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Last night County Commissioners voted in favor of Vision Zero 305. Much like NYC’s Vision Zero NYC, Vision Zero 305 is a set of comprehensive policies developed in Sweden and aimed at a future in which no one is killed or seriously injured by traffic.

Miami is the 3rd most deadly metropolitan area in the nation for cyclists and pedestrians. Vision Zero 305 will be based on the refusal to accept that human death or lifelong suffering from injury is an acceptable result of road traffic. In order to achieve this vision, our traffic systems must be designed with the understanding that people make mistakes and that traffic crashes cannot be avoided completely. Roads should be designed so that when crashes do occur, they do not result in serious injury or death.

Mayor Carlos Gimenez had this to say:

“My fellow commissioners and I have finally come to recognize that Miami is about 2 decades behind other so-called “world class cities” when it comes to pedestrian and cycling infrastructure. We have a public safety crisis unfolding on our streets and we need to make our streets safer for everyone; we need to design our streets for people, not cars. There clearly has been no leadership or vision from anyone on the County Commission when it comes to preventing traffic deaths, but that is about to change. We will no longer strive to become the deadliest metropolitan area in the nation for cyclists and pedestrians.  Instead we will strive to have the safest streets in the country.”

According to Commissioner Xavier Suarez, “the County will implement a complete streets policy and we will hold police accountable when it comes to doing their job; we actually expect them to enforce traffic laws.”

This is a big step in the right direction.  Let’s just hope this is just not the same old political posturing that we’re tired of hearing.

 

Dead End

 
Driver hit cyclists from behind.  Notice the windshield. How fast was the driver going?

Driver hit cyclists from behind. Notice the windshield. How fast was the driver going?

I’m really tired of writing this same old story. On Friday morning another cyclist was critically injured on Bear Cut Bridge, the very same bridge where Chistopher Lecanne was killed nearly 4 years ago when a driver hit him from behind.

Crashes like these are preventable if only our elected officials could get their act together and address the public safety crisis that is happening in front of their very own eyes.

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The Rickenbacker Causeway is a microcosm for the greater ills of the county. Case in point: In the past 7 years at least 3 cyclists have been killed and countless other have been critically injured, yet the existing conditions on the Rickenbacker Causeway are getting more dangerous (i.e. Bear Cut Bridge), not safer.  Virtually nothing has been done to make the Rickenbacker less dangerous.  How many people need to die before something is done?

Miami Dade County is the 3rd most dangerous metropolitan area in the country for pedestrian and cyclists, yet our elected officials are dragging their feet when it comes to making our streets safer.  All I hear is political grandstanding that changes are coming and in the meantime pedestrians and cyclists continue to be slaughtered on our streets. The entire situation is disgraceful and shameful and collectively Miami Dade County elected officials need to be held accountable.

Click here to send an email to all of our County Commissioners and Mayor Gimenez and let them know what an awful job they are doing when it comes to pedestrian and cyclist safety throughout the County.  This is not just a Rickenbacker Causeway issue, this is a county wide problem that has turned into a public safety crises.

The situation has reached a point that is beyond embarrassing.
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Today we’re looking at those spaces that breathe life into a city: parks.

Park Land-Use in Miami-Dade County, Florida -- 2013. Source: Matthew Toro

Park Land-Use in Miami-Dade County, Florida — 2013. Source: Matthew Toro

I kept it simple: only beaches, municipal-operated, and county-operated parks were included. These criteria effectively excluded the following uses, which are part of Miami-Dade County’s default “Park” category:

  • Recreational Vehicle Parks/Camps
  • Private Recreational Facilities Associated with Private Residential Developments
  • Private Recreational Camps/Areas
  • Cemeteries
  • Golf courses
  • Other Nature Preserves and Protected Areas, which, for the most part, are completely inaccessible for public recreation/leisure
  • Marinas

And, significantly, this map doesn’t show Biscayne National Park, our local, primarily aquatic national park covering the bulk of central and southern Biscayne Bay.

What do you think? Where are more parks needed in our community?

