Currently viewing the tag: "Biscayne Times"

Check out this great article from the Biscayne Times about the history of the FEC lines and the current plans to adapt a track for regional commuter rail.

In all, the FEC’s north-south line passes through the downtowns of 28 cities and towns in the tri-county region, traversing one of the nation’s most densely populated and congested corridors. Hence the logic of studying rail-transit possibilities. “We got through phase one of the study,” says Scott Seeburger, project manager at FDOT’s District 4 office, “and now we’re going to go full force with phase two.” Phase one evaluated the environmental, social, and economic impacts of various transit technologies (rapid-rail, light-rail, streetcars). Phase two will analyze details like operations and passenger-station sites, resulting in a specific plan, which will be submitted to the Federal Transit Administration. If that agency gives the nod of approval to the project, the state will become eligible for federal funding. Engineering and construction could begin soon thereafter.

Pretty cool. They peg the cost as high as $5-6 Billion, and critics say that it would be more cost effective to buy new right of way and equipment for a BRT lane  along the same alignment. Don’t know if thats the best idea (considering the right-of-way is already there), but either way the key to building ridership is to change the zoning around the stations (in the way that MDT has tried to do in South Miami and Dadeland). You need to put alot of people within a short walk of the station. Lets hope this one moves forward soon.

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A recent article in The Biscayne Times discussed the possibility of Museum Park going back to the drawing boards, at least to a certain extent. I find it hard to believe that the debate over Bicentennial Park/Museum Park still goes on as some of the greatest architects in the world are currently designing museums for the space.
The complaint over rising expenditure will only be exacerbated by this continuous bait and switch over the future of the city’s greatest park, long since a derelict shame for the great city of Miami. There is a constant grousing over the lack of public waterfront access, and yet one of the proposed solutions would be to infill the waterway adjacent to the park, diminishing the waterfront footage by as much as fifty percent. The idea of using landfill from the tunnel project will push the execution of Museum Park back by years.
The park as it is designed now is a stunning example of dynamic urban planning. The structures of the two museums occupy only a small fraction of the green space of Bicentennial Park and will create a vibrant cultural intersection for this valuable piece of publicly held real estate. The current design gives the parkgoer many, many, diverse options to experience the waterfront and green space in a thrilling new downtown of exceptional design quality.

The selection of Swiss architects Herzog and De Meuron to design the new Miami Art Museum is a coup of historical scale. One only has to look at the success of the new DeYoung Museum, in the middle of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, to leave themselves craving the realization of such a park for Miami, now.The cultural campus being created by the trifecta of the Carnival Center and the two new museums will be absolutely world class. The fulfillment of which defines true great urban environments. I have walked by this park hundreds of times, mourning its potential and wondering if we will all live to see it come to its fruition.

Furthermore, as pointed out in a recent SSC posting by Rx727sfl2002, the park is to0 deep (distance from waterfront to Biscayne Boulevard) to ensure the security of parkgoers. The museums would provide lighting and security that would render the park much more user friendly even into the evening hours.As several of the exciting elements of the new downtown near completion it is unfortunate that Museum Park is still a distant reality. There will soon be a decisive moment in the growth of Miami and it’s perception by people around the globe. It would be a disservice not to have the greatness of this Museum Park as part of that moment, particularly when the process has very carefully come this far, under the watchful eye of those most qualified.

Terence Riley being named the director of the Miami Art Museum was yet another coup, whose enormous benefits cannot be understood at this early date. His time as the architecture and design director of MoMA in NYC and his overseeing the complete redesign and construction of that institution clearly show we are in for greatness in Miami.

As a member of the community who treasures the unique natural wonders of Miami, I can only hope that we honor and highlight those qualities with Museum Park and its museums as a scintillating backdrop.

Photo Credits: JamesGood, Marshall Astor/Life of the Edge, Kevotravel, The Tables Have Turned