Currently viewing the tag: "Miami Beach"

** 3/30/09 UPDATE: The New World Symphony happily reports that the park will still be built, regardless of the parking issue. Transit Miami apologizes for misinterpreting the Miami Herald article, which clearly confused the issue by reporting contradictory statements in their own article. TM is planning to meet with the NWS to review the plans further and will share our findings after a review. **

Many Beach dwellers, myself not included, have long awaited the arrival of celebrity ‘star’chitect Frank Gehry’s addition to the New World Symphony, a public-private venture being hailed as a new ‘city center’ for Miami Beach. Clearly intended to raise the NWS’s profile and add to the civic core of Miami Beach, Gehry’s plans also contain a 520 space parking garage and a new 2-acre park.

While I personally question Gehry’s ability to create a dynamic public space, the park is certainly a needed amenity in this portion of Miami Beach. However, according to an article in the Herald yesterday, the rising cost of buliding the garage inspired Miami Beach City Commission to vote 5-2 in favor of changing the development agreement.

The new agreement uses the money devoted to the park to fund the cost over-run on the 520 car garage. What is more, the  designated park space will likely become an additional 175 parking spaces because the City Commission says the NWS is not meeting its parking requirement, which allows the City to pull $6 million dollars worth of public funding out from underneath the Symphony.

In what sane world do we exchange a public good like needed park space for parking? As Commissioner Diaz rightly noted, this is indeed “a travesty.”

Before moving forward with what promises to be an over-designed parking garage, maybe city officials should research where Symphony attendees are traveling from. Do they all require parking spaces? Don’t people tend to enjoy the symphony in groups, which allows for a higher occupancy per vehicle? Won’t a good number of visitors come from the beach as residents or tourists? Why another 700+ spaces? Wouldn’t 520 be enough?

There are a slew of other problems implied in the story, mostly that 700+ parking spaces will only contribute to auto-dependence, congestion, and pollution on Miami Beach. Feel free to vent your frustration in the comments section.

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Miami Beach is already a relatively bicycle-friendly city. It’s dense urban pattern, limited geographic area, mixture of uses, and many well-scaled streets —  prerequisites for urban bicycling — certainly give it a leg up on all other South Florida municipalities.

However, these qualities alone do not a great bicycle city make.

As demonstrated in cities like Portland, Davis and Boulder — the platinum standard in this country — a well-connected, easily identifiable network of bicycle infrastructure must be put in place if any city is to meet latent demands. Otherwise, as a mode of transportation,  bicycling will achieve only a fraction of its potential. It seems this lesson is starting to take hold in Miami Beach, which I believe has the potential to surpass the previously mentioned cities as America’s most bicycle-friendly (I’ll explain how in a future article).

New bicycle racks are being installed on Alton Road.

Within the past few years the city has striped bicycle lanes on portions of 16th Street, Prairie Avenue, the Venetian Causeway, Royal Palm Avenue, and 47th Street.  Attractive and recognizable bicycle racks continue to be installed along the city’s commercial corridors, including Alton Road, Lincoln Road, and Washington Avenue. Additionally, attractive way-finding signs have been installed which help bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorists alike navigate their way efficiently around the Beach.

Yet, according to the latest edition of Miami Beach Magazine, a quarterly publication distributed to all MB residents,  a bonanza of additional bicycle improvements are on the way.

Alton Road, South Pointe Drive, Ocean Drive, and West Avenue are all slated for new bicycle lanes. Additionally, a new “bike path” (not sure if they actually mean lane here) will appear on Dade Boulevard, and hundreds of new racks will continue to be installed along the city’s main corridors and eventually within the neighborhoods. And finally, as we reported earlier this month, a 500 bicycle-sharing system may be implemented as soon as this fall. With the glut of tourists who arrive in Miami Beach every week, and only one other American city with such an amenity, this project may be the most transformative.

Many of the above projects are still in the design stage, and the article did not include a timetable for their completion. Given that I am still waiting for the pilot “sharrows” to be painted along Washington Avenue, I will not hold my breath.

Regardless, these long overdue projects will certainly enhance mobility, but most importantly improve accessibility to points and destinations all over Miami Beach. Ultimately, it will also further the city’s reputation as one committed to sustainable transportation.

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The Miami Herald reports today the Mayor Matti Bower has set an “Economic Summit” for December 18, 2008. We hope that Her Honor will include on her panel experts who will speak to the importance of The Beach implementing a mass transit system that serves the City’s residents and tourists, the mainstay backbone of our “Worlds’ Playground” economy.

