Posts by: Community Commentary

A Message From Horizon 2060:

A Statewide Transportation Summit will be held August 19 and 20 in Orlando on the future of transportation in Florida.

     At this event, all interested partners and members of the public will have an opportunity to provide input on draft language for the 2060 Florida Transportation Plan and to help kickoff an update to Florida’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan. To help us plan and prepare accordingly, please click here to RSVP online.

     Thursday’s event will include roundtable discussions and electronic voting to build consensus on draft goals and objectives to be potentially included within the 2060 Florida Transportation Plan. A preliminary meeting agenda is posted online, and additional materials will be posted as soon as they become available. * Please note. If you are unable to attend the Summit, the draft goals and objectives will be posted online in survey form and available for comment. A reminder email will be sent the day of the event with links to these surveys.

When: Thursday, August 19 from 1pm to 6pm — with a focus on the draft 2060 Florida Transportation PlanFriday, August 20 from 9am to 3pm — with a focus on the update to Florida’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan
Where: Hyatt Regency Hotel, Orlando International Airport. There is no cost to attend and you may register the day of either meeting.
     For questions regarding the 2060 FTP please contact Huiwei Shen. For questions regarding the Safety Summit please contact Marianne Trussell of the Safety Office.

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Please be advised that the Planning Advisory Board (PAB) voted for a continuance of the public hearing on the Draft 2010 Evaluation and Appraisal Report (EAR), to formulate its recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners (BCC). The continuance of the PAB public hearing will be held on Tuesday, August 10, 2010 at 9:30 AM in the Miami Art Museum, at 101 West Flagler Street, Miami Florida 33130. The Miami Art Museum is located across the street from the Stephen P. Clark Center and adjacent to the County’s Main Library.

The complete draft 2010 Evaluation and Appraisal Report (EAR) is now available for review and posted on the EAR website at http://www.miamidade.gov/PlanZone/ear2010/eardocuments.asp. Chapter 1 describes the major issues, Chapter 2 contains an evaluation of the individual eleven CDMP elements, and Chapter 3 reviews the special topics as detailed in section 163.3191, Florida Statues including the evaluation of roadway impact methodology. Chapter 4 summarizes all proposed recommendations from Chapters 1, 2 and 3.

For information about the EAR, the schedule of activities or the EAR process, please contact the Miami-Dade County Department of Planning and Zoning, Metropolitan Planning Section at 111 NW 1st Street, Suite 1220, Miami, Florida 33128-1972; or call (305) 375-2835.

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I had to stop to talk to Lance yesterday. Lance was born with out legs and it doesn’t seem to bother him.  He casually told me “I never had legs, so I don’t know what its like to have them”. He’s completed multiple marathons using his skateboard and trains on the Rickenbacker Causeway.  Unfortunately, he could not train on the Rickenbacker Causeway yesterday because a big tree was knocked down a few days ago during a storm, blocking the bicycle path and his access to train.

Its difficult enough being a healthy pedestrian on Brickell, I can only imagine how Lance must feel. Lance should be an inspiration for all of us.

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Source: http://sdotblog.seattle.gov

Miami Dade County has about $1,000,000 to invest on bicycle infrastructure improvements. Sharrows are a great option, especially when the roadway isn’t wide enough to accommodate a bicycle lane. Please contact Collin Worth, (305-416-1022) Bicycle Coordinator for the City of Miami, and let him know where you would like to see sharrows. There is a caveat; the speed limit of the road must be less than 35 mph for sharrows to be considered and it must be on a city or county road, however it cannot be a state road.

The County Public Works Department has approved the use of sharrows, FDOT on the other hand has not.  Please send Gus Pego, District 6 secretary, an email and ask FDOT to approve the use of sharrows immediately on state roads.

You can also leave your suggestions in the comments section.

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Who said public transportation isn’t fun?

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Be in the know; join us on facebook. Please tell your friends about Transit Miami.

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Busted!

Busted!

Some cyclists just don’t seem to get it. Why do some continue to run red lights in Key Biscayne; especially the Crandon Boulevard and Harbour Drive intersection which is extremely dangerous?

Kudos to the Key Biscayne P.D. for rightfully enforcing the law; recently I have seen more and more cyclists respecting red lights in Key Biscayne. Unfortunately, there are a few bicyclists that give us all a bad name.

For some reason there are bicyclists that believe a special set of rules has been written for them while they are on the bicycle.  I can assure you that no such rules exist. Grow up and start respecting the rules of the road.

Keep up the great work KBPD!

