Tuesday, July 14, 2009

July 14: Compromise On Rickenbacker Causeway

By Sylvia Gurinsky

The Rickenbacker Causeway should not go all-electronic toll because:

1. Key Biscayne gets a lot of tourists and sometime visitors who do not have electric toll transponders/cards.

2. Motorists aren't alone on the road, as an article in today's Miami Herald shows.

Miami-Dade's Public Works Department has the best proposal, with the combination of electronic passes and one cash lane. That's better than the proposal of County Commissioner Carlos Gimenez, usually one of the best on the dais but in a policy slump recently, with his support of all-electronic tolls on the Rickenbacker (not to mention studying the idea of slot machines at Miami International Airport).

Elected and transportation officials will never be able to force sometime drivers or people who can't afford the monthly fees for electronic devices to get them. Coin lanes need to be an option for the only way into Key Biscayne by car.

As for bicyclists, the county professes to be interested in improving conditions for them. Putting them in a race with motorists zipping through electronic toll lanes won't do that.

The Miami-Dade Commission should adopt the Public Works proposal. Compromise is needed on the Rickenbacker Causeway - among the people who drive it and the people who oversee it.

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