What to Know
- On Monday, State Representatives will introduce a bill that would eliminate express lanes on the Palmetto and prohibit tolls from being crea
On Monday, State Representatives will introduce a bill that would eliminate express lanes on the Palmetto and prohibit tolls from being created on the highway.
However, the proposal isn't seen as a complete victory for the leaders of the No More Tolls movement, who are collecting signatures for a citizen led bill against tolls.
They say it's hard to believe that the same representatives who voted in favor of the tolls just a few months ago are now voting against it.
"We, the citizens of Miami, aren't buying it," Leader of the No Toll Movement, Chris Wills, says. "They've had too many years to solve this problem. So we're solving it ourselves."
The movement's petition emerged five years ago as a simple citizens protest. It gained more momentum when toll collection was announced on the Palmetto express lanes. Now, more than half a million residents have signed the No More Tolls petition.
The bill that will be introduced in Tallahassee on Monday by Representatives Bryan Avila and Senator Manny Diaz Jr.
But, there is a catch, says Wills.
"These legislators say they are on our side, but they have not even signed the petition."
In a statement, Avila said: "Our residents have experienced more congestion than ever and significant delays in their daily trips. Our community deserves transportation solutions, not more obstacles."
Simultaneously, Diaz said that "the express lanes project did not take into account population growth or economic development in the area."
If the proposal is approved, it would go into effect July 1, 2020.
Regardless of what happens, the No More Tolls Movement will continue to collect signatures until it reaches one million, a requirement for citizens to decide the future of charging tolls on the roads.