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Miami Drivers Appreciate Gravity Of Tuttle Crash – But Not The Citywide Paralysis

Tim Padgett
Cars idling in traffic this Tuesday morning at Northeast 2nd Avenue, near I-395.

Car radios told Miami drivers Tuesday morning about the fatal crash on the Julia Tuttle Causeway – and they appreciated its gravity. But many didn’t understand how that accident could paralyze traffic throughout Miami.

Read more: Early Morning Accident On Tuttle Causeway Leaves 3 Dead, A Rush Hour Traffic Nightmare Ensues 

Megan Burgin left her Little Havana home at 9:45 am. At 11 am she was just three miles away – sitting in her car downtown between Northeast 1st and 2nd Avenues on 15th Street for half an hour. She’d never seen anything like it.

“Even in Miami, and I’ve gone through some pretty bad traffic these days," Burgin said. "I think the highway re-opened I heard, but it’s still backed up pretty badly. They need to have better planning for these types of things, or alternative routes.”

The problem was the hours-long shutdown of the Julia Tuttle Causeway’s eastbound lanes after the 4:30 am accident, which killed three people. That caused morning-rush hour Tuttle commuters to look for those alternative routes – and turn a city into one massive parking lot.

Even recently arrived Cubans like Jesús Bonzón were aghast at Miami’s traffic paralysis, which extended for miles north and south.

“It’s horrible, unforgivable,” Bonzón said about the jam that was making him two hours late for a carpentry job downtown. "And it's all over Miami."

And, he complained as his van idled on Northeast 2nd Avenue near I-395, he saw no police or other officials out directing the traffic.