Currently viewing the tag: "University of Miami"

Metrorail riders beware! There seems to be a criminal on the loose targeting unsuspecting passengers! This just in from the University of Miami police department:

CRIME ADVISORY

April 26, 2012

Event Description: Serial Robber Targeting Metrorail Riders

Campus police and security have received information about a serial robber who has targeted Metorail riders. One victim boarded a northbound train from the University Metrorail station.  The offender, whose picture and description appears below, sits next to passengers shortly before a stop, brandishes a firearm and demands property from his victims.  If you see the subject, avoid him and call police immediately.

This information is being provided to help keep our communities informed and safe.

SUBJECT INFORMATION: Black Male, 6’0” to 6’2” tall, about 180 pounds, no facial hair, and has a short haircut.  He has consistently worn dark suit pants and a vest (presumed to conceal a firearm).  He has also worn a light tan sport jacket, as in the picture. If you see the subject at other rail stops call 911 and/or report the subject to on duty security.

Anyone with information regarding this crime or information that may lead to the apprehension of this individual is asked to call:

  • MDT DISPATCH CENTER: 305 375-2700  or
  • CRIMESTOPPERS: 305 471-TIPS (8477)

Callers will remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward.

As regular Metrorail riders know, the train is a safe, efficient, stress-free, and pleasant way to get around town (at least certain parts of town). Don’t be discouraged by this isolated incident by some goon trying to disturb the peace typically found on our Metrorail.

The incident conveyed in the above crime advisory got me thinking about the unnarmed volunteer group founded in New York City, the Guardian Angels.  By the late 1970s, conditions on the NYC subway system had gotten pretty rough, and a group of citizens got together to provide a sense of security for the passengers on the trains. 

Back in the day, the Guardian Angels made their presence known on the NYC subway system.

For the most part, crime on our Miami Metrorail is not common. Furthermore, whatever minimal criminality does manifest on our public transportation system is nowhere near the scale of that in NYC a few decades ago.

In any case, be viligant out there folks. The Metrorail belongs to us, the people, not some thug with a gun.

 

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The University of Miami School of Architecture is proud to announce an upcoming exhibition Less Than Forty Years Old: Young Florida Architects which will showcase the best in Florida architecture and design. It will be on display from October 5 through 28 in the Jorge M. Perez Architecture Center Irvin Korach Gallery. This competition is open to anyone who is practicing in the State of Florida, including architects, landscape architects, and designers. Students in post-professional architecture and landscape degrees are eligible as well. Opening night on October 5 will include a panel discussion in the Perez Center’s Glasgow Lecture Hall at 6:00 p.m., followed by the exhibition and a reception in the Korach Gallery. Submissions of portfolios School of Architecture Announces Major Exhibition from October 5 through 28 The University of Miami School of Architecture is proud to announce an upcoming exhibition Less Than Forty Years Old: Young Florida Architects which will showcase the best in Florida architecture and design. It will be on display from October 5 through 28 in the Jorge M. Perez Architecture Center Irvin Korach Gallery. This competition is open to anyone who is practicing in the State of Florida, including architects, landscape architects, and designers. Students in post-professional architecture and landscape degrees are eligible as well. Opening night on October 5 will include a panel discussion in the Perez Center’s Glasgow Lecture Hall at 6:00 p.m., followed by the exhibition and a reception in the Korach Gallery. Submissions of portfolios are due by August 29 at 12 noon to Professor Jean-Francois Lejeune, Director of Graduate Studies (flejeune@miami.edu). Please click on the attachment which contains the complete Call for Submissions with all pertinent information. are due by August 29 at 12 noon to Professor Jean-Francois Lejeune, Director of Graduate Studies (flejeune@miami.edu). Please click on the attachment which contains the complete Call for Submissions with all pertinent information.

A University of Miami student, struck by a hit-and-run driver 10 days ago, has reportedly died of his injuries. The Miami herald reports:

Jared Paul Jones, a 21-year-old English major from Maryland, was pronounced dead about 2 a.m. by doctors at Jackson Memorial Hospital, Coral Gables police spokeswoman Kelly Denham said. He had been in a coma after suffering severe head trauma in the accident at 7:20 p.m. on Nov. 13.

Jones was struck by a vehicle traveling northbound on SW 57th Avenue (Red Road, SR959) at the intersection with Blue Rd (SW 48 Street) in Coral Gables. The FDOT maintained segment of  the roadway stretches from the Dolphin Expressway south through Coral Gables and South Miami. While little details regarding the actual crash have emerged, it begs the question that if the FDOT had adopted and implemented a Complete Streets Policy that would help slow vehicles, placing pedestrians and cyclists on more equal footing, could accidents like these be avoided?

Let’s take a look at the conditions Jones was faced with as a Pedestrian attempting to cross SR959.