From this Summit, the City should press the County to provide a fast, efficient, and attractive way to bring visitors from the air and seaports to the Beach that does not involve multiple bus transfers or a single passenger automobile. The Beach needs to demand transit respect. We shouldn’t be just the turn around point for a dozen bus routes that follow each other up and down the two most congested streets in the City. We need a rational, circulator system that facilitates mobility and is more cost effective per passenger mile.  We should take a cue or two from Disney, and look at our 7 square miles as the tropical attraction it is, and exploit it to its highest potential by bringing 10 times as many folks in half the number of cars to the Beach each day for leisure or work. We should promote our historic seaside communities tranquil offerings by designing better uses of our limited right of ways to make them safer for pedestrians and non-motorized transport.

Panelists should all read “Growth or Gridlock? The Economic Case for Traffic Relief and Transit Improvement for Greater New York “, published by the Partnership for New York City and see how not addressing our growing parking and transportation crisis in our City today will undermine any hopes for an economically sustainable Miami Beach tomorrow.

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(Image Source: Fate the Magnificent’s Flickr)

  • Miami Beach Mayor Matti Bower is calling to move forward with a plan to build a new convention center rather than the 50,000 SF addition proposed back in 2004.  (Miami Today)
  • After three years and $7 Million worth of renovations, Miami Beach’s historic City Hall (pictured above) is finally set to reopen.  The refurbished building will house Miami Beach Police offices, the Miami design preservation league’s offices, and the MB Branch Court.  (Miami Herald)
  • Despite the huge economic downturn, MDM partners have secured a $250 million loan for the construction of MET 2 - a 750,000 SF office building rising in the heart of the CBD.  (Globe Street)
  • Contractual delays in the port of Miami tunnel could likely set back that project’s opening date to 2013.  (Miami Today)

Elsewhere:

  • NIMBYs try (and Fail) to keep a bus route from passing by their suburban Toronto home.  Their arguments, typical of the NIMBY mindset, included: noise, pollution, added traffic, and a threat to children playing in the streets… (The Star)
  • Surprise, surprise, apparently Sprawl may be the reason for a lack of civic involvement in Central New Jersey.  (Princeton Packet)
  • Voters in Minnesota will be deciding whether to spend $10 million to purchase a golf course in Eagan in order to prevent a developer from building more suburban homes.  (Minesota Public Radio)

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A few months ago we realized Miami was missing out on the benefits of car sharing and asked, “Dude where’s my Zipcar?” As proponents of this easy car sharing program we were disappointed to see that it wasn’t more widely used in our region, although Miami Beach and the University of Miami recently became proponents of this useful transit tool. Students are a great place to start introducing the benefits of car sharing, as Zipcar is inexpensive and accessible to people on limited budgets. I wonder when our other local universities, self-proclaimed centers of research and academic excellence, will adopt similar programs.

Zipcar, and other similar car sharing programs are seeking to expand their efficiency in urban settings with a new wave of vehicles called the CityCar. A team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab has recently experimented with small electric motors located in the wheels of this tiny, nimble and practically silent vehicle. The CityCar has wheels that turn 360 degrees, enabling it to slip neatly into tight urban parking spaces. A Smartcar that is designed to stack like a supermarket cart when not in use, the CityCar is aptly named because its unique maneuvering ability will allow parking in front of subway stations and office buildings, where people could squeeze in as needed for short-term use.

So, dude where’s my CityCar?

Evidenced by the articles below - our work with various groups (like the BAC) has already led to minor additions and improvements for Miami’s Bicycling Community.  Now, with the Coral Way Bike Lanes underway, we turn our attention to another city project that could benefit from some public input.  The city of Miami is working to redesign N Bayshor Drive north of the Venetian Causeway and initial plans omitted bicycle lanes.  This project is critical.  The addition of Bicycle lanes would provide a much needed outlet for cyclists crossing the Venetian Causeway’s bicycle lanes.  It would provide a northern safe route to the Edgwater district (hopefully extending later into the design district) and Margaret Pace Park.  

Send us letters in support of the addition of Bicycle lanes to this project and we’ll forward them along to the City’s planning and public works departments.

I recently attended one the public involvement sessions on the Long Range Transportation Plan at the Collins Park Public Library on Miami Beach. 17 members of the community, flanked by an equal number of consultants and staff, played with Lego blocks and ribbons to help formulate the plan for future transportation improvements and enhancements to the year 2030.

