Posts by: Felipe Azenha

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Mayor Regalado and City of Miami staff will be in attendance to answer all of your questions and concerns related to the City of Miami.

The meeting will take place at Legion Park on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 7:00pm

Legion Park is located at 6447 NE 7th Ave.

Here are a couple of topics worth speaking about:

What can the city to do make Biscayne Boulevard and 79th Street more pedestrian and business-friendly?

Why does it take 5 weeks to build a crosswalk in Belle Meade?

 
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This crosswalk in Belle Meade has been under construction for nearly three weeks.

For the past 6 months my neighbors and I have been trying to get the county and city to calm traffic on our street. After the County rejected several proven and sensible traffic calming alternatives  which Transit Miami proposed (raised crosswalks, raised intersections, and speed tables) the County decided that the best they could do to calm traffic on our street was to add two crosswalks with two “Stop For Pedestrian” signs in the middle of the street.

These would be a great addition to Wynwood. They are effective and help calm traffic.

These signs alone will do very little to calm traffic on NE 76 St. 

It took the nearly 6 months for the County to come up with this half-baked idea. Construction began about three weeks and we still don’t have a crosswalk. See for yourselves how asinine the process to build a crosswalk in Miami is. I received an email from my neighbor Frank Rollason describing the on-going process and what it will take to complete:

“The City has done their first part by installing the ramps.  The County will now come and install the crosswalk stripes and then the City will install the sign in the center of the intersection advising drivers that they must stop for a pedestrian in the crosswalk.”

You have got to be kidding me? Why isn’t either the City or County solely responsible for taking this project from A to Z? A project that should have taken no more than a few days to complete is now in it’s fourth week.

Meanwhile, cars continue to speed down my street everyday. The County’s traffic calming plan for my street will prove to be a total failure and we’ll continue to find ourselves with cars speeding down our street with no end in sight.  Clearly the County does not seem to think that speeding is enough of a problem that it needs to address the issue quickly and effectively. It’s no wonder that Miami Dade County is the 4th deadliest metropolitan area in the United States for pedestrian and cyclists.

If you feel like this whole crosswalk boondoggle is a disgrace, please click here to send an email to County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson and County Public Works and Waste Director Katheleen Woods- Richardson.

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TEDxCity2.0 Viewing + Discussion + Happy Hour will occur from 6pm – 8pm on Friday Sept 20th. Hosted at Elwoods Gastro Pub, this event will broadcast three (3) TEDxCity2.0 talks. Each talk will be followed by a short discussion session based on how the information presented relates to Miami.

Join us in thought sharing, discussing and visioning a better Miami. This event is free.

About TEDxCity2.0:
TEDxCity2.0 is a day-long initiative that gathers TEDx communities from around the world to host events highlighting local urban innovators, organizers, stewards and builders. Speakers at these events will focus on City 2.0 themes including Art, Education, Food, Health, Housing, Play, Public Space and Safety.

Coinciding with TEDCity2.0 — a TED-hosted event that will focus on how bright urban ideas turn into collective impact — TEDxCity2.0 gathers TEDx communities across the globe to envision the cities of our future and share big ideas about sustainable solutions and collaborative action.

TED-Flyer

 

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Attend the Sustainable Authentic Conference, October 23-25, 2013 in Miami Beach. The conference will bring together leaders from Greater Miami and throughout Florida to examine the work in preservation/conservation, arts and culture, green building/sustainability practices, economic development and quality of life.

Conference themes:

  • · How has the 35-year-old story of creatively inspired economic renewal of Miami Beach influenced the Mia mi mainland and elsewhere in Florida?
  • · What becomes the metro Miami narrative when viewed through 2,000 years of history from the Miami Circle to Art Basel?
  • · At a time when Florida’s main markets for tourism and investment grow increasingly urban, place-focused and creative driven, how might urban Florida better tell its own authentic story?

Also, please be sure to check out the session titled:

Views on the Miami Metro Narrative, featuring:

Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, FAIA, principal, Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company

Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk FAIA is a global practitioner of smart growth, sustainable development, community planning, and a founding board member of the New Urbanism, already in 1993, the year of the movement’s founding, characterized by The New York Times as “the most important phenomenon to emerge in American architecture in the post Cold War era.”

Join the inquiry. Improve our outlook. Improve Florida.

  • · Register today
  • · Spread the word
  • · Attend and engage

Members of local co-sponsoring organizations are eligible for a special three day conference rate of $125, including the entire program, hosted meals and special offerings and events.

