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.
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.
Where once stood a mod￼￼￼￼est 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:
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.
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.
Subscribe via Email
Find us on Facebook
- Dan on Miami at Manhattan Prices
- Marta Viciedo on Making Miami’s Mean Streets Safer
- Rudy on Imagining Townhouses in Little Havana
- Mr. E. on Lackluster Mayoral Candidates Promise More of the Same on Transportation
- hello miami on How Miami Greets Its Visitors (and Locals)
- Mike Moskos on How Miami Greets Its Visitors (and Locals)
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
- Vast Freshwater Reserves Found in the Last Place You'd Look December 9, 2013Australian researchers are agog over the discovery of 120,000 cubic miles of freshwater beneath the ocean floor. The reserves may help quench the world's approaching freshwater crisis.
- Researchers Say Two Simple Rules Can Predict Urban Growth December 9, 2013Is it possible to predict when and how cities will grow? A group of researchers in France say the answer is yes. […]
- Shanghai Halts Construction, Orders Children Inside due to Severe Smog December 9, 2013Off-the-chart smog levels recorded on Friday in China’s second largest city put its 30 million residents at risk and has authorities urging people to stay indoors.
- Honoring Architecture's Highs and Lows for 2013 December 8, 2013They might call it the "Lunch with the Critics" award, but in my mind they're the "Archies" (is that taken?). Critics Alexandra Lange and Mark Lamster deliver their fourth annual awards for the best and worst in architecture and design of 2013.
- Here's to the Visionaries December 8, 2013As the president and co-founder of Friends of the High Line prepares to leave the park he helped to create, it is a good time to consider the legacy of what is now one of the most famous contemporary landscapes in the world.
- New Report Charts the Growth of Civic Tech December 8, 2013A new report and interactive website from the Knight Foundation attempt to define (broadly) and measure the growing synthesis of technology and civic life.
- Jan Gehl Laments 'Birdsh*t' Architecture December 8, 2013Jan Gehl argued at the Royal Institute of British Architects annual research symposium that architects and urban planners must do more research on how their schemes affect people.
- Texas to Require Fingerprinting of Architects December 8, 2013Already one of only two states to require criminal background checks of registered architects, the Texas legislature has gone one step further by requiring them to be fingerprinted. It's the first state in the country to embrace the practice.
- The Top Protected Bike Lanes of 2013 December 8, 2013I know, it's a bit early in the "Best of" season to get this specialized, but gosh darnit if these protected bike lanes aren't the cutest things. Chicago, Indianapolis, Austin, and the other winners: You've got a lot to celebrate.
- All Aboard L.A.'s Bike Commuter Train December 7, 2013This train is not steel wheels on steel rail - it is multiple two-wheeled rubber tires, commuting together, providing support and safety to novice cyclists, but sometimes it backfires. Interviewed is a frustrated motorist who intimidated them.
- Vast Freshwater Reserves Found in the Last Place You'd Look December 9, 2013
- Transit Miami > jennifer garcia