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I’m not sure whose job it is to take care of this, but this palm is long overdue for a pruning.

While we’re at it, perhaps we can erect the SE 11th Street sign which has been lying besides this palm, in a neglected vacant lot, for the past 6 months.   The missing street sign has already been tagged with florescent orange spray paint, yet nothing has been done to replace it. How long does it take to replace a street sign?

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The proposed roadway design for Euclid Avenue from 5th Street to 16th Street will be discussed at the following two upcoming meetings. It is extremely important that as many members of the bicycling community attend these meetings in support of the proposed bike lanes on Euclid Avenue.

CIP Oversight Committee meeting, July 12, 2010, 5:30pm. City Hall, 3rd Floor - Commission Chambers.

Historic Preservation Board meeting, August 10, 2010.  9:00am. City Hall, 3rd Floor - Commission Chambers. If a time certain are provided, I will let you know.

Not only are the bike lanes in jeopardy on this important North-South corridor in South Beach, but the entire project to improve the drainage and enhance the sidewalk and landscaping on Euclid before the end of the year will be yanked if a strong show of force for the proposed streetscape, that includes two bike lanes, is not approved.

The storm water management upgrades, the underground work needed for this street, is proposed to be funded through stimulus money.  This means the work must be completed in the ground by December 31, 2010 for the work to be eligible for federal reimbursement.  If the neighborhood continues to fight for the removal of the bike lanes, the City has stated that if controversy still exists after these two hearings, or if HPB does not approve the streetscape with the bike lanes, there will not be enough time to complete the project before the deadline. The City has no other way to fund this project now, and will not take this on.  Millions of dollars of improvements are at stake!

Other than the NIMBY cry of “We just do not want the bike lane in our neighborhood” there is no reason to stop this important project.

BUT YOUR VOICE MUST BE HEARD!

As the agendas and staff reports become available for these meetings, I will send them on to you.  In the meantime, please send an email to the Chair of the CIPOC, Commissioner Saul Gross at saul@stream-line.com and urge him to keep his personal promises and implement the Atlantic Greenway Master Plan, which includes bike lanes on Euclid Avenue.  Please also send emails to astohl@miamibeachfl.gov and MichaelBelush@miamibeachfl.go for the meeting of the HPB, with your views in support of the bike lanes for that body.

Thank you for your support.

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Ok, so we here at Transit Miami have to jump on the LeBron James bandwagon too, but not because of basketball. Our boy LeBron seems to like bicycles. He acquired a minority ownership stake in Cannondale a few years ago and The King had this to say about his business venture:

Biking is an extremely important part of my training routine, and I like to invest in what I know”.

Smart guy; we like him already.

LeBron also sponsors a “King for Kids Bike-a-thon” in his hometown of Akron, Ohio every summer.  Check him out here:

Bienvenido a Miami El Rey!

The cycling community looks forward to working with you.

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We already know that pedestrians have a rough time in Miami, but it doesn’t help when we can’t even maintain our crosswalks properly striped.  I guess we should feel lucky that we even have a barely recognizable crosswalk here. Many intersections in downtown and Brickell don’t have crosswalks. This picture was taken in front of the Brickell Metromover Station, perhaps one of the most utilized Metromover stops on Brickell Avenue and SE 14th Street.

Yes, that's a crosswalk.

Unfortunately, we here at Transit Miami were unable to attend the Cycling Town Hall meeting hosted by Commissioners Ralph Cabrera and Carlos Gimenez.  If you were able to attend please use the comments section and let us know how it went. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

A special thanks to Commissioners Ralph Cabrera and Carlos Gimenez, as well as the County Public Works Department, for holding this very important meeting.

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Some bad economic news was reported yesterday. According to the New York Times article new home sales dropped by 33% in May:

The new housing market has never been this bad, at least not since the government started tracking such things in 1963.”

New homes declined by a record amount in May to a new low.”

In a separate report, New Urban News reviewed William Lucy’s new book, Foreclosing the Dream: How America’s Housing Crisis Is Reshaping Our Cities and Suburbs. Mr. Lucy is a professor of urban and environmental planning at the University of Virginia.

According to New Urban News, Lucy’s analysis of data he collected suggests:

• “As the percentage of households with children declines, and that of singles, empty-nesters, and elderly increases, housing demand will increase in cities and inner suburbs, and demand in outer suburbs and exurbs will level off or decline nationally.”

• “Suburban decline will accelerate in middle-aged housing, but that won’t be uniform; demand for housing in some inner suburbs will rise.”