 

For further information and sponsorship opportunities, contact:
Denis Russ
Phone: 305-672-4782
Email: Denis@MiamiBeachCDC.orgFor more information: sustainableauthenticflorida.com
To register click here

 

 

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Looks like it’s going to be a pretty cool event, DecoBike will be there so you can check out all the art on two wheels.  Here’s some more information we received about the event…

After a successful inaugural year, the Miami Downtown Development Authority (Miami DDA) is working once again in tandem with a variety of arts and cultural institutions to highlight the area’s cultural renaissance through its second annual DWNTWN Art Days Event. The Miami DDA, through Creative Curator Claire Breukel and the Cultural Advisory Group, is partnering with virtually every major art and culture institution in Downtown Miami for a three-day celebration that will incorporate numerous free events and exhibitions for the community to enjoy.

 The events will take place around all of Downtown with one central informational hub at Grand Central Park at Miami Worldcenter where attendees can pick up a full list of activities and begin their tour of Art Days events.

This year, Car2Go and BeachedMiami are partnering with DWNTWN Art Days to host tours around Downtown Miami venues and the exhibitions. Car2Go will host a tour by vehicle for quick and easy access to Art Days events. BeachedMiami along with Deco Bike will be providing bicycles and arranging bike tours of temporary Art Days art projects as well as permanent Downtown artworks.

Artist Thom Wheeler is also conducting a series of walking tours around some of Downtown Miami’s most exciting artist studios and exhibition spaces. Wheeler will give visitors an insider look in to the work of artists at the DWNTWN Art House at Miami Worldcenter, the Artisan Lounge, and to individual studio spaces.

In addition to the tours, the Miami Trolley will make stops at several key Art Days venues in Downtown. The Trolley route will be published on the Art Days website www.dwntwnarts.com closer to the event.

The following events are taking place during DWNTWN Art Days:

  • ·         Miami Children’s Museum: “Now Read This” Stories through Drama and Design, September 20-22 from 10am-6pm.
  • ·         PAMM: “Discussing the Architecture of the Perez Art Museum Miami presented by AIA and PAMM”, Friday, September 20 at 6pm
  • ·         Freedom Tower: “Activate: MDCulture”, Friday, September 20 from 6-9pm.
  • ·         McCormick Place: “2nd Annual Art Days Fair @ McCormick Place”, Friday, September 20 from 6pm-12am.
  • ·         Dimensions Variable: “Psychogeography Opening Reception”, Friday, September 20 from 6-10pm.
  • ·         Wine by the Bay: “September’s Storm” – A California Wine Tasting and Cultural Event, September 20-21 at 7pm.
  • ·         The Vagabond: “DWNTWN Art Days I – Launch Party” Friday, September 20 at 10 pm.
  • ·         PAMM: “PAMM Family Art Making”, Saturday, September 21 from 12-3pm.
  • ·         Around Downtown: “Beached Miami DWNTWN Art Days Bike Tour”, September 21-22, limited space.
  • ·         Bayfront Park:  “National Redbull Flugtag”, Saturday, September 21 from 12-5pm.
  • ·         CIFO: “Water-Balloon Kickball, Round Two / Cannonball vs. CIFO”, Saturday, September 21 from 1-4pm.
  • ·         Olympic Theater at the Gusman Center: “Miami Lyric Opera: Cavalleria Rusticana and Suor Angelica”, Saturday, September 21
  • ·         The Vagabond: “DWNTWN Art Days II – After-Party”, Saturday, September 21 at 10pm.

This year, Art Days debuts the Fringe, a series of temporary public artworks around Downtown curated by guest curator Amanda Sanfilippo. Six projects have been selected from a call to artists that received 55 national proposals. These public artworks or ‘site activations’ aim to insight public interaction in a variety of Downtown venues including Grand Central Park, DRB bar, the Christ Fellowship Church as well as 600 Brickell’s fountain.

For the most up to date information please visit www.dwntwnarts.com.

WHEN:           Friday, September 20 – Sunday, September 22
WHERE:         DWNTWN Art Days Information Hub
                         Grand Central Park at Miami Worldcenter
                         700 N. Miami Ave
Miami, FL 33136

 

 

 

Biscayne Boulevard and 53rd Street  Crash occurred  on Saturday night on August 24. As of two days ago the light pole was still on the ground a week after the crash.

Biscayne Boulevard and 53rd Street. Light pole still remains on the sidewalk after nearly two weeks.

There is something seriously wrong with our local government. It’s been nearly two weeks since this light pole was knocked down in a car crash. As of last night the light pole was still on the sidewalk. This is unacceptable. And we are a world class city right?

