Currently viewing the category: "Pedestrian"

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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.

 

 

“To enter out into that silence that was the city at eight o’clock of a misty evening in November, to put your feet upon that buckling concrete walk, to step over grassy seams and make your way, hands in pockets, through the silences…”

In 1951, author Ray Bradbury wrote a short story titled The Pedestrian. Set in 2053, the story’s protagonist is Leonard Mead, a man who walks alone at night, seemingly for the pure joy of it. He never meets anyone else on these nocturnal walks. His neighbors are all inside - watching television. In fact, so few people are ever out in the public realm that the city’s police force had been reduced to a single car. The act of walking in a place where no one else ever walks is viewed as suspicious by the local authorities, who stop, question, and arrest him, incredulous to his explanation that he simply likes to walk. “Walking for air, walking to see,” as Mead puts it.

Bradbury of course is best known for his fantasy stories and science fiction. But as it turns out, Bradbury’s dystopian vision was not so farfetched; imagining a country where something as innocuous as walking someplace could be viewed as suspicious, as it typically is in today’s gated ‘chemlawn hinterlands’ of suburban sprawl. To not have an automobile in such environments is to exist as a societal outcast worthy of suspicion. So what do Trayvon Martin and Leonard Mead have in common? Was the built environment of gated suburbia (and gated mindset) a factor in the tragedy? To me, both Martin and Mead represent the criminalization and stigma of walking; of being a pedestrian.

Roger Steutville from Better Cities and Towns weighed in and pondered the same:

“In all of this agitation, the physical environment that discriminates against, and focuses suspicion on, anyone who doesn’t drive should not be forgotten. It’s hard to imagine this kind of tragedy playing out today in the same way on the block of a walkable city or town.”

In Bradbudy’s Pedestrian, substitute ‘Leonard Mead’ for Trayvon Martin and the year 2012 instead of 2053. The eerie similarities to that fateful evening last February in Sanford are uncanny.

He turned back on a side street, circling around toward his home. He was within a block of his destination when the lone car turned a corner quite suddenly and flashed a fierce white cone of light upon him. He stood entranced, not unlike a night moth, stunned by the illumination, and then drawn toward it. A metallic voice called to him: ”Stand still. Stay where you are! Don’t move!”

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Stop for PedestriansIf you think walking and biking in Miami is risky, dangerous, and perhaps even a bit of a suicide mission…then you can probably imagine what it would be like to navigate our nightmarish streets with a baby in a stroller in tow. Oh!, you exclaim, certainly our famously rude drivers would change their nutty ways at the sight of a cute little one peeping out of it’s carriage, right? Sure, they may not stop for a regular annoying pedestrian who is waiting to cross a “STOP for pedestrians - It’s the Law” intersection … but they must stop for a baby!

Well, in short: Nope. After having high hopes for my pedestrian future with a newborn, picturing polite drivers waving me across the street, I have had a rude awakening that stroller or not…to Miami drivers, I’m still just an annoying pedestrian not really worth stopping or even slowing down for. It’s become a nearly perverse enjoyment for me to stare down drivers at a marked intersection, looking right into their faces, brandishing the baby in front of me as if to say - what’s it going to be? Your car, or our lives? Who has the stronger will, who will give up first? Will you stop, or will I step out of your way to let you speed by on your extremely important mission to reach the next (red) stoplight 1 block down the road?

Unfortunately, it’s not just Miami’s drivers who make walking with a stroller a bit of a risky proposition in this town. Check out this sidewalk on Venetian Causeway, and answer me this question: in which side do you pass with a stroller? (Hint: there is no correct answer. There is no way to pass with a stroller here as the sidewalk is too narrow at all openings).

Let’s say you somehow manage to navigate past this obstacle and  made it onto Venetian Causeway. Here is the next nerve-tingling adventure awaiting you on the bridge. Please have a look at this sidewalk.

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Now, you better focus! Because just 1 little step in the wrong direction…perhaps during a moment of sightseeing while a mega luxury yacht cruises by…and your stroller is off of that tiny little sidewalk, on the road, which is very heavily traveled by cars flying by at high speed…not a nice thought at all! Oh, and if some unlucky other mom wants to pass you by here with her stroller? Let’s just say that is Mission Impossible Miami style.