You see, the Miami Dade County Department of Planning and Zoning has forecast growth to be 323,000 households and 615,000 jobs by the year 2035.  To show this, the room was set with tables of identical county maps, and the two maps on the center tables had  “buildings” made of striped Lego blocks: one that represented jobs and households today and one in 2035.  The concentration of growth around the Costal Communities and Bay Shore was shocking:  as was the growth projected beyond the UEA (Urban Expansion Area). It was hard not to see the difference between now and then, based on these projections.

After a beautiful lite dinner of sandwiches and cookies, the focus group officially kicked off with a lightening speed definition of the MPO, its guiding mandate and geographical composition.  The program kept it’s fast pace through the opinion gathering portion of the evening: a survey of statements about “feelings” of  transit…”Do you agree it is safe to ride transit?”  “Do you agree the possibility of global warming should affect transit programming decisions?”  “Do you think building more roads will make traveling better?” The responses were recorded through hand held gizmos, and zapped to a data collection point, where in real time, the responses would be projected on the screen in numerical and graphical form, a la Who wants to be a Millionaire?

For those whose true feeling about transit could not be measured in lifeline questions, a longer comment/suggestion sheet of proposed goals and objectives of the LRTP was presented for feedback and filling out.  This two-page work-product, from the firm Gannett Fleming, featured eight categories and no less than 49 lofty concepts, ranging from “Reducing congestion” to  “Enhancing mobility for people and freight.”

Each table of participants was given bags of Lego’s; purple and orange ribbons; stickum; scissors; a tape measure and markers. They were told to work together, to make group decisions, by the table facilitator, who explained the exercise and recorded the results.  Groups were instructed how to “Build Out” the County, with the “Large-Scale Growth Scenario Base Map”.  The households were represented with 253 yellow Lego’s and 160 red Lego’s stood for employment, with one yellow piece representing 1, 280 households; The red, 3840 jobs. (These Lego’s represented new growth only)  The intensity of growth was portrayed by vertically stacking the Lego’s within each one-mile square grid on the six-foot map.  Next, folks were instructed to add purple for more roads and orange for transit improvements that would be needed.  The participants were encouraged to add as much as they thought was required.  As playtime came to a close, the groups were told to go on a diet, measure the length of orange and purple on the map and use no more than the allotted amount.

Click here to submit your own thoughts on the Miami-Dade LRTP…

After a recent Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting I agreed to help Miami-Dade County MPO Bike/ped coordinator, Dave Henderson, count bicyclists. Dave has been doing his annual bicycle count all around downtown Miami recently and I decided to help  him out with the Venetian Causeway portion.

The task was simple: find out how many bicyclists are using the Venetian Causeway between 7am and 9am on weekday mornings. By tallying these users on an annual basis the County will better understand how and where bicyclists are riding, especially as it relates to commuting.  I conducted my survey last Tuesday.

Certainly no single day bicyclist count can determine average daily use numbers. Nonetheless, randomly tallying users on any given day provides us with an idea of how often bicyclists are using the streets and/or the few existing bicycle facilities that do exist. While counting I did my best to not double count. That is, to not include those bicycling past me east bound, only to whiz by me 20 minutes later heading west bound.  This happened frequently, demonstrating that many people use the Venetian Causeway for exercise, not one-way morning commutes.

What I discovered is instructive. Overall, I counted 90 bicyclists. Interestingly,  I saw no children, kids, or teens.  About 60% of the riders were headed east, while another 40% were heading west. Those readily identifiable as recreational bicyclists were doing loops, while the rest, with their backpacks, saddle bags, and lack of spandex, were probably on their way to or from work.

Men outnumbered women by 40%, which says something about users, safety and preference.

As it relates to bicycle behavior, 100% of users were using the on-street bicycle lanes, opting to stay away from the sidewalks. What is more, 100% of bicyclists were riding with traffic. Almost anywhere else in Miami these impressive percentages would surely diminish. Indeed, when I bicycle downtown, west on SW 7th Street, Eastward on calle ocho, or all over the Grove, I typically see 50% of riders on the sidewalks or going against traffic in the wrong direction.

