Currently viewing the tag: "Coral Gables"

A pedestrian bridge above US-1 at the University MetroRail station was recently approved by Miami-Dade County and is currently moving closer to an agreement. Though a state and federally funded project of $6 million, the University Centre mall owner has raised some concerns and is refusing to allow the county to build the bridge on its property. The bridge to channel university students, middle school students, metrorail riders, and others to the popular strip mall has been in the works for several years, joining the other existing US-1 overpasses. The Pedestrian Safety Access Committee formed with the long-term goal to build the pedestrian bridge in direct response to 3 student fatalities at the intersection since 1990, along with several accidents.

Proposed Pedestrian Bridge - Rendering courtesy Miami-Dade County

Proposed Pedestrian Bridge at US-1 and University MetroRail Station: Note the bicyclist hugging the curb… (Rendering courtesy Miami-Dade County)

Looking at this situation at face value, this project makes perfect sense: people are dying on the intersection, so take the people off the intersection. But I challenge you to stand back and examine the bigger picture of crossing US-1 at this intersection and every other one in Coral Gables, South Miami, and beyond. Is the problem uniquely at this intersection, or along the entire stretch of the fast-moving, 6-lane highway? Due to very high speeds, awkward street-level pedestrian crossings, unbuffered and narrow sidewalks, and poor street lighting, I think we can agree that this stretch is hostile to non-motorists. Michelle Simmon, public involvement coordinator for Miami-Dade Transit stated back in 2007 that ‘the main purpose of the long-term bridge project is to encourage pedestrian safety while making the Coral Gables community more “walkable.” Yes, ‘channeling’ pedestrians into a bridge does have the potential of keeping pedestrians safe, but does it encourage walkability?

Pedestrian Convenience. A walkable community is possible when the built environment is convenient to the pedestrian, bicyclist, student, parent with baby stroller, etc. Making decisions that inhibit pedestrian convenience such as narrowing sidewalks, reducing crosswalks, ‘forcing’ people to go up and over a street – then these decisions make the built environment inconvenient and therefore, less walkable. But if we redesign the street to discourage speeding, add wider sidewalks buffered from vehicular traffic, pedestrian street lighting, and common-sense street-level crossings (and using a lot less than the $6 million) we could achieve both safety and walkability for all road users.

Neighborhood Unity. Instead of creating a street that welcomes its neighbors, we are making decisions (like numerous pedestrian bridges) that add up toward creating an automobile sewer. This is the root of the problem, and the reason for these vehicular deaths in the first place – we are literally trying to put a highway into the middle of a community. Why are we surprised that pedestrians, students, children are trying to cross the street in their own neighborhood? Instead of encouraging to further dissect this area, we need to consider the potential to transform this massive right-of-way into the safe neighborhood center the university, middle school, and residents deserve.

Traffic Priorities. The problem in this dangerous intersection is not the pedestrians, but the unobservant drivers. But who are we punishing? the pedestrians. And who are we prioritizing for dominion over the street even more? the drivers, observant or not. A walkable neighborhood is not void of cars, drivers, and traffic, but rather re-prioritizes its road space to accommodate a full range of transportation choices. Slowing traffic down does not guarantee more congestion either. In fact, some of the most efficient roads in the world are in slow-speed, walkable environments. By humanizing the thoroughfare with better street-level crossings, lighting, wider sidewalks, street trees, narrower traffic lanes, and even on-street parking, we can effectively slow traffic, and persuade drivers to be more alert, attentive, and vigilant, fostering a safer atmosphere for all.

If building this University Station pedestrian bridge could save just one life, then yes, its construction is more than worth it. But what’s next in encouraging safety and walkability? Are we going to continue constructing pedestrian bridges at every intersection over Dixie Highway – and with whose funds? And does that leave the people who will still cross at street level with a more dangerous thoroughfare? I challenge this community, the Pedestrian Safety Access Committee, Miami-Dade County, FDOT, and others involved to improve the pedestrian experience on the street level. In many ways the easiest solution is to build the pedestrian bridge. However, six million dollars can provide a lot of funding for this community if our residents and leaders are brave enough to tackle the root of the problem. We should not take these deaths lightly, but we do need to consider the full range of options to improve the safety, convenience, and value of the US-1 corridor. Just as Michelle Simmon from Miami-Dade Transit stated, “A livable community has to be a safe community.” By humanizing this dangerous, dissecting thoroughfare, we can not only save lives, but also our community.

