon.

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South Florida Passenger Rail
6:30 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Sneaking A Peek At All Aboard's Fort Lauderdale Station

ARRIVAL: This is the ground approach to the proposed All Aboard Florida station in Fort Lauderdale. Architectural trusses are a design feature that will be echoed in all four of the railroad's stations.
Credit All Aboard Florida

 

All Aboard Florida -- the fast passenger rail that will connect Miami to Orlando through Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach -- unveiled plans for its Fort Lauderdale station on Tuesday.

The $30 million structure will straddle the Florida East Coast Railway tracks on Northwest Second Avenue between Broward Boulevard and Northeast Fourth Street, opening an overlooked and unattractive area near important downtown destinations to development and commerce.

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Transportation
6:53 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

How The Taxi Industry Became Legit In Miami

Credit Patrick Farrell / Miami Herald

About 56 years ago, in a county devoid of apps, smartphones and cars with pink fluffy mustaches, there lived a taxi industry that didn't rely on Miami-Dade County regulations.

That taxi industry without regulations is long gone, but ride-sharing apps Lyft and UberX are here -- and they're trying their best to stay. The smartphone-based companies connect users with drivers, and like Miami's old taxis, they don't rely on county regulations.

The taxi industry isn't too happy about this. 

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News
2:48 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Critical Mass Might Be A Bit Different Tonight

Credit Constanza Gallardo / WLRN

This week the Miami Police Department addressed the monthly Critical Mass biking event as a "critical mess." Police Chief Manuel Orosa wanted the group to be more organized and follow traffic rules.

On Wednesday he said police officers may or may not attend the event.

Today’s ride will be going through Little Havana, West Flagler, Grapeland Heights, Allapattah, Brownsville, Liberty City, Wynwood, Midtown, Edgewater, OMNI, Park West, and Downtown.

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Transportation
11:44 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Document Reveals All Aboard Florida Plans To Spend $29 Million On West Palm Beach Station

All Aboard Florida President and Chief Development Officer Michael Reininger announces plans for the rail system's downtown station.
Credit Patrick Farrell / Miami Herald

All Aboard Florida, the privately funded project that plans to connect Miami to Orlando with high-speed rail service, has been touted as an alternative to congested highways. It has also been criticized for concerns regarding safety and noise.

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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. "

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