• “Demand will increase for transit serving more areas more frequently.”

• “Demand for more mixed use and walkable neighborhoods will increase, and prices in these areas will escalate as supply lags behind demand.”

He (Lucy) rejects the idea that rapid, continuing, outward development is inevitable because of the nation’s growing population and a scarcity of room for development in cities. If we choose to make it happen, he says, “a tremendously high proportion of our future growth as a nation could easily occur within already developed areas: in, or on the edges of, big-city downtowns; on busy corners of city streets away from downtown; and in new urban villages close to high-speed transit stations in suburbs.”

How each region responds to the challenges of transit and development will vary, producing contrasting results. Greater Atlanta and greater Washington, DC, illustrate the two extremes, in Lucy’s view. “Washington, DC, and some suburban cities and counties planned for transit-oriented development, and use of transit rose to the second-highest level in the United States,” he notes. “Atlanta’s transit use lagged, which may be one reason why Atlanta has the most declining suburbs in the country.”

The gap between city and suburban growth has narrowed dramatically. From Foreclosing the American Dream: How America’s Housing Crisis is Reshaping Our Cities and Suburbs

I don’t think the decline in new-home sales is a total anomaly. New home builders, particularly those that build single family homes in new suburban and exurban communities are going to have a difficult time going forward. Real estate developers that focus on infill and mixed use development as well as TOD should perform better. We are reaching the tipping point; people are leaving the suburbs and returning to the cities.

Transit Miami received this email regarding Euclid Avenue from Gabrielle Redfern, on behalf of BASIC (Bicycle Activists for a Safe, Integrated City)

Another day, another bicycle facility on the chopping block in the City of Miami Beach.  Current plans call for dedicated bike lanes on this road when it gets reconstructed in the nearer future. Even with out the new curb and gutter that the avenue is programmed to get, this 70 foot behemoth of a local road could benefit today from a little TLC, in the form of a small coat of paint, say running down each side of the lanes of traffic to narrow the car roadway to slow traffic and make more room for bikes.  But no.  The neighbors will have none of it!

Long story short:  what say you?  If you cannot make it tomorrow, no worries.  This is just the first skirmish in what looks like a long war, and this battle will pay out in other conference rooms, and perhaps the Commission Chambers before all is said and done.  BASIC objects to all this plan revision in the City of Miami Beach that involves removal of bicycle facilities.”

The extra large lanes, with no bike lanes, currently encourage a speedway effect from the foot of the Macarthur to Lincoln Road.  Few lights, very residential, no trees, it is the perfect street to use in your car when traveling north south, avoiding Alton or even the scenic park-side Meridian. (If you never knew, and I blew it for the neighbors, I am sorry.)  Something needs to be done, that is certain. I spent much time riding it yesterday, and this road is ugly, unsafe and hot! And thank God plans are in the works to make it so much better.  But reconstruct a roadway, with 70 feet of ROW and not add dedicated bike lanes?  Bike lanes currently called for in the City’s own Master Plan?  That is what the Flamingo Park Neighborhood Association plans to argue for in their streetscape sections before the committee on Wednesday. No bike lanes on Euclid Avenue.

To be fair, the neighborhood is proposing extra wide sidewalks they think will be good for sharing between pedestrians and bicycles.  However, we disagree on this, the nature and manner of providing for bicycles.  They see bicycles as recreation only.  BASIC demands bicycles be given equal attention to cars in the transportation grid.  We need a complete street that accommodates pedestrians, bicycles and cars.  In that order.  On that, the neighbors and I agree.  How we get there, well, that is another battle brewing….

So how do we meet them halfway?  (I pray daily to avoid war with folks I respect and admire).  In the hope we can come to common ground, BASIC proposes a street section that includes two foot swales in front of all properties; providing for 12-foot sidewalks, clear of signs and other obstructions; a five foot street-side swale for landscaping and signage; two, one way, 15 foot travel lanes, with sharrows, separated by a two foot landscaped median. Currently all properties program right up to the sidewalk.  Providing those landowners with two feet of green space running the length of their property will increase their property value.  It would make for a beautiful street, in our opinion.”

MIAMI BEACH MAYORS BLUE RIBBON COMMITTEE ON BIKEWAYS IN MIAMI BEACH

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 23, 2010 2:00 p.m. (although this item may be a time certain 3:00 p.m)

MAYOR’S CONFERENCE ROOM

FOURTH FLOOR MIAMI BEACH CITY HALL

666 17TH STREET

MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA 33139

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