Too bad the Venetian Causeway Toll cash cannot be used to make this road with it’s pleasant sea breeze and breath-taking views more accessible to non-motorized, stroller-rized traffic.

 

The following is an urgent update by Brickell resident Mark Batey on the crash that killed a pedestrian in Brickell on March 23rd. This crash happened in nearly the same exact spot where a female jogger was seriously injured on the sidewalk by a speeding driver in October.

“Miamians, please share this update. 4 weeks ago Ana Mares was killed in a hit and run in Brickell Bay Drive. I have been in touch with her sister, who is becoming desperate at the lack of progress in this case. Her family is beginning to receive the medical bills, which are huge, and apparently the person whose car hit Ana has no insurance.

Univision 23 released this video with new information. (Spanish)

The owner of the vehicle is named as Joy Terry Lee Clayton. She lives at 21455 87 court SW Miami Dade, and works at the legal department of University of Miami. She has got a lawyer and is saying that although the car that hit Ana is hers, she was not driving it herself!

Ana Mares was hit with such force that she was thrown 65 feet. Her sister is convinced she was already dead at the scene of the crime. Meanwhile, the person who did this is still driving around the streets of Miami.

The black Mazda shown in the video is apparently not the actual one that hit Ana. The one that hit Ana has some lighter colored panels (either for effect, or because work was being done on the car).
If you have any information, the lead detective can be contacted at joseph.kennedy@miami-police.org

Please share and let’s help get justice for Ana, who, by the way, was a cancer survivor.

Editors Note: We’ve been appalled at the lack of media coverage or official police, city, or elected official communication in response to this fatal crash. Brickell is the densest residential neighborhood south of New York City. This senseless death has not been given the attention it deserves. It’s reasonable to believe there were more witnesses that would come forward. Meanwhile, this criminal is still on the lose, driving around Miami. Please contact the Miami detective above if you have any information.

This just reinforces our call for Brickell Bay Drive to be given a ‘road diet’ to reduce the travel lanes to 2, and including a buffered bicycle lane with on-street curbside parking. This would dramatically improve safety conditions for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists while having minimal impact on vehicle traffic flow. In other words, make Brickell Bay Drive a Complete Street to better accommodate all users of this road. Brickell has undergone a transformation but our streets are still stuck in the past, making merely going about your daily business a dangerous endeavor. Our suggested reconfiguration of Brickell Bay Drive can be done with a few cans of paint - seems worth it for a road with such an atrocious safety record lately.

Also, please sign on to the “Stay on the Scene” initiative to strengthen Florida’s hit and run laws in response to the crash that killed cyclist Aaron Cohen on the Rickenbacker Causeway.

UPDATE May 3: The Miami Herald and CBS Miami are now reporting on the latest developments.

 

We often hear that Miami is becoming a world-class city, but the sad truth is that Magic City is quickly becoming the country’s first gated city. What’s even worse is our elected officials are championing and using public funds to build walls and fences along the public right-of way, reducing mobility options for the general public and dividing communities in a futile attempt to reduce crime.  This type of reactive urban planning is being used by elected officials to appease their constituents, but the truth is there is no evidence that gated communities are any safer than non-gated communities.

Meanwhile, Miami has one of lowest police–to-residents ratios of any major city in the United States.  I’ve lost count, but we’ve had at least 2 or 3 police chiefs in the last four years.  The city has failed to provide enough officers to patrol the streets of Miami and now the city is scrambling to add 33 officers to the police force this year.

A few years ago, the city coughed up about $1,700,000 to build a wall for the Coral Gate community.  Here are the pictures of our elected officials celebrating their ugly tax-payer funded wall.  What’s even worse is that these pictures are posted on the city of Miami’s website as if this is something to be proud of; it’s not. Quite frankly, it is an embarrassment. A world-class city should not support gated communities, much less pay for them.

Sorry fellas, but celebrating a wall that divides communities and reduces mobility options is nothing to be proud of.

