“…but I just hate the way architects, city planners, and everyone else responsible for urban life seem to have lost sight of what cities are for. They are for people. That is obvious enough, but for half a century we have been building cities that are designed for almost anything else: for cars, for businesses, for developers, for people with money and bold visions who refuse to see cities from ground level, as places in which people must live and function and get around. Why should I have to walk through a damp tunnel and negotiate two sets of stairs to get across a bust street? Why should cars be given priority over me? How can we be so rich and so stupid at the same time? It is the curse of our century-too much money, too little sense…”
Countless studies have concluded that widening highways is almost always an exercise in futility. One report uses a creative analogy to illustrate the ineffectiveness of widening highways:
“Consider the role laxatives should play relieving constipation. Laxatives are sometimes appropriate, but it is generally best to address constipation by changing diet (more fiber and liquids) and exercise (take a walk), because laxatives’ effectiveness declines with frequent use, they can hide more severe diseases, and they can exacerbate other medical problems. A physician who prescribes laxatives without investigating why the patient is constipated or considering other solutions is guilty of malpractice.
Similarly, chronic traffic congestion is often a symptom of more fundamental community design problems, such as inadequate mobility options that force people to drive for every trip, and dispersed land use patterns that increase travel distances. Where this is true, expanding roads may reduce short term symptoms but exacerbate long term problems. “
I’ve heard this idea floating (pun intended) around for quite sometime now. Similar systems are already integral parts of other transportation networks including:
Now, I don’t want to completely discredit the idea either. The ferries would transport commuters from two fairly affluent neighborhoods, a concept which was recently proven to be successful with Metrorail station boarding statistics. The park and ride idea could also work well given that it doesn’t completely remove vehicular use from the commuter. I think the fare should be split between rides and parking however, to further encourage the reduced costs of carpooling or seeking alternative forms of arriving at the departure marinas. The commuter ferry should be a driving force for the city to vastly improve all of our waterfront space. Rather than creating a terminal by
There are serious hurdles which need to be overcome, none of which can be solved by just the MPO or any other single branch of local government. In order to make our transit options successful we need to work to centralize our city while making commuting options as comfortable, seamless, and attractive as possible.
I came across the Earth Day Network’s Urban Environment Report which took the time to score and rank 72 major urban areas in the
About Earth Day Network…
- Rick and Alesh lament over a dead proposed bill which would have required slow drivers in the left lane to move out of the way of faster drivers. We saw a similar measure reach Jeb Bush last year, where it was vetoed, citing that there was already an existing law to cover such measures. Once again, it all boils down on better driver education and more enforcement of existing statues by our understaffed Highway Patrolmen.
- Balloons floated 400 ft over the
site where three high-rises are slated to rise, to simulate the visual effect the buildings would have on the surroundings if erected. Nonetheless the simulation proved all of our worst fears about this project: Mercy Hospital
“It’s worse than even my most horrible thoughts, which were pretty horrible,”
historian Arva Moore Parks said while watching the balloons hover over Vizcaya. Miami
- The Miami-Dade MPO voted unanimously in favor of building the
through an eleven mile segment of the Everglades Skyway Bridge Evergladesin order to properly restore water flow. This is a great project, aimed to finally correct decades of destruction caused by the Tamiami Trail, however, I must contest the MPO claim that the $300 million project would prove to be a “tourist attraction.”
Take, for example, the Coconut Grove station. It should serve as one of the most important transit gateways in Miami-Dade County, but instead functions as an isolated entity. Countless times I have interacted with tourists at both ends of 27th avenue in the Grove, asking me where the Metrorail station is probably because a) it is effectively cut off from the neighborhood and b) there is little urban continuity between the station and Grand Avenue that is emblematic of a place where people walk and take transit. Check out the pictures below:
The point is, better integration between Metrorail stations and adjacent streets and intersections is critical to the success of Metrorail, as well as realizing the pedestrian-oriented urban goals for Greater Miami. I guarantee there are people who would otherwise ride Metrorail but are turned off by either the prospect of crossing US-1 or the auto-centric environment of streets leading to the stations.
Business owner Robert Morell called for Spanish-speaking residents to learn English — and was booed by the crowd.
”I am a little bit appalled because if you travel to any other city it looks like they’re going into the future. Some of us still want to live in the past,” Morell said. “I speak Spanish, even though my whole family is American. I don’t understand why everyone else doesn’t learn the [English] language.”
Tomas Martinez, a regular at council meetings, where he addresses members in Spanish, approached Morell as he left the podium and an argument ensued.
As the men stared each other down, Robaina and City Council President Esteban ”Steve” Bovo threatened ejection from the meeting or arrest for anyone causing a major disturbance.
Ignoring Morell’s suggestion, resident Randy Carter said he would address the council in Spanish.
”I am going to speak in Spanish because when you do your political campaigns you do them in Spanish,” Carter told council members in Spanish.
Members of the audience laughed and applauded.
Despite the fact that this plan is perhaps the best thing that could happen to the zonal mess of
Some residents said they feared being displaced from their trailer homes or that historic landmarks would be dwarfed by seven-story buildings.
