The New River and sailboats are inseparable. With naught but drawbridges in their way east of I-95 and Tri-Rail’s New River bridge, sailboats frequent that part of the river. Even the mighty US-1 bows to the sailboats by tunneling beneath the river.
A threat looms on the horizon, however. Passenger rail service on the Florida East Coast (FEC) corridor could mean a 55′ bridge over the New River, limiting the height of sailboat masts. According to a Sun-Sentinel blog post, Mayor Jim Naugle, a supporter of the FEC project, laid down the law, saying, “Thou shalt not restrict navigation.”
I fully agree with his desire to protect boat traffic. I was at a public meeting for the Sunrise Blvd. Bridge over the Middle River and saw the majority of attendees voice their support for a drawbridge to replace the current low fixed span. Despite the added costs, I would agree with them as well. When you see all its canals and rivers, you can understand why Fort Lauderdale claims the title “Venice of America”. But if they do not keep these canals open to boats, they cannot accurately keep the title.
Fort Lauderdale should vigorously protect the navigation rights of boaters. They must realize, though, that it comes at a cost. Just as a tunnel was constructed on US-1 at a much higher cost, a tunnel could be constructed on the FEC tracks for passenger service. The thing is, when the state cannot foot the bill for it, the city must be willing to pay for the expense. Throw another tax on the rich sailboat owners if you must. I’m sure they would rather pay more and keep their river open.
Photo by Flickr user scottlenger.
Consider the following excerpt from the Herald:
Miami-Dade voters strongly oppose spending tax dollars on a baseball stadium and other projects in a $3 billion public works plan, but would back spending on local schools, a new poll shows.
The survey of 800 Miami-Dade registered voters suggests the public is reluctant to spend local tax dollars for ”luxury items” during an economic slowdown, said Sergio Bendixen, whose Bendixen & Associates conducted the poll.
I’m going to go ahead nip this one in the bud before anyone grabs it and runs with it. The money (Note: vast majority, not all) earmarked for the Miami Megaplan is allotted for the sole use of the intended individual projects.
If Miami does not utilize the $500 million FDOT is providing for the tunnel project, the funds cannot be diverted to education, healthcare, or any other sector. FDOT will simply reallocate the funds to another or various transportation projects in other counties within the state. Our loss.
Now about the stadium. That funding, 90% of the county’s share according to County Manager George Burgess, is coming from the tourist and convention development taxes. Tax money, which once again, can only be used for programs that will stimulate more tourism within the Miami-Dade County area.
CRA Money? Care to take a guess? Yep. This money can only be used for the improvement of the redevelopment districts.
Now, before we start crying foul about the Miami Megaplan or any other infrastructure upgrades in these self imposed difficult economic times, perhaps we should stop and consider where this funding is coming from and what we are permitted to do with it in the first place. I find it rather irresponsible of Bendixen & Associates to perform such a rash survey without considering the complex funding restrictions.
Bendixen noted that the poll didn’t ask voters’ opinions of the projects, just the funding mechanism. ”Voters aren’t saying they don’t like the ideas, they don’t think these projects are good investment for tax money,” he said.
And clearly failed to consider how exactly these funding sources work…
Voters were even more opposed to paying for construction of a new museum park at Bicentennial Park in downtown Miami. The poll found 66 percent of respondents found it a ”bad investment” for the county; while 29 percent considered it a “good investment.”
Guess what folks? We had the chance to vote on this one already. We approved the bond deal that enabled its funding. Besides if we’re in such a dire need to improve our education, why not build these institutions of higher learning? Every great city has large museums to compliment the classroom components of learning…
“The tunnel will take noise off the streets but add noise to the water, thus ruining the experience along the bay walk and
. Imagine the noise of the trucks as they climb the incline as they leave Bicentennial Park Watson Islandand move toward and past Bicentennial Parkand the . This elevated noise will travel over water and neighborhoods ore then the street noise now. Carnival Center
At the least, sound walls would have to be studied and installed if the tunnel was to go forward or the bay walk and
will be a flop as no one will want to experience the noise traveling over the open water. Bicentennial Park
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 Islandbecomes quiet and an elevated park can be created on top of the tunnel way, linking the north and south sides of .” Watson Island
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:
- Tri-Rail Ridership is up 15% for the first six months of 2007. Making it the third fastest growing transit system in the Nation.
- MPO suggests running a commuter train from Dadeland North to Metrozoo along the unused CSX tracks (finally!) The plan also calls for two express bus lines to travel down Kendall to 167th avenue and the other along 137th avenue from Kendall to FIU.
- The FDOT is working hard to salvage the Port of Miami Tunnel plan after the city of Miami commissioners sabotaged it recently by not contributing their measly $50 Million share.
- A new 45 story tower could soon be rising in the CBD…
The newly renovated Seattle Transit tunnel will reopen to the public next Monday. After a $94 Million renovation and retrofitting, the final phase of the tunnel will be complete in 2009 when the Sound Transit LRT begins to fully utilize the tunnel instead of the current buses. Due to the reconstruction, a revolutionary precedent was set along Seattle’s downtown third avenue:
“Meanwhile, Third Avenue, which became a bus-and-bike street at peak hours during the two-year tunnel closure, will remain that way. More than 20 downtown surface routes will be shifted to Third Avenue, replacing 18 bus routes that will enter the tunnel.”
Miami-Dade County Approved the funding for the Port of Miami Tunnel…
”This project is morally wrong,” said Miami attorney Nicolas Gutierrez, who represents the descendants of a Cuban family whose property was expropriated by the Castro regime. One of the resorts that the Bouygues affiliate helped construct is on the family property in eastern Cuba.
But in the end, only Commissioner Javier Souto, a Bay of Pigs veteran, specifically mentioned the firm’s ties to Cuba in casting his vote against the deal. Also voting against the deal were Commissioners Natacha Seijas and Rebeca Sosa.
Meanwhile, the city of
After writing the first article, I obtained a copy of the latest MPO Freight Access report produced in February 2007 by Cambridge Systematics. In looking through the report briefly, the study covers all alternatives including: Port Truck Tunnel, Freight Train Tunnel, at grade train crossing,
Any guesses? I’ll be back with the second part of this article later today; the answer is certainly far simpler than the convoluted light barges up the Miami River option…
LISTEN TO THE LATEST TALKING HEADWAYS PODCAST
Find us on Facebook
Subscribe via Email
TagsBicycle Bicycle Infrastructure bicycles bike lanes Bike Miami Days Bikes bikeway biking Brickell bus Calendar Climate Change Coconut Grove complete streets Congestion Cycling Downtown Miami Downtown Miami FDOT MDT Metromover Metrorail Miami Miami-Dade County Miami-Dade Transit Miami 21 Miami Beach Miami Dade Parking Parks Pedestrian Pedestrian Activity Pedestrians Pic o' the Day Public Transit Rickenbacker Causeway Sprawl Streetcar Traffic Transit Transit Oriented Development Transportation Tri-Rail Uncategorized Urban Planning