Careful Miami PD, I’m certain that the sleepy village of Coconut Grove would not appreciate
loud protests pedestrians passing through their quiet, single-family home, suburban neighborhood… The Sun-Sentinel reported that an estimated 800 people participated in the march. I’ll add that traffic must of been a nightmare today in the grove considering the few hundred extra people who visited city hall…(Image from the Sun-Sentinel)…
Somehow, I told you so, just doesn’t quite cut it. Here is a comment I posted a few hours ago, in response to a anti-growth Coconut Grove comment made earlier:
Transit won’t solve these issues on its own; it must be coupled with intelligent growth, which definitely isn’t being supplied adequately by the Grove Activists or Developers…
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am in no way shape or form excited that the Home Depot is moving forward with its plans in Coconut Grove. It just goes to show how we end up with terrible planning in this city when the two extremes never settle upon a happy medium. Grove Activists fought the Home Depot for 2 years, while the popular home store bent over backwards in making its store fit in with the “village vision” of the Grove Residents. The store, designed by Local architect and Grove Resident (I believe) Max Strang, will probably never come to fruition, with its designated truck delivery zones, multi-level parking and stores, new Milam’s Market and Pharmacy, and Bahamian influenced design. In the end, we still get nothing but a terrible catastrophic strip shopping center in the heart of a vibrant community. All because one side never decided that in order to settle, they would have to make some concessions. Now, instead, we all pay the price of so truly terrible traffic, parking, and just deplorable planning…The Grove says no? Try again…
The Grove First website…
More info on what was GroveGate, click here…
I’ve shared my discontent on the people’s transportation plan (PTP) on more than one occasion on this site. I’ve also spoken of the nimby-like behavior of the grove residents who oppose any project which crosses their path but at the same time complain about a dearth of parking in their area. Today, I’ve decided to combine the two issues somewhat and present a set of alternative plans that I believe would benefit our community and would satisfy the delicate aesthetic needs of coconut grove residents. Below are three quick renderings I created (please pardon the terrible quality) of the region with possible public transit routes superimposed.
- This plan is the simplest, least intrusive, and cheapest alternative. The plan calls for the dismantling of the Omni loop of the people mover system in downtown once the Miami Streetcar becomes operational. I’m figuring that the omni loop will be rendered useless once the streetcar is completed seeing that they essentially cover the same part of the city. The salvageable tracks, vehicles, and station components can then be used to create a new Coconut Grove Loop People Mover system. The CG loop would be approximately 1.65 miles long, just slightly longer than the current 1.45 mile Omni Loop. The loop would be able to transport people quickly and effectively from the Coconut Grove Metrorail station along US-1 to the more pedestrian friendly areas of the grove, office buildings along
South Bayshore Dr., City Hall, and the vast network of bay front parks. This option would be good for bringing people into the Grove from other parts of the county, but would not prove as useful for the majority of Grove residents. The plan also concentrates the public transit on the densest part of the grove and along the bustling 27th Ave.corridor.
Key Stops: Coconut Grove Metrorail Station, City Hall at Dinner Key, Shops at
- This plan focuses more on a public transit system which would service the Coconut Grove community as the southern terminus for a
North-South 27th Ave.Streetcar or LRT. The proposed system would be far more useful than the 9 mile northern extension which is currently planned and underway for Metrorail because it invites better urban growth to occur at the street level along the avenue. The Northern terminus for this transit line would be at Joe Robbie Stadium (Dolphin Stadium) and would travel through Opa Locka, West Little River, , Little Havana, and Coconut Grove neighborhoods. It would provide two links to the Metrorail (CG and Brownsville .) This plan would allow for greater development to occur along the Brownsville 27th Avenuecorridor bringing some much needed density to the area. The much debated and contested Carlos Rua project at the Coconut Grove Metrorail station would be one such example of the type of development we would want to encourage (with less parking.) Transit Oriented Developments such as the Rua project are essential to make our transportation networks succeed. Situated along the primary N-S route in the city (US-1), a major avenue ( 27th Ave.), and our only form of public transportation, this project is hardly out of context with its surroundings and what we can expect of the region in years to come (Perhaps the height is excessive, but the density is of critical importance.)
