The Miami Streetcar should only be the beginning of a visionary transportation master plan to transform the City of Miami. Part 1 of this multiple part series aims to explain the map pictured above. Later, I will go in depth to explain the specifics behind route choice, design, and the benefits each will bring to the city and all residents.

Pictured above (Click to enlarge) is a rough aerial sketch of possible streetcar routes that I envisioned in a city transportation plan. Using the basis of the current streetcar plan, I extended rail networks south, west, and east in the corridors where such transportation efforts would fit well with future, proper urban growth patterns.

The red streetcar line follows the basic path already presented. The train would head east on 1st or Flagler St, heading towards Biscayne Boulevard, where the route would turn north. At NE 11th St, Baylink would merge onto the Macarthur Causeway and head towards the beach while the Design District Route would continue North on the boulevard until NE 14th St. I chose 14th street to not overlap with the metromover on 15th and to bring riders as close as possible to the Carnival Center. The streetcar would head west to N Miami Avenue, intersecting with the FEC tracks (highlighted in Black) where a transfer would occur to the LRT which would travel from Miami through Jupiter, easily accessing every major city in between. This transfer station will also grant FEC riders with a station to easily transfer to the Health district Streetcar which would travel west from this point along NW 20th St. The Design District Streetcar route would turn left at NE 29th Street before entering Midtown Miami (Note: this is Midtown Miami, our newest neighborhood, not a development, there is no need to spite our newest urban dwellers to make a point to a developer.)

The other routes could receive funding at a later point in time, once the overwhelming success of the Miami Streetcar is evident. The Blue route would exit the Brickell station heading west on SW 10th street to SW 3rd Avenue where it would turn South. SW 3rd avenue merges with Coral Way, which will guide the streetcar to the Coral Gables CBD. At 37th Avenue, the Coral Way Streetcar could head into the Gables via Merrick Way or Miracle Mile, and later head either north or south along Ponce, further into the CBD.

The Yellow or Flagler route would also terminate at Government Center, solidly defining the central core transfer station for the city. Routes would head west along Flagler to Beacom Blvd. At Beacom the Flagler route would head southwest to Eighth Street where it would continue west. The return route for this route would travel along SW 1st St.

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10 Responses to Miami Transportation Planning; Part 1

  1. Steven says:

    Why not extend that hospital route west a couple miles more to the Intermodal Center?

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  2. Gabriel J. Lopez-Bernal says:

    Yeah, if you notice, I didn’t complete any of the routes, just a general idea of where they should be headed…

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  3. Ryan says:

    I would’ve probably used the same alignments as you did here. Additionally, though, I think you’ve got to have a line of some sort going north-south from the intermodal center to coconut grove via 37th ave.

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  4. Dave8721 says:

    I was thinking you could extend the red line that goes along Biscayne south over the Brickell Ave bridge, down Brickell until it crosses Bayshore then follow Bayshore south into the Grove, then maybe up 37th back to Douglas Metrorail station…

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  5. Steven says:

    Personally, I think it would be great to extend metromover somehow out to Key Biscayne

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  6. Andrew says:

    I believe that the streetcar is a good idea but would have problems because it doesn’t have its own ROW. In order for transit to be affective in such a dense area it needs to have its own ROW. You will always have people who would want to drive around the downtown area even if there is terrific transit. Once people start seeing that they are going to be stuck in the same traffic as driving their car then they’ll probably start using their car or just walk. Transit needs its own ROW.

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  7. madeindade says:

    I hate to sound cynical, but I stopped reading at ‘visionary’… Miami, especially in planning is anything but and our political ‘leaders’ are of no help at either the city or county level - but you knew that already. BTW, our new strong mayor is as invisible as he as always been…

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  8. Anonymous says:

    The so-called $200+ Mil Streetcar is really a $350+ Mil boondoogle. With cost overruns and change orders whatever costs you expect will double. Trolley type buses on wheels would be much better at 20% the cost. And since the proposed route is mostly along NW 2nd Avenue ridership might be so small each trip will cost $30. One way.

    The City of Miami is broke. The County is losing money to dozens of scams. The State of Florida is trying to reduce its tax revenues. Who can afford a rail based streetcar that might have but dozens of riders?

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  9. Sandra De La says:

    A rail based streetcar seems dead in the water. We are told the per ride cost might be $30. That is a $20 Mil per year expense. Who can afford another $300+ Mil construction boondoggle?

    Buses would work.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    I disagree with the naysayers.

    The Miami streetcar will work because people will keep coming and the traffic will only get worse. To maintain the city’s economic competitiveness and quality of life, some kind of streetcar will need to be contemplated and rolled-out.

    If it works for Portland and Denver, why should it not work for us?

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