Currently viewing the tag: "South Miami"

The City of South Miami is home to more than ten thousand people and is a destination for work, play and shopping for thousands of more people across the Greater Miami area.

A city that is truly bicycle-friendly is safer and healthier for everyone - for people who walk, run, bicycle, drive cars or just simply spend time in the public spaces.

We the undersigned promote making the City of South Miami a League of American Bicyclists- recognized‘Bike Friendly City’. We support the Action Plan for Bicycle Friendly Communities (PDF)  and would like to see traffic calming in our streets so we may safely walk and bike for recreation as well as going about our daily needs. We also pledge to drive responsibly wherever we are to enable others to walk, bike and drive safely across South Florida.

We ask the City of South Miami Commission to make a nationally-recognized designation of ‘bike-friendly city’ a priority and to implement coordinated efforts across municipal government to make this happen.

Click here to sign the Petition.

Be Sure to check out the latest news on our Facebook page.

Shout out to our partners (and Bike SoMi’s) the South Florida Bike Coalition for creating the online petition. 

Come check out the South Miami Farmers Market Grand Opening, Saturday January 22, from 9 am till 2 pm, in front of South miami City Hall, 6130 Sunset Drive.

Vendors include a French bakery, the Indian River CSA , and a bunch of other very yummy and good-for-you food.

More information can be found at

Regurgitating some news here-mostly from the Herald- and adding a layer of commentary.

  • Bicycle Advocates, led by the Green Mobility Network are inserting themselves into the planning process in South Miami. Click here to catch up with the effort to make Sunset Drive more amenable to bicyclists. This is a worthy initiative, and one that has some direct spin-off from the work being already accomplished in the City of Miami.  Realtor Lisa Fox is states “We should be doing things like what the mayor of Miami did,” referring to Bike Miami Days as a potential event alternative to widening Sunset for Bicycle Lanes.  Agreed, but South Miamians should not be distracted, this street needs better access for bicyclists with lanes that could transition into shared use lane marking once entering the core of the city’s commercial district.
  • FPL’s attempt to place high voltage lines in South-Dade is  inspiring opposition. Beyond being a real blight on the landscape, and promising potential adverse health impacts, the present plan places the lines along the M-Path/Metrorail corridor. Yes, just what we need after finally getting some funding to fix this long neglected recreation corridor…I can see it now, the M-Path gets fixed only to be torn up by power line construction. Stay tuned and involved on this issue, its bound to be big fight. A “Residents Against FPL Transmission Lines” has been set up on Facebook.
  • It seems a large chunk of Miami-Dade’s stimulus money ($87 million)  is going to be spent on maximizing the size of the Dolphin/Palmetto Interchange. This one really gets under my skin. If you read the story(warning: the before and after images are shocking), the plan is to spend nearly 600 million dollars on fixing an interchange that when first built was ill-designed. While I agree the original design is dysfunctional, I am not a whole lot more confident that this time around the result will be any different. Indeed, years and years of research demonstrate that by adding capacity only induces demand as users who sought alternatives return to the system sensing it will be improved for the long term-a classic problem with conventional traffic engineering thought. Once completed, look for congestion to return within a year of completion. Oh, and the $180 million they spent on right-of-way acquisition likely takes formerly tax positive land uses off the roles. That means the cost is even greater for the taxpayer in the long run. Surely that money could be better spent on projects thatactually increase tax dollar revenue, improve access and mobility, and which do not further promote the unchecked use of fossil fuels. A few underfunded transit projects do come to mind, alas…
  • Finally, news from a city that is getting it right. New York City has officially pedestrianized Times Square. Click here and here for some livable streets porn.

I know it may not fully “count” for the Challenge, but I rode my commuter bike today to the South Miami Metrorail station. I ordinarily ride Metrorail to work downtown daily.  Since I typically wait in a long line of cars at Red Road to cross (southbound) U.S. 1 and drop off my daughter, today’s commute was actually a little bit FASTER than driving!  The July heat, however, did a number on the freshness of my business attire.  I hadn’t ever noticed they have really good bike parking at this station - it’s under constant observation by the Wackenhut dudes.  I wouldn’t envy those of you who had to find buses out to Doral though, much less having to cross the street or walk a block in what was practically a swamp just 10 years ago.