Key Stops: Coconut Grove Metrorail Station, Dinner Key, Dolphin Stadium, MDC Inter-American Campus, Opa Locka,
- The last plan focuses on implementing a streetcar or LRT which would travel through Coconut Grove from the Brickell Metrorail station. This plan focuses its attention on the needs of the Coconut Grove area, bringing pedestrian traffic and growth to the areas which can support it best. It would also best serve the needs of the area residents in getting to their local town center which is already facing major parking issues. Traveling through
South Bayshore Drive, the streetcar would service areas we designate as pedestrian friendly. It services the dense housing units in the area, waterfront offices, shopping areas, Hospital, and parks. A project like this would greatly benefit from further dense (not necessarily tall) growth to occur along the corridor (perhaps the Related Group’s Mercy project wouldn’t seem like such a far fetched idea.) The streetcar would service both east and west grove and create a center for the community (at Mayfair) which is easily accessible to most via the public transportation. Heading westward, the line could travel through the Village of Merrick Park before terminating at the Douglas Road Metrorail station.
Key Stops: Mercy Hospital, Dinner Key, Shops at Mayfair, West Grove, Brickell Metrorail Station, Southern Brickell, Village at Merrick Park, Douglas Road Metrorail Station
I created this above analysis to show that there are a multitude of public transportation concepts which could be implemented in the Coconut Grove area which would not only serve the needs of the area residents but would benefit the entire community. Grove residents should open their minds to development which will enhance their community (I’m not saying to fully accept the Related Group, Home Depot, or Carlos Rua projects) but they need to take a different approach when considering the type of development that will occur in their area. Bringing density to their town center and major thoroughfares like
And then there were none. Major local TV news stations located in the heart of our city, that is. ABC, the sole survivor of the mass exodus of media business from Miami (Proper) announced last week that they too were headed to suburbia. Not just any suburbia, Browardlandia to be precise, making it one less news station that I can actually watch (hey, you turn your back on me; I’ll return the favor.) In the quest for more studio space and more parking (for Dwight or Laurie?), WPLG has given up on their urban location just south of the
Media and Arts district design district in Miami. ABC is following the relatively recent moves of NBC/Telemundo into expansive and utterly hideous suburban television studios in western Broward (surrounded by gorgeous, treeless parking lots in every direction) and of CBS in 1985 to the Doral area. NBC however, went so far as to leave us with a faux studio in the American Airlines Arena, to quell our sentiments that the station had completely turned its back on Miami and the concept of urban growth.
The impact of the misguided moves of these news stations abound. It continues to personify the decentralization which has been plaguing Miami since the early 80s and the very reason why we need to seriously rethink the way we are building our transit system and our city. The move of the news stations from the main business center is alarming as much as it is disappointing. For the time being, I’ll keep getting my news from the centrally located Miami Herald, that is, unless they too plan a move to suburbia if/when their land rezoning ever occurs…
“It also gives the station the opportunity to build studios that are equipped with both high definition technology and the latest in hurricane-proofing, Boylan said.”
“The move will give the ABC affiliate badly needed parking space and a more central location to cover both Miami-Dade and Broward counties.”
“We also wanted to be more central for news coverage.”
And farther from the location of many of the business, sports, and criminal/justice news stories that we will be covering nightly…Now, we’ll have to drive (using the cars in that new huge parking lot) south daily to cover the stories that people actually care about…
Camillus House has long been a thorn in the respective thighs of nearly all politicians directly involved in its potential move. The shelter, the State, and the
The new Camillus House intends to rehabilitate 120 people a year out of “chronic homelessness.” The Camillus House organization has also set a valiant goal of ridding
I think we see such a prevalent illegal street vendor scene due to the lack of public markets available. Legal vendors in many cities can successfully operate their mini shops in open air high pedestrian areas such as city squares (ex.
Well, it’s cross blogination day and things around here aren’t running smoothly. I’ve just found out that Jessica of the Snap-Crackle-Pop-odopoulos Family Blog is out of town and subsequently will not be posting an article on my site… In lieu of that wonderful detail that I somehow just discovered at this very morning, I’ve decided to do some cross blogination with my readers. I want to hear what you guys think: Whatever transportation/development topic which tickles your fancy will do just fine. You can send me an article today: MoveMiami@gmail.com or reply in a comment. I’ll keep the site updated continuously throughout the day with each and everyone one of the articles I receive…Have fun!
