Thursday, December 16, 2004
That's Just Wrong: Holiday Traffic Problems
Traffic, horn honking, road rage. And that's just in the parking lot. Getting to the mall is never easy this time of year. But it's worse than ever in one community due to massive road construction. Residents there tell us the timing of the project is just wrong.
WSVN -- Road work ahead, detour and plenty of flashing arrows. Construction and the traffic that goes along with it are just a daily part of driving in South Florida.
Frustrated Kathy Wagner: "There's only one lane each way. Traffic gets really backed up. It's very hard to drive over biscayne boulevard right now because of the construction."
But add holiday shoppers to the mix and Kathy Wagner of Aventura says you wind up with pure chaos.
Kathy: "It's just a very bad time of year to have to deal with all the traffic."
Kathy says she's tired of fighting barricades to get to the Aventura Mall.
Kathy: "You may say I'll avoid this area today. Well you can avoid that area today, then you go around the other way, it's popped up around the other side."
Its not that she doesn't understand the importance of road construction, she doesn't understand the timing.
Kathy feels Aventura is crowded enough as it is, but to make it even more congested during the holidays is just wrong.
Kathy: "At least this time of year maybe try to do it before the holidays or right after the holidays and just give us the month of December to get around a little easier."
Sounds like a good idea, but the Florida Department of Transportation says postponing construction isn't often an option.
Some of these projects have been going on for more than a year and still have another year to meet deadline.
Tish Burgher, Florida Department of Transportation: "It's more in the public interest to continue working and to get done the work as quickly as possible."
Tish Burgher from the Department of Transportation says crews often work five to six days a week only stopping on major holidays.
Tish Burgher: "The department makes it a priority to minimize impact to the public. The traveling public, the people that live in the area, the businesses that are in the area of any construction zone, but we have to weigh the working against the public's desire to have the construction completed."
The City of Aventura however tries to avoid these road woes as best possible. The city has a policy not to issue public work permits november 1st through new years.
Construction along the William Lehman Causeway was only approved because fpl made an emergency request to install an underground power line.
It should be complete in two weeks. As for construction along biscayne boulevard...
Tish Burgher: "A project like the Biscayne Blvd. reconstruction project underway right now it's more than a year, it's a year and a half in length or two years in
That means drivers are going to have to remember a little peace and good will behind the wheel, or they should follow Kathy, get their shopping done early and avoid the malls entirely.
Kathy: "It's a great time of year, a wonderful time of year."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
More Information about Florida's ongoing construction projects: http://www.dot.state.fl.us/publicinformationoffice/construc/constmap/d6.htm
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