It somehow always seems that when Transit/Development news flares up, so do events in our personal lives. In any case, here are some of the top news stories this week, some of which we’ll get around to commenting on:

Local:

  • The next phase of the Metrorail extension hasn’t even broken ground and already the cost overruns have begun. This time Parson’s is looking for an additional $13 million in “Consultant fees.” I’m not specifically implicating that Parsons has something to do with this, but, I find it intriguing that nearly every project they’ve worked on locally (Miami Intermodal Center, MIA North Terminal, MIA South Terminal, PAC, Boston’s Big Dig, etc.) has come in way over budget. Is there something we don’t know, or is it really that easy to bilk the county out of money once you’re hired to do contracting/engineering/management work? I guess choosing the French construction giant Bouygues Travaux Publics, wasn’t such a bad idea after all.
  • Top issues for Kendall this year? Forget Cityhood, how about congestion, lots of it. It’s only getting worse too as years pass and opportunities for real transit come and go (Tri-Rail Kendall link anyone?) If the Kendall community fears Tri-Rail trains traveling down an existing ROW behind their houses or an “unsightly” elevated rail down Kendall drive is going to lower their property values, just wait and see the nose dive congestion will cause. At least the recent efforts have paused (momentarily) foolish FDOT hopes of expanding Killian to 6 lanes west of 137th Avenue. Perhaps Kendall residents are beginning to realize that the car isn’t a viable solution…
  • Like him or not, Manny Diaz has a Vision. We’ll dig into this much more in depth soon…
  • I’m liking the looks of a final panel report on the UDB. Key part of this would require 3/4 of commissioners to move the line for projects and would bring in an outside firm to redraw the line.
  • Live Nation is set to bring yet more events to Bayfront Park. Can’t a Park just be a Park? I’m not arguing against the Museums, those are neccessary, but why does Bayfront need so many attractions to make it successful? I think the park would induce more local use if there was less cement and far more shade trees, just a thought…
  • The Federal DOT has given MDT a grant to purchase 16 hybrid express buses for the new HOT lane project on I-95. The buses will travel from downtown Miami to Ft. Lauderdale. Now can we please modernize the system and implement farecards (and new machines) that are transferable on all 3 local agencies?
  • Don’t ride Transit, Buy a BMW…No seriously, Norman Braman wants you to buy a BMW and skip out on urban life…Oh, more on this soon…However, please follow this link for some laughable signs of hypocrisy…
  • Gasp! This first paragraph says it all: “The [Palmetto Bay] Village Council approved a special permit allowing a new commercial development to put all of its parking spaces on the street at a zoning hearing Monday.” Note: A special permit. I know this is a young, incorporated bedroom community and all, but seriously, can we get some logical planning oversight around there? (In Case you missed it, we’re glad to see the use of on street parking in this and other bedroom communities…This shouldn’t be a special instance, but, rather the norm….)
  • Watering rules in effect now till forever. Green lawns aren’t a necessity folks…
National:
  • Cape Cod wind farm moves one crucial step closer to disturbing a bunch of rich folks’ “pristine” views…
  • Northern Virginia (and Atlanta) is getting closer to funding a new streetcar. Not enough BMW dealers in the area I guess…

7 Responses to Mid-Week News and Commentary

  1. Michael says:

    Seen this page yet?

    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/01/free_bikes_flop.php

    Poor implementation of free bikes.

       0 likes

  2. Tony says:

    Allowing on-street parking to count toward parking requirements is actually a great idea. It’s something we build into all of our codes, and encourage others to do the same. Bravo to Palmetto Bay. South Miami, which currently counts on-street parking toward requirements, is trying take away this important provision, as well as others that discount requirements for mixed uses and transit. As we all know, different uses peak at different times of the day, so allowing shared parking makes total sense. Plus why shouldn’t on-street parking count toward parking requirements? The more we design for parking requirements, the more we perpetuate this automobile centered culture.

    I would urge anyone interested in keeping South Miami a pedestrian friendly place to go to the next Planning Board meeting to voice your concerns.

    If you are interested in learning about parking and its effects on urban form read ” The High Cost of Free Parking”

       0 likes

  3. Gabriel J. Lopez-Bernal says:

    Tony, I hope you didn’t miss the underlying sarcasm that post was intended to evoke….

       0 likes

  4. Tony says:

    Haha, sorry for sounding defensive. I’ve been up to my ears in bad parking policy the last few days, so I’m a little sensitive right now. I mean really, who takes away shared parking?? Echhhh….I’ll keep you posted.

       0 likes

  5. Nick Grossman says:

    Wow — in cape cod:

    “The wind farm is expected to generate, on average every year, the equivalent of 75 percent of the energy needs for Cape Cod and the Islands”

    Enough said right there — that’s incredible.

       0 likes

  6. John says:

    I agree that Bayfront Park needs more green space/shade trees, and less attractions (i.e. Skylifts, bungee swings, etc.); however, I do like the idea of outdoor concerts downtown (whether in a dedicated amphitheater, or temporary stages), we need more events in downtown, that will attract people to want to shop, hang out or even live in the area. Let’s get the fountain back up and running, get rid of the rediculously huge walkways and plant some trees.

       0 likes

  7. Anonymous says:

    Yep, I agree. Having a concert venue in Bayfront Park is a great idea. Central Park in NYC has a summer concert series, and it works really well. Bryant Park in NYC has a summer movie series, and that’s cool too.

       0 likes

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