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Hopefully our conversation with FDOT on Tuesday night will go better than this…

 

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Brickell Station: Thursday October 7, 8:20am

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Miami 21, the form-based code recently adopted in the City of Miami (also a hot discussion topic here a year ago), won the American Planning Association (APA) Florida Chapter Award of Excellence. Miami 21 was the sole Award of Excellence presented by the chapter this year. To quote from the award letter by the Awards Committee Chair: “Your dedication and achievement of such a worthy effort is a true reflection of the innovation and quality of planning occurring within the state.”

City of Miami Planner Luciana L. Gonzalez accepted the award on behalf of the city:

I was honored to accept the award on behalf of all team members, staff, and other supporters who have worked so hard over the years to make Miami 21 a reality. This award belongs to many people who were and have been involved in this extraordinary project. Thanks to all of you who helped reach this achievement. It is remarkable what we’ve been able to accomplish and I look forward to its continued success!

Congratulations to the City of Miami, staff, and all who worked tirelessly to make Miami 21 a reality.

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The EAR 2010 website is now updated to reflect the Planning Advisory Board (PAB) resolution with recommendations, dated August 10, 2010. Recommended changes to the text of the Draft 2010 EAR adopted by the PAB (acting as the Local Planning Agency) on August 10, 2010 are shown in red and strikethrough for deletions and underlining for additions in Chapters 1, 2, and 4. Also posted is the PowerPoint presentation from the August 2, 2010 PAB public hearing, an Errata document dated August 16, 2010, and replacement pages for the Conservation, Aquifer Recharge & Drainage Element Objective CON-2 and for the Port of Miami Master Plan Subelement. These documents are available on the EAR website at http://www.miamidade.gov/planzone/ear2010/eardocuments.asp.

The Board of County Commissioners will hold their public hearing on the EAR on October 20, 2010 at 9:30 AM in the Commission Chambers.

For information about the EAR, the schedule of activities or the EAR process, please contact the Miami-Dade County Department of Planning and Zoning, Metropolitan Planning Section at 111 NW 1st Street, Suite 1220, Miami, Florida 33128-1972; or call (305) 375-2835.

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Please be advised that the Planning Advisory Board (PAB) voted for a continuance of the public hearing on the Draft 2010 Evaluation and Appraisal Report (EAR), to formulate its recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners (BCC). The continuance of the PAB public hearing will be held on Tuesday, August 10, 2010 at 9:30 AM in the Miami Art Museum, at 101 West Flagler Street, Miami Florida 33130. The Miami Art Museum is located across the street from the Stephen P. Clark Center and adjacent to the County’s Main Library.

The complete draft 2010 Evaluation and Appraisal Report (EAR) is now available for review and posted on the EAR website at http://www.miamidade.gov/PlanZone/ear2010/eardocuments.asp. Chapter 1 describes the major issues, Chapter 2 contains an evaluation of the individual eleven CDMP elements, and Chapter 3 reviews the special topics as detailed in section 163.3191, Florida Statues including the evaluation of roadway impact methodology. Chapter 4 summarizes all proposed recommendations from Chapters 1, 2 and 3.

For information about the EAR, the schedule of activities or the EAR process, please contact the Miami-Dade County Department of Planning and Zoning, Metropolitan Planning Section at 111 NW 1st Street, Suite 1220, Miami, Florida 33128-1972; or call (305) 375-2835.

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Thanks to Commissioner Gimenez’ staff for forwarding along this update on the Commodore bike trail from Esther Calas, P.E., Director, Miami-Dade Public Works Department, along with the renderings below of the new proposed bridge crossing at Cocoplum Circle.

 

The Commodore trail is a continuous, primarily off-road bicycle/pedestrian facility within the designated Bike Route 1 which parallels the following corridors within the limits of the City of Miami:

  • Douglas Road to Main Highway
  • Main Highway to McFarlane Road
  • McFarlane Road to South Bayshore Drive
  • South Bayshore Drive to Aviation Avenue

The project consists of reconstructing portions of the trail to meet current design standards by providing a 10’ bikepaths and minimum of 6’ grass strip separating the path from the travel lanes. This is a minimum width for a paved two-way path minimizing the risk of bicycle-bicycle and bicycle-pedestrian collisions, and absolute minimum width of clear zone from the edge of the travel lane for local roads without curb & gutter.