You can read about the 22 crashes that have occurred in Biscayne Boulevard over the past three years by clicking here.

 

 

During the past three years I have documented at least 22 crashes along Biscayne Boulevard from 36th Street to 79th Street.  The majority of the crashes have resulted in cars riding up on the sidewalk and at least three innocent pedestrians have been seriously injured. The reality is that with so many crashes there is no explanation as to why more pedestrians are not injured or killed in these crashes. The dangerous speed in which these drivers are traveling is clearly evidenced by the numbers of light poles, bus shelters and signs that have been knocked down (the majority of these crashes have been photographed and posted on this blog).

Biscayne Boulevard and 53rd Street  Crash occurred  on Saturday night on August 24. As of two days ago the light pole was still on the ground a week after the crash.

Biscayne Boulevard and 53rd Street. Crash occurred on Saturday night on August 24. As of two days ago the light pole was still on the ground a week after the crash. Where’s the cleanup crew?

Twenty-two crashes in 36 months along a 43-block stretch of one road isn’t an acceptable safety standard. Clearly there is something innately unsafe in the design speed of this road. Yet the FDOT continues to ignore the fact that their very own design standards enable and encourage motorists to move as quickly as possible.  Everyone loses with Biscayne Boulevard’s design, especially pedestrians and the businesses that operate along Biscayne Boulevard.

Two weeks ago an SUV drove off of Biscayne Boulevard onto the sidewalk and into the INS building.  These are the damaged bushes.

Two weeks ago an SUV drove off of Biscayne Boulevard onto the sidewalk and into the INS building. These are the damaged bushes. Luckily no one was injured.

We have a serious safety problem and the FDOT, the county and the city are collectively ignoring this issue that not only affects Biscayne Boulevard, but all of Florida. This is evidenced by the fact that Florida leads the nation as the deadliest state for pedestrians and cyclists.  I think its fair to say that FDOT deserves most of the blame for this bleek honor due to their faulty design standards that emphasize “level of service”, rather than “safety for all road users”. At the county and city level the complacency has earned Miami Dade County the #4 spot in the nation for pedestrian and cyclists fatalities.

Four weeks ago I was told that a pedestrian was hit in the "FDOT Death Walk" on 85th and Biscayne Boulevard. Putting a crosswalk on an urban highway with a design speed of 40+mph is irresponsible. I use these crosswalks daily and drivers more often than not don't yield to pedestrians.

Four weeks ago I was told that a pedestrian was hit in the “FDOT Death Walk” on 85th and Biscayne Boulevard. Putting a crosswalk on an urban highway with a design speed of 40+mph is irresponsible. I use these crosswalks daily and drivers more often than not don’t yield to pedestrians.

The combination of lack of leadership in Miami Dade County with FDOT’s inability to make streets safer for all users has created the perfect disastrous storm for pedestrians and cyclists. If the FDOT and our local elected officials don’t begin to change their ways, Florida and Miami Dade County will continue to lead the nation in pedestrian and cycling fatalities.  In Miami we can virtually guarantee more pedestrian fatalities along Biscayne Boulevard as new residential and commercial development bring more density to the neighborhood.

Unprotected narrow sidewalks and cars moving at 45mph is a recipe for disaster. It's beyond my comprehension how the FDOT actually believes this to be perfectly safe.

Unprotected narrow sidewalks and cars moving at 45mph is a recipe for disaster. It’s beyond my comprehension how the FDOT actually believes this to be perfectly safe.

Sadly, none of our local elected officials seems to want to do anything to make Biscayne Boulevard safer for pedestrians and cyclists, nor does FDOT.  The County and City are now pointing the finger at Senator Gwen Margolis; apparently only Senator Margolis has leverage with the FDOT. The County and City always seem to claim they have no leverage with the FDOT.  Apparently the FDOT can do as they please and don’t have to really answer to our local elected officials, or residents for that matter.

We don’t want to let anyone of the hook.  So please click here to send an email to the following people to hold them accountable to make Biscayne Boulevard more business and pedestrian-friendly:

FDOT District Six Secretary Gus Pego
Senator Gwen Margolis
Mayor Regalado
County Mayor Gimenez
County Commissioner Edmonson
Commissioner Sarnoff

Here are two other crashes that occurred in the past month:

In the past 5 months 2 other light poles have been knocked down: Biscayne and 37th Street and Biscayne and 54th Street.

