Radikal Florida

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Florida Turnpike: Mission Incomplete

Traveling from Gainesville to Miami is by no means a short drive. In fact, without the FL-Turnpike there is no other practical way to getting from the inland city of Gainesville to the coast to connect to I-95. Once on the Turnpike, many drivers enjoy the slightly faster speeds (usually 70mph to I95's 65mph) as well as freer flow of traffic (far less exits than I-95) in addition to the usually-safer rest stops and gas stations. I give the FL Turnpike it's due; in my opinion it's rest-stops & gas stations are much safer than those littered alongside I-95 largely due to an increased police presence as well as better lighting, however, lighting leaves much to be desired in the area between Orlando and Ocala.

Between Orlando and Ocala the turnpike's lighting is deplorable. The road narrows from four lanes (where the "fast lane" is usually free of trucks) to two lanes where trucks usually hog both lanes, were even the slightest degree of fog or rain can make driving seem difficult-at-best. Additionally, during times of low traffic, driving may be as difficult as during congested hours largely due to the fact that for several dozen miles the only light on the highway is that of traffic.

The Florida Turnpike generates huge profits (the majority of its roads and plazas have long been paid for and it's only real expense would be in its staff). I believe the Turnpike is terribly mismanaged and I'd like to find out which state or national agency or body is responsible for oversight. There are large profits, minimal services, and not many answers available to the general public

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Disturbing COJ Advertisement

This past Friday, I picked up a "First Coast News Holiday Guide" from my neighborhood Publix and found a very troubling advertisement that was apparently paid for by the City of Jacksonville, FL. The following day I approached several members of Gainesville's African American comunity to get their take on the ad; sure enough, they were highly offended and commended me on my decision to contact the City of Jacksonville. Later that day I wrote Mayor Peyton and select members of his City Council, in addition to MLK's SCLC [nationals & Florida branch], both television stations that sponsored the Holidy Guide, and a member of Publix Corporate in regards to what I felt was an offensive ad being distributed in a Holiday Guide to the general public. Today, one day from the close of the business week and after a follow-up email to the Miami Rep. of the SCLC no one has replied to me.