Sorry fellas, but celebrating a wall that divides communities and reduces mobility options is nothing to be proud of. Especially when the city foots the bill.

About 6 months ago Commissioner Sarnoff ponied up another $50,000 for Belle Meade to build a fence. See for yourselves how ridiculous and infective this fence is:

Now Morningside residents are considering a fence around the perimeter of their neighborhood as well. No word yet if the city will pay for Morningside’s fence too.

No elected official should be proud of this piecemeal ineffective urban planning strategy.  Quite the contrary, the city should not even allow walls or fences to be built.  I’m not sure why the city’s Planning Department allows this to happen.

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What do you love or hate about Miami? That’s what The Miami Herald and WLRN want to know, recently announcing a call for Miamians to create a poem about their city - the ‘That’s so Miami’ poetry project.

Poem submissions are published each day on ThatsSoMiami.tumblr.com and some of the best poems will be chosen to be read on the air on WLRN 91.3 FM, South Florida’s NPR news station. They must be under 100 words and begin or end with the phrase ‘That’s so Miami’. You can also submit photos and poems from Instagram and Twitter, respectively, tagged with #ThatsSoMiami to go up on the website as well. Check out all the rules and how to enter your poem here.

Now for my poem…..

A safety crisis hard to ignore
and a part of Miami I really deplore

Is the danger of walking or crossing the street
To merely survive, you must have quick feet.

The pedestrian crisis is very real here
Miami a leader in deaths, year after year.

Because speeding, tailgating and failure to yield
Are normal behaviors behind the windshield.

An embarrassing failure of our local officials
and FDOT, to use their initials

By not providing the streets that are safer for walking
Years of inaction - we only hear talking.

Unhealthy for kids and especially Granny
Our dangerous streets? #ThatsSoMiami.

- Craig Chester

 

The following post comes to us from TransitMiami reader Emily Eisennhauer.  Emily is  a PhD Candidate in the Department of Global & Sociocultural Studies at Florida International University. She is working on her dissertation titled “The Construction of Socio-Ecological Vulnerability to Climate Change in South Florida”, which is examining how governance networks and residents are thinking about Miami’s future under the threat of climate change, particularly sea level rise. Emily writes her own self-titled blog on the sociology of sustainability and climate change in Southeast Florida, where the following was originally posted.

In the first part of this post I highlighted Census data released last fall which shows that Miami Beach is the 10th city in the nation for biking to work. Approximately 7% of workers regularly use a bicycle for the longest part of their commute. That’s about 3,000 people in our city biking regularly to work, and I was curious – who are they?
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With Miami’s bike scene growing like crazy lately- thousands showing up for Critical Massnew bike facilities in the works for Downtown, etc.- it would be easy to assume that these bicyclists-to-work are bicycle activists, young urban professionals, or the like. But the data indicate something else.
On Miami Beach those most likely to bike to work are service industry workers with median annual earnings of about $21,000 per year, well below the citywide average of $32,597. Here are the top 10 industries:
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While I was at it, I decided to look at those who walk to work too, and found much the same thing. Fifty-three percent of those who walk to their jobs work in accommodation, food service, arts or entertainment, and median annual earnings are $14,622. And while three-quarters of commuters have at least one vehicle available, less than half of those who walk or bike do.
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This isn’t a surprise really, since there are a lot of low paying jobs in the tourism and hospitality industries which dominate Miami Beach’s economy. But it does make Miami Beach unique, especially among walking cities. For walking to work Miami Beach ranks 10th in the nation among cities with at least 65,000 residents, which is especially remarkable because Miami Beach is the highest ranking non-university city on the list. If you take out the places with colleges, we’d be number 1.
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In order to have people walking to work, you need a few things. People have to live close enough to walk, and the streets have to be pedestrian friendly. Miami Beach accomplishes this through preserving the residential, urban character of historic sections of South Beach and North Beach which were built in the early 20th century with walking in mind. Maintaining a supply of housing affordable for those who work in the nearby service industry jobs is more challenging in desirable areas, but the Miami Beach Community Development Corporationhas been able to restore and preserve nearly two dozen buildings since 1981 for affordable housing programs. The organization’s chair, Jack Johnson, said at a recent planning meeting for the upcoming Sustainable and Authentic Florida meeting to be hosted by Miami Beach, that the MBCDC “has worked to maintain a mix of income levels by using historic buildings in their ‘native habitat’.” In doing so it has accomplished a key tenet of New Urbanism that otherwise frequently gets overlooked when it comes to those in low wage jobs.In a very real way the availability of affordable housing in Miami Beach takes cars off the streets, reduces the city’s pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and contributes to a better quality of life for everyone.
One other interesting fact: those who walk or bike to work are much more likely to leave home in the evening, anywhere between 4pm and midnight. 21% of walkers and 17% of bicycle/motorcycle/taxicabbers leave for work during that time, compared with only 9% of all commuters. All the more reason for safe, separated, lighted pathways for bicyclists and pedestrians to be part of every infrastructure and transportation plan.

