This billboard was recently erected at the corner of SW 27th Avenue and US-1 by the northern boundary of the Grove. What a bunch of garbage - it appears this sign is implying that true urban living (e.g. Brickell, Downtown) is inherently stressful, while the less urban nature of the Grove is some desirable suburban oasis that is stress-free. What is even dumber is that the Grove and Brickell/Downtown are all neighborhoods within the City of Miami; therefore, this billboard illustrates that Miami actually has it’s own neighborhoods competing against each other as if they were separate cities.

Perhaps this is emblematic of the hyper-fragmentation within Miami-Dade County, or perhaps it is a latent message via the Grove’s NIMBY force that longs for a neighborhood that more closely resembles a “sleepy little village” then a unique urban environment characterized by lush, tropical foliage, a rich history, and strategic location. Regardless, it’s definitely not the kind of message the City should embrace, especially given the current efforts to make Miami physically and operationally a denser, more traditional urban environment. Nor should it embrace it because one of it’s most popular neighborhoods is taking a shot at the City’s urban core, including its CBD and Financial District. Ironically, it is actually the denser environment that leads to less stress. This makes walking and taking transit much more feasible and friendly, which almost always means a less stressful environment than auto-dependent ones which happen to characterize much of the Grove.

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12 Responses to Misleading Billboards

  1. John says:

    I’ve got to say, I usually agree with you guys, but not here. I don’t think they’re advertising the Grove as “sleepy” as much as it’s harping on the same qualities/reputation that made it a thriving, walkable locale to begin with. It is harping on its “Old Florida” reputation of boats, fishing and palm trees (and WALKABLE village image) to attract business and foot traffic.

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  2. alesh says:

    Looks like the billboard was put up by something called the Coconut Grove Business Improvement Committee. I’d bet if it was a for-profit business it’d get cited for imitating a real sign.

    I don’t think it’s that big a deal, but Ryan’s analysis seems correct. Still, it’s sort of coolw.

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  3. Ryan says:

    Update: Yes, the billboard is paid for by the Coconut Grove Business Improvement Committee. A BIC is “an organizing and financing mechanism used by property owners and merchants to determine the future of retail, commercial, and industrial areas. The BIC is based on state and local law, which permits property owners and merchants to band together to use the city’s tax collection powers to ‘assess’ themselves” (Coconut Grove BIC website).

    Additionally, the Grove BIC is chaired by none other than Commissioner Sarnoff. Considering the nature of this organization, the billboard’s message really is not that surprising.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    I only agree with you partly. Let me explain. Although you are right about the Grove being part of the City of Miami, it differs greatly compared to the areas surrounding it, best example, north of US1. Yes, I do believe that in main avenues and streets there should be a greater amount of development, but single family and 2 family homes should also be preserved as part of the neighborhood. Otherwise, where would that beautiful, lush greenery go? All you have to do is look at what has been done on 27th Avenue between US1 and Coral Way… The buildings are nice and have added value to the community, yet, there is no way to walk down that avenue without having the sun fry your brain… It is so unpleasant that it leads to having people use their car more than those who live in the Grove. I disagree with you that the Grove is car-oriented. During the years I lived there I walked everywhere, and it was a very stress-free environment… Now, living on “the other side” (27th Av & 23rd St) I’ve found the area to be unfriendly to pedestrians and lacking any shade… It makes it ok to go out and walk after the sun comes down, but during the day you will not see anyone walking around except those who have no choice. My two cents: leave the Grove the way it is… Maybe 27th Avenue may use some good planning, but other than that it is a wonderful place to live and play…

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  5. Christina says:

    Maybe its time for a shift from a combative relationship to finding a way to work together for all common interests. Imagine how much we could accomplish if big corporations, and local residents found ways to communicate and problem solve instead of perpetuating and reinforcing differences.

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  6. Christina says:

    My previous post was supposed to include city governments in the equation of entities working together:

    Maybe its time for a shift from a combative relationship to finding a way to work together for all common interests. Imagine how much we could accomplish if big corporations, and local residents found ways to communicate and problem solve instead of perpetuating and reinforcing differences.

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  7. Adam says:

    your billboard pic isn’t showing up, so I’m not sure how I feel about it.

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  8. Michael Emilio + Miami Real Estate says:

    Ryan could you re-upload this? Like to check it out.

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  9. Gabriel J. Lopez-Bernal says:

    Can you see it now?

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  10. AC says:

    Wow. I’m really surprised that this sign upsets people. I thought the “stress” it was pointing to was driving on I95, and that the “relaxation” was meaning, take a little break in the Grove before you spend an hour on I95 driving where ever.

    So of course, I thought that the sign was hysterical because what could be more stressful in Miami then driving on I95? Driving on the Palmetto?

    Everyone has a different interpretation.

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  11. Ryan says:

    You’re right, AC, one could interpret the sign differently than myself. However, personally I don’t think the sign refers to I-95. I think it’s highly unlikely the sign would compare an expressway with a neighborhood.

    I think I should reiterate that I don’t have a problem with a neighborhood marketing itself, I have a problem with a neighborhood marketing itself at the expense of another neighborhood within the same city.

    Also, there is some symbology there, too. However, there are definitely much more important issues to put our energy into - I just wanted to point this out.

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  12. MidtownFreak says:

    I think the sign is being over analyzed; basically I see it as a reminder to the silly Downtown-Suburbs commuters that Coconut Grove is still a livable part of town that is minutes from the heart of the city.

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