The Aaron Cohen Bill is currently making its way through the Florida legislature. It has taken all hurdles in the Florida Senate with a unanimous vote on the floor of the Senate today. What remains is getting it through one House committee and then the full House. What can you do? Please take a moment to let the chair of the Economic Affairs Committee, Rep. Patronis (jimmy.patronis@myfloridahouse.gov), know that you are in favor of moving the bill forward.

Below is a sample email:
Dear Chair Patronis:

I am writing on behalf of the Aaron Cohen Law Initiative (AaronCohenLaw.org), a grass-roots non-profit effort that was formed in South Florida in response to an unjust sentence that was handed down to a man who drove his car into two cyclists while they were riding their bikes in the bike lane on Key Biscayne and he never stopped to help them.

One of those cyclists, Aaron Cohen, was killed.

The driver served less than a year in county jail. Had he stayed on the scene to render aid, law enforcement would have very likely retrieved blood evidence of DUI, which would have resulted in a mandatory minimum prison sentence of four years. Instead, he was sentenced to 364 days in jail and was released 100 days early.

CS/HB183 effectively eliminates the inadvertent penalty gap that exists between DUI manslaughter and Leaving the Scene involving Death (a.k.a. “Hit-and-Run”).

We are pleased that the bill has UNANIMOUSLY passed its first three House committee stops, all four of its Senate committee stops (SB102) and on 3/26/2014 it unanimously passed the Senate floor. We know that your committee is next in line to hear the bill. We kindly ask that you please agenda the bill for the committee’s next meeting, Friday April 4th, 2014.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
Sincerely,
(your name here)

 

Our Urban Development Boundary (UDB) constrains the encroachment of real estate development — typically in the form of single-family residential sprawl — into our precious agricultural and other environmentally-sensitive lands, such as the wetland and terrestrial ecosystems of Everglades National Park.

The agriculture sector contributes significantly to the local economy. As recently explained in WLRN’s excellent series “The Sunshine Economy”:

Agriculture generates a direct $700 million dollars a year in Miami-Dade County alone. The economic impact of the plowing, growing and picking of those crops is much larger.

Agricultural Land-Use in Miami-Dade County, Florida -- 2013. Source: Matthew Toro

Agricultural Land-Use in Miami-Dade County, Florida — 2013. Source: Matthew Toro

Agricultural land-uses in Miami-Dade County are found primarily in the southwest, in what’s known as the Redland Agricultural Area (often referred to as the “Redlands”).

One can also find plenty of fruit stands selling tropical and sub-tropical delights, fruits and vegetables that are sometimes virtually impossible to grow in any US region outside of South Florida.

Significant horticultural industries can be found out there too, including processing and packaging facilities for orchids and other ornamental plants.

If you haven’t already, visit the agricultural periphery of Miami-Dade County. It’ll change your whole perspective of what “Miami” truly is . . .

Even in primarily financial- and service-sector cities like Miami, industrial use of land is a critical component of the urban economy.

Industrial Land-Use in Miami-Dade County, Florida -- 2013. Source: Matthew Toro

Industrial Land-Use in Miami-Dade County, Florida — 2013. Source: Matthew Toro

Yes; Miami is a ‘post-industrial’ city, having carved its niche in the world economy after other metropolitan centers had carved their own on the foundation of manufacturing and production, but significant pockets of industrial land-use do exist in the county.

For some, the industrial space is closer than for others.

Just think about your own neighborhood: Is it near one of Miami’s industrial clusters, or far-removed where the illusion of a production-free world is more easily accepted?

This industrial land-use map includes spaces used for activities classified as:

  • [limestone/concrete] extraction, excavation, quarrying, and rock-mining,
  • heavy and light manufacturing,
  • industrial office parks,
  • industrial-commercial condominiums, and
  • junk yards.

If you’ve never been to one of the junk yards along the Miami River, or in Hialeah, it’s time you took a field trip. The industrial side of Miami’s economy will become much more apparent than you’ve ever imagined . . .

We posted a map of residential land-use in Miami-Dade last week. Here’s one illustrating commercial use throughout the county.