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Your writer is a slight woman, sometimes confused for a minor, who dreams of a South Florida where everyone feels safe crossing the street. Friends, family, and in these videos, my boyfriend, would clearly prefer I keep myself away from traffic. I hate to stress them but - when pro-pedestrian/pro-safety traffic modifications are installed, I just can’t help but try them out.

So, for today’s transit humor (because no one was hurt), here are two videos of myself and my wary significant other, trying (and failing) to cross the street at 48th & Biscayne Blvd.

FDOT: Thank you! It’s an important first step. City of Miami Police: where are you??

Interesting note: Found this Florida attorney’s webpage on ‘Penalties After Violating Pedestrian and Crosswalk Law’:

“If there is a person attempting to cross a road while in a marked crosswalk you are required to stop until the person has cleared the crosswalk. Most crosswalks are marked by painted lines and a yellow sign with an image of a person walking… The rules here are pretty obvious, and most drivers wouldn’t move their vehicles through a crosswalk if a pedestrian was there.”

As the voice asks in Part 1: “They just don’t see the sign, love. They… can’t… possibly…”

This lane marking is approved by the US Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration and is part of the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices.

 

TransitMiami can’t help but give a great neighborhood bar, The DRB, some unsolicited praise for its ingenious selection of an otherwise neglected downtown office building for its new location.

By choosing to site its new bar in the part of downtown dominated by boring institutional land-uses, The DRB chose to bring some vibrancy and character to an otherwise lifeless part of downtown. The very phrase itself — “lifeless part of downtown” — is an unfortunate contradiction, an oxymoron of a poorly planned urban milieu.

The building in question — situated on NE 5th Street and 1st Ave. — is surrounded almost exclusively by  institutional land-uses (occupied by, e.g., federal courthouses, a community college, a church, etc.) and lots of shamefully vacant and/or completely undeveloped, prime-for-mixed-use-development downtown parcels.

When New Urbanists and other community design-oriented folks refer to the evils of homogeneous land-use configurations, the image most typically invoked is that of miles upon miles of single-family residential land-use. Indeed, monolithic residential land-use embodies the notion of ‘urban sprawl’.

Elected officials, planners, and developers must also recognize, though, that large areas of homogeneous institutional land-use in the downtown core is at least as toxic (if not more so) for our city as sprawling single-family cookie-cutter houses along the periphery.

We need more transit-oriented development (TOD) in Miami’s de facto government-institution district. That area already has a great combination of Metrorail, Metromover, and Metrobus access. We must augment this healthy transportation configuration with a healthier land-use configuration.

And we must certainly continue to push our elected officials to expand the public transit network. However, we must also push them to better incentivize more commercial in-fill near the highly viable sections of public transit we already have, especially in downtown. It’s the hustle and bustle of downtown that build’s a city’s personality.

Kudos to you, Democratic Republic of Beer, for selecting a site so wonderfully accessible by transit, foot, and bicycle. Now all those bureaucrats and college students have a nice neighborhood spot in which to enjoy one of your exotic specialty brews from one of the corners of the globe.

(This author recommends the Sri Lankan Lion Stout.)

