This post was submitted to us this morning by Patricia Peña.
Dadeland mall is probably one of the biggest landmarks that Miami has, right next to South Beach and the Triple A (well, at least in my opinion). When it first opened in the 80s, it was the beginning of Miami’s eternal love with suburban sprawl, which has resulted in Kendall, a place that most Miamians have a love/hate relationship with. You can’t wait to get out of Kendall, but you’ll rep it until the day you die, in true Miami style! Sunset Knights, wha what?! Sorry, that was a momentary lapse…
Back to Dadeland. In the last few years, they have tried to revitalize the area, rebrand it as Downtown Dadeland (it’s unincorporated Miami-Dade, let’s not kid ourselves) and try to make it into a small, bustling metropolis with multi-use buildings, restaurants and shops. And try as they might, it just isn’t happening. When my husband and I moved to the area about five years ago, we did so because my job at the time offered me a free monthly pass to the Metro-Rail, so we became a one car family and I was thrilled with the idea that I could walk to Target or Publix to get what we needed whenever he was away at work with the car. I got one of those little carts that you see old people walking around with. A lady at work offered to bedazzle it. It was fabulous, don’t judge me. So here I go, all excited to get my groceries. And then…. BAM!! I encountered Kendall Drive. Now, for those of you that are not familiar with this lovely thoroughfare, it’s a pedestrian’s worst nightmare. Think of George in the episode of Seinfeld when he gets the Frogger machine.
The Dadeland area has the potential of being a truly amazing area to live, work and play in. It’s flanked by two, count ‘em: two, Metro Rail stops. There are apartments galore, some that are still mostly empty, the mall is currently undergoing a massive renovation to add more restaurants. And yet, you can’t get anywhere walking without saying five Hail Mary’s, two Our Father’s and crossing yourself the entire time. I’ve seen old ladies, moms with strollers, dad’s dragging kids and tourists all trying to cross unscathed. As expected, this is a three-lane road, that feeds into the Palmetto (don’t even get me started on that disaster!) and speeding is not only rampant, it’s expected! Now, we all know that reducing the number of lanes will in turn reduce the speed, increase walkability, and increase traffic into stores, etcetera. But, I’m a simple woman, I don’t ask for much. I know that that probably won’t happen in my lifetime. So I’m asking for smaller things. You know what I would like? I would like a crossing light that lasts more than 10 seconds. I can’t even get halfway before the flashing hand stops! I would like the streetlights to be synchronized in a way that makes sense, so people can feel safe crossing from their hotel to the mall. I know if it makes sense, we don’t do it here in Miami-Dade County. But once, just once, can we try? South Miami did it, and look how great it’s working out for them. I would just like to be able to go the Target at the Dadeland station, without fearing for my life and getting honked at every five seconds (which is more to do with the fabulous drivers we have here, but that’s another topic for another time). Seriously, I’m not asking for much, just some good old fashioned common sense and to think of the people that are outside of the metal boxes, who are worth just as much as the ones inside. That and world peace. Oh, and some Louboutins!
What seems out of place in this picture? If you guess the triangular sliver of grass amid all the concrete and parking, then you guessed right. I was browsing through the most recent copy of the LRTP or TIP, don’t remember which one but that is besides the point, when I came across some preliminary plans to acquire this sliver of land from the FEC. The plan, of course, would be for MDT to convert this last remnant of green space into further surface parking for the Dadeland North Metrorail station.
Now, I realize the importance of parking for metrorail, especially given our commuter-like use of the train and extremely autocentric lifestyles, but the pragmatist in me doesn’t see the need, especially when the immediate surroundings are already paved over with under-utilized land. Simon Malls certainly isn’t using all of their available parking, why can’t we learn to work with our neighbors first? The problem with metrorail, contrary to common belief, isn’t that “it doesn’t go anywhere” but that we haven’t constructed anything of any value around it. Sure Dadeland is a step away, but who wants to walk between 3 parking structures, just to walk under the teal pathway which meanders through the sea of parking? If Miami plans to make any significant upgrades to metrorail or any of our urban centers, we must begin around our existing transit nodes. It’s bad enough this ROW won’t be used to connect downtown Kendall with the MIC using an LRT…
“A massive development called “Dadeland Breeze” is being proposed for our neighborhood. This development will demolish the 3 story apartment buildings at N. Kendall Drive & S.W. 77 Ave. in order to construct a complex of 8 condominium towers up to 8 stories high with nearly a 100% increase in the density of the existing buildings. This proposed construction project is clearly incompatible with the low-rise scale of our “
East Kendall” residential neighborhood…”
I’d like to speak to the person who reasoned that an 8 story building was “out of character” with the neighborhood, but the Palmetto expressway, expansive parking lots of Dadeland Mall, or the gargantuan 6 lanes of Kendall drive just blended in seamlessly with the surroundings. The fact that most
“…It will worsen our already bad traffic, further burden our over-capacity schools, and have a negative impact on the quality of life of our families.”
