A press conference was held this afternoon at 1450 Brickell Avenue to announce changes to the upcoming FDOT resurfacing project. Mayor Regalado and Commissioner Sarnoff were present to make the official announcement that FDOT has agreed to reduce the speed limit to 35 mph from Southeast 15th Road and the entrance to the Rickenbacker Causeway. In addition, a new marked crosswalk in the 1400 block of Brickell will be added and all existing incomplete crosswalks will be completed so that pedestrians will have marked crossings on all four corners. Bike sharrows will also be added, but at a cost; FDOT plans to widen the roadway to accommodate sharrows. We love bike sharrows, but the roadway should not be widened to accommodate sharrows. We are advocating for the opposite; travel lanes should be narrowed to calm traffic.
The press conference was very encouraging. All of the elected officials present acknowledged that more needs to be done for all users on Brickell Avenue and noted that the improvements are only a first step. (We agree.) FDOT went further and said they would be willing to add more crosswalks if the Miami DDA agreed to pay for them, which the DDA agreed to pay for on the spot. There were even whispers of raised crosswalks being thrown around and the strong possibility that the speed limit would be cut even further to 30 mph. A 30 mph speed limit is more appropriate and would connect seamlessly to Biscayne Boulevard’s current 30 mph speed limit.
PS. We put the Transit Miami Eye to work yesterday looking for an instance of 30 mph limit on US1 in a Central Business District, and we didn’t have to look far.
A speed limit sign on Biscayne Boulevard and Flagler Street shows very clearly an instance of a 30 mph limit on U.S. 1 in the Central Business District… looks like a precedent to me. It also means that this line in yesterday’s Herald article is incorrect: : “That will make the entirety of Brickell 35 mph — the same speed as the connected Biscayne Boulevard to its north.” More to come…
From the Official City of Miami Agenda:
M.1 DISCUSSION ITEM
DISCUSSION RELATED TO THE IMPLEMENTATION OF MIAMI 21 ZONING CODE INCLUDING THE PROCESS FOR AMENDMENTS OR REPEAL AND PROCEDURE FOR CHANGING THE IMPLEMENTATION DATE OF THE MIAMI 21 CODE AND ANY NECESSARY AMENDMENTS
TO ANCILLARY CODE PROVISIONS.
This agenda item is being sponsored by Mayor Regalado, who only days ago confirmed to Transit Miami that the administration would not seek to delay implementation. What ever happened to transparency and honesty in government Mayor? What happened to “implemented on schedule”? Unfortunately, the lone Miami Herald article to cover this important topic over the past few weeks (by Chuck Rabin and Andres Vigglucci) was inaccurate and one sided, laying most of the responsibility on the commission, without acknowledging that that there is no commission sponsored agenda item on the subject. The only item related to implementation is this sneaky discussion item (sponsored by the Mayor). (Andres and Charles - what are you guys thinking??) The fact is that if this item does not get heard, then the commission does not need to do anything and the code becomes effective on the 20th of May.
Insiders have told Transit Miami that the last minute blitz by attorneys in reaction to the overreaching MNU amendments has re-energized both sides - and that another delay might be likely. In spite of the high probability of legal and economic consequences for our already cash strapped city, the mayor and the special interests that are pushing this last minute blitz may be looking to repeal the code altogether. I wonder if they have considered the profound economic impact of leaving our city with no effective zoning code while the commission, mayor and special interests get their way. Lets not also forget that the State of Florida, upon approval of the state mandated comprehensive plan that corresponds to Miami 21 (back in October of 2009), gave the city one year to make its zoning code compliant with the comprehensive plan. That deadline will lapse in October leaving the city in direct noncompliance with State growth laws.
Are these people really in charge of our city? With all the other problems that the city is facing, why are they going back and opening a can of worms that will cost the city dearly in lost time, economic development, and improved quality of life?? Remember what happens next Thursday at election time folks. The institutional memory of this commission might be short, but the civic memory of its constituents is not.
I received this email this morning from City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado regarding my previous post on Miami 21:
On the May 13th Agenda the only item relating to Miami 21 is a discussion item regarding the future amendments to Miami 21. As you may know Miami Neighborhoods United was left out of the process and they requested several amendments that this administration has been placing in different agendas. Some have been approved and some were deferred by the Commission. The ordinance is not in the agenda and neither the administration nor the City Attorney have any intentions to place it on the agenda. Miami 21 is for the residents and will be implemented on schedule. Please feel free to contact me if you have any concerns email@example.com
Tomas P. Regalado
Thank you Mr. Mayor!
