There is a great read today up on the MiamiHerald by Larry Lebowitz titled: Why OB is a Lousy Site for Marlins. Take a second a check it out, he voices many of the same positions we’ve been pushing here on Transit Miami… An excerpt:

Tri-Rail isn’t much of an option. It’s a pain to get from the Miami Airport Station to the Orange Bowl today. Even if Miami-Dade Transit created a straight-shot, game-day shuttle from the Tri-Rail station to the OB, how many baseball fans to the north would use it?

Metrorail will only appeal to hard-core urban dwellers. It’s a little over a mile — too far to walk for most pampered, crime-fearing locals — from the closest Metrorail stations on the north side of the river to the Orange Bowl.

Barring some unlikely seismic political changes at County Hall, no one will be trying to shift billions of transit dollars to expand Metrorail near the OB in the near future.

What about a streetcar that could shuttle fans from downtown transit hubs?

Right now, Miami Mayor Manny Diaz can’t muster a three-vote majority of commissioners to support a streetcar in downtown, Wynwood, the Design District and Allapattah — all on the opposite side of the river from the stadium.

A ballpark in downtown would be closer to I-95, Metrorail, Metromover, and a proposed light-rail system on the Florida East Coast corridor that one day could shuttle fans from Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

The economics and politics might be tougher, but an accessible, pedestrian-friendly downtown stadium makes the most sense.

-Larry Lebowitz

8 Responses to Marlins at OB, Another Bad Idea

  1. Anonymous says:

    I believe this is just another example of how lacking our transit system is in Miami-Dade. It’s time to step it up build light rail and mass transit and get a well connected county. So you don’t need to take up prime downtown space with a ginormous stadium.
    That area of little Havana would be ideal for a light rail line. I’ve said it before. I think if the City/County built a line going out there that would be better than contributing to a new stadium. Serious community redevelopment centered around transit projects.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    The idea that you have to build downtown because that is where the transit is, is asking the local governments not to expand transit. It is saying lets just use what’s there and not expand and make the system larger. Already people drive downtown instead of taking transit. You can’t build everything on top of the limited downtown area, there is so much room, to limit it to where the transit is now is foolish. Building more transit is the only solution.

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  3. Ryan says:

    Well, we’ve always felt like it’s the biggest urban planning no-brainer to put a light rail/streetcar line from downtown Miami to downtown Coral Gables (only a mere 3 miles and change by the way) via Little Havana.

    This would reap huge localized and REGIONAL economic benefits, provide reliable, high-quality transit to a series of communities that are already rather transit-oriented, as well as serve as a catalyst for investment in neighborhoods starved for such. Of course, this would make the prospect of the Marlins playing on the OB site much more digestible.

    However, this is Miami, and thus you must always factor in the toxic brew of political incompetence and NIMBYism that has the power to poison even the most fundamental projects. Sadly, I suspect any proposal to expand transit through LH out to downtown CG would fall victim to this poisonous problem plaguing Miami.

    If the Marlins do end up settling on the OB site, it magnifies the significance of the Midtown Streetcar several fold, because if that line is not approved, we can all but forget about transit through LH for the next several decades.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Aren’t there enough sporting complexes downtown. The OB is less than 3 miles from the old arena, and that is about a mile from the new arena. The AA Arena is hardly used as a pedestrian focal point, it is still auto centric even though it’s directly across from the metro-mover. Putting a new stadium next to the metro-rail won’t ensure that people use the metro to get there. It only takes up valuable space that could be used for something people will actually go to.
    The streetcar has worked in several cities and is a viable solution and would revitalize the whole of little Havana. Let’s see what the commissioners will do and how much vision they have for this area.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    I keep hearing the same argument from people who don’t want the OB downtown. Their argument is that it will take valuable space away from the CBD. Well that’s why it needs to go just Northwest of Overtown station, like I have been stating for months now. The space there is bordering downtown, its (not close but RIGHT AT) the metrorail, right at I-95 and best of all, the only thing it will be replacing are slum neighborhoods. I’m talking about the area due west of the NAP of Americas and the Madison. But on the west side of those FEC tracks and the Metrorail tracks. That’s the ONLY good place for it in the county.

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  6. Ryan says:

    It’s not the ONLY good place - the old location by Government Center would work just fine. The people saying “it won’t fit” are basing this on hunches and biases, not facts. It’s quite unprofessional actually.

    That area in South Overtown may be blighted, but the answer to that certainly isn’t wiping out several blocks and plopping a stadium down. We need affordable housing very badly, and I see that as being a much more appropriate use. If not entirely affordable housing, mixed-income housing would be great for that area. Miami is already so polarized socioeconomically - it can’t afford to continue developing this way, especially at its core.

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  7. FEC Corridor is needed now says:

    The FEC Corridor is the future of mass transit in South Florida. Decision makers should allocate time and money to this issue now. Projected cost estimates are $6 Bil to $9 Bil. But we get an amazing south-north corridor with 130′ or more of width going all the way to Palm Beach County.

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  8. No public money for private companies says:

    Professional sports stadiums in fact, all private companies should be funded privately. Let the Marlins pay 100% for their baseball stadium. For its 10,000 spectators per game.

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