During a casual lunchtime stroll along the Miami River, I happened to catch a moment that all too often legitimizes Miami’s superficial export image. The SW 2nd Avenue drawbridge, in the heart of downtown Miami, was raised to allow this luxury yacht (with only one visible person on board). Even worse, the yacht would have fit if it weren’t for it’s unnecessarily long spires. It’s ridiculous how the City allows luxury private vessels to have precedent over the public realm – especially in the heart of downtown. This issue will surely be magnified in the near future with all the new development downtown and along the river. Residents need to speak up – this is not something that happens in quality public spaces.

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6 Responses to Superficial Miami

  1. Anonymous says:

    Although I agree with the superficial character of Miami, if I am not wrong, it is a federal regulation that water traffic has priority over land traffic, so not much to be done on a local level. That’s why Tri-Rail had to build a bridge over the New River, so trains wouldn’t be stopped by drawbridges (which used to happen)


  2. Ryan says:

    Water traffic, in the form of freight vessels that are critical to the city’s economy, is understandable. But I believe private vessels are completely different.


  3. Gabriel J. Lopez-Bernal says:

    Yeah, I agree, and if it’s not the case, then perhaps we should revamp that dated law…


  4. Anonymous says:

    Well if the Miami River were dredged as it was supposed to be, these smaller vessels would fit under the bridge. I saw a sailboat get stuck under I-95 the other day because it was too tall.


  5. OnDright says:

    Ryan- The business of waterway right of way is regulated not by any city, but by the United States Coast Guard (http://www.uscg.mil/default.asp). Other than building bridges that are “tall enough” it would be next to impossible to stop vessels from having the right of way.


  6. Ryan says:

    Thank you for the input, ondright. I do understand the nature of drawbridge ROW, and agree that freight vessels and public vessels should have ROW. However, it is wrong for private recreational vessels to have ROW precedent at any drawbridge – especially in the heart of a major city’s CBD. Feel free to inform me if I am wrong, but I don’t see any safety/logistical reasons for not discontinuing this policy for private recreational vessels.


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