Count them. Not one, or two, but three independent studies call for increased density along the US-1 rapid transit corridor.

Recent Miami 21 studies, Miami-Dade Watershed Studies, and Coconut Grove planning studies all encourage increased density along US1 and near Metrorail stations.

I don’t know about you, but there is nothing better than some cold hard facts to combat the closed minded NIMBY thought process:

“Rush hour is already a nightmare; this will make things even worse,” said Kenneth Newman at a recent meeting between the developer and Grove Residents. “A lot of people are saying that it’s not going to work because rich people don’t ride the Metrorail…they have nice cars and they want to drive them,” says one Grove activist [Mr. Nimby] who wishes to remain nameless.

Wrong!

However, studies conducted by the transit department reveal a pattern that seems to have less to do with income level and more to do with urban design.

We needed a study to reach that conclusion after 20 years!? You could have looked at just about any other city in the world to see that we were doing things backwards.

Dadeland South and Dadeland North, the two southernmost Metrorail stations recorded the seconded highest weekly ridership averages of more than 6,500 boardings each. These two stations are not located in high poverty areas.

I wonder, perhaps, by how much the daily use of metrorail is going to increase once the units at Downtown Dadeland, Toscano, Colonnade, and Metropolis come fully onto the market. Let’s not forget about the upcoming Town Center project (lame name, I know) and final Datran building which are slated to include up to six additional office high-rises in and around the Dadeland area.

As Ryan showed below, the city is planning on investing millions of dollars to transform the area along 27th avenue from the metrorail station to the CBD of the grove. The plan includes better urban planning than what we’ve seen in most Miami neighborhoods and is a great way to integrate metrorail with the coconut grove district. Grove Residents are always citing parking/traffic concerns, but, if only they would get out of their cars then perhaps they’d begin to understand what a better place the grove could be…

All is silent over at CGG

10 Responses to Studies Favor Density Along US-1

  1. Anonymous says:

    I could not agree with this more. The problem is not that the “rich people” don’t want to ride the Metro, the problem is that it does not take them to where they need to go.

    I rode the Metrorail last night to downtown for an American Bar Association Conference. There were numerous other people on the train with me that were going to the same conference. They parked their Mercedeses, Lexuses, and Porches in the same Dadeland North Parking station that I parked by Chevy. I believe that given the option of an efficient transit system which would continue to take them South after the Metrorail ends, these same people would use that transit system. Whether that be a electric car, buses, or otherwise.

    “Rich people” would ride a more efficient transit system. Who does not ride transit in NY, or in Chicago? A very select minority. Chicago is probably closer to what Miami should aspire to be because their Metro does not run everywhere. But, their buses have designated lanes in the higher traffic areas and somehow the traffic lights are highly coordinated to keep them moving.

    The same way that people that work in Downtown Miami take the Metrorail from Dadeland North every day, more people would ride transit if it took them to West Kendall or Palmetto Bay or the Grove. “Rich people” don’t want to be stuck in traffic anymore than the regular Joe. In fact, they probably want to be in traffic less because their time is more valuable at the office or at a meeting.

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  2. Mikey says:

    Do you think that we are going to continue to see developement in Miami on the scale that we had the past 5 years. In a market where its possible that we already have an oversaturation of condos, why are they going to build along US1 or anywhere for the foreseeable future?

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  3. conservative says:

    Good question. It is quite possible that less condos will be built. Developers that hold land might try to get variances and plans approved so they can sell their land with approvals… Other projects will be converted to 1 story retail.

    It does make sense to put density along US 1 and along transit corridors.

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  4. Dave says:

    The only thing I see the condo slowdown effecting is the pace. Instead of us talking about how we should cram all these people along US-1 in the next few years, it instead will be over the next 15 to 20 years.

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  5. Ryan says:

    Even though the housing market has slowed a little, estimates still project nearly a 40% population increase in Miami-Dade over the next 20 years. That means anywhere from 600,000 to 1,000,000 more residents will be living here by 2025-2030.

    This is one major reason why it’s so important we act now to expand our mass transit and embrace smart growth, such as increased density along transit corridors and infill throughout most of the county inside of the UDB.

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  6. Steven says:

    Another thing to consider is being forward thinking. If we incorporate new zoning laws and ordinances for the area around US-1 now while the market is slowing, then those laws will already be in place for the next boom when it hits. It is far better to be preemptive in setting up rules and guidelines for development than to play catch-up a couple years into the boon after several projects have already been built and the citizens are already frustrated.

    One problem I see is getting the municipalities in the effected areas to let the higher density zoning pass in their communities. We have seen in this blog many instances where the NIMBY forces in Coconut Grove alone are very vocal, despite the fact that what they are protesting may be for the betterment of their community. Going down the US-1 corridor does not get much easier though.

    Pinecrest alone is very vocal about how they do not want increased development or density. This is due mainly in part to them not wanting their small city to become like the Dadeland area. The NIMBY forces in this municipality are almost as bad as the one in Coconut Grove.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Density should be placed along US 1.

    The silly Miami hard rail Streetcar plan should be canceled immediately. I know many lobbyists and contractors will be upset but we should start and finish the FEC Corridor first.

    And put buses on proper routes.

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  8. mikey says:

    Just curious where are you getting these projections about population growth? I always hear the numbers qouted but I haven’t actually read the studies and I’m interested in it.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    I have seen the projections as well. They do show quite an increase. Density should go along transit corridors. Go FEC Corridor. Cancel ill conceived fixed rail streetcar boondoggle.

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  10. Steven says:

    The streetcar is a system that is designed as another transit corridor. The more transit corridors we get, the more places it would make sense to build.

    Personally, instead of the streetcar, I would like to see a light rail corridor built along the FEC rail lines up to the Broward County line and possibly to Ft. Lauderdale. While this is primarily a county/region issue, such a line would benefit the city of Miami greatly and would cover much the same area the streetcar would cover (with the exception of the recently added loop to the hospitals).

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