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

11 11 Alton, Miami Beach

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.


Related posts:

  1. Alton Road, Part 1
  2. Alton Rd. Public Meeting
  3. Alton Rd. Public Meeting Followup
  4. 5th and Alton’s Intelligent Planning Measures
  5. New Bike Racks at the 5th & Alton Mall

11 Responses to Alton Road, Part 2

  1. Steven says:

    why should the city commission start listening to the residents now? they have already shown that they don’t listen to intreat groups or citizens with the whole BayLink fiasco.

  2. Kordor says:

    Last I heard all the alternatives that FDOT is proposing DO bank right-of-way width for future Baylink…in the parking lane. FDOT put the extra foot there so that no travel lane would be 12 feet wide, which would make drivers feel comfortable driving faster. So FDOT is actually looking out for Beach residents’ current safety and future mass transit.

  3. Steven says:

    Thats pretty much my point. Back when BayLink was going to be the next big project constructed, everyone was in favor of it, including FDOT, except the city commission.

  4. Kordor says:

    Because some were RACIST and thought they would get points for being RACIST from supporters who were RACIST! Now the Mayor is anti-Baylink because the overhead wires would clash with historic archtiecture, see Miami Today interview. Does anyone think that is really the Mayor’s reason? What is the real reason that reviving Baylink is not a top political priority?

  5. I C through U says:

    Mayor Bower, Dermer and Dermer’s stooge, A.C. Weinstein are the ones in power. We need to get rid of them. They are the one’s controlling City Hall and are the ones that keep the status quo, City Manager Jorge Gonzalez & Co. in power. All these people need to be removed from City Hall. They seem to think they can rule without answering to anyone.

  6. anon says:

    Where can a body read through the report and reconstruction proposal?

  7. JM Palacios says:

    maybe it will help to vote for Gabrielle for Commissioner. :-D

    anon, I have a powerpoint presentation saved as a PDF that shows the two alternatives. I think I downloaded it onto one of my computers when it was posted on the Miami Herald’s website. (Due to their stinginess, it’s long gone.) I’ll see if I can get it uploaded on here, since it’s FDOT’s presentation, not the Herald’s.

    I’m having trouble myself trying to get a copy of the report. The proper way to do it would be to contact FDOT District 6 and do a public records request. Contact them at info@fdotmiamidade.com and ask for a copy of the final PD&E documents for Alton Rd. I know certain things are exempt from public records, but I believe you should be able to get those.

  8. I C Through U says:

    I’m all for Gabrielle for Commissioner. However, the Communist party comprised of Dermer, Bower, AC Weintein, and Jorge Gonzalez, won’t even allow an election for Steinberg’s vacant seat this fall. We need to get rid of these people. Democracy does not exisist on Miami Beach.

  9. JM Palacios says:

    Download the PDF of a presentation showing the proposed typical section alternatives here. For anyone wanting more details, apparently the full report is available in City Hall or in FDOT’s District 6 office during the public comment period.

  10. Linda says:

    Thanks JM.

    Honestly, I’d rather a commercial street like Alton have wider landscaped sidewalks than bike lanes. As long as continuous north south bike lanes are established and respected, I don’t see why the lanes couldn’t be established on West avenue or Lennox. West avenue may be preferable to Alton road for bike lanes for the stretch of road under study. Although admitedly, a bike bridge over the canal would be a key provision of such an alternative.

  11. SaveYourSole says:

    Ride a Pedicab

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>