The folks at Miami-Dade County’s Causeway Division have been talking about converting the toll collection system on the Venetian Causeway to SunPass for two-plus years now.
And for just as long, residents from Belle Isle to Biscayne Island have worried that the system — though more efficient — will mean more cars and higher speed on the residential causeway that serves as a haven to runners, cyclists and residents.
In using SunPass instead of the current C-Pass transponders, island residents still would buy a $24 annual pass for the causeway, with a SunPass coded for the use. Other drivers would not longer have to pay by cash.
The most recent prediction from causeway chief Mike Bauman in January was the conversion — once anticipated in fall 2012, will happen at the end of this year.
On Tuesday, May 21, at 7 p.m., county representatives will answer questions at a forum hosted by the Venetian Way Neighborhood Alliance and sponsored jointly with the Belle Island Residents Association and Venetian Island Homeowners Association.
The meeting happens in the community room at 1000 Venetian Way on Biscayne Island, in view of the toll plaza. Among the discussion points on the table:
• Lowering the speed limit on the causeway from 30 miles
• The installation of speed feedback machines along causeway
• Toll lane narrowing
• Maintaining toll “arms”
• Higher tolls for non-residents and/or commuters
• Increased security (cameras, police, etc.)
The city of Miami Beach last week approved tag scanners and cameras for the Miami Beach portion of the causeway. The toll booth is in the city of Miami.