 

 

We received this email from Andrew Frey:

Folks, this coming Thurs is a Little Havana community meeting, see below and attached.  Many leaders will be there, including hopefully the City district commissioner.  It will be a great opportunity to spread the word about promoting fine-grain urban neighborhood development — in the heart of Miami’s largest expanse of T4 zoning — and about necessary zoning changes to make smaller sites developable, for example eliminating required parking.  
The Little Havana Merchant Alliance (LHMA), in conjunction with a variety of other local organizations, invites you to the first ever Little Havana Open House.DATE: Thursday, Sept. 5
TIME: 6:30 - 11 pm
PLACE: In the courtyard behind Mansini’s Pizza House 541 SW 12th Ave.

  • MEET local community leaders and organizations working to help Little Havana through projects like making our streets more pedestrian friendly, assisting local small businesses and organizing community events.  We won’t bore you — this is casual networking, but we will have info available about each organization.
     
  • ENJOY free slice of pizza if you’re one of the first 75 attendees, as well as complimentary refreshments like mojitos, provided thanks to Miami Club Rum.
     
  • DISCOVER local volunteer opportunities and projects: get involved in local organizations! Do you already belong to a group? Find out what other organizations are working on the same issues, so we can collaborate and partner for a BIGGER IMPACT!
     
  • LEARN about LHMA’s FREE upcoming workshops for local businesses and entrepreneurs, thanks to a partnership with the Kiwanis of Little Havana.
     
  • PARTICIPATE in a raffle and, if you want, give a donation to the 6th Street Dance Studio, a nonprofit studio that offers free dance classes for local kids every Friday.
     
  • VISIT the 6th Street Dance Studio and local art galleries in the “village” around the courtyard.

In addition to LHMA, organizations participating in the Little Havana Open House include:

  • Acción / Little Havana Community Action Committe
  • CAMACOL
  • Camara de Comercio Latina Calle Ocho
  • ConnectFamilias
  • Kiwanis of Little Havana
  • Miami River Commission
  • Miami Shenandoah Neighborhood Association
  • Viernes Culturales
  • AND MORE!

PLEASE JOIN US — and please bring a friend who wants to get involved. 

To RSVP, please email lhmamiami@gmail.com or call Raissa at (786) 255-4664.

 

City of Miami Office of Transportation and the Metropolitan Planning Organization are currently undertaking a study to look at safety and mobility for bicyclists and pedestrians traversing and within the Overtown and Wynwood neighborhoods.  There will be a public meeting to get your thoughts and ideas this coming Monday August 19th, 5pm at  404 NW 26th St Miami, FL 33142
Please spread the word, an additional public meeting will be held at Henderson Park in Overtown in early September.  As well as an online survey to get additional input.  

OvertownWynwood Bike Ped Flyer 081913

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Please click here to register for this free event.

When: Thursday, September 19, 2013
Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Location: Perfecto
1450 Brickell Avenue, Miami, FL 33131

YL Perfecto Notice Sep 19

 

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This article was originally published on ULI’s website.  It’s worth mentioning that not one elected official in Miami attended this event. I personally sent out invitations twice to all of Miami’s elected officials.  I know others also sent invitations to them as well.

Once again the private sector is leading the public sector and clearly there is no leadership in Miami when is comes to this very important issue. The disconnect is pretty sad and not encouraging for Miami’s future.

“Can Miami Develop with Less Parking?” panel discussion organized by our ULI Young Leaders Group and held at FIU’s Hollo School of Real Estate in Downtown Miami was an overwhelming success with a standing-room-only crowd of more than 100 real estate and industry professionals.

The event was moderated by outgoing ULI Young Leaders Chair Andrew Frey and the panel comprised of development and parking experts including: Bernardo Fort-Brescia, FAIA, Principal, Arquitectonica; Joseph Furst, Managing Director Wynwood, Goldman Properties;Harvey Hernandez, Chairman & Managing Director, Newgard Development Group; and Dr. Ruth L. Steiner, Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Florida.

A number of exciting issues were discussed throughout the morning that varied from easing the criteria to allow greater access to the City’s shared parking credit, to replacing the required parking minimum with a parking maximum, even a recommendation to do away with parking requirements altogether and allow the market to decide. Some of the more dynamic discussion surrounded the suggestion that current minimum parking requirements have had unintended consequences on development such as:

  • encouraging developers to build larger, more expensive multi-bedroom units in order to make the cost of parking feasible (same number of parking spaces required per unit regardless of number of bedrooms)
  • discouraging development of small urban infill sites by necessitating assemblage of parcels and construction of larger buildings (parking ramps and circulation can only be accommodated within a certain minimum building/site footprint)
  • codifying for too many, underutilized parking spaces by requiring spaces at workplaces, residences and commercial areas (even with the shared parking credit this leaves many empty spaces at different times throughout the day and night).