A Google street-view of of the southwest corner of SR 959 and Blue Road depicts a wide radius curve, a common engineering practice intended to facilitate the right turn movements of cars at higher velocities. A narrow curb radii, forces drivers to slow down, backing up traffic and reducing the number of cars that can turn during the signal cycle. Remember - this road was designed by a traffic engineer with one goal - to maximize the efficiency of the facility for vehicles. Discouraging pedestrians through design, reduces the number of pedestrians and thus the need to plan and design for their needs accordingly.

The crosswalks, faded and incomplete, connect poorly with the sidewalks themselves, leaving pedestrians to cut through a dirt or grass patch in order to cross - these certainly don’t meet today’s ADA accepted practices. The street-view also shows something curious - note the cyclist headed northbound on the sidewalk. SR959, a mere two-lane undivided facility at this stretch, is far too dangerous for cyclists - relegating them to ride on the sidewalk. The posted speed limit through this residential street is 40 mph. How many of us would let your kids walk to school through this intersection? David Fairchild Elementary School is located a mere four blocks north - I don’t expect that many kids walk to ride back to school daily - the street-scape discourages  healthy, active modes of transportation such as cycling and walking.

Looking east of SR959 along Blue Road, we see that sidewalks cease to exist, leaving pedestrians to fend for themselves crossing through lawns and driveways or even worse, the roadway itself.  The posted speed limit here is 30 mph.

An aerial view of the intersection depicts a curious bump-out on the southeast corner of the intersection. This sliver of pavement facilitates right turn movements, enabling vehicles to make this maneuver at a higher velocity. Its all about how many cars we can move through the intersection, little tricks like these help engineers improve the facility’s level-of-service (LOS) to an “acceptable” value at the expense of the pedestrian and cycling realm.

How do you like that bus stop placement too? Transit is clearly a priority here. Its no wonder why the route 57 metrobus has such dismal ridership (according to the July 2010 technical report this route carries only 643 daily riders).  And, as the CNT H+T affordability index reports residents of this region expend 20% to 28% of household income on transportation, emit 20 to 30 Metric Tons of CO2 per acre, drive 14,000 to 16,000 miles annually, and spend 25 to 29 Minutes getting to work each day. The picture below of a stop south of the intersection captures the effect this incomplete street has on transit. Nothing could be more pleasant than than trekking through the grass to wait for a bus that comes every 40 minutes at best.

While I digressed on that last point - I want to convey that street design (or lack-thereof) is strongly correlated to our behavior, modal choice, living expenses, and environmental/health effects. Every single element of this street is designed to be an obstacle to anyone not traveling in a personal vehicle. Unfortunately, Jared Paul Jones paid the ultimate price.Could a complete street policy have saved Jones? Perhaps. Can we do more to make this street and other like it throughout the state more suitable for all forms of transportation? Certainly.

The image below depicts what a more such a facility could look like here on SR959.

Image Source: transitcenter.com

Has the time come for a complete streets policy at all levels of government? I think so. I’ll be paying a visit to this intersection in person this week and will continue documenting the aspects that make this such an inhospitable place for pedestrians, cyclists, and transit users alike. Stay Tuned.

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About a year ago we told you about the emergence of the Zipcar at the University of Miami. Zipcar, you will remember, is a car sharing service that allows you to reserve a car for a small hourly fee. Different from traditional car rental services, the Zipcar service is meant for a variety of users and is intended to be an alternative to owning a full time car.

This is a great service, and one that needs to be expanded in our region. Its long term success in our city will rely on more drop off/pick up locations. Due to the great success of the University of Miami Coral Gables campus Zipcar partnership, another location has opened up at the UM Miller School of Medicine: Applebaum MRI center. This started as a three month pilot program (in June), but has been continued due to its success. We will keep you posted as this program expands to new locations (next stop Miami Beach??)

Find out more about the University of Miami Zipcar rates and locations here.

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The University of Miami is making a crucial investment in Miami’s Health District, expanding current facilities as it looks towards building a 1.4 million square foot life sciences research park. The new research center, pictured above, is a crucial part of Miami’s continued economic growth and diversity. The facility will serve as a catalyst for the Bioscience community while creating a wide variety of well paying jobs. This is certainly the type of growth our city needs.

“Life science companies such as Schering-Plough, Boston Scientific, Beckman Coulter, Cordis, Noven Pharmaceuticals and others contribute to the biotech economy in the county, said Beacon Council President and CEO Frank Nero. About 17,000 people are employed by more than 1,400 life sciences companies in the county, which contributes about $2.3 billion in total annual revenue, according to the Beacon Council.”

Private investment will flock around the Miami research facilities creating a local hub for biological, pharmaceutical, and chemical research. Our community now needs to take the necessary steps to integrate our up and coming facilities with the surroundings; by providing adequate rail connections to the surrounding neighborhoods with the Miami streetcar, easy access to the FAU Scripps research facility in Palm Beach, and creating affordable and accessible housing. Braman can moan all he wants about spending taxpayer money on infrastructural upgrades, but without these crucial forms of transit, the Health district and much of Miami will never reach their full potential.

Um is also planning on restoring one of Miami’s oldest structures, Halissee Hall, to its former grandeur. Originally constructed in 1914 by John Sewell a Miami pioneer and former mayor, the house will be home to the School of Medicine’s Faculty Club and will host receptions, conferences and lectures.