However, there are segments of the trail where the existing path does not meet design standards because of insufficient right-of-way, presence of existing coral walls or in order to preserve big banyan trees. These areas, where the minimum path width and the minimum width of clear zone cannot be provided are considered exception areas. Therefore, the scope of work for these substandard portions of the shared use path includes only resurfacing of the bikepath.  Additionally, in these exception areas, warning signs will be installed advising that the bikeway narrows.  Furthermore, “No Parking/Bikepath” signs will be installed to avoid people parking on the existing trail.  Finally, the bikepath will be identified with appropriate signage throughout the limits of the project.

The pedestrian/bicycle path will increase the efficiency of cycling as a mode of transportation, will reduce traffic congestion on existing roads and will provide recreational opportunity for Miami-Dade residents and visitors.

The project is in its final design stage. Pending are permit approvals from the environmental agencies for the proposed pedestrian bridge over Coral Gables Waterway along with execution of temporary construction easements by the City of Coral Gables. The project is expected to be bid for construction in October 2010 and construction is expected to start in November 2010.

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Just wanted to spread the good word about 311. If you notice something that is broken, needs repair, or requires general maintenance please call 311. The county tracks all complaints and usually addresses reported issues within 2 weeks.

Miami Dade County 311 will soon launch a smartphone application too.  We will let our readers know once it has been released.

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If we can spend $1 Trillion in two useless wars, we can certainly spend $1 Trillion in overhauling and upgrading our transportation systems over the next ten years.

Welcome to the dog days of summer here in the Magic City- where something about the dead heat of summer makes people say bold and honest things (like the quote above). Take the case of aspiring democratic Senate candidate Maurice Ferré, whose speech before the Floridians for Better Transportation Conference today (excepted below) was a refreshingly bold statement about the changes that need to be made to Federal Transportation Policy.  I think he hits on important points and outlines a progressive policy for transit expansion in the US. It is especially refreshing to hear a candidate for the United States Senate cite smart growth as a transportation priority for Florida.  I wonder if any of the other candidates for Florida’s Senate seat -  Republican, Independent or Democrat alike - are willing to establish a similarly progressive  position on this important issue?

As a U.S. Senator, my strongest focus would be to promote an impetus to the U.S. economy based strictly on investing on infrastructure projects, mostly transportation.

For well over a year, the proposed Surface Transportation Act of 2009 (STA) has been pending in the U.S. House of Representatives, with conflicting legislation in the U.S. Senate, and no clear leadership from the White House.

It is my opinion that a $500 B Surface Transportation Act bill proposed by chairman James Overstar, with $450 B for our nations’ mobility and $50 B for High Speed Rail (HSR) is a very modest amount in view of transportation needs and the current critical need of an economic boost to our still faltering economy.

If we can spend $1 Trillion in two useless wars, we can certainly spend $1 Trillion in overhauling and upgrading our transportation systems over the next ten years. More than a half century later, we still feel the impact and the improved quality of life that came to America through Ike’s Interstate Highway  project.

In my twenty-five years of public service, as a 12 year Mayor of Miami, a state legislator, and a county commissioner, I have always stressed the importance of transportation to Florida.

I especially learned by being in the Governors High Speed Rail Commission (in the mid nineties) and the last five years serving in the Miami Dade Expressway Authority (MDX)

Here is the conclusion of our State’s immediate transportation needs:

• We need to deepen our seaport channels to 50 ft.  Miami’s is the cheapest and quickest, but we must also do Jacksonville and Tampa.  By 2014 the new Panama Canal will completely change, with the use of post-Panamax ships, how goods go from China, Japan and Korea to the markets of the Eastern U.S. and Latin America.  Florida’s future is in play. Our seaports need to be ready to compete by 2014.

• We must insure that our international airports remain competitive and viable, especially in international cargo.

• We must vigorously pursue and develop at least three viable and competitive integrated logistical centers (ILCs) -  inland ports  and cargo centers - where containers and freights are logistically moved between seaports, railcars and trucks.  The Port of Miami was years ahead of its time with an ILC on the FEC’s 30 acres in Wynwood.