Overall it was a lively conversation that addressed the question, “Can Miami develop with less parking?” According to the panel, the answer is a qualified, “yes”. How much less parking? That’s a topic for the next panel.

 

 
Cartoon designed by Juan Navarro www.FWACATA.com

Cartoon designed by Juan Navarro www.FWACATA.com

The very naughty Cone Fairy has done it again. Last night she mischievously placed 7 orange traffic cones down the center of NE 76 Street in an attempt to calm traffic to protect children, parents with strollers, cyclists and pets from speeding drivers.

For the past 5 months my neighbors and I have been trying to get the city and county to do something about the reckless drivers that come barreling down our street everyday. Unfortunately, true to form, neither the county nor city has acknowledged that the fundamental problem with this road, as with the majority of our streets in South Florida, is the actual design of our roads that encourages speeding. It shouldn’t take five months to find a solution to this problem; this isn’t rocket science, it just requires a little common sense.

Operation Belle Meade Storm: To liberate Belle Meade residents from the oppression of speeding cars

Operation Belle Meade Storm: To liberate Belle Meade residents from the oppression of speeding cars

Last I heard, the only thing the county is willing to do  is add a crosswalk and erect one of these signs on 76th Street.

A crosswalk and this sign is the best the County can do calm traffic.

A crosswalk and this sign is the best the County can do calm traffic.

This silly sign won’t do anything to calm traffic. If this is the only solution the county can come up with, I have a feeling we may see a whole lot more of the very sassy and sexy Cone Fairy. It’s worth mentioning that all of Transit Miami’s recommendations to calm traffic on this street have been rebuffed by the county. In the meantime, cars continue to speed down my street and it’s just a matter of time before someone is struck by a speeding car.

impact-of-speed2

By the way- we don’t know the true identity of the Cone Fairy and we cannot condone this type of behavior. So remember…

urbanism

 

 

 

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RSVP by July 30 at miamifoundation.org/ourmiamirsvp.
 
Visit our  Facebook event page to invite your friends 
and join the conversation.
 

 

You can register here. By the way, I ‘ve reached out to all our City Commissioners about this event. Let’s see how many of them actually show up. Yes, we are keeping tabs.

 

Can Miami Develop Now with Less Parking

 
NE 2nd Avenue in Buena Vista

NE 2nd Avenue in Buena Vista

The reindeer games continue between the County and City and as usual the taxpayer ends up getting cheated and we are all left with a really dangerous street, which apparently the County and City both find acceptable.

Here’s an email I received from Transit Miami friend Wendy Stephan.

Hi Felipe

I’m writing to you about a problem here in Buena Vista East/Design District.  I’ve attached a letter I sent below about the problem.  After residents sent about 100 letters, the City of Miami (particularly the Mayor’s office) was responsive, but our understanding is that the County is in charge of the project.  The latest twist is that the County says they handed the project off to the City at some point (?!).  It seems the project just stalled out halfway done.  I am sure you’ve noticed how dangerous NE 2nd Avenue is these days – potholes, angled light poles, and no street markings!!  This seems to be a good issue for your blog. Thanks.

Wendy

Here’s the email sent to city, county neighbors, etc., on June 10:

 

Dear Commissioner Edmonson,

I would like to add my voice to the chorus of District 3 residents and business owners concerned about the unsafe situation and lack of progress on the street improvements on NE 2nd Avenue in the Buena Vista/Design District area.  Because the street improvement project seems to be stalled with work halfway done — old lighting removed, street surface damaged, striping not visible — the situation that currently exists is very dangerous, and one young woman was killed crossing the street on a dark night in March.

This area has recently seen the wonderful development of several businesses, some owned by residents, that cater to our broader community.  These businesses have generated both car and pedestrian traffic along this corridor.  County buses pick up passengers along this road.  Students have been crossing this street daily on their way to DASH, Miami Arts Charter and Archbishop Curley Notre Dame schools.  We need the long-promised improvements to the street completed to improve safety, functionality and the appearance of this street.  The project, already funded and initiated, includes multiple safety features, including:· Adequate sidewalks
· Curbs
· Drainage
· Parking lanes
· Bike lanes
· Clear street striping
· Functional street lighting
· Maintenance for the large swale trees, additional trees/green where possible.

What happened to this project?  We demand answers and a clear timeline for its completion.  Residents and patrons of our businesses should not be placed at such high risk.  Thank you for your prompt response.

Wendy

What a disgrace.

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