One can only attribute these virtuous behaviors to the presence of a bicycle lane (despite its shortcomings) clear and consistent signage, directional on-pavement arrows, and an ingrained bicyclist culture where riders know what is expected of them on the Causeway. To be sure, I do see bicyclists along the Venetian exhibiting less than safe behavior. Nonetheless, they are few and far between. What is worrisome, however, is that 46% of bicyclists were not wearing helmets. One must remember that a bicycle lane does not always mean you are safe.

Overall, the corridor is very active and relatively safe. It is just unfortunate that so many recreational bicyclists do not carry on into the the City of Miami. This is probably because the bicycle lane simply stops on the Miami side of the Causeway. Further more,  it seems the general perception of downtown Miami and many of its inner neighborhoods is that of an unsafe and unattractive place for recreation. Sometime in the future the baywalk may coax recreational bicyclists further into the city, but for now efforts should concentrate on street facilities that help non-commuting or non-expert riders explore their city safely and without being  isolated inside a hulking metal carapace.

I am sorry, in my previous post I neglected to mention that there is an improvement in the new Alton Road: They propose increasing the parking lane to 9 feet!

On-street parking is a dangerous, highly addictive habit. When you know it is available, you want it, and may not stop at anything to get it. Plus, not to mention, it is likely cheaper than any parking garage. You let its availability control your life: you plan and scheme to get your fix of it and you will fight to defend your right to stop a lane or two of traffic to maneuver your Hummer into a space.

I want to thank the members of the Alliance for Reliable Transport (ART), for forcing FDOT and the City to see a vision of the future that is different and will, then by definition bring new and needed results. Even I was skeptical when a respected ART steering committee member returned from far-flung historic and highly urbanized Cities around the world with pictures of streets built properly. Streets with wide sidewalks, luscious shade trees and dedicated bicycle lanes. Could this really exist here at home? ART showed us that it could. Yet, no one seems to listen.

If the city and DOT do not listen to ART, at least listen to the neighborhoods: Flamingo Neighborhood, led by Judy Robinson or the Westies, always well represented by Arthur Marcus (and Benita Argos). They know you cannot cross Alton Road, ride on Alton Road, or enjoy a peaceful alfresco meal without inhaling exhaust on Alton Road. We are begging FDOT and the City for something different.

If not the Artists or the Neighbors, listen to the City Engineer, the Traffic Manager or the Public Works Director: Wide sidewalk and a demarked bicycle facility for non-motorized vehicles will increase mobility…. mobility is the key to our economic engine: getting tourists in, getting around, spending their money and leaving to make room for the next.

We should listen to the Costal Communities Transportation Master Plan (CCTMP) that says the traffic and congestion problems do not come from our neighbors; it is internal. The congestion occurs because we believe that we can only get around our seven squares in our cars due to the abundant on-street parking! We should follow the lead of the Mayor of Paris who banned parking on the Champs Ellissee!

Nothing causes more congestion than parking. It takes away the opportunity to do anything else with our precious right-of way but store a ton or two of steel and plastic. Parking is not traffic calming. It is parking. At $1500.00/space (the average revenue per year), the City adds $487,000 a year to its coffers (well, not really into the general fund because parking is an enterprise fund.) Is it worth it? Is $500,000, more a year into the bottomless and questionably productive Parking Fund worth the death of businesses or a pedestrian trying to cross the street?

The misconception that there are not enough parking opportunities on Alton Road with out the 325 on street parking spaces is just that: a myth. The City is spending $15 MILLION dollars for 1000 parking spaces at 5thth and West, not to mention that the Herzog & de Meuron Garage and the Robbins Garage will add hundreds spaces. There is ample parking in the area, so when will we be able to re-purpose on-street parking? There is no time better than this project. and Alton, there is parking at 10

Finally, there is the little matter of a memo related to non-motorized vehicles on Alton Road, among others and FDOT statue 335.065(1)(a). In December of 2006, the City declared many of our streets “generally not safe” for non-motorized vehicles”. Don’t we then have an obligation to make them safe by adding a segregated facility for them? Here is our opportunity and an accompanying Florida Statue! The State has a legislative mandate to add the bicycle lane, enhance pedestrian accessibility, and improve safety for all modes of transport. Nowhere in the State Statue or in the City Code is parking (on street parking) given the same kind of priority. Instead, we make that up and justify it with a 10-year-old report called The Walker Study.

Come out on June 26 and tell the City of Miami Beach and the State of Florida that any renovation or rehabilitation of Alton Road that does not include a dedicated bike lane, 20 foot sidewalks, and a travel lane 12 foot wide to accommodate the Baylink is not an Alton Road we want to waste our money on. Tell the bureaucrats and politicians that we will not sit through two torturous years of road construction to end up with the same road we have today.

