“All buildings downtown should be required to have awnings. The city needs to improve the condition and appearance of the streets and sidewalks, including landscaping where possible. Street lighting at night is horrendous. Businesses and people will not be attracted to downtown if it’s ugly and poorly lit at night. People don’t feel safe.”
“It’s a MESS. Dingy, dirty, smelly and rat infested. Let’s take pride in our city and get it cleaned up now not wait for the usual red tape and politics.”
” I enjoyed the Macy’s CEO’s comments and I am glad the Herald gave her some ink. I like downtown. True, it is a bit of a dump, relatively speaking, but it is Miami, and Miami is a poor city. What never ceases to amaze me is that city fathers know exactly what it takes to refurbish the area but they haven’t the will to act. Condo towers, performing art centers, new waterfront museums, you can choke the area with expensive, exclusive and garish embellishments but without investment in infrastructure it will continue to be poor, underemployed and at times unsightly. I frequent downtown often and love workday and weekend mornings when it is abuzz with work-a-day or tourist/local activity. But when I jump on the metrorail to the metromover and ride from Government Center to Omnistation for the occasional Carnival Center event, my spirit sinks. So much soul, so much potential, and so much waste. Gentrifying and more cops will not address the matter. We need to work with the beauty already there.”
“Last January I asked a police officer where the nearest public restroom was and he pointed to a Metro Bus and we both laughed for a minute or two and went on our different paths. After he turned a corner, I urinated on a New Times dispenser. I figured the officer was joking about the bus.”
” We need mor cats downtawn to eet all the ratz.”
The Absent Minded:
“Thats what you get when you build up and not out. It creates a perminet shadowscape for pestilence and riff-raff. Let me put this way so Paris Hilton can understand it: “Like, no duh.””
“Why are there homeless people still around Miami-Dade when we are paying a half penny of sales tax?It was just another socialist scam that produces nothing.”
“Ever since Mayor Manny Diaz became mayor,we never hear negative criticism of his administration.He appears to be the darling of the Herald,etc.If Mayor Carollo were in office they would be wanting his head.This man has done nothing,but get richer.He is a dolittle that the media just loves.”
This is exacerbated by the excessive minimum parking standards set by the City Code.
Perhaps even more worrisome is that people won’t even do the little bit of walking I mentioned above. They often may not need to. If you’re living in a high-rise in Brickell, you surely have a large parking garage pedestal. Say you want to go shopping at a downtown building with ground floor retail. It’s highly likely, especially if the building is new, that it will also have plenty of on-site parking. All you would have to do, in this case, is take the elevator to the parking garage (or valet), pull out and drive to the on-site garage at your destination. In many instances, there may even be direct access from the parking garage to the ground-floor retail. The same is true if you’re planning on visiting a friend in another building; just drive from one garage to another without ever setting food outdoors.
To see if this is happening, I went downtown and to Brickell to do some qualitative observation to gauge the ratio of pedestrian-to-automobile traffic coming and going from various buildings. I started at the One Miami building, where one of my friends resides. First of all, it doesn’t help that the building is almost entirely designed to interact with automobiles, not the pedestrian realm (seen here on the left), as Gabe pointed out in a recent post. Unfortunately, just as I suspected, one car after another came and went from the building’s massive parking garage. As for pedestrians? I was one of only a handful during about a 45 minute stretch between 1:45 pm and 2:30 pm.
Next, I took the Metromover down to Brickell so I could survey another building where a friend resides – the Club at
Some of my friends have told me to relax, that things will improve a lot once the area matures and more retail is added nearby. This may be true to some degree, especially downtown, where pretty much everything is closed by 8:00 pm. However, I don’t think we can rely upon the major proposed retail projects to help a whole lot. For example, City Square is planning on providing a whopping 4,052 parking spaces! Same goes for Bayview Market
Furthermore, we can’t blame a lack of transit for people deciding to drive everywhere in downtown and Brickell. These two locales are served by multiple modes of transit including taxi cabs, pitting them among the best transit-served areas in the southeastern
In fairness, I know there are many people who have moved downtown or to Brickell so they could leave the car at home (or behind). We’ve even had commenters on TransitMiami mention their delight for being able to walk or take transit to most destinations. However, I believe these people are still very much in the minority.
