Currently viewing the tag: "Doral"

I know it may not fully “count” for the Challenge, but I rode my commuter bike today to the South Miami Metrorail station. I ordinarily ride Metrorail to work downtown daily.  Since I typically wait in a long line of cars at Red Road to cross (southbound) U.S. 1 and drop off my daughter, today’s commute was actually a little bit FASTER than driving!  The July heat, however, did a number on the freshness of my business attire.  I hadn’t ever noticed they have really good bike parking at this station - it’s under constant observation by the Wackenhut dudes.  I wouldn’t envy those of you who had to find buses out to Doral though, much less having to cross the street or walk a block in what was practically a swamp just 10 years ago.

-Robertson Adams

One Hour and forty minutes – that is how long my commute was this morning from Coral Gables/Coconut Grove to my office in Doral.  Utilizing the 37, 36A, and 41 buses, I seamlessly (for the most part) was able to get to work before the 9 AM arrival time goal.

My day began at 7 AM with a 17-minute walk to catch the 37 bus in Coconut Grove.  The morning was cool and the lush shade trees in the grove provided a wonderful canopy that shaded much of the walk (Really, walking Miami would not be terrible if we had an adequate canopy cover.)  Standing, waiting for the bus to arrive, I watched as car after car of single occupant vehicles began their daily commutes while joggers utilized the main highway multi-use path.  The 37 bus arrived about 3 minutes behind schedule.  Once aboard, I began to realize the biggest downfall of the entire MDT system; route alignment.  Route 37 meandered in and out of the Douglas Road Metro station, Tri-Rail station, and all of the concourses of Miami International before finally reaching my stop at NW 36th Street about 40 minutes after I had boarded.

The transfer to the 36A was perfect.  The bus had pulled up behind the 37 as I was disembarking.  The 36A was standing room only and one of the passengers was a fellow coworker of mine who was also attempting to go car-free for the day from Miami Beach.  The 36A was filled with Doral employees including some Carnival and city employees.  The 36A transported us to the Doral Center on NW 53rd street where we (and nearly everyone else on the bus) transferred (yet again) to the 41.

As we boarded the 41, the bus operator immediately warned us not to photograph her or her bus, after she spotted us snapping a couple of pictures before getting on.  The route dropped us off just across the street from our offices on 97th avenue, leaving us to cross the treacherous 41st  intersection that lacks pedestrian signals.

From my experience this morning, the biggest flaw with MDT’s system is the route alignment and unnecessary transfers.  The MIC-MIA connector will alleviate some of the problems for many of these buses, eliminating the junket to the terminals for several routes.  MDT also needs to introduce a cross-county route that transports passengers across Doral, rather then leaving us at its doorstep and expecting us to transfer to another route.

The whole point of this experiment was to illustrate how difficult it is get to the second largest employment district in the County, Doral.  As I shared with my coworkers, this type of on-hands research is critical to understanding what types of problems we face in the planning industry (from transit to land use.)  Disturbingly, I know of several transportation planners who have never stepped foot on a public bus, let alone walked across a busy street and yet these are the people we designate to design our public spaces.

I cannot wait for my ride home – on paper it should only take an hour, if all goes well…

  • Farecards are coming and we couldn’t be happier. MDT will spend $72 Million to finally upgrade the transit fare collection system, phasing out the cash only system for a new high-tech card. However, on the downside, MDT is also looking to increase fares to $2 among other things in order to improve the federal ratings of the proposed North and East/West expansions…
  • Man who tried to commit suicide by rail this morning is alive and well, even after he was run over by 3 rail cars…
  • Ana Mendez performs a mini experiment and finds that walking around downtown is easier than driving (duh!) I find it shocking how many Herald reporters don’t use transit regularly…
  • The CITT has reversed its original decision to refuse the funding for new metrorail cars. We can likely kiss one (maybe two) of the original proposed extensions goodbye…
  • Downtown Doral is rising…
  • Rumor has it that the state is working on an incentive program to bring a new Hispanic owned airline to MIA as well as a reincarnation of Eastern Airlines…
  • Here is another no-brainer: Rising Gas Prices Lead to Increase in Public Transportation

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Local News:
  • Palm Beach County is looking to expand water Taxi service throughout the county to create multiple water transit hubs at key coastal communities. I can’t really foresee a water taxi service solving any traffic problems in any of the three counties until considerable advances are created on land-borne transit services first. As it is the existing service serves mainly as a sight-seeing tour, accomplishing little for our daily traffic woes…
  • The Everglades Restoration plan is behind schedule and quickly rising in cost, now estimated at nearly $20 Billion. Meanwhile, development continues to encroach as we keep decimating our novel ecosystem…
  • Merrett Stierheim has the right idea, Miami-Dade severely needs a reputable higher-learning research institution. Problem is, who is going to show the initiative to get such a monumental project moving?
  • One word: Recentralization. It’s happening and it is severely needed. Forget the suburban office digs in Doral, Blue Lagoon, or BFE (Ryder.) The time to create an urban, vibrant, and useful CBD is now…
  • Bids will be accepted soon to find a contractor to build the US Southern Command’s 700,000 square foot expansion in Doral. We’re working on finding a rendering of the new facility, designed by the local office of Leo Daly Architects.
  • New seats coming soon to the Gusman…
Blog News:
  • SOTP addresses the lame ordinance which bars limo companies and private car services from picking up passengers within an hour of their initial request…
  • Miami-Forum shows some “love” for the imbecilic public works department of Miami Springs…
  • Riptide 2.0 discusses the integration of Bikes with Miami 21…
National News:
  • How do you stop Sprawl? You Sue the cities which don’t comply with smart growth patterns, that’s how…
  • MARTA Plans a system wide review and possibly overhaul to make daily transit operations run smoother…

I just came across an old article in the Miami New Times, which discusses one of my most despised developments in Miami; the Ryder Systems Headquarters off of the turnpike expressway, on the edge of the everglades and civilization. I despise this project not only because of its location but because of what it is home to. The fact that one of the largest companies in the area and the nation would choose this site as its corporate headquarters is sickening. Its shows how little Ryder systems is concerned about Miami and how fickle its intentions to contribute positively to the urban fabric of our city really are.

It appears, much to my suspicions, that some sort of fishy land deal occurred, which allowed Ryder to sell their Doral digs and move west. The involved parties include no other than our own racial slurring state representative Ralphy Arza, as well as Shoma Homes Employees. The original plan was to develop the Ryder 45 acre parcel into, well, what would you know; a “Town Center” styled development. On top of being a complete load of BS, the development was slated to be “pedestrian friendly.” I guess these guys planned on attracting many of the pedestrians which walk from parking lot to parking lot in Doral.

Even more sickening is the way Masoud Shojaee, president of Shoma Development Corp., was able to pay off Ralph Arza $20,000 up front and an additional $30,000 once the zoning change was complete. So, now not only is Arza a racial slurring, voice mail leaving dirty politician, but, apparently his services can be purchased to influence the way our city is redeveloped. I propose we overturn the zoning changes and tear down the buildings which continue to push the development boundary westwards…

Bye, Bye, Ralph…

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