Update: Since The Cross Blogination did not go as planned, Lisette of Urban Paradise was left holding another excellent article which was originally intended for the aforementioned Family Blog…Go check out Lissette’s article…
I’d like to thank everyone who took some time out of their day to reply to last Thursday’s article. The poll numbers were much lower than I had anticipated, but, we generally got to see that the majority of readers were not in accordance with the development plans for Watson Island. I will take some time now to reply to all the comments:
Your visions of keeping Watson Island a sleepy island with a bait shop and plenty of places to stroll are admirable but difficult to implement given the island’s location and proximity to two urban centers. The lack of a public transit station/system makes it fairly difficult to convert the island into a large park for the region.
I like your take on the bland architecture, however, I must disagree on your perception of Chad Oppenheim’s 10 Museum Park (The pigeon hole tower.) Ten Museum Park
The Parc Olympic idea is excellent but again, difficult to implement if people can’t get to and from the island easily and effectively. An development such as that would be better suited along the
I did neglect the Ichimura Japanese Garden but, not on purpose. The Gardens (which I sadly have yet to visit) are supposed to be beautiful and are one of the better points of the
I have yet to experience them myself, however, it could be fenced in to try and isolate the serene attraction as much as possible from the urban spaces and sounds which surround it.
Excellent point, I could not agree more. I believe the marina should not be built to cater only to Mega-Yacht and their owners, but rather boat owners as a whole.
Glad to hear you are on board with the plan, there must be some sort of use for such a large/center piece of land. I still think the Miami Children’s Museum is inadequate in its’ external appearances as well as content. I’m not sure where you obtained your information from, but, at 56,000 square feet the MCM is nearly 1/8 the size of the largest children’s museum in the
In case you all were unaware, in less than a week we will be conducting the Inaugural Miami Cross Blogination. What’s a Cross Blogination? Well, we Miami bloggers have come up with a unique idea of trading our sites for day to break up the monotony of day-to-day writing and add a little bit of creativity to our local blogging community. The point of the event is to further the awareness of the blog community in our region as well as to give all our writers the opportunity to gain access to a different sector of readers.
Next Tuesday, I will be blogging on Robert’s 26th Parallel (a site dedicated mainly towards the happenings of
Next Topic of Conversation:
The proposed use for
The current scheme for the
The opportunities that such developments can provide to our city abound. The average owner of a Mega-Yacht spends over a million dollars a year on the maintenance of the vessel itself, so we can just imagine how much money they will spend when they stay in our city for extended periods of time. One of the Hotels, the Shangri-La will be the first of its kind in the
We are taking advantage of these opportunities at the expense of the public land, plain and simple. The new marina will restrict public access to much of the land. The developer has creatively cited “Anti-Terrorist Regulations” as the reason behind the gates and bars that will keep most of us away from the actual docks or seaside or most importantly Paul Allen, Larry Ellison, Roman Abramovich, or any other billionaire that can afford a boat as big as a Carnival cruise ship. In addition, the only heliport in the area was closed to make way for the impending development as well as a popular bait shop. Parrot Jungle has been a failure until now and owes vast sums of money to the County as rent payments. Apparently it didn’t occur to anyone that the nostalgia and lush tropical environment of the previous location was what kept so many local visitors interested in the park to begin with.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not crying foul about the project, but, at the same time, I don’t support it fully either. I think the land could have had better uses, especially if Baylink had been taken into account much sooner. I also have issues with those who chose to complain about the project as well. First off, just for clarification, the “blocked view” or “added traffic” lawsuits and claims are completely bogus. I hate to remind them, but, they purchased a home, not a view or the surroundings. Last time I checked, the MLS listings included square footage not vistas. My real question to the people who complained about the project is: Where were they before Island Gardens? And why weren’t they complaining about the lack of adequate use on public land when Watson Island was a barren wasteland? No comment. My best guess is because it wasn’t about the public use to begin with…
All in all,
Update: Miami-Dade County Commissioners Deferred a vote yesterday which would have allowed dredging to begin in the Bay.
“With all the graft and unauthorized payments paid out it would more than be enough to keep watson island like it was. A sleepy little place to stroll, the old bait shop etc.”