• The American Recovery and Reinstatement Act of 2009 (ARRA), the stimulus bill with almost $800 B., the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (RIIA) and the pending STA must be carefully focused and coordinated to propel the United States into the New Economy, along with a New Energy Plan and the incentivizing of small businesses in technology and innovation.

• Lastly, I strongly support the recommendations of the report from the Washington based Bipartisan Policy Center, “Performance Driven: A New Vision for US Transportation Policy” released June 2009.  It is time for the U.S. to reevaluate our transportation costs, alternatives and funding, I also subscribe to the Bipartisan Policy Center’s National Transportation Policy Project, “New Starts:  Lessons learned for discretionary Federal Transportation Funding Programs” released January 25, 2010.  It’s time for new thinking.

The Urban Land Institute’s “Connecting Florida:  The case for regional integrated Transit Systems” is also essential for adoption by this Florida Transportation Summit.

I submit the following points on Florida’s Transportation needs:

• Do not treat transportation as a project, treat it as a continuing process.

• New transportation processes must be wholistic, integrated and interchangeable so that the parts are both self standing and together improve the quality of life for Floridians.

• New technologies will make available what before was impossible: from impossible, to possible, to probable.

• New transportation processes must be economically viable and self paying when one takes into account ALL costs and ALL benefits as analyzed in “PERFORMANCE DRIVEN: A NEW VISION FOR U.S. TRANSPORTATION POLICY” released in June 2009 by the BIPARTISAN POLICY CENTER.

• New Transportation processes require intermodal connectivity (I.C.). I.C. provides a measureable, geometric progression of use.  Just like social media is changing America, interconnected, multiple-choice transportation is the future for America.

•  Utilize intermodal connectivity as a basis for new performance based measures. Understanding how our transportation network is connected – and establishing connectivity goals – will help us make better funding choices at all levels of government.

•  We must superimpose new systems and technologies on old assets to change usage, BRT.

•  New transportation processes must begin with smart growth oriented land development reform.

•  Momentum for change must be built by aggressively expanding local transit options.

•  New transportation processes and methods are not only for decongestion, added mobility and quality of life, but as a dynamic tool for economic development.

•  The New Economy in the U.S. must be built on new renewable energy (10 year, 20 year plan); technology and innovation; and new infrastructure, mostly in new interconnected transportation systems.

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A bit off the transportation Topic - but still relevant to our overall goals of improving Miami’s role internationally…

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Thanks to Collin Worth, Bicycle Coordinator for the City of Miami, for sending this video to  Transit Miami. The Safe Routes to School Pedestrian & Bike PSAs are part of the Safe Routes to School Awareness Campaign that the University of Miami and CBS have done with the Florida Department of Transportation - District Six.

UM/CBS will have this contract running until the end of August.  The PSAs also have Spanish and Haitian Creole versions that are running on Mega TV and Island TV, respectively as part of the SRTS Media campaign.

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Malcontent Blogger

Please join us enlightened malcontents on facebook and get the latest Transit Miami news. Please spread the word about Transit Miami to your friends. We are trying to make Miami a more livable city for everyone, but we need your help.

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Treehugger wrote a good piece on how biologist Janine Benyus wants to take her work in Biomimicry to the city. Biomimicry, if you are not familiar with the term, looks at nature in order to apply some of the ways the natural world functions to manmade products or systems. One well known example of biomimcry would be robotics, where robots are often modeled after living creatures. The concept can and has been applied to other fields as well.

Transportation, for instance, could learn from ants. Ants in a trail travel in close proximity to one another at a pretty consistent distance, and never seem to get lost. They use pheromones to communicate with each other and mark their trail. If we made our transportation systems like this, with vehicles communicating with each other and with the guideway, they might see improvements in efficiency. Some of these aspects are being researched in systems like IntelliDrive, but no word yet on whether the ants provided any input on these automobile communication systems.

Hit up the link for more info on the areas Janine Benyus wants to tackle. The article doesn’t discuss transportation so much as environmental, landscape, and building aspects, but transportation is inseparable from the city and will inevitably need addressing in any projects she participates in. Janine mentioned in the article that the question being asked in applying biomimicry to cities is, “How can you have a city perform like an ecosystem?” Chew on that thought for awhile.

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