Commercial Land-Use in Miami-Dade County, Florida -- 2013. Source: Matthew Toro

Commercial Land-Use in Miami-Dade County, Florida — 2013. Source: Matthew Toro

What patterns, if any, do you see here? Where would you like to see more commercial development take place?

MFN0018-SeminarsEblast-Rev4 - Approved

 

Click here to register

ArtDevelopment2

Join the SE FL/Caribbean District Council of the Urban Land Institute as we explore synergies between art and real estate. The program will review opportunities to expand art in real estate development and its impact on community building and place-making.

This event will examine both the challenges and the business case for the inclusion of art and design at the very center of project thinking.

Agenda:

3:00 pm - Registration & Networking
3:30 pm - Keynote Presentation:  Creative Placemaking: Carol Coletta, VP/Community and National Initiatives, Knight Foundation
4:30 pm - Panel Discussion: Integrating Art into Real Estate Development
Dennis Scholl, Vice President / Arts, Knight Foundation
Philip E. Aarons, Principal and Founding Partner, Millennium Partners
Thomas Collins, Director, Perez Art Museum Miami
Arthur Weiner, Chairman, AWE Talisman

5:30 pm – 6:30 pm - Networking Reception

Docent – led tours of the PAMM available following the event (Registration required.)

 

Please join the Knight Foundation at the O Cinema in Wynwood on Tuesday March 25 for a free screening of the film “The Human Scale” by Jan Gehl (77 minutes, English, 2012) followed by panel discussion.

Fifty percent of the world’s population lives in urban areas. By 2050, this will increase to 80 percent. Life in a mega city is both enchanting and problematic. Today we face climate change, loneliness and severe health issues due to our way of life. But why? The Danish architect and professor Jan Gehl has studied human behavior in cities for 40 years. He has documented how modern cities repel human interaction and argues that we can build cities in a way that takes into account human needs for inclusion and intimacy.

Knight Foundation continues to lead efforts to build Miami’s art and cultural life, as well as its emerging community of entrepreneurs, startups and makers. Both thrive in urban environments that are well planned and built to a human-scale. The insights and lessons in this film will be enormously important and helpful in thinking about the path ahead for our rapidly evolving city.

6 pm - doors open
6:30 pm - screening followed by discussion
Learn more about the film at thehumanscale.dk/the-film/.

It’s free when you RSVP using this Eventbrite link.

 

 

A recent post that grabbed my attention in the Urbanophile was actually a re-post from another blog: Daniel Hertz’s Chicago-based City Notes.  The piece is called “Zoning: Its Just Insane”, and it presents some fascinating maps illustrating the domination of Chicago by land zoned for single-family homes, those most infamous perpetrators of sprawl.

Red is used to show single-family zoning in Daniel Hertz's Chicago Zoning Map. Source: http://danielhertz.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/zoning-its-just-insane/

Red is used to show single-family zoning in Daniel Hertz’s Chicago Zoning Map. Source: http://danielhertz.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/zoning-its-just-insane/

In fact, Hertz’s intention with the maps is to make the point that Chicago’s ‘insane’ zoning laws make it virtually impossible to develop anything but single-family homes in most of the Windy City’s neighborhoods.

The maps inspired me to put something together for our own community. However, instead of mapping zoning (the way land is regulated to be used for in the future), I thought it’d be best to first look at land-use (the present, on-the-ground societal use of space).

I used 2013 county land-use data. Other than explaining that single-family use is depicted in yellow and multi-family in orange,  I’ll let the image speak its own thousand or so odd words.

Residential Land-Use in Miami-Dade County, Florida -- 2013. Source: Matthew Toro.

Residential Land-Use in Miami-Dade County, Florida — 2013. Source: Matthew Toro.

Go ahead . . . let that sink in for a while.

We’ll take a closer look at land zoning — which, with all its nuances and myriad sub-classes, is admittedly trickier to map — later next week. Things always get a bit more complicated when we consider what our county and city planners have prescribed for the future of the land.

Happy Spring Miami!

 

BFF MIami 2014

Get your tickets here and at bicyclefilmfestival.com

 

Applications due in by March 26.

