MDX need ‘rail review’ before changes

Robert Maristany’s letter in The Herald August 25 hit a sympathetic note, so we reprint the Miami resident’s comment in full:

“The last thing South Miami needs is an ugly toll-road lane on the Busway. The initial goal was that this road would encourage commuters to ride a fast bus and skip the car. I see the Busway as a huge success and a precursor to extending rail transit south in the form of heavy rail or light rail as many U. S. cities have done.

“Now that we have rail service to the airport, and the possibility of private rail to take us to Orlando, let’s continue South Miami-Dade with rail. It will convert our area into a true mixed-transportation metropolis,” he concluded.

Quoted in the ayem papyrus about Busway conversion to Sunpass for private vehicles, Pinecrest Mayor Cindy Lerner termed the idea “insulting” and added that she believed the agency was trying to distract attention from its study, a charge denied by PR spokesperson Tere Garcia on behalf of her bosses.

The first and last public meeting about a Busway Xway was held April 3 by the MDX to update a newly-appointed13- member Community Advisory Committee on the study. Even at the onset of that review, several members were appalled to hear an engineer blithely speak about building overpass vehicles bridges at major east-west street intersections to provide non-stop traffic on Busway express lanes.

“Bridging” SW 104 and 112 Streets for motor vehicles as well as a half-dozen more cross streets further south could easily cost hundreds of millions. And what would be the scope of integrating a traffic pattern for The Falls shopping plaza at S. Dixie Highway and SW136 Street or Jackson South Hospital at SW 152 Street?

MDX may have more than a few questions to answer at its next citizens’ meeting, including a growing concern that while the agency continues planning more and bigger toll roads, how about bankrolling part of its growing Sunpass revenues for light or heavy rail expansion?

We’re well aware that extending Metrorail in South Dade must await more favorable economic times and better County Commission long-term transportation budgeting and/or bonding, Nevertheless, the idea to siphon a percentage of those 50-cent tolls to establish a year-to-year ‘kitty’ for long-term rail service on existing MDX right-of-ways certainly makes sense to us.

Even if only for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren to enjoy!

Next session of Kendall Federation of Homeowners Association set for Monday, September 10 at 7 p.m. to hear Schools Supt. Alberto Carvalho update the ‘state of schools’ both in Kendall and countywide. Session as usual takes place in the civic pavilion adjoining Regal Stadium Theaters in Kendall Village Center, 8624 SW 124 Avenue.

We suspect you’ll hear a strong pitch for the $1.2 billion bond issue to renovate dilapidated schools and improve technology throughout the county, proposed by Carvalho and approved for balloting Nov. 6.

Initially termed a “no-brainer” by supporters, the measure is likely to get heavy-support in this neck of the woods. Our only question: how do you weigh school repairs against equally-needed water and sewer pipe replacements, both costly bond programs that may have Joe Taxpayer’s head swimming in debt by November 7?

Kendall voting ousting East and West Community Council incumbents led to post-balloting comment that an organized campaign was directed against members who have steadfastly supported retaining the county’s UDB (Urban Development Boundary).

That means keeping an eye on who applies for what when UDB boundary changes are up for votes in coming zoning board hearings.

In another corner, West Kendall activists are focusing on county use of optical scanning machines, claiming they do not create voting logs, are subject to “freezing” that results in data loss, and do not have proper controls to protect against fraud or human error in their operation.

Proof offered is that the ES&S DS200 machines purchased by the county have been decertified by the Federal Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) with the manufacturer assessed $200,000 in damages in one out-of-state election utilizing that equipment.

“Calm & collected” reports Officer Laurel Wade of Hammocks District Police Community Outreach, noting absence of motorists clogging Kendall streets during and after Tropical Storm Isaac passed by last week.

“It was nice to see people staying inside and following storm advice,” she told a Citizens Advisory Committee meeting August 29.

A Valencia resident added that the “usual lake” heavy rain produces on SW 104 Street at the community entrance was greatly relieved by an owner-paid effort that cleaned storm drains since the county’s Public Works Dept. hasn’t yet solved the flooding issue.

Free sand bags to help keep Isaac away from the door were available August 26 from Commissioner Dennis Moss whose name in big black letters appeared on each bag as their benefactor. Hmmmmm…wonder if tax money paid for both the imprinting and the bags!


Misspelled press release for a second annual “Tunnel-to-Towers 5K Run/Walk” in Fort Lauderdale at 7:30 a.m. September 8 notes the course runs through the Henry E. Kenney Tunnel (New River Tunnel). That’s the Henry E. KINNEY Tunnel (with an “I”) named for a friend and highlyregarded Fort Lauderdale Herald editor whose constant editorial plugs in the 1950’s were recognized as the primary impetus that led to building the first US 1 tunnel between Key West and Canadian border. A little more respect on the copy desk, please!

Longtime diner dessert treat (blueberry pie with a hefty scoop of vanilla) hard to find in everyday shopping these days. Gal at Norman’s checkout says “We don’t make them – but have you tried our blueberry scones?” And when was the last time you saw a blueberry pie at Publix? Whatever happened to blueberry pies?

Thought of the Day:

Education is a better safeguard

of liberty than a standing army.

— Edward Everett

Richard Yager contributed to this column.

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About the Author

Michael Miller
Michael co-owns Community Newspapers with his brother Grant and serves as Executive Editor of the group of newspapers. He enjoys writing about local politics and area businesses. Michael can be reached at

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