By Richard Yager…
Two West Kendall advertising men are mounting what they term “a grassroots campaign” to remove newly installed ORT (Open Road Tolling) on the Don Shula and Snapper Creek expressways.
According to a website message posted Aug. 24, Carlos Garcia, resident of the Lindgren area south of Calusa Club, and Miller Myers, residing east of The Hammocks, are “mad as hell about the MDX tolls on 874 and 878 and won’t take this anymore!”
The pair sought and gained cooperation of the Kendall Federation of Homeowner Associations (KFHA) to schedule a community meeting on Monday, Sept. 27, 7-9 p.m., in the Civic Pavilion at Kendall Village Center, 8625 SW 124 Ave.
“While Kendall Federation heard a detailed presentation by MDX on coming tolls on June 7, we felt there has been sufficient backlash by the public to co-host the September session,” said Miles E. Moss, KFHA president.
“We’re expecting at least up to 200 or more people to show up,” said Myers who wrote a letter to the editor published in the Gazetteon Aug. 31 asking MDX (Miami- Dade Expressway Authority) to “roll back” the 25-cent and 50-cent tolls now recorded on expressway gantries. Toll collecting by Sunpass started on July 16.
“We’ll be discussing ideas on how to effectively organize a grass roots movement to get those gantries taken down,” said Garcia who owns a “Please Hold” advertising agency.
“Because of time constraints, we are limited to six speakers drawn by lottery at the meeting, each with a five-minute time limit,” he said, adding that anyone wishing to address the meeting should arrive early to sign up.
Myers added, “This whole thing was pretty much rammed through during the summer when no one was around to hear a protest. There just wasn’t anyone you could talk to, so we decided to seek a total community effort in September.”
While neither man said he is regularly active in community causes, Myers noted that he “walked door to door” when residents along SW 104th Street successfully stopped the planned $6 million six-laning of the roadway planned in 2004.
The MDX Board of Directors will meet on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 4 p.m., less than 24 hours after the Kendall evening rally, termed “strictly a coincidence” by Garcia who said the only shared expense to date was $20 for printing business card sized handouts that urge residents to “Be Heard. Join Us” if they support the movement.
More information is offered on a “rollbacktolls. com” website that asks residents planning to attend the meeting to sign on facebook.com/rollbacktolls. Questions or concerns can be emailed to info@rollbacktolls.