Dear City of Coral Gables,

I love you. You truly are the City Beautiful, a title and reputation well deserved and well maintained. (Well, at least when you’re not knocking out your own teeth by forfeiting precious building space for a parking lot).

Despite my deep affection for you, you lovely gem of a greater Miami municipality, you disappointed me today.

I love riding along your M-Path curves, but I will not tolerate one of your very own Public Works Department employees coming between us like this.

On my bicycle sprint along the M-Path, the last thing I expect or want to encounter is a City vehicle blocking the multi-use (bicycle/pedestrian/etc.) path.

If this is going to work out, you’ll have to promise that you’ll never again allow one of your city employees to violate our relationship. I better not encounter a motor vehicle on the M-Path ever again, especially not one bearing your city seal and colors.

I strongly doubt you’d allow one of these guys to block one of your motor vehicle lanes. Who do you think you are allowing them to block a multi-use path?!

Sincerely,

Broken-Hearted Biker

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The following is a submission by Jennifer Garcia of Garcia Design Studio in Coral Gables.

My wishful thinking and blind admiration of Coral Gables has tricked me again! One would think that with all the hype Coral Gables gets for historical preservation and aesthetics, that new construction could be close-to-perfect. For the most part, I can proudly state that most new developments have been positive and typically change the cityscape for the better – infill of vacant properties; creation of quality public space; improving intersections and leveling the transportation playing field. Unfortunately, even a forward-thinking city doesn’t get everything right all the time. Case in point: the Northern Trust Bank property at the northeast corner of Biltmore Way and Segovia.

The former bank at the northeast corner of Biltmore Way and Segovia.

Another view of the corner previous to new construction.

Not familiar with the intersection? It is a relatively new round-a-bout, now receiving funding for civic monuments; bookended for the Segovia median/bike lane project; and centerpiece for future Biltmore Way Streetscape Project.

The new corner-lot parking where the bank once stood.

Where once stood a modest 1960’s corner building – with parking appropriately in the rear and side – is now an elaborate surface parking lot. I have to admit that when they were constructing the new building in the former parking area, I thought they were infilling the old lot! To my disappointment, once the new building was up, the old building came down to make way for their new parking lot. Now the new bank building sits on the east part of the property. The parking lot at this “major gateway” corner creates several issues:

Corner Gap
This is urban design 101: to create a successful public realm, you need to hold the corner at every intersection. Missing buildings on any street are like missing teeth – a missing corner building is like missing your front teeth!

New parking lot without bicycle parking?
You would think that with the investment of a new parking lot along a newly designated bike corridor on Segovia that a goal would be to provide a suitable amount of bike parking.

Expensive materials don’t cut it
This parking lot is definitely top-of-the-line, with all sorts of pavers; trees; and even a corner fountain at the sidewalk. But we know no matter how much money is spent on materials and landscaping, nothing can hide the fact that its still a parking lot.

Despite the expensive materials and decorations, surface parking lots are like missing teeth in a smile.

I’d like to challenge the city when approving permits to begin with a critical eye of how it may impact the overall neighborhood. Coral Gables residents are proud of our City Beautiful, and don’t like to see mistakes like this.

You can follow Jennifer on Twitter at @Garcia_Design.

If you are interested in contributing to Transit Miami, e-mail Craig@TransitMiami.com or Felipe@TransitMiami.com.

The following is an article from Elsa Roberts from Emerge Miami.

“What are you doing?”
“Thanks.”
“I almost get hit every time I cross the street with my daughter.”
“Get a job!”
“Thank you for doing this.”

These are just a few of the comments we heard in 40 minutes walking the crosswalk for pedestrian safety in Coral Gables on October 20. One older gentleman complained that he doesn’t feel safe crossing the street and said that he couldn’t sprint out of a car’s way anymore – he is 77. Another woman crossing with her children thanked us and proceeded to explain to her daughter why we were demonstrating for safer streets.