We spotted this sign this morning at Miami-Dade College near the Seven50 Summit. What’s wrong with this picture?

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The sidewalk on the left is open and was filled with students so much that the two in the picture were overflowing onto the street.

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This article appeared in LPFM and was written by Leah Weston.

A functioning media holds democratic institutions accountable. That is why I feel compellled to post my open letter to Tallahassee in the wake of this week’s development in the tragic hit-and-run death of bicyclist Aaron Cohen, just one of many such incidents in South Florida. The dangerous and deadly status quo on our streets is unacceptable.

Check out the Miami Bike Scene’s piece, “Business As Usual in South Florida” to read more on the Aaron Cohen tragedy. If you feel moved to do something about our deadly driving culture, consider joining Emerge Miami on Monday in Brickell for a Pedestrian Safety Walk. Please feel free to share this letter.

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Dear Tallahassee,

There is a culture of violence on our streets.

No, I am not talking about guns. I am talking about cars.

This week, many of us reeled in shock, disgust, and sadness as we learned the fate of 26 year-old Michele Traverso in court. After a late night of partying at the bars in Coconut Grove last February, Mr. Traverso hopped into his car. While driving with a suspended license, Mr. Traverso struck and killed 35 year-old Aaron Cohen, a businessman and father of two young children, who was riding his bicycle on the Rickenbacker Causeway. Rather than stop, Mr. Traverso fled the scene of the crash, called his lawyer, and left Mr. Cohen to die. He turned himself into police the following evening.

This week, our justice system rewarded Mr. Traverso for this cowardly act of selfishness. By waiting 24 hours to sober up and turn himself in, he rendered DUI charges against him impossible. Mr. Traverso pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and driving with a suspended license. Based on the guidelines by which he is bound, the judge sentenced Mr. Traverso to 364 days in jail and two years on probation for killing a man.

I want to bring this story to your attention, not because it is outrageous, but because it is typical. This is the story of the carnage we see on our roads every single day when someone dares to ride a bicycle or cross the street. This is not just a transportation problem—it’s an institutional problem. Our system perpetuates carelessness and selfishness on our roads.

It is time for the Florida legislature to take swift and bold action to address this public safety crisis. The public streets are for everyone. Riding a bicycle or walking should not be a death wish. If the House Transportation and Highway Safety Subcommittee has time to consider a bill to convert low-speed electric vehicles to golf carts, surely it can work on changes to address the motor vehicle-related carnage, including harsher penalties for fleeing the scene of an accident and safer, more inclusive street design policies for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Do not allow 2013 to be a rerun of this devastating tragedy.

 

This post was submitted to us this morning by Patricia Peña.

Dadeland mall is probably one of the biggest landmarks that Miami has, right next to South Beach and the Triple A (well, at least in my opinion). When it first opened in the 80s, it was the beginning of Miami’s eternal love with suburban sprawl, which has resulted in Kendall, a place that most Miamians have a love/hate relationship with. You can’t wait to get out of Kendall, but you’ll rep it until the day you die, in true Miami style! Sunset Knights, wha what?! Sorry, that was a momentary lapse…

Back to Dadeland. In the last few years, they have tried to revitalize the area, rebrand it as Downtown Dadeland (it’s unincorporated Miami-Dade, let’s not kid ourselves) and try to make it into a small, bustling metropolis with multi-use buildings, restaurants and shops. And try as they might, it just isn’t happening. When my husband and I moved to the area about five years ago, we did so because my job at the time offered me a free monthly pass to the Metro-Rail, so we became a one car family and I was thrilled with the idea that I could walk to Target or Publix to get what we needed whenever he was away at work with the car. I got one of those little carts that you see old people walking around with. A lady at work offered to bedazzle it. It was fabulous, don’t judge me. So here I go, all excited to get my groceries. And then…. BAM!! I encountered Kendall Drive. Now, for those of you that are not familiar with this lovely thoroughfare, it’s a pedestrian’s worst nightmare. Think of George in the episode of Seinfeld when he gets the Frogger machine.

