Opinion: We Need To Hold MDX Accountable And Stop The 836 Extension

By: Jeffrey Solomon

Jeffrey Solomon is a chiropractor and the Democratic candidate for Florida House District 115. He was the United States Olympic Team Staff Chiropractor for the 2006 Winter Olympics. Below is his view on the proposed State Road 836 highway extension. 

On Thursday, September 27th, the Miami-Dade County Commission will vote on the application to extend the 836 highway.

I urge the County Commission to reject the application.

This 6-lane highway is a dangerous and expensive project that will put more cars on the road and promote more reckless development.

Studies on urban development make it abundantly clear: the more roads and bridges you build; the more cars will be clogging up streets.

It’s called induced demand and the same concept applies to development.

Extending this highway onto this very sensitive land will have commercial developers salivating with the thought of encroaching past the urban development boundary (UDB).

We should use the $1 billion cost of this highway and put it to work for the extension of the Metrorail.

It was recently made public that the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority, or MDX, used $125,000 of our toll dollars to campaign in favor of the 836-highway extension.

They are using our money to convince citizens to let them take more money.

Without a doubt, this massive highway will have tolls on them.

It’s ludicrous.

The 836 at sunset. Photo: Ines Hegedus-Garcia

MDX was sued for their failure to release their records on the 836 extension campaign.

Additionally, the Florida Legislature amended MDX’s establishing legislation to use between 20%-50% of their surplus revenue for transit projects and that has not taken place.

There’s a fundamental problem here.

Tolls collect money for transportation projects.

We, the people, should get to decide what MDX does with this money because it’s our money.

For MDX to keep using public toll dollars for the construction of highways without end in sight is short-sighted and frankly undemocratic.

As I campaign in District 115, many residents have expressed their concerns with traffic.

This expensive and environmentally damaging highway must be stopped.

We need to provide relief.

As a member of this community, I’m confident this will not relieve traffic.

We should use the $1 billion cost of this highway and put it to work for the extension of the Metrorail.

It’s unfair that South West Dade residents need to drive to Dadeland mall to use it.

Metrorail and high-tech rapid transport will efficiently get people where they need to be, and actually reduce traffic.

Opinion: South Dade Needs Rail Not More Buses

Opponents to the extension of the Metro-Rail have claimed that the population in SW Dade is not dense enough to justify the expense.

There is a real yearning for rail that would connect commuters with the rest of the county.

It’s clear that more and more people are now and will continue to substantially increase the population of South West Dade County.

Extending the Metro-Rail West to Kendall and South West to Homestead will be proactive mitigation and accommodate the growing population with 21st century public transit.

Why are we not keeping up with world-class cities such as those in South East Asia?

Chinese citizens get to benefit from rapid systems with millions of people using them on a daily basis.

Why can’t all residents of Miami-Dade County benefit from such systems? It would relieve traffic and likely get people where they need faster. I want Miami-Dade County to be a leader in public transit.

I ask you to call your county commissioner today and urge them to vote NO on the 836 extension on Thursday Sept. 27 and attend the vote at 9:30am.

Find your commissioner here: https://www.miamidade.gov/commission/.

This expensive and environmentally damaging highway must be stopped.

We need to be proactive and not reactive and invest in smart traffic solutions like expanding Metrorail and high tech rapid transit.

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