I find it amusing that the largely Cuban audience (who typically spends time lamenting over how great a city Havana was) would try to defeat a plan which could potentially bring some of Old Havana’s urban planning charm (by charm I clearly mean the old Spanish, walkable, non-autocentric, dense, ground floor commercial with residences above, covered walkways, etc.) to the city of Hialeah… Like the photo above/below, minus the decay of the past sixty years…
The Sun-Sentinel published a rather ho hum article today concerning the possible use of the FEC corridor for local commuter rail traffic. Basically restating everything we already knew about the study being conducted to alleviate traffic on I-95, local developers paving over our way of life, Henry Flagler and the oranges, blah, blah, blah, the whole nine yards… The article confirmed my recent estimates placing the start of construction on a best possible scenario at 2015 (oddly enough the same year Baylink will be reconsidered for funding by the MPO.) As usual, the comments on the Sun-Sentinel’s site proved to be an everlasting source of entertainment for me. Here is one of the more ridiculous replies which just about sums up why we need to focus on changing mentalities around here first…
Finally, my first reaction:
Yep, I wanna give up my Lexus to ride with the vermin of the world.
Let me take my lovely family and sit among people from nations where personal hygeine is a dark mystery associated with the like of the full moon and witch-craft. Oh sorry, did I say other nation? I meant
Let’s have a “chat” with the hip-hoppers who can’t say 3 words straight without an F-Bomb, or the others who can’t say 3 words in English.
Even better, I want to give up the luxury of personal transportation in order to roll in the filth left by the previous passengers. Gum stuck in chairs, overflowing toilets (if they even bothered to enter) and the associated residue of society all stuck to my seat, and now my pants all at one time.
Snob? Perhaps…Dude, I’ll simply say it’s not technology that kills public transporation. It’s the public.
American’s golden days passed when manners and social grace were put aside in favor of personal gratification and the current selfish, boorish behavior that seems to be a norm among so many.
So yeah, raise our taxes even higher and strangle our economy to death. Chase out and destroy the middle class and build the train. We’ll have extremely wealthy and those so poor they are tax exempt. At least the latter will have a train. All they need is a reason to use it. What are the chances that will be for work?
- Well, I don’t know if anyone has noticed or not, but, I’ve gone about the arduous task of importing all of the previous blog entries (one by one due to blogger’s lack of an import feature…) This process is going rather slow, but, the archives should be back up within the next few weeks…
- Also, you may wish to update your links; seeing that Transit Miami is now fully accessible through www.TransitMiami.com. Yeah, I cut the blogspot back out of the domain again. However, you may notice (IE users) that you can’t access the page by typing in just http://transitmiami.com (minor glitch I’m working to fix) unless you are using firefox which will add the www in for you…
- E-mail service will be returning soon, once I resolve an issue behind the fact that Ryan’s Posts do not get sent out via e-mail for some odd blogger reason or another…
- The sidebar has been updated with new links, Transit websites, Blogs, Feeds, and a new headline bar bringing the latest news from the Planetizen Page…
Miami-Dade Transit Honors Rosa Parks for Black History Month:
“A permanent memorial to Rosa Parks will be on display above a designated seat behind the bus driver’s position, to honor Park’s refusal to give up her seat to another person. The decal reads, “Seat dedicated in honor of Rosa Parks” and is written in three languages.”
- FDOT planned to remove most of the palms on
Biscayne Boulevardto replace them with shade trees such as Oaks, in order to enhance the pedestrian experience along the boulevard and to improve “safety” along the corridor in a new ROW acquisition.
- The FDOT plan was met by stiff activist resistance, opposing the removal of any trees and opposing the plans by the FDOT.
- To date, 135 palms have been removed, approximately 2/3 of the palms along the corridor which were planted over 80 years ago to commemorate the Veterans of all Wars.
- Trees continued to fall, as recently as February 6.
- On February 7th, the FDOT agreed to stop further destruction of the Royal palms, claiming that the trees removed the day before were either sick or part of the ROW acquisition.
- Today, after the lobbying of Commissioner Sarnoff and Mary Conway, the FDOT has finally agreed to end the destruction. The
Biscayne Boulevardcorridor will now feature much more foliage than had been previously planned, including more Royal Palms and various other shade trees.
It’s difficult to swallow the “pedestrian enhancement” bull the FDOT is throwing at us when the trees are being removed to further enhance the traffic flow along the corridor. As the herald article noted,
The bigger picture I’d like to point out is while one local agency works to make our streets more pedestrian friendly, our city commission is out approving a monstrous structure with 1,700 parking spaces in the immediate area. Note above: the pedestrian friendly streets of yesteryear featured not only pedestrian friendly foliage but streetcars as well. The approval of 2222 Biscayne is a dark reminder of how far we still have to go to improve the urban culture of our city. Any structure on an existing or planned public transit route should feature far less parking than the city code currently calls for and certainly far less than the 1 space/250 square feet offered by this eyesore…
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