Motorist reactions were mixed. There were many instances of driver misbehavior and disrespect. Several drivers illegally blocked the intersection trying to turn left after their green arrow was gone and many making right turns came within inches of our legs; angrily demanding with their vehicles that we yield our space. The strangest comment we received was from a woman in an SUV trying to make a right turn while we were lawfully crossing the street, she rolled down her window, stared into our faces and our signs urging drivers to take care and reminding them that we are all pedestrians, and shouted angrily, “Why don’t you get a job!” Three of us looked at her and simply stated, “We have jobs.” “In fact, we’re here on a Saturday, raising awareness about an issue that kills and injures hundreds of people in Miami every year.”

Unfortunately, too many people care more about getting to a destination a little quicker than they do about looking both ways and yielding to pedestrians, and that is why Miami is the 4th most dangerous city in the U.S. for pedestrians and cyclists; a dishonor shared by three other metropolitan areas, all located in Florida (the Orlando-Kissimmee area is 1st, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater 2nd, and Jacksonville is 3rd). Our cities are not designed to facilitate safe travel for pedestrians, an issue that has repeatedly been brought before the FDOT multiple times (see TransitMiami’s archive), but which they are reluctant to acknowledge as a problem.

This is an issue that will only be solved by repeatedly bringing it into the public eye. Each time a pedestrian or cyclist is injured or killed, the public must cry out and encourage media coverage. We must continue with walks like this to engage the community in Miami; together we can raise awareness and make our streets safer. We will be planning another Walk for Safety in December. Stay tuned to details!

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Coral Gables Advertisement - The Miami News - Aug 23, 1925

Coral Gables Advertisement – The Miami News – Aug 23, 1925

87 years ago today, an advertisement ran in the Miami Daily News promoting the sale of property in the Biltmore and Country Club VI Sections of Coral Gables. This ad offers a unique view of Miami’s first planned community, Coral Gables, designed by George Merrick during the 1920′s land boom. Coral Gables was developed entirely upon the City Beautiful movement, featuring grand civic spaces, public monuments, and prominent architectural symbols such as the Biltmore Hotel.

While at the time of publishing the Coral Gables Trolley line already linked the suburb with Downtown Miami via Flagler Street, Merrick had grander transit visions:

“These two fine sections will be linked inseperably with the center of Miami, and with the Riviera Section of Coral Gables, by the proposed Coral Gables Rapid Transit Electric Line which will run through the center of both sections.”

The Rapid Transit Electric Line was eventually built, and offered a faster route, along Coral Way, into Central Miami. Perhaps what is most interesting about this advertisement is to read Merrick’s vision for Biltmore Way:

“The outstanding feature of the Biltmore Section is Biltmore Way – an impressive 100 foot Boulevard leading off from Coral Way, at its Northeast corner and running into DeSoto Boulevard, the main drive to the Miami-Biltmore Hotel and Country Club on the West.”

“Biltmore Way from Coral Way to Segovia Street is traversed by the rapid transit rail line. It is one-half mile in length and is planned as the Fifth Avenue Business Street of Coral Gables.”

“Biltmore Way is planned as the shopping center for the discriminating women buyer or Coral Gables and Greater Miami. No stores in the Metropolitan district of Miami will excel in beauty or display the stores to be established on this boulevard. …such a thoroughfare could well be a composite reproduction of Fifth  Avenue of New York, Michigan Avenue of Chicago, Rue de la Paix of Paris, and Old Bond Street of London.”

Merrick’s Vision is brimming with optimism. Influenced by grand boulevards across the world. Its no wonder that property in Coral Gables today remains one of the more sought after in the region. While Biltmore Way never achieved its full potential, he laid the foundation for a community that could grow and adapt to future growth, which is more than can be said for the current development ailing our urban fringes.