Alton Road on Miami Beach does not work. Traffic is clogged, pedestrians cannot cross, and bicyclists cannot ride safely. On Thursday, June 26, 2008 at 6:00 pm in the Miami Beach City Hall Commission Chambers, The Florida Department of Transportation will hold a public meeting, which will be our last chance to make Alton Road work for the future. In terms of road construction projects, especially in an urban historic setting, opportunities to do something different are few and far between.  We will gather that day, to be handed an opportunity from the State of Florida to make Alton Road work by doing something different.

Instead, it looks like we will be getting more of the same.

The plan that was recommended by the land use committee and from the City Commission as a whole is the same Alton Road we have today. The same. Same seven lanes of traffic. Same marginally wide enough sidewalks, and same bumper-to-bumper on-street parking.

Let us start with the 100’ right of way. 100 feet! 75 of which are carved out for the seven lanes of traffic. Note: seven lanes is essentially equivalent to the south bound segment of I-95.

Alton Road, Miami Beach

Image Via Zickie’s Flickr

Onto the sidewalks

13 feet. That’s it. It might sound like a lot, when compared to the highly touted but very ineffective ADA requirements of 3 feet (remember this three feet is brought to you by the same people who think $6.25 should be minimum wage) but 13 feet is hardly adequate for the most pedestrainized area in the state.

This is Miami Beach. People have been coming here since the Smith-Avery family began ferrying them over here to experience our amazing climate. Our outdoor dining scene rivals some of the century’s oldest ones established in Paris and Rome, and we are barely 75 years old! I often shake my head at the folks who sit on 41st street outside Arnie and Richie’s crammed between a light pole and a trash can, while I barely have two feet to walk past by. Miami Beach is a tourist destination.  Tourism is a mainstay of our economy that will ride us out during oscillations in the real estate market. We must do everything we can to bring people here and get them around in an economical and environmentally friendly manner.

Let’s not forget another Miami Beach mainstay: our vibrant Orthodox community, a group that promotes walking as a virtue. This absence of adequate pedestrian facilities forces hundreds to walk the streets two days a week. We need wide sidewalks. Wider than most and Alton Road with the bus shelters, parking stations, pedestrian lighting, street lighting, and trash cans can barely accommodate a café table, let alone folks strolling and patronizing the shops and living and crossing. Yet the plan that was recommended out of our City Commission is more of the same.

Someone smarter than I defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. The State of Florida is coming to us, wanting to fix our road, give us wider sidewalks, more options for non-motorized transport, rational public transit ways, more landscaping and this solution, this opportunity for real change, and therefore real results is being lost to petty politics and 325 parking spaces.

More on the parking issue in segment 2.  Stay Tuned.

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On the commute home from work on Tuesday evening we happened upon a frustrating, albeit typical bicycle lane condition. Pictured below is the 16th Street bicycle lane and the overt blockage of the east and west bicycle lanes by none other than MBPD.

Perpetrator 1, 16th Street heading east.

Perpetrators 2 and 3, 16th Street viewing west moving travel lane.

This well-used bicycle lane has certainly improved east-west access in South Beach. The striping even narrowed what was an overly-wide street, effectively slowing the traffic and causing drivers to be on the alert for  bicyclists. However, one small drawback of bicycle lanes are that they often condition riders to expect a clear right of way at all times, save for the pesky door zone. After all, the lanes are striped for us, right? Well, in actuality a cyclists should probably expect all traffic conditions to be present and be prepared to navigate safely, bicycle lane or not. After all, we must do it on 99% of greater Miami’s thoroughfares, why should it be any different in the presence of a rare bicycle lane?!

Nonetheless, I have grown increasingly frustrated with the lack of enforcement on 16th Street. I see cars parked in the lane frequently and for extended periods of time. I also see motorcycles and scooters taking the liberty to travel within the bicycle lane (particularly unsafe for all involved). What’s worse, per the above images,  I now see cops abusing this space as well. (I might also add that I travel on 11th street heading west in the morning and am routinely impressed by A. how many police cruisers travel that street at 7:45 in the morning and B. their reckless driving habits; no turn signals, too fast, running lights etc. It is atrocious).

To be fair, I fully understand how certain situations necessitate the blockage of bicycle lanes . Any emergency is a primeexample. Of course police or firefighters who need direct access to a building should take the lane!