Its official - Regalado will try to delay implementation of Miami 21 for another six months. I received this draft ordinance from an inside source:
AN ORDINANCE OF THE MIAMI CITY COMMISSION AMENDING ORDINANCE NO. 13114, PASSED ON OCTOBER 22, 2009, ADOPTING A NEW ZONING CODE, TO BE KNOWN AS THE “MIAMI 21 CODE”, FOR THE ENTIRE CITY OF MIAMI, FLORIDA, TO EXTEND THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF ORDINANCE NO. 13114 FROM MAY 20, 2010, TO JANUARY 2, 2011; AND ALSO TO EXTEND THE REPEAL OF ZONING ORDINANCE NO. 11000 TO JANUARY 2, 2011; AND EXTEND OR REPEAL, HOWEVER APPLICABLE, ANY ANCILLARY ORDINANCE IMPACTED BY THE ADOPTION OF MIAMI 21 AND THE REPEAL OF ZONING ORDINANCE 11000; CONTAINING A SEVERABILITY CLAUSE AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
WHEREAS, the City Commission, by way of Ordinance No. 13138, extended the effective date of Ordinance No. 13114 from February 19, 2010 to May 20, 2010; and
WHEREAS, the City Commission, after careful consideration of deems it advisable and in the best interest of the general welfare of the City of Miami and its inhabitants to extend the actual effective date of Ordinance No. 13114 from May 20, 2010 to January 2, 2011; and also to extend the repeal of Zoning Ordinance No. 11000, to January 2, 2011;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF MIAMI, FLORIDA, AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. The recitals and findings contained in the Preamble to this Ordinance are adopted by reference and incorporated as if fully set forth in this Section.
Section 2. The City Commission hereby amends Ordinance No. 13114, passed on October 22, 2009, adopting a new zoning code, to be known as the “Miami 21 Code”, for the entire City of Miami, Florida, in order to extend the effective date of Ordinance No. 13114 from May 20, 2010, to January 2, 2011; and correspondingly to extend the repeal of Zoning Ordinance No. 11000 to January 2, 2011.
Section 3. Correspondingly, the City Commission extends or repeal, however applicable, any ancillary ordinance impacted by the adoption of Miami 21 and the repeal of Zoning Ordinance 11000. If any section, part of section, paragraph, clause, phrase or word of this Ordinance is declared invalid, the remaining provisions of this Ordinance shall not be affected.
Section 4. This Ordinance shall become effective thirty (30) days after final reading and adoption thereof.
Can’t say I’m surprised. Given the many problems facing the City of Miami (and there have big problems) its a wonder to me that the Mayor would pay so much attention to a law that was already voted on and which has profound implications for the future of our city. Why reopen this wound now? This delay is not only bad planning, it is fiscally irresponsible. It will further destabilize land values, and push our city deeper into economic malaise.
Don’t think so? How can any real investment take place in a city where you as a landowner cannot be sure whether the city commission will suddenly decide to down-zone your property? Why would I invest in the City of Miami, where my property rights are based on the whim of the mayor’s judgment. No sir, I would rather take my dollars elsewhere - like Coral Gables, or South Miami, or any of the other dozen cities we have in Dade County. Or maybe I won’t bring my money here at all.
Commissioners: Miami 21 has been vetted. It has been vetted to death. Let it pass. By now, thousands of business owners and residents have made their mark on this code. It already belongs to the city. You will never get everyone to agree because our city is diverse - but we can stand by basic principles. Our code should prioritize walking, provide for active streets, and provide for better transitions to neighborhoods. Miami 21 does these in a way that 11000 cannot. For the simple reason that Miami 21 is a huge improvement over 11000 it should be implemented now.
Please contact your commissioner and let them know that Miami 21 is what our city needs.
Looks like we are close to the end of the Miami 21 approval adventure. You will remember that the code was set for implementation in January, but was delayed so that the new commission could make tweaks before the code becomes effective on May 20. As the commission holds its second reading for final amendments to the code next Thursday (May 13), the Mayor has sneakily inserted a discussion item related to “Miami 21 implementation”. This wouldn’t be alarming if it were not for this Mayor’s distaste for Miami 21 . After the ill advised down-zoning amendments to the code (sponsored by NIMBY group Miami Neighborhoods United) were voted down by the commission, I fear that the Mayor may be looking to abandon the code in favor of a new code rewrite. You will remember that MNU helped Regalado get elected, and he has repeatedly said that he wanted all of MNU’s amendments to be implemented (including down-zoning major corridors to T3). On the opposite side of the discussion, land-use attorneys are also clamoring for the code to be tabled because they know it will stop the developer give-away that has existed until now under code 11000.
City Hall insiders note that there is not enough time at this point to table the code past the May 20 date given advanced notice requirements, but I remain skeptical of the Mayor’s ‘discussion’. I hope that Chairman Sarnoff and the new members of the commission reject any possible political games being played by the Mayor at the expense of City residents. Continued shenanigans with Miami 21 will further hinder our economic rebound by keeping property owners and investors in limbo about the value and use of the their land, while also making Miami a less attractive place to live for professional, working-class residents.
Write to your commissioner to ensure that Miami 21 is implemented as re-scheduled for this month. Commissioners should remember that hundreds of supporters from all five districts came out during the approval hearings. Their call for a walkable Miami must be heeded.
(PS. If you comment on this and live in the City of Miami please identify your district!)
I call upon the residents of the City of Miami to join me in the observance of this important occasion that promotes an elevated quality of life; further, I urge the embrace of partnerships and programs that encourage bicycling as a physical activity.
Mayor Tomás Regalado, City of Miami
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