Biltmore Way, Coral Gables

Biltmore Way, Coral Gables

 

 

Lets face it: Coral Gables is pretty amazing. It sits at the nexus of the county – has amazing architecture, a pedestrian friendly and bustling downtown, and a lush tree canopy that is the envy of the county. It is compact and could be easily accessible by bike for anyone living within a mile of its boundaries. Unfortunately, the City Beautiful doesn’t have a great on-street bicycle network, which makes it difficult to get more people out of their cars and on their bikes enjoying the city. Today the Coral Gables City Commission will consider a resolution to approve a $3.5 million plan to resurface 30 lane miles of Coral Gables streets. Described as “the most ambitious street resurfacing effort ever undertaken by the city,” the resolution lacks any mention of bicycle facilities, and has concerned many Coral Gables residents. While regular maintenance and resurfacing is an important part of keeping our street network in good working order, the city commission may miss a golden opportunity to significantly expand on-street bicycle facilities.

As currently written there is no mention of bicycle facilities in the resolution, even though major routes that connect to current bike lanes, such as Segovia, are identified.   Some of the streets identified in the survey above are wide enough to accommodate a variety of bicycle facilities – with simple, cheap white paint. Part of the challenge is that the current city approved 1997 Bike Masterplan for the city focuses exclusively on bike lanes; while an important part of a bicycle network, they are not the only type of bicycle facility which should be used. Absent from the current plan is any mention of sharrows, bicycle boulevards, or protected bike lanes. These facilties, along with on-street bike lanes, work together to form a complete bicycle network, and could be implemented at little or no extra cost, yet they have not yet been identified in a master plan and are not currently called for in the resurfacing project.

The Coral Gables City Commission has a responsibility to create a complete network of routes before it spends these funds on road resurfacing. As someone who travels to Coral Gables on a daily basis, several of my routes to/from downtown are indicated on the survey. It would be  a crime to not leverage the proposed investment to get more miles of our street network. More ways of getting to/from downtown Coral Gables means  more customers and more business without increasing traffic.

My initial review of the drawing shows that the following routes are important city-wide connections that should include a bicycle facilities:

Ponce de Leon (from Bird Road to Palmero, & from 8th Street to Fonseca) – Protected Bike Lane, Bike lane or sharrow

University (from LeJeune to Ponce) - Protected Bike Lane, Bike lane or sharrow

Salzedo (from University to Majorca) - Protected Bike Lane, Bike lane or sharrow

Cordova (from Coral Way to Anastasia) – Bike boulevard, Sharrow

Andalusia (from Lejeune to Galiano) –  Protected Bike Lane, Bike lane or sharrow

Country Club Prado  - Protected Bike Lane, Bike lane or sharrow

Columbus Boulevard  (from 8th street to Valencia) - Bike boulevard, Sharrow

Sevilla (from Columbus Blvd to Douglas)

In addition, there are numerous residential streets that should be designated as Bike Boulevards or Sharrows to connect the many riders (myself included) who enjoy the lower speed and volume neighborhood streets as alternatives to higher volume  and speed main roads. While these may not connect immediately, over time they will. The important thing is to not miss this opportunity. Coral Gables can be one of the most bicycle friendly cities in the US- aggressively implementing a new bicycle plan now would help make that happen.

Please email all the city commissioners – and the clerk – expressing your disapproval of this resolution moving forward without properly vetting for bicycle facilities. Their emails are below:

jimcason@coralgables.com

wkerdyk@coralgables.com

manderson@coralgables.com

rcabrera@coralgables.com

fquesada@coralgables.com

cityclerk@coralgables.com

 

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PREVIEW PARTY

Wednesday October 5th, 2011
From 6 to 8pm

Don’t Miss the Unveiling of Gables Bike Day’s Activities,
Meet Our Partners and Sponsors,
Mingle with Our Community Leaders and
Enjoy Delicious Complimentary Appetizers and Refreshments

Hosted by
Pashas130 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables, FL 33134

RSVP TO info@gablesbikeday.com

Guests Are Eligible to Win Raffle Prizes!

