Armando Garcia, a Transit Miami reader from Oakland, CA took the time to write this excellent response following the Wynwood Arts District Association rejection of the idea for a ‘open streets’ event during Second Saturday’s ArtWalk.
I’m glad you guys are making progress. I want to write a detailed comment in your support.
The suggestion made by Mr. Lujambio that closing off the street for Art Walk will cause confusion for motorists is questionable. I admit to being native but not local to Miami, and I have not attended Art Walk. But in my new home of Oakland, CA, we have a similar event called Art Murmur.
Art Murmur has grown astoundingly from a night for neighborhood gallery openings, to a humongous monthly event closing several city blocks, hosting over twenty mobile food vendors and several DJs and bands performing. The fact is that before streets were closed, the sidewalks were becoming VERY overcrowded. Walking up the sidewalk felt like pushing your way through the crowd at a Crystal Castles show. Pedestrians sporadically spilling onto the major avenue that flanked the event created accident risks for themselves and motorists, and major confusion was caused for any motorists trying to make their way through the smaller downtown streets. The swarm of pedestrians jaywalking was very difficult to navigate.
I believe the initial response was to close off one block or two, but I know as the event grew, their response was to close several streets to motorists, and provide temporary traffic controls (police officers, flaggers, parking attendants, cones, clear signage, etc) to appropriately guide motor traffic through and around the event and control the flow of pedestrians.
My point is that as attendance grew, closing streets and controlling motor traffic helped PREVENT confusion and provide clear traffic routes, not the opposite. It was before they closed streets that driving through this event was a confusing nightmare. The WADA needs to watch their event closely as attendance grows, and recognize that if attendance continues to grow, they will be forced to eventually consider closing streets. It will be the only way to provide maximum safety for Art Walkers on foot, and minimum frustration for motorists.
The benefits of open street space shouldn’t be ignored, either. Our event in Oakland now hosts large art projects and art cars in the streets, as well as many more local merchants and mobile food vendors. Closing the streets allowed the event to grow into a diverse and intense representation of Oakland’s culture. You can imagine that the economic benefits of managing and stimulating the event’s growth haven’t been condemned by anyone.
Miami is a city that needs more outlets for its rich culture and I want to see it one day. I hope that the vision for Art Walk is as big and exciting as Miami’s true potential is.
Thanks Armando for your letter.
Subscribe via Email
Find us on Facebook
- 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)
- Ken Arguelles on Miami Bungalow Love
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
- Car Commuting Rates Decline in 99% of America's Large Metros December 4, 2013A new report by U.S. PIRG and the Frontier Group gives further credence to, and provides a more complete picture of, America's driving decline.
- New Study Challenges 2 Degree Climate Change Cap December 4, 2013New studies published this week challenge the 2 degree Celsius global warming threshold and call for an early warning system to monitor climate shifts.
- The Sneaky Ways Cities Alter Our Behavior December 4, 2013If you think your city is doing all it can to make its public spaces pleasant for all residents, think again. From “pig’s ears” to the "Camden Bench", Frank Swain explores the "secret tricks" cities use to make spaces uncomfortable and unattractive.
- Late-Night Subway Service is New Weapon in Fight to Attract Young Talent December 4, 2013A pilot project to extend the operating hours of Boston's subway system until 3 a.m. on weekends is being celebrated by riders, businesses leaders and public officials as a crucial element in maintaining a vibrant and attractive city.
- The Startup City You Probably Haven't Heard About December 4, 2013There are some cities that give you everything you need and others that make you work for it. This article profiles efforts to build a startup community in Tallahassee through the eyes of the city's growing network of entrepreneurs.
- 13 Ways to Kill Your Community December 4, 2013Scott Doyon reviews the book "13 Ways to Kill Your Community", by Alberta Legislative Assembly member Doug Griffiths and journalist Kelly Clemmer. In it, the authors reveal some of the "curiously recurring behaviors" that harm cities of all sizes.
- Bus-Bike Partnership Helps Austin Move Beyond Cars December 4, 2013Leave it up to Austin to show Texas how to reduce its auto-oriented infrastructure. A project to replace on-street parking and traffic lanes with dedicated bus and bike lanes is the result of a partnership between bike and transit planners.
- Blumenauer to Propose Deficit Commission's Gas Tax Increase December 4, 2013If it was good enough for Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, the Republican and Democrat authors of President Obama's deficit commission bearing their names, the phased, 15-cent fuel tax increase should be adopted, says Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.).
- Ranking Architects' Favorite Architects December 4, 2013BD is out with its annual list of the architecture firms most admired by their colleagues. A number of large commercial practices joined avant-garde firms in the top 10.
- Engineer is Focus of Metro-North Derailment Investigation December 4, 2013With the train's black box showing that the speeding commuter train entered a 30 M.P.H curve at 82 M.P.H, causing the derailment, attention has turned toward the engineer. CNN reports that the engineer admits to "nodding off" before the crash.
- Car Commuting Rates Decline in 99% of America's Large Metros December 4, 2013
- Transit Miami > second saturdays