The Dadeland area has the potential of being a truly amazing area to live, work and play in. It’s flanked by two, count ‘em: two, Metro Rail stops. There are apartments galore, some that are still mostly empty, the mall is currently undergoing a massive renovation to add more restaurants. And yet, you can’t get anywhere walking without saying five Hail Mary’s, two Our Father’s and crossing yourself the entire time. I’ve seen old ladies, moms with strollers, dad’s dragging kids and tourists all trying to cross unscathed. As expected, this is a three-lane road, that feeds into the Palmetto (don’t even get me started on that disaster!) and speeding is not only rampant, it’s expected! Now, we all know that reducing the number of lanes will in turn reduce the speed, increase walkability, and increase traffic into stores, etcetera. But, I’m a simple woman, I don’t ask for much. I know that that probably won’t happen in my lifetime. So I’m asking for smaller things. You know what I would like? I would like a crossing light that lasts more than 10 seconds. I can’t even get halfway before the flashing hand stops! I would like the streetlights to be synchronized in a way that makes sense, so people can feel safe crossing from their hotel to the mall. I know if it makes sense, we don’t do it here in Miami-Dade County. But once, just once, can we try? South Miami did it, and look how great it’s working out for them. I would just like to be able to go the Target at the Dadeland station, without fearing for my life and getting honked at every five seconds (which is more to do with the fabulous drivers we have here, but that’s another topic for another time). Seriously, I’m not asking for much, just some good old fashioned common sense and to think of the people that are outside of the metal boxes, who are worth just as much as the ones inside. That and world peace. Oh, and some Louboutins!

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Transit Miami friend, Bricen, sent us the following email:

As a mother of 2 young children that needs to be heard, I look to you Transit Miami for help.  We live in a quaint neighborhood right smack dab in the middle of US1 and Tigertail Ave.  When you are here roaming the residential streets of the North Grove you don’t even feel as if you are surrounded by the bustle of an urban city.  Living here we are very blessed to have Marjory Stoneman Douglas Mini Park in our backdoor.  The park is a Miami Dade public park (playground really) that is frequented by many.  There are kids EVERYWHERE in this hood.  Enter 22nd Ave connecting US1 and Tigertail Ave.  You would think this small strip of street was part of the Indy 500.  Crossing 22nd Ave to enter the park has become a very scary game of red rover red rover.  There is a ancient stop for pedestrian in crosswalk sign that NO ONE sees or much less pays any attention.  In the 8 months that we have been living here, we have been to the park nearly everyday, sometimes twice a day.  On two occasions, yes TWICE, have I had a car actually stop to let me cross with the kids.  The real fat kicker:  BOTH of these times that we were waved across, here comes maniac driver PUNCHING the gas to quickly go around the stopped car letting us cross!  Hello SCREAMS, FREAK OUT, FREEZ IN SHOES WHICH WAY DO I PULL THE WAGON, SLAM ON BREAKS, KIDS CRYING, WE ALMOST DIED moment.  What the heck is wrong with people.  Seriously.  Long gone are the days when people actually pause, enjoy the scenery, and just wait.  Wait for a mother, father or nanny with kids, babies and strollers to safely cross the road.  Just last week someone stopped to let a nanny and baby by and that act of goodness ended in a 3 car accident!  God forbid a child actually escape the arms of a caretaker and run right out into this death trap. It is something very scary that we encounter daily.  Please City of Miami  a speed hump or two is all we ask for.  If you could throw in a flashing yellow cross light that would be icing but come on, this is a neighborhood, these are our kids, and probably up to 30 kids that reside here walk to that park daily. The 22nd Ave crosswalk is somebody’s nightmare waiting to happen.  I pray to God every single day that it’s not mine.

 

Although the City of Miami owns this road, we are being told by Transit Miami sources within the city that any time the city adds signs, pavement markings or change to traffic patterns they must get approval from the County.  The reindeer games between the County and the City needs to come to an end.  The County and the City must to do what is right for the all the residents. You can send City Commissioner Sarnoff and County Commissioner Xavier Suarez an email by clicking here.

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Art Basel by bicycle.

