I decided to post Steven’s excellent recap of yesterday’s meeting regarding transit along the Kendall corridor. I’m glad someone was able to attend to share this with us:

I was able to attend the meeting tonight at the “Kendall Village” location. First and foremost, I would like to say that the location is a bleak reminder to what we need to avoid in planning. It is essentially a big mall that is offset from the main roadway and is a huge waste of space. As I walked through the area I couldn’t help but wonder how much different the place would be had there been another level or two with low cost apartments rather than the community-like environment they were trying to achieve by putting roads through the middle of the mall.

Anyways, on to the meeting!
The room was surrounded by pictures depicting different various transit alternatives ranging from BRT to Heavy Rail to DMUs. Next to the large pictures of these different transit technologies were maps depicting route alternatives with charts depicting cost vs. ridership predictions vs. effect on traffic. Additionally there was a table where they were showing traffic analysis of the Kendall area should the alternatives actually be constructed. We were also able to talk with the different planners about the different portions of the projects.

The actual meeting portion started with a representative of the project speaking to the group about where in the stages of development they were (presently in the alternatives analysis part). The different alignments were as they are presented on the website and are listed as follows:

East-West
1. Exclusive Right-of-way BRT down the middle of Kendall Drive from US1 to Krome Ave.
2. Metrorail or Heavy Rail down the middle of Kendall Drive from US1 to around 152nd Ave.
3. Exclusive Right-of-way BRT from Dadeland North Metrorail down SR 874 to Kendall and then out west to Krome Ave.
North-South
1. Heavy Rail or Metrorail extension from FIU to 152nd Street
2. BRT running from FIU down Coral Way to 137th Ave and then south to 152nd Street
Alternate
1. CSX alignment running DMUs (Diesel Multiple Units) from MIC to Metrozoo
2. CSX alignment running DMUs from MIC to Tamiami Airport

The main differences between the CSX alignments are where stations would be placed and how frequently trains would run and if double tracking would be an option.

The floor was then handed over to another member of the planning team who discussed traffic concerns. During his presentation, many interruptions took place in the form of audience members questioning what was being presented. Such things sparking debate and uproar from the crowd was the amount of time that a gate effects traffic flow being only 45 seconds. Additionally, on a model they produced based on actual traffic numbers, several members of the crowd spoke in disbelief that the numbers were accurate. Prior to the completion of the presentation and opening of the floor to questions, someone in the audience interrupted repeatedly asking what percentage of the people in the area would benefit from the construction of a heavy rail alternative.

When the floor was opened to questions, a group of citizens had claimed a 9 minute block of time to present on how they were displeased with the CSX alternative and how it would be inappropriate. Their presentation was fair and well produced. Unfortunately what followed the three person presentation was more complaining about the CSX corridor and how it would keep people awake at night as well as block traffic among other things. Very little was said about Metrorail, but some were obviously for it while others were clearly against it. One woman said that the only way that she would support it coming down Kendall is if she were compensated for it obstructing her view.

The people complaining about the CSX issue pretty much dominated the entire meeting from the middle of presentations all the way to the very end. One threatened a class-action lawsuit should it be considered in the Final Environmental Impact Statement. Many called for the heads of the planners and made claims that they were incompetent and unprepared for the meeting, in spite of the fact that we are in the alternatives analysis phase and alignments are only now starting to be considered.

I figured the CSX issue would dominate the conversation, seeing that a) people here are against any at-grade rail options because it would further hamper their vehicular commute and b) there are far too many houses built along the rail corridor, another example of planning gone amiss. Lucky for us, Florida Law prohibits any sort of compensation requirement for “blocked views.”

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  3. Kendall Transit Clarification
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6 Responses to

  1. Anonymous says:

    One of the things I find so puzzling about the “Miami mentality” is its aesthetic component. People are worried that Metrorail would block their view on Kendall Dr. Uh, what view is that, exactly? The view of ten lanes of traffic, or the view of the strip mall across the street? Don’t these people realize that Kendall Dr., in its current state, is actually hideous? Does their love of driving make them blind to that?

  2. Michael Calderin says:

    It wouldn’t take much to beautify the Metrorail line. Kendall Drive has tons of potential.

    Thanks for posting about last night’s meeting. I’m planning on attending the one in Country Walk tonight and this gives me a good idea what to expect.

  3. Gabriel J. Lopez-Bernal says:

    Michael,

    Please let us know how tonight’s meeting goes…

  4. Steven says:

    My name is spelt with a V! but more importantly, I think most the people who make the claims that they should be compensated for the loss of visual appeal are basically ust trying to get money for nothing. Transit improves house values not hurts them.

  5. Miami Transit Man says:

    Sorry Steven, there is another Steven floating around here with a ph in his…

  6. NicFitKid says:

    I grew up in Kendall (unfortunately) and I laughed my ass off when you reported that a resident was concerned that a proposed rail system would obstruct her view. Kendall is strip malls, sprawl, gridlock, and some palm trees to distinguish it from all the other suburban wastelands it imitates. There are no fucking views in Kendall, unless a vista of dirty canals and drainage pits soothe the weary car commuter’s soul.

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