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“The Department is looking for a highly motivated employee to assist in the many outreach efforts in the Miami area.  The FDOT is involved in some of the most interesting and challenging projects in Southeast Florida, and our Public Information Office plays a critical role in the success of those projects by getting the word out, helping technical experts better understand and respond to community needs, responding to elected official and public inquiries and clarifying information, coordinating and communicating with the media on stories about the FDOT and its projects, celebrating the success of the projects by coordinating events such as ribbon cuttings, press events, etc.  The PIO office also assists the leadership of the District in communicating with employees and industry by producing newsletters, collateral material, media packets and coordinating events.

Debora M. Rivera, P.E., Director of Transportation Operations
Florida Department of Transportation, District Six
1000 NW 111 Avenue, Room 6236
Miami, Florida 33172
Telephone (305)470-5449
Email:  debora.rivera@dot.state.fl.us -          

Apply on-line via People First.  Paper applications will not be accepted. https://peoplefirst.myflorida.com/logon.htm

Start Your Application at: http://jobs.myflorida.com/startsubmission.html?erjob=692141

     ACTIVATION DATE:  03- 18-2014                        CLOSING DATE:  03-26-2014

PUBLIC RELATIONS SPECIALISTS Req No: 55007113-51145322-20140317160001

Working Title: PUBLIC INFORMATION ASSISTANT/SPECIALIST
Broadband/Class Code: 27-3031-01
Position Number: 55007113-51145322
Annual Salary Range: $36,400.00 – $43,888.00
Announcement Type: Open Competitive
City: MIAMI
Facility: DISTRICT 6 COMPLEX
Pay Grade/ Pay Band: BB003
Closing Date: 3/26/2014

The State Personnel System is an E-Verify employer. For more information click on our E-Verify website.

STATE OF FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

POSITION NUMBER: 55007113

BROADBAND OCCUPATION: PUBLIC RELATIONS SPECIALISTS

Completed State of Florida applications are required and should be submitted on-line through this website. If you need assistance, call 1-877-562-7287 (TTY applicants call 1-866-221-0268), and a People First customer service specialist will assist you. Current State of Florida Applications may be faxed to People First @1-888-403-2110. All applications must be submitted by 11:59 P.M. Eastern Time on the closing date, or unless otherwise specified in the advertisement.

POSITION LOCATED IN: MIAMI-DADE
CONTACT PERSON: Maribel Lena
CONTACT PHONE NUMBER: 305-470-5277
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: You may be required to provide your Social Security Number to conduct required verifications. During a declared emergency event, the incumbent will be required to assist the District as needed. Responsible for adhering to the provisions and requirements of Section 215.422, Florida Statute (FS) related State Comptroller’s Rules and Department of Transportation’s invoice processing and warrant distribution procedures.

POSITION DESCRIPTION: Provides office management, organization and support for the Public Information Office (PIO). Maintains office file and records. Responds to inquiries – phone, written and walk-in from various internal and external customers.

Assists the District Public Information Officer in preparation of materials and information for dissemination to the public. Reviews, edits and approves consultant news releases, brochures, fact sheets, media alerts, and lane closure information for the public and media.

Assists in the coordination and implementation of any special event involving the Department which includes tours, visitors and press conferences. Assist with the coordination of materials (exhibits, printed materials, name tags and comment cards for public hearings, meetings and other events. Coordinate and oversee activities geared to provide recognition and observance to ethnic calendar events for customers and internal partners.

Assists Florida Department of Transportation personnel and consultants with community awareness meetings. Attends and promotes public meetings/hearings, public information and construction workshops.

Assists in the coordination and implementation of special events involving the department such as ribbon cuttings, groundbreakings and special announcements.

Assists in writing and disseminating information for local and statewide education/safety programs and other transportation information, utilizing social media.