The art world has descended upon Miami this week.  Last year, 50,000 people attended Miami’s Art Basel event, a four-day contomperary arts fair showcasing Miami’s growing cultural scene.  Not surprisingly, this wonderful event, which makes Miami buzz, is held in the most walkable neighborhoods in  Florida: South BeachWynwood, the Design District, and Midtown.  With the exception of buses, there is no public transit connecting these neighborhoods (there isn’t a no-transfer option connecting Wynwood/Midtown with SoBe). So the vast majority of those attending Art Basel must drive to the various exhibits.  The effects of Miami-Dade County’s unwillingness to take public transit serious once again rears it’s ugly head.  Traffic comes to a standstill.

The Trolley-bus is a temporary solution cobbled together by good intentions from the City of Miami and the DDA. But the truth is, providing meaningful, reliable transportation to these neighborhoods shouldn’t be a local affair, Miami Dade Transit, our regional transit provider should be equipped to handle such a meaningful event. Moreover, the regular service in the area shouldn’t be such an abomination to begin with!

The lack of connectivity and the traffic woes between, Wynwood, the Design District, and Midtown have not gone unnoticed by the cycling community. This year the Green Mobility Network is setting up of a free bicycle valet service at O Cinema.  With demand for safe, secure bike parking outstripping supply, the Green Mobility Network has found an opportunity to provide a much needed service.  Hopefully, this will encourage more people to ride to Art Basel if there is a secure place to park their bicycle.

ARTcycle is an art event created to raise awareness for riders and drivers by promoting wellness and safer streets through an active lifestyle and the arts. ARTcycle’s first event will work with renowned sponsored artists who will use 15 bicycless as their canvas. Bikes will then be auctioned to raise funds and support Green Mobility Network’s Safe Streets Miami program. Both initiatives are co-sponsored by StreetEasy.

DecoBike has also gotten into the mix and they have put up temporary bike stations in Wynwood, Midtown, and the Design District. The distance between Midtown and Wywood is too far to walk for many people, but comfortable enough to bike to. Deco Bike clearly understands that there is a demand for short-haul transit during Art Basel in this neighborhood and are capitalizing on Miami Dade Transit’s inability to provide quality public transit in the this booming neighborhood. Decobike also has a partnership with Heineken.  You can find out more about the Heineken Mural Project at themiamibikescene.com

A temporary DecoBike station in Wynwood in front of Wood Tavern.

Regardless of all the efforts by these various modal groups; Midtown, Design District, and Miami Beach are ripe for longer-term, meaningful transportation. The elephant in the paragraphs above, Miami-Dade Transit, is visibly absent and seemingly ill-equipped to address the needs of these burgeoning neighborhoods (Note: the eerie silence of MDT’s news feed; you can’t tell us the most recent transit update is a 3x weekly service from 8-5 in Cutler Bay, a local service not unlike Miami’s Trolley, mind you). What Art Basel long ago realized and what Miami fails to see for 51 weeks of the year, is that the “sexiness” of these neighborhoods is derived from the urban settings and spaces which comprise them.

For more information about ArtCycle and events related to biking during Art Basel please see below:

ARTcycle art bikes will be exhibited during Art Basel days, December 7-9, 2012 in 11 locations throughout Wynwood. Visitors may see all the art bikes any day, all day long or they may enjoy a bicycle ARTcycle bike tour sponsored by and departing from Fountain Art Fair - 2505 N. Miami Ave December 7th, 8th, and 9th at noon.

ARTcycle Exhibiting Artists + locations:

Johanna Boccardo + Erwin Georgi at Wood Tavern
Mariano Costa-Peuser at Cafeina | Wynwood Exhibition Center
Giselle Delgado Buraye at Kayu | Respondé
Elio Diaz Jr. (Elito) at Wood Tavern sponsored by Mack Cycle
Katy Stalfus at Fountain
Astolfo Funes at Elemental
Katiuska Gonzalez at Fountain
Lucinda Linderman at Miami’s Independent Thinkers | Armory
Nancy Martini at Gab Studios sponsored by All4Cycling
Janet Mueller at 004 Connec | Graffe Cafe
Maximiliano Pecce at Cafeina | Wynwood Exhibition Center
Sri Prabha at Giraffas Brazilian Steaks & Burgers
Gioconda Rojas at O Cinema
Aida Tejada at O Cinema