“Sandwiched between Highland Park and the Golf Links is a massive stone building, the residence of John Sewell, shoe salesman and the third mayor of Miami. Started on July 20, 1913 it was situated on the highest elevation in the City of Miami. Sewell called his home Halissee Hall [locator], “Halissee” being the Seminole word for “New moon.” In his book, Miami Memoirs, Sewell writes that Halissee Hall was built with “boulder rock grubbed up on the hill” with which he built “the best home in Florida, not the most expensive, but the best home, with eighteen-inch walls of solid stone and cement, three stories high, with a half-acre of floor space.” The original entrance to Halissee Hall, two pillars, can be seen just south of the 836 Expressway near NW 10th Avenue.”

UM could learn from MIT, who over the past decades purchased the land immediately surrounding the campus and constructed offices building to lease back to private companies. Industry soon moved into the area to harvest the brainpower of the faculty and utilize the resources of the student body.

If you are a hurricane fan, turn away; this article isn’t for the feint of heart. I’m going to try and put my Gator sentiments aside as I write this, but I can’t guarantee there won’t be any bias. I went to the Hurricane-Georgia Tech game last weekend in the orange bowl to bid my own personal farewell to the iconic venue. Although I wasn’t there for the game, more so to take in the sights, sounds, and experience, I couldn’t help but find myself rooting for the home team. The game is beside the point, as an engineer and someone who cares about the social aspects of the OB, I was there more for the atmosphere than anything else.

To state it plainly, I can clearly see why the decision was made to move the hurricanes from the OB to that stadium up north (which changes names every month or so…) The OB is a worn down venue, clearly lacking the infrastructure to support a college team as the once almighty U. The bathrooms are unkempt, the alumni skyboxes are inexistent, and the whole place appears to be crumbling to pieces; all of which reflect poorly on the city with regards to effective maintenance and refurbishment. Like the Miami Marine Stadium, it was almost as if they were hoping it would fall apart on its own to give enough of valid reason to reinvent a new use for the property.

However, the OB still offers the University an intangible benefit that the $1 Million or so they will gain from moving up north just can’t buy: tradition. Experiencing a game like this now after I have experienced games in “real” college venues (notice the quotes, don’t take it as an insult) is a shock. I now fully understand why UM so easily turned its back on “tradition” and chose to move to a slightly more profitable venue: because UM simply has no tradition. Go ahead and argue my point, but the tunnel and C.A.N.E.S. Canes! simply don’t qualify…The atmosphere in the stadium was insipid; the crowd lacked the spirit and comradery that nearly any other university has to offer (don’t blame it on the small college town/big city differences.) The stadium was unusually quiet when the defense was on the field; at times it seemed like my UF and FSU friends were the only one making noise.

Overall I can’t help but feel for the venue that could have been; there is too much history, too many wide rights to simply watch this place fall to pieces. Visiting and experiencing the OB one last time has given me a new perspective on UM’s decisions, however, it only made me further question the direction of the city and the reasoning for constructing another stadium in this neighborhood…With regards to tradition; I’ll let you know how things go this weekend in Tallahassee, I can guarantee a huge difference…

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While Gabe did a great job lamenting the loss of the Hurricanes from Miami, I felt compelled to add a few things, being dually a Canes fan and a fan of the City.

Let me start by saying, while I suppose it’s justifiable from the perspective of Shalala and the University, as they will be making more money, playing in a nicer, more modern stadium, and perhaps even helping recruiting, the impact of leaving the OB is tough to quantify in numbers.

For one, Gabe mentioned how the OB is special, almost because of its grit. It was miserable for players and fans because it was old, hostile, and fundamentally “Miami”.

Also, for so long football Saturday (and don’t forget Sunday) was known for the marriage between this part of Little Havana and the OB. The tradition we all speak of is certainly not confined to the smoke-filled tunnel entrance or the wide-right mystique. It’s also just as much the tastes, sounds and smells of the neighborhood that made it special.

Unlike going to some far-flung suburban stadium in “could-be-anywhere-ville”, when fans and opposing teams came to the Orange Bowl they were entering the heart and soul of inner-city Miami. There was no mistaking where you were - Latin styled sidewalk BBQ, Spanish signage and street names, block after block of pre-game parties - you were in Miami. It was this authentic local neighborhood character that inspired so much tradition, which will now be lost.

Now, the Canes are being outsourced to the banal suburbs, where everything that made playing at the OB so unique, so quintessentially Miami, will now be relegated to traffic jams, $20 parking fees, and sipping beers in a giant sea of asphalt. If it wasn’t for signs, you could cut and paste the Dolphins Stadium area and be just about anywhere where there’s expressways, uber parking lots, and cookie-cutter stadiums.

Alas, talk about an identity crisis. The University of Miami Hurricanes, based in Coral Gables, whom play football in Miami Gardens. Is this not emblematic of Miami’s hyper-fragmentation?

Can we call them the Miami-Dade Hurricanes, now?

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