-Robertson Adams

For Part 1 of the South Miami Series, Click Here

I was driving west on Sunset recently and was rather pleased to see the addition of a Bike lane to a meager 2 block stretch of Sunset Dr. East of 57th Ave. Although the Bike lane isn’t considerably long, its a decent inroad to getting our local drivers and streets accustomed to sharing the right of way with alternative forms of transportation. The whole South Miami Business district should be repainted to include bike lanes. The inclusion of such alternatives would make the South Miami downtown a more pleasant place for people to navigate.Then I stumbled upon the largest eyesore the South Miami commission could have approved in the heart of its newly found business district: a parking garage. The commission foolishly bypassed the residential requirement for this mixed-use structure, meaning we’ll see one of the oddest combinations in mixed-use structures: Ground-Level Retail with a multi-story parking deck above. When walking around South Miami or Sunset Place, one is always quick to notice the amount of traffic in the area and the little amount of nearby residences. The South Miami business district would be a much more vibrant part of the city and community if some proper dense housing was finally incorporated into one of these projects. Side note: from where I took this picture, I was surrounded by empty parking lots, plenty of on-street parking, and the new HSBC parking Garage, looming in the distance were the also massive Sunset Place Parking Structure and the few hundred spaces incorporated into the whole foods market. Think getting to South Miami is difficult now? Just wait till these two projects come online…

With that, I turned my attention to a plot of land 2 block south of Sunset on 57th ave, originally slated for some dense apartments with some ground level retail but now under construction for some town homes. I could barely contain my excitement! Such a waste for such an integral piece of abandoned land so close to the South Miami Business District, Metrorail, and some newly incorporated Bike Lanes…

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Alas, with the demise of the Bakery Center in South Miami over a decade ago, the then proposed Shops at Sunset Place were to serve as the urban catalyst for the city South Miami. Now, eight years after Sunset Place opened, we have been able to see the less than stellar transformation the neighborhood has experienced along with the generally lackluster performance of the new mall.

The Shops at Sunset Place was designed as a mall in transition. The sprawling suburban mall concept was just beginning to fade away from the American landscape while the “lifestyle center” concept had yet to fully take off. Having witnessed the failure of the Bakery Center, Simon Malls was careful to not retrace the same steps, but by the same token, was reluctant to fully pioneer a new urban and real “lifestyle center.” Unlike its predecessor, Sunset Place was designed to be an open-aired Mediterranean community, incorporating former mall aspects like big boxed anchor tenants with street-level restaurants, faux cityscapes, and even a few residential units. The center was originally envisioned to be an entertainment center, but the quick failure of some of the theme restaurants and IMAX Theater, quickly changed intended target use. Since its inception, the mall has struggled to maintain a strong and lasting business base. This can perhaps be attributed to its awkward design, as I said earlier, as a mall in transition: too few apartments, too big of a parking garage for an urban center, but too small for a mall, near isolation from the surrounding urban area, and a terrible incorporation into the South Miami neighborhood and nearby public transit.

The Shops at Wasted Space Sunset Place has served as a catalyst for South Miami: bringing the worst urban planning ideas to an area that was once brimming with potential. The area will soon become the biggest conglomeration of public parking facilities I’ve ever witnessed. I walk through this area nearly everyday, somehow avoiding every Benz and Beemer which comes careening through the area in search of parking and jarringly unconscious of any pedestrian laws which might exist. Despite the area’s proximity to public transit, I have never seen such obstinate disregard for incorporating the metrorail with the urban area.

Now, rising in the heart of the area are two developments which will continue the neighborhood’s transformation from urban center to urban disaster. The map above shows the existing public parking garage structures in the area (Red circles.) The first catastrophic development, highlighted by the yellow circle is the upcoming Plaza San Remo (Where’s the Plaza?) with over 100,000+ square feet of office space and a 65,000 square foot Whole Foods Market. The complex, which is being advertised as: “A first-class Medical & Professional Condominium where South Miami, Coral Gables, and Pinecrest Meet” is rising just east of the most uninviting pedestrian façade of Sunset Place. The inhospitable surroundings of the blank walls of Sunset Place, Wendy’s drive-thru, and near chaotic activity along Red Rd. will almost guarantee that this complex will only be accessible by vehicle, so don’t let the pretty red awnings fool you, they aren’t there for anything other than looks. Most disturbing though, Plaza San Remo will contain: “Generous covered parking for owners and visitors – five spaces per 1,000 feet.” A lot of good those 825 spaces will do the area when the local streets area already at or near capacity and the building is less than a quarter-mile from the nearest transit station…

Highlighted by the blue circle on the map and about one tenth of a mile away from the transit station is the upcoming catastrophic restaurant/public parking garage facility. The 435 parking spot garage will sit above 36,000 square feet of restaurants including a Carrabas, Outback Steakhouse, and a “sport themed” restaurant according to city documents (Note the public concerns: “He felt that key points about safety in the garage were addressed such as proper turning radiuses for cars…”) Give me a break! What about the fact that the area can’t handle another 435 patrons cars or that a parking garage isn’t exactly part of the urban design South Miami should be looking for for the city center, all the public cares about is whether they will be able to drive their Hummer or Navigator through without getting a scratch…It looks like the only wait for a table for two will be on the two lanes of 73rd St

The Green lines on the map indicate streets which contain on-street parallel parking spaces. The orange circles highlight the local existing surface parking lot facilities. Aside from parking and food themed retail, the urban center is lacking any sort of residential identity. The city and County have completely neglected the fact that transit was originally intended to be incorporated into the urban center, a fact which will soon be realized as the South Miami streets become choked by the very traffic they were originally intended to attract…

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