“So maybe it’s good for the economy if some fat dough-wad geezers park their boats there, but I don’t like the idea of limited public access AT ALL.”
“I’d rather that they weren’t building a mega yacht marina but rather a reguar marina for the RESIDENTS of Dade, but I’m all for the building of more hotels…I’m never wild about giving public land away especially when you look at the track record of Miami officals, but its this or leave it like it is. I vote for more hotels.”
“My main concern is with the design. Watson Island was the best piece of public real estate around at that time and it deserved buildings that people from around the world could identify as being in Miami.”
Big news for the corporate sector of
Sadly, Nokia will be settling into expanded offices in the blue lagoon area rather than a downtown location…
Some people have been wondering what they can do to get involved in some of the local transportation projects. I recommend any interested parties attend the workshops hosted by the local MPOs and local transit agencies. I try to post these once a month, and I attend as many as my schedule permits. Here is a listing of some of the upcoming meetings:
Metrorail planning meetings: (Via Miami Herald)
Sept. 19 at the Sheraton Miami Mart, 711 NW 72nd Ave (6:30 pm)
Sept. 20 at FIU’s Graham Conference Center, 11200 SW Eighth St (6:30 pm)
Sept. 21 at the St. Dominic Church Parish Hall, 5849 NW Seventh St (6:30 pm)
Miami-Dade MPO Meetings:
FTAC, Sept. 13 at the Stephen P. Clark Center (3:00 pm)
General MPO Meeting, Sept. 28 at the Stephen P. Clark Center (2:00 pm)
Broward MPO meetings can be found on this pdf file.
If you don’t get involved, you have no right to complain about the terrible traffic…
- I’ve spent the better part of the day reading various articles about the reconstruction of ground zero in downtown Manhattan; hence the absence of any MM awards for the day. I’ll offer my take on the rebuilding process in NYC at a later time. I do however recommend reading a review of the site which I read in my hard copy version of the NY Times this morning; the architectural review of the towers by Nicolai Ouroussoff can be found here online.
- There are also a pair of notable Transit/Development reads in today’s Miami Herald: 1. Larry Lebowitz’s streetwise column, addresses the expansion of metrorail West towards FIU. 2. Charles Rabin’s column addressed the mega yacht developments of Watson Island. I’ll be giving my opinion on both subjects later this evening.
- Alesh, also provides us with his take on the newest advertisement along I-95, the Barry University watchtower.
- The Miami Monthly is reporting that the Four Seasons Hotel on Brickell has become Florida’s first Green Lodge, earning certification recently from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
Didn’t think I’d get to bestow the Moronic Monday award today upon anyone? Well, neither did, I, until I ran out to run some late night errands. This is also a character who should be nominated to appear on Burnettiquette’s WBA. In any case, this Maricon Monday Award is going out to those idiots among us who see ambulances in their rearview mirrors and freeze like a deer in headlights. Typically, I go above and beyond to get out of the way of the thing so that whatever unfortunate soul is heading off to the ER, can get there as quickly as possible. I’ve ran red lights (yes, cautiously) and jumped curbs just to make way for the sirens, so, I find it difficult that anyone would just sit still when the horn is blaring and sirens are whaling DIRECTLY BEHIND THEM.
Here is how tonight’s episode went. I was the first car at a red light waiting at an intersection on a major three lane road. A few cars had started filing in the two right lanes behind me when I saw the ambulance barreling from behind. Figuring, that it would be easiest if I cleared my one car out of the queue to allow the ambulance to pass, I turned on my hazard lights and jumped out in front of the car in the center lane. That’s when the idiocy occurred. By freeing up my lane, some self serving jerk exited the queue of the center lane, nearly cutting off the ambulance. Then came the punch line: they hit their brakes and stopped fully two car lengths before the intersection, effectively blocking off the shortest route for the emergency vehicle. Stuck. The oncoming turn cars had already yielded to give way to the oncoming ambulance, which had to jump a curb to circumnavigate the moron.
I cringed as the ambulance flew by me and as I peered in through the back windows and witnessed a paramedic pumping the patient’s chest. Hopefully, that person will not suffer any added damages as a result of the selfish and careless drivers of our streets…
Image From Asurroca’s Flickr…
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