Yahtzee! “Impact on the quality of life” Now, what impact precisely is anyones guess, but a change that will have us living a more vertical, sustainable, and likely healthier life doesn’t sound so bad, that is, unless you like idling in traffic along US-1 or Kendall bouncing around from parking lots to fast-food drive-throughs.
Imagine that? The Four Seasons was once a 2 story bungalow. By now we surely would have paved clear across the everglades and into
Subscribe via Email
Find us on Facebook
- Jacob on Movement for Miami’s First On-Street Bicycle Parking Corral Gaining Traction
- Anonymous on El Portal Councilperson Presses CITT on Rail
- Anonymous on El Portal Councilperson Presses CITT on Rail
- ajozz on Florida Turnpike Expansion “Open House”
- Mark Rampion on El Portal Councilperson Presses CITT on Rail
- Mike Arias on El Portal Councilperson Presses CITT on Rail
CategoriesAccident Architecture bicycles bike lanes Bike Miami Days biking Biscayne Boulevard Brickell bus Climate Change Coconut Grove complete streets Downtown Miami FDOT High Speed Rail Metrorail Miami Miami-Dade County Miami-Dade Transit Miami 21 Miami Beach Museum Park News Parking Parks Pedestrian Pedestrians Pic o' the Day Planning Real Estate Development Rickenbacker Causeway Sprawl Streetcar Traffic Transit Transitography Transit Oriented Development Transportation Tri-Rail Uncategorized Urban Design Urban Development Boundary Urban Growth Urban Planning Walkability
- Long Road Ahead for Las Vegas-Phoenix Interstate Connection March 6, 2014The planners of the 1950s didn’t foresee the growth of the Southwest’s two largest cities. Upgrading the freeway connection between the cities, however, remains a tough task.
- The Dichotomy of California's Frontier Myth: 'Hell-A' and Utopian San Francisco March 6, 2014“[There] is something about the frequency with which California and 'the future' are used synonymously,’ writes Kristin Miller. But the future looks much different when set in Southern California as compared to Northern California.
- Urban Planning Fundamental: Facilitate a Strong Labor Market March 6, 2014Wendell Cox reviews a new working paper by Alain Bertaud called “Cities as Labor Markets.” Cox calls the lesson contained therein “Urban Planning 101” and a “much needed midcourse correction to urban planning around the world.”
- San Francisco Announces New Pedestrian Safety Program: WalkFirst March 6, 2014With its own “Vision Zero” goals in place to eliminate pedestrian fatalities within a decade, San Francisco has developed the WalkFirst plan to target the most dangerous intersections in the city for safety improvements.
- A Call for 'Cooler' Buses March 6, 2014Edward Glaeser pens an opinion piece on the missing ingredient in the bus riding experience—cool. Not necessarily Mick Jagger cool, but definitely Steve Jobs cool.
- Does the Future of Las Vegas Look Like Orlando? March 6, 2014At a recent Las Vegas city retreat, city leaders and outside experts presented ideas for the future of Las Vegas. Among the ideas proposed: emulate Orlando, Florida.
- How Smart Cities Encourage Citizen Engagement March 6, 2014The extent to which cities will build data collection systems into the infrastructure—or how much we’ll voluntarily gather and share information from our smartphones—has yet to be determined. Here is a survey of what some cities have launched so far.
- Transportation Reauthorization Funding Mechanism May Be Settled March 6, 2014How best to "plug the growing hole" in the Highway Trust Fund which provides the federal revenue for roads and transit: increase the gas tax, new vehicle miles traveled fees, more road tolls, or "corporate tax reform"? All but one is a user fee.
- The Organizations Behind the Growth of Biking in D.C. March 6, 2014Adrienne LaFrance surveys the bike scene in Washington D.C.—from co-ops to bikeshare programs to social groups.
- How to Gain 21 Million Transit Trips a Year in Chicago? March 6, 2014At a recent hearing of the Northeastern Illinois Public Transit Task Force, experts like Peter Skosey made the case for the types of changes necessary to meet Chicago’s goals for increased transit ridership, focusing on transit oriented development.
- Long Road Ahead for Las Vegas-Phoenix Interstate Connection March 6, 2014
- Transit Miami > Dadeland