City of Miami Commissioners will be voting today on ponying up their paltry $50 million share of a nearly Billion dollar plan to tunnel from Watson Island to the Port of Miami, providing direct highway access to the facility. We’ve discussed (See: Port Part 1, Part 2) how we prefer a rail option to be sought for the port first, however, given the strength of the trucking lobby it’s only natural that plans move ahead for a vehicular tunnel. The tunnel, rail or not, is a vital link to Miami’s second largest revenue generator and a necessary piece of infrastructure to help reform downtown Miami’s streets. The sidewalk cafe, pedestrianized urban environment will be completely impossible to achieve unless we remove the thousands of trucks and buses which currently traverse the downtown streets.
I received an email with a different opinion:

“The tunnel will take noise off the streets but add noise to the water, thus ruining the experience along the bay walk and Bicentennial Park. Imagine the noise of the trucks as they climb the incline as they leave Watson Island and move toward and past Bicentennial Park and the Carnival Center. This elevated noise will travel over water and neighborhoods ore then the street noise now.

At the least, sound walls would have to be studied and installed if the tunnel was to go forward or the bay walk and Bicentennial Park will be a flop as no one will want to experience the noise traveling over the open water.

I would be far better to create a tunnel cap over all of Watson Island instead of having a cover just over the portion of the new truck tunnel as it comes up out of the ground on the east end of Watson Island. That way Watson Island becomes quiet and an elevated park can be created on top of the tunnel way, linking the north and south sides of Watson Island.”

- Steve Hagen

A Sound wall on a bridge? This is the problem with suburban thinking in an urban setting. Steve clearly has never visited an urban park. I cite the serenity offered by Brooklyn Bridge park which is wedged between two high traffic bridges (Manhattan Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge) leading to New York City:

Alesh Brings us the Port Tunnel Commercial…

Write to the commissioners and tell them you’d like a new, cleaner downtown free from port traffic:

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