EVENTS:

Thursday, December 6th: Happy Hour at Wood Tavern 5-9pm

Art Bike: Elio Diaz Jr. (Elito),  sponsored by Mack Cycle
Art Bike: Johanna Boccardo + Erwin Georgi

Friday, December 7th: ARTcycle Bike Tour 12 noon

Visit all the 15 Art Bikes
Register at Fountain Art Fair Green Lounge
Bike Support by ALL4Cycling, Miami Pace and 305 Green
Refreshments and snacks by ZICO and Kind Bars

Saturday, December 8th: Tour de Wynwood (Bike Basel) 11am
Graffiti bicycle tour with Street.Art.Cycle and The Miami Bike Scene
Visit new murals and installations around Wynwood and hear brief descriptions about some of the artists and their pieces. http://www.themiamibikescene.com/2012/12/tour-de-wynwood-art-basel.html

Saturday, December 8th: ARTcycle Bike Tour 12 noon

Visit all the 15 Art Bikes + Wynwood walls
Register at Fountain Art Fair Green Lounge
Bike Support by ALL4Cycling, Miami Pace and 305 Green
Refreshments and snacks by ZICO and Kind Bars

Sunday, December 9th: ARTcycle Bike Tour 12 noon

Visit all the 15 Art Bikes
Register at Fountain Art Fair Green Lounge
Bike Support by ALL4Cycling, Miami Pace and 305 Green
Refreshments and snacks by ZICO and Kind Bars

December 7th, 8th & 9th: Bicycle Valet parking by Green Mobility Network

at O Cinema 9am-6pm
90 Northwest 29th Street
leave your bike & enjoy the art scene!

 

About 6 months ago I wrote a post for Miami Urbanist, about the County Public Works and Waste Management Department’s recent resurfacing project on NW 2nd Avenue from NW 20th Street to NW 36th Street in Wynwood. It is 2012 and we do live in city, yet the County only managed to install 4 crosswalks along a 16-block stretch on NW 2nd Avenue. The crosswalks are located at NW 20th Street, NW 29th Street, NW 31st Street and NW 36th Street.  Yesterday, I discovered the County added another crosswalk on NW 25th Street and they have also added bicycle sharrows on NW 2nd Avenue.

This is certainly a step in the right direction, but NW 2nd Avenue continues to by a disaster for pedestrians.  Instead of 5 crosswalks, we should have 16 crosswalks. Seriously, we live in a urban environment, with pedestrian activity increasing in Wynwood exponentially on a daily basis, yet all the County can do is paint an additional crosswalk and add sharrows? The County Public Works and Waste Management Department just earned themselves and F- for NW 2nd Avenue.  This project was poorly designed from the start and instead of planning this project properly from the beginning, the County is wasting our tax dollars every time they send another crew out to NW 2nd Avenue to make piecemeal improvements. Do it right one time and the first time.

Below are some picture with explanations of what should have been done.

Bike lanes rather than sharrows should have been installed on NW 2nd Avenue. Notice how wide the on-street parking is. The on-street parking width should be reduced along the width of the travel lanes to accomodate a bicycle lane. A properly designed “complete street” calms traffic. Narrower travel lanes, combined with bicycle lanes would calm traffic and discourage speeding. Speeding is a problem on this street as NW 2nd Avenue goes uninterrupted for 9 blocks from NW 20th to NW 29th Street.

 

The County is already using sharrows as an excuse that they are doing something for cyclists. Not so. Is this road safe enough for your child to ride a bicycle? That should be the County’s safety standard. At the very least, please paint the sharrow in the middle of the road, not towards the side.

Should we be ehliated that we have a new crosswalk on NW 25th Street? No. We’ll be happy once we have crosswalks at every intersection, travel lanes and on-street parking widths are reduced and a bike lane is added to NW 2nd Avenue.

 

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

Please send CPWWS director Kathleen Woods-Richardson an email and let her know that NW 2nd Avenue is an abomination for pedestrians.

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