I don’t want
top photo courtesy of James Good’s flickr account
Edit: The Pictures originated from the Chad Oppenheim Design and Architecture website, they were removed and found by TransitMiami on a local forum, originally posted by DGM…
This billboard was recently erected at the corner of SW 27th Avenue and US-1 by the northern boundary of the Grove. What a bunch of garbage - it appears this sign is implying that true urban living (e.g. Brickell, Downtown) is inherently stressful, while the less urban nature of the Grove is some desirable suburban oasis that is stress-free. What is even dumber is that the Grove and Brickell/Downtown are all neighborhoods within the City of Miami; therefore, this billboard illustrates that Miami actually has it’s own neighborhoods competing against each other as if they were separate cities.
In an apparent attempt to provide yet another use for the park, the city is constructing a children’s play area to accommodate some of the families moving into the downtown condos. I like the idea, most parks have places for kids to play but I am worried that the park has already become too cluttered.
I noticed something unusual. There were people in the park, mainly concentrated along the shore, but most of them were sitting in the grass or leaning up against the coconut palms. I was wondering why there wasn’t any suitable seating in the park when I came across the vast concrete bench apparently designed to fry anyone in the park who wanted sit. Nearly all the available seating in the park was in direct sunlight. The few shade trees in the park all had someone sitting below them on the grass…
There is a big green fence swallowing up half the park and blue one obstructing another quarter of it. The green fence is part of what I assume is
The second major obstruction, surrounded by a large blue fence is that of the Sunset Cinemas, also known as Movies by the Bay. Movies by the Bay is an intriguing idea concocted by the Hertig Family of
The other recent attraction to
They just don’t build them like this anymore. This is the
The Olympia Theater (
The Historic Walgreens, now home to La Epoca Department store, was built in 1936 by Zimmerman, Saxe & MacBride, Ehmann. Designed in a streamline modern style, this building was home to Walgreens for over 50 years; it featured a popular cafeteria and was only the third Walgreen open outside of
The First National Bank of
The Downtown Burdines store (sorry Macy’s, I don’t care for the name games) was originally built in 1912; however it was remodeled in 1936 in the streamline art deco style. This store is the anchor of the downtown retail industry. The city is working closely with the store to clean up the surrounding area after Macy’s threatened to leave.
The last couple of pictures below depict some of the urban decay and grit which still covers much of this area. I am glad to note that some new stores have started to move into the area including an upscale optical store as well as some chain shoe stores. The downtown American Apparel, located North of Flagler however recently closed. Revitalizing this area and creating a vibrant shopping district in the urban core needs to become a top priority for our city. With thousands of condos coming into the area, we need to have an area with easily accessible pedestrian oriented shops and cafes…
Stick around for part three, where I was apprehended by a US Marshall for being normal…
I’m in town and I decided to take a trip downtown (as usual) using transit and my own two feet. Unlike our elected officials, I see the need to periodically take the trip around leisurely to experience things first hand and see where things are going wrong (or right.) Today’s trip was filled with urban issues, many random people, and an encounter with a US Marshall for photographing the Federal courthouse complex, so it should be a good read…I’ll be back soon with the story and pictures…
Just as we thought the pieces were starting to come together, our urban planning geniuses over at the county commission step in to screw things up. Their three reasons to oppose the downtown location include: loss of parking, new site for the children’s courthouse, and the closing of a couple of minor streets. I think they are against losing their cushy surface parking lot spaces just outside the 500 ft
Seriously, this is why we have issues in this County. This is why projects are never completed on time. Everything is a disaster when the fab 13 on the county commission step in to make a decision. Placing the public funding issue aside, why not place the stadium in a location which has been proven to work for Major League Baseball since the early 1900’s- in downtown, urban parks. Any venue outside the CBD and without convenient access to highways and existing public transportation will be destined to be a failure and will serve as the next “white elephant” to further remind us of the injustices caused by the members of the
Update: Lil Pony on public transit, a new blog I discovered today, has the lowdown on the interior…
As if renaming the legendary downtown department store to “Macy’s” wasn’t bad enough, now Federated Department Stores is also considering closing the downtown store which opened originally in 1912.
The move, from an economic standpoint, is the nuttiest idea I’ve heard come out
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