 
Additional Gables Bike Day Sponsors Include: Miracle Mile Downtown Coral Gables (BID), UHealth (University of Miami), No Boundaries, Mack Cycle, Cabrera Benefits, Sun, Little Gables Group, Rotary Club, Coral Gables Museum, Green Mobility Network, The Marlins, Coral Gables Fraternal Order of Police, BikeSafe, Toys R Us, Green Monkey Yoga Studio, Regions Bank, Jay Ramps, One Cool World, Earth Learning, City of Coral Gables, Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce, CBS 4 News Magazine and Yelp.com

 

 

 

 

 

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This past July, we celebrated the 20 year anniversary of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) which among other things prohibited discrimination on the basis of disability. A major component of the ADA mandated paratransit service to help mobility-impaired and disabled Americans get from one place to another. The ADA act is focused on inclusion – adopting standard practices in urban design that make our buildings, streets, and transit more universally designed to accommodate all. A component of the ADA act requires sidewalks to be at least 3 feet wide to accommodate wheelchairs.

Naturally, I was shocked when I came across the following site a few weeks ago when I was near Merrick Park in Coral Gables.

This is the site of a recent FDOT project aimed at resurfacing Bird Road from 57th Avenue to 38th Avenue. In this image I’m standing at the Southeast corner of Ponce De Leon and Bird Road, looking north. I didn’t have the time to measure the distance between the curb and the concrete electric pole, but in person the distance certainly appeared to be less than 3 feet wide.  Here is how the FDOT describes this improvement:

This project is repaving and restriping the roadway. Work also includes widening the bridge and road shoulder; building a new sidewalk on the north side of Bird Road; upgrading sidewalks and curb ramps; installing drainage materials to alleviate water build-up in the swale area; performing root pruning and trimming; removing landscaping; upgrading the lighting and installing new traffic and pedestrian signs and signals; removing existing guardrail and installing new guardrail at various locations and installing a pedestrian bridge.

Miami’s walkability level, already fairly dismal because of our autocentric growth, only deteriorates further when we litter and obstruct sidewalks with other urban clutter. Electric poles, bus stops, lights, trees, benches, and trash receptacles all have a place and a role in our urban environments; sidewalks shouldn’t sacrifice their  limited alloted space within the right-of-ways to accommodate these fixtures.

We’re going to reach out to our friends at FDOT and the City of Coral Gables to see what can be done to enhance the pedestrian realm rather than simply “beautifying” and accentuating existing barriers. And, while its probably too late to have any significant impact on this project as it was slated for completion in October 2010 – we hope we can help affect change on any future improvements to the pedestrian environment throughout South Florida.

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  • Commissioner Sarnoff realizes that being green makes green:

“A recent report by the Earthday Network ranked Miami 71 out of 72 major American cities based on environmental policies, the benefits of taking part in a Container Deposit Program, both financially and environmentally are too great to ignore,” says Commissioner Sarnoff. “The City currently spends more than $4 million dollars per year to clean storm drains which are full of bottles and cans, this would dramatically reduce that cost.”

Well when I was living in Toronto I was living downtown and I could walk pretty much anywhere. There was a nice homeopathic shop on the boulevard I used to walk to and that was nice. Right where I lived there was a lot good restaurants. There was a good Tai food place. Across the street was a little corner store where people were really nice. And our neighbors became really close friends. So kind of just miss the community feel and all the great people that I got to meet that lived around where I got to live.

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The Miami Herald is reporting that FDOT has begun a resurfacing project on Bird Road. According to the article:

Workers will repave and restripe the road; widen the bridge and road shoulder; build a new sidewalk on the north side of Bird Road as well as upgrade sidewalks and curb ramps.

Crews will also make drainage improvements to alleviate water buildup in the swale area. Landscaping will improved. Lighting will be improved and new traffic and pedestrian signs and signals installed.

A pedestrian bridge will be built. Workers will remove existing guardrail and installing new guardrail at various locations.

There is no mention of new bicycle facilities. I have contacted Transit Miami sources within the City of Miami and the County and they are unaware of any bicycle infrastructure improvements.  The $2.5 million improvement project on Bird Road will occur between Red Road and Southwest 38th Avenue. Coral Gables High School happens to be on this stretch of roadway. Connecting a high school with bicycling infrastructure would be the smart thing to do; it encourages students to bike to school. Also, there is a bridge that crosses a canal on this stretch of roadway.  Bridges are often the most dangerous areas for cyclists; they must converge on bridges to cross any body of water.  I’m glad to see a pedestrian bridge will be incorporated in the design plans, but the transition should also be seamless for cyclists too.