Receives and review all contract invoices for accuracy; accepts or rejects invoices based on procedures. Creates Consultant Invoice Transmittals for all invoices, maintains independent budget files for internal auditing purposes. Ensures all invoices have been paid, by verifying payment through the Florida Accounting Information Resource system (FLAIR), prior to filing.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES: KNOWLEDGEABLE OF JOURNALISTIC WRITING STYLE AND THE CONCEPTS OF GRAMMAR, PUNCTUATION AND ASSOCIATED PRESS STYLE. KNOWLEDGEABLE AND SKILLED IN MICROSOFT WORD, EXCEL, POWERPOINT, PUBLISHER, OUTLOOK AT AN INTERMEDIATE LEVEL. SKILLED IN TAKING TECHNICAL INFORMATION AND TRANSLATING INTO PLAIN LANGUAGE THAT THE PUBLIC CAN UNDERSTAND. ABILITY TO RESEARCH AND WRITE NEWS RELEASES AND REPORTS AND NEWSLETTERS FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC’S UNDERSTANDING. SKILLED IN STRONG WRITTEN AND VERBAL COMMUNICATION. KNOWLEDGEABLE AT PERFORMING BASIC MATHEMATICAL CALCULATIONS. ABILITY TO ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN EFFECTIVE WORKING RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHERS. KNOWLEDGE OF SOCIAL MEDIA. SKILLED IN DEALING WITH THE PUBLIC IN A PROMPT AND COURTEOUS MANNER. ABILITY TO ORGANIZE AND MANAGE MEETINGS AND SPECIAL EVENTS. ABILITY TO SET AND MANAGE PRIORITIES. ABILITY TO REMAIN CALM AND BE EFFECTIVE UNDER PRESSURE.

SPECIAL NOTES: A Competitive Area Differential (CAD) additive in the amount of $1,268.80 will be added to the annual salary.

Applicants requiring a reasonable accommodation, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, must notify the agency hiring authority and/or the People First Service Center (1-877-562-7287). Notification to the hiring authority must be made in advance to allow sufficient time to provide the accommodation.

The Department of Transportation hires only U.S. citizens and lawfully authorized alien workers. An Employment Eligibility Verification check will be conducted using the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services’ electronic database (E-Verify) on each new employee.

Pursuant to Chapter 295, Florida Statutes, eligible veterans and spouses of veterans who are Florida residents will receive preference in employment and are encouraged to apply. However, applicants claiming Veterans’ Preference must attach supporting documentation with each application submission that includes character of service (for example, DD Form 214 Member Copy #4) along with documentation as required by Rule 55A-7, Florida Administrative Code. All documentation is due by the closing date of the vacancy announcement. Documentation is based on the type of veteran preference claim. For information on the supporting documentation required, click here. Applicants may fax their supporting documentation to People First at 1-888-403-2110.

The Department of Transportation supports a Drug-Free workplace. All employees are subject to reasonable suspicion drug testing in accordance with Section 112.0455, F.S., Drug-Free Workplace Act.

The Department of Transportation is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Affirmative Action Employer and does not tolerate discrimination or violence in the workplace.

7 Tips for Preparing Effective State Applications – Click here to learn how to prepare your State of Florida Application to showcase your knowledge, skills, abilities, and experience. 

 

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Just when you thought the pedestrian experience on Brickell Ave couldn’t get any worse, it has! The city is installing some new car-centric billboards on the sidewalks of Brickell Ave.  We already had a number of them and now we are getting more. These billboards unnecessarily block the already narrow and dangerous sidewalks of Brickell Ave. As you will note from these pictures, the billboards are being installed right in the middle of the sidewalk, blocking pedestrians and bicyclists, and making for even more hazardous conditions. They could have been installed parallel (instead of perpendicular) and as far back as possible, but I imagine that would not cater to the cars stuck in traffic. Not only are they an obstacle and unsightly, they are dangerous. Someone is going to be seriously injured as a result of these billboards. Just yesterday I witnessed a lady with a stroller walking around one of these billboards, having to move so close to the street that her stroller was within inches of passing cars. Those who approved these sidewalk billboards must not walk regularly on Brickell Ave.  These advertisements are evidence of the car-centric culture and general disregard for pedestrians in the city of Miami. No amount of revenue is worth the inconvenience and hazards they billboards pose. I hope that our Brickell area representative in the city, Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, will do all in his power to remove (or at least move) these billboards so that our sidewalks are safer for the increasing number of residents, workers, and visitors that walk our streets.

Carlos Abril

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