Yet, in general I do not expect the police to park in both lanes while chewing the fat. Seriously, while I stopped to take pictures, the officers, to the left in the second image above, were merely hanging out, laughing and having a grand old time. Clearly, there was no emergency.

South Beach may be the most bicycle friendly precinct in Miami, but it certainly has a long way to go. I might suggest adding police and driver education / enforcement to the physical improvements already underway.


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Miami Beach is inherently bikeable. It has a well-connected grid of small blocks, a mixed-use pattern of land uses and several key destinations reachable within a short ride. In addition, the City now has a bicycle master plan adding bicycle lanes and bicycle parking. This fact, however, does not prevent the city from having a few terrible examples of bicycle parking. This weekend I chose to document what I find to be the three worst specimens. In descending order:

# 3. The second-runner up goes to this “Wave” style bicycle rack located at Lucky Strike on Michigan Avenue. Although wave style racks can be useful, they must be placed so that both the wheel and the frame can be locked to the rack. In this particular location, the rack is about six inches too close to the wall, meaning that the tire hits the wall before being able to properly fix the bicycle to the rack. This results in a bicycle more apt to fall over, or a bent tire in the event that a thief decides he/she wants the bicycle more than you do.

# 2. The first runner-up goes to this unused rack located behind a bus shelter at the Miami Beach Post Office on Washington and 13th. Like the rack above, this rack is too close to the railing/wall. In addition, this style of rack gets the “ambiguous use” award. Does one put their wheel in the wide slots, or the narrow? Do you lift the bike over the top of the rack and let it rest at a 45 degree angle? I have seen all three maneuvers performed, but actually suggest none of the above. Go find a street sign, as this one is useless.

And the worst bike rack on Miami Beach goes to…


…this ridiculous wave rack located at the Bank of America on Alton Road. I think the images speak for themselves.

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The Miami Herald is reporting that County Commissioners, today, will hear a report from the “Miami-Dade County Climate Change Task Force,” in which data point to nothing less than a dramatic rise in sea levels on the horizon.

What does this have to do with transportation in Miami? Some of the suggestions for improvement from the task force are interesting:

  • Phasing out “gas-guzzler” taxis by 2008
  • Burning bio-fuels in county fleet vehicles

While the article points out that there are zoning changes that are also part of the recommendations, the article does not point out the impact the daily commute has on our atmosphere here, and worldwide. It seems to take a bleak look overall at the scenario, without the proper focus on anything except pie-in-the-sky suggestions such as the aforementioned, which suggestions are all-but-certain to be obliterated by lobbyists before they see even a pilot implementation.

What is clear (and this is also presented by the article) is that Everglades restoration needs to be the first and foremost on everyone’s mind right now, as this will at least delay the salt water invasion some of our water well fields are already experiencing. Next, since this looks like it will happen sooner, rather than later, perhaps it’s time to start looking at some of the flood protection that has been implemented in coastal areas of mainland Europe, and on the British Isles.

Finally, while the county had the forethought to actually implement this sort of task force, bringing their ideas to fruition may take a lot longer than we have. What incentive is there to implement? The water isn’t lapping at our feet yet.

I live next to a busy intersection in South Beach - Meridian Avenue and 13th Street. It’s the main entryway to Flamingo Park as well as the beach’s central avenue. It’s the only tree-shaded roadway around. Suffice to say, there’s a lot of traffic: cars, bikes and pedestrians.

Within the past few months, four-way stop signs went up at the intersection, making it significantly safer, or so I thought. One of the stop signs is all but hidden behind a tree. Cars blow past it all the time. This is doubly dangerous considering pedestrians now assume cars will stop at the intersection. There are people pushing baby strollers to the park, little kids going to shoot hoops, people walking their dogs.

I emailed the city to point out the problem. There had been small temporary stop signs in the middle of the road until recently, and I suggested they do something similar on a permanent basis or at least make the hidden stop sign more visible. Never heard back.

Walking home one night, I came across two Miami Beach motorcycle cops. They were there to run down cars that rolled through the stop sign. I told them people couldn’t see the sign, but they argued there is a warning sign farther back (small red octagon with arrow) and nothing that could be done. When I emphasized the inherent danger, one of the cops said pedestrians should be “alert” anyway.

So, I’ve contacted the county’s public works department. They tell me they’ll check it out. In the meantime, I have a strong feeling someone is going to get hurt or killed. I hope I’m wrong.

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