For the record, FDOT has recently completed 2 resurfacing projects which are second-rate (MacArthur Causeway, Coral Way). FDOT seems very hesitant to accommodate cyclists on Sunset Drive and now it appears that cyclists were not considered in the Bird Road project at all.  This is not a pretty track record.  Please contact Transit Miami ally Coral Gables Commissioner Ralph Cabrera and FDOT District 6 Secretary Gus Pego and ask them why provisions for bicyclists were not made to this very important route.

The Transit Miami eye is watching every FDOT project closely.

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Dear City of Coral Gables Commissioners, Manager, & Public Works Department:

I am writing to voice my concern that the City Beautiful is not doing enough to serve the growing demand for simple bicycle and pedestrian improvements. I would like to make you aware that Miami-Dade County has monies currently allocated for striping existing county roads adding bike lanes at no cost to the municipality. Coral Gables should be taking advantage of this FREE money and infrastructure improvements. Specifically, Alhambra Drive should be considered to connect UM to Downtown and Miller Road for students.

Additionally, Miami-Dade County is resurfacing Sunset Drive and Coral Way from Red Road eastward. These county projects could easily add bicycle lanes and reduce vehicle speeds on these residential roads by reducing the lane widths to 11′ with a 4′ bike lane. This would not require the removal of any trees or change the character of the roadway while making these routes safer for cyclists and vehicles. Again these improvements would not cost the city. Please coordinate with Commissioner Gimenez (Sunset Dr) and Commissioner Sosa (Coral Way) offices.

Lastly, FDOT is reconstructing Bird Road and Red Road. Florida State Law requires that FDOT add pedestrian ADA improvements and bicycle improvements. The city should be requesting FDOT add bicycle lanes for safety purposes. Again vehicle lanes can be slightly shrunk and a few extra feet of pavement would allow bicycle lanes. Again this would not cost the city. Please contact District 6 FDOT and request bicycle lanes be added.

These 7 projects would add over 10 miles of bicycle lanes and more than quadruple the existing bicycle infrastructure in Coral Gables for free. This would provide safer roads for all commuters, take vehicle traffic and greenhouse gases off the roads, provide recreational routes to see our many city treasures and move Coral Gables Bicycle Master Plan forward into implementation. The Manager should request in writing to the responsible agencies immediately.

I would be happy to meet with anyone individually to discuss these routes, contacts, or organizing a bicycle action committee of residents and cyclists. This could be an offshoot of the city’s “Green” efforts. Thank-you for your immediate attention as many of these projects are beginning construction and the County money is only available now.

Alex Adams
Coral Gables

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Today I received this email from Coral Gables Commissioner Ralph Cabrera that stated in part:

As far as the Citywide Bicycle Lane Master Plan completed in December of 2004 by Marlin Engineering, I plan on formally requesting that we start the first phase of it. If you recall, the first phase was re-stripping a number of existing roads. Stay tuned…”

This is the kind of leadership that we need. This is a good first step Commissioner Cabrera. Keep up the good work!

I wanted to share two letters I recently recieved that showcase how tricky it is for municipalities to get bike infrastrutcure right without having proper professional guideance.

From Coral Gables resident:

From Coral Gables Resident,
 
This has been on my mind for a while and I have not known who to write? As a Coral Gables resident I am appalled at the lack of sentiment towards bicyclists and pedestrians in my city. Coral Gables has one of the greatest collage of 2 lane scenic roadways with large grass swale areas perfect for a picturesque setting and great for slowing cut through traffic however, there is little to no regard for pedestrians and bicyclists.
 
A current project under development by FDOT for 57th Ave between Calle Ocho and Coral Way (2 major destination streets) does not envision bike lanes or full integration of pedestrian sidewalks and crosswalks on both sides. There is ample room to have a 4’ bike lane, and 6’ sidewalk and still have small size trees or palms. This is the border of Coral Gables and the entrance to our city from all E-W cross streets. Also shame on FDOT for not following their own design manual and mandate to accommodate cyclists, much less federal ADA rules regarding pedestrian access, maximum cross slopes, turn around areas for wheelchairs at all intersecting sidewalks, level surfaces over all driveways, etc. Throw rules and regulations to the wind. The fact that portions of this road are historic is no reason for not making a safe mode of transportation for all users. I’m not suggesting removing trees, adding lanes, or otherwise degrading the scenic character. If this logic was true historic building would be totally exempt from ADA, building codes, and life safety. Historic designation means the character should not be changed while bringing the facility up to date.
 
Many street intersection both in neighborhoods and on thoroughfares do not include basic ADA access from the sidewalk to the roadway and across intersections. It was standard in the past all over Miami-Dade County to curve sidewalks around the blocks never meeting the streets. I guess maybe engineers and planners thought people were like Nascar drivers and only walked in circles around one block??? To make matters worse when these intersections are “improved” it usually means adding a 5’ wide strip of concrete facing 45 degrees towards the intersection forcing the disabled into the intersection and once again forgoing the fact that people do not walk like robots and wheelchairs do not make 45 degree and greater angles with sharp intersections. Why can’t these be tapered or flared to allow easy movement from one direction to another and offer proper alignment with the crosswalks that are non-existent but fictitious.
 
Please write your Commissioners below, FDOT and Miami-Dade County and demand that your tax dollars upgrade existing infrastructure to allow 2010 standards. Also on this point urge all city’s Public Works Departments, Miami-Dade County and FDOT to adopt the NEW 2009 MUTCD manual of traffic control standards. This is imperative to allow new bicycle sharrows, new signage and ADA requirements to become mandatory for all projects.
 
Coral Gables Commissioners:
Don Slesnick- mayor donslesnick@coralgables.com
Bill Kerdyk, Jr.- wkerdyk@coralgables.com
Maria Anderson- manderson@coralgables.com
Chip Whithers- wwithers@coralgables.com
Ralph Cabrera- rcabrera@coralgables.com
 
FDOT District 6:
Gus Pego- gus.pego@dot.state.fl.us
 
Miami-Dade County Bike + Pedestrian Coordinator:
David Henderson- davidh@miamidade.gov

This came to me from TM reader Kurt Kaminer :

Rydel of Miami Bike Scene suggested I forward you the following report I compiled, regarding Coral Gables outrageous bicycle lanes added to their recent Segovia St./Coral Way roundabout project, along with a campaign to have these lanes removed in favor of proper sharrows, and door-zone issues removed – not only on the existing roundabout, but on the new one being constructed a block south at Segovia and Biltmore Way.

A full discussion of the problems associated with the striping is available at Bikeforums.net, at present:
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?614246-City-of-Coral-Gables-Bike-Lane-Outrage

I have also cross-posted the report to the MIAfixed.com discussion boards, in addition to the Emerge Miami Critical Mass Meetup board.

A Flickr group is available at the following link: http://www.flickr.com/groups/coralgablesbikelanes/

I hope this report is of interest.

I like that they are considering bikes in their redesign of Biltmore Way and Segovia, but the type of infrastructure being used, as Kurt points out, is inappropriate. Then, along major arteries, no bike infrastructure exists. Considering that they are willing to spend the money on bikes, they should at least listen to the people who are actually using the infrastructure. Please write or call in if you live in the area. (Or let us know if you dont agree with the letters above!)

PS. I called Coral Gables Public Works in the summer last year about this project and received zero response.

PPS. This project is funded with ARRA stimulus dollars.

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From the Herald:

American Traffic Solutions installed the first camera last week at Le Jeune and Alhambra, which Police Chief Richard Naue said had been identified as a trouble spot. They are testing it this week, Naue said.

“We’re not treating it as a traffic law. We are treating it as a code enforcement law, as a right of way issue,” Hernandez said, adding that tickets would not increase insurance costs or add points to a motorist’s license.

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