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Front Page » Communities » Plan rolling for Miami’s grand promenade

Plan rolling for Miami’s grand promenade

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Written by on April 16, 2014

Plan rolling for Miami’s grand promenade

It’s still a long way off, but plans to make Biscayne Boulevard Miami’s “grand promenade” inched closer to reality last week as Downtown Development Authority board members chose one design from myriad alternatives that have been studied over the past several years.

The plan they chose – which would affect Biscayne Boulevard from Northeast Eighth Street south to Biscayne Boulevard Way – would reduce driving lanes from eight to four or six, incorporating some parking but shaving spaces from 388 to 187, at an annual revenue loss of $1.2 million. It would replace a shared bicycle lane with a dedicated one, widen sidewalks, and create room for grass, trees and people. The cost for the medians is estimated at $24 million.

“We have an opportunity to create a grand promenade; there are not many other areas where this could be done,” said board member Jerome Hollo, who is vice president of Florida East Coast Realty. “This will be something great.”

A City of Miami traffic study concluded traffic impact would be minimal once the lanes were closed, authority documents note.

“People will take alternate routes,” said board member Alan Ojeda, who is president of Rilea Development Group, “Traffic finds its own way.”

It’s also hoped that adding greenery and public spaces would connect downtown with Biscayne Bay and make crossing the street safer for pedestrians.

“With fewer lanes to cross as you shrink roadways, traffic will slow down,” Mr. Hollo said.

Eventually, there might be opportunities for kiosks to be set up. “Activate the middle,” suggested board member Alicia Cervera, who is managing partner of Cervera Real Estate. “Food and beverage are crucial.”

Next, the authority must get the Florida Department of Transportation to agree to reduce the lanes, then work with the Miami Parking Authority to trim the parking spaces and reconfigure what’s left. The plan calls for some parking to be available at off-peak times only.

The development authority must also work with Miami-Dade County to redesign the intersections, develop a phasing plan, then submit construction documents to all relevant agencies, and – certainly not the least of the challenges – identify funding for it all.

Still, “This is the single most important capital improvement for downtown,” said authority vice chair Neisen Kasdin, who is office managing shareholder at the Akerman law firm. “Biscayne Boulevard is not a good pedestrian experience. And with thousands more people moving in, it’s critical to address it.”

4 Responses to Plan rolling for Miami’s grand promenade

  1. David

    April 16, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Doesn’t say what design they chose.

  2. DC Copeland

    April 17, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    In a city that is close to gridlock every day, may I humbly suggest that narrowing the lanes and removing parking on Biscayne Blvd is NOT the solution to creating Miami’s “Grande Promenade.” Moving the northbound lanes westward into the space now used by the parking island would be the best way of creating a people-friendly Grande Promenade– and bringing Bayfront Park closer to the people living and working downtown. In this plan Bayfront Park would replace the current northbound traffic lanes. Finding new land for parks in downtown Miami is pretty much impossible but suddenly, acres and acres can now be added to the existing park, bringing it closer to the skyscrapers fronting Biscayne Blvd. In the linked rendering at http://bit.ly/1j1ecBY, royal poinciana trees are planted along the new western boundary of the park. This affords a beautiful and natural buffering zone between the hustle and bustle of Biscayne Blvd and the tranquility of the park. And since this will be a major endeavor that will take months to complete, the plan champions the idea of building an underground parking garage blocks long where the northbound lanes use to be. This would take place at the same time the northbound lanes are being moved into the parking island space. It’s possible thousands of cars could be parked there underground and out of sight.

  3. kevin

    April 21, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    Bad idea nyc is like that. Removing parking will cause commuter congestion w /drivers looking for parking because there is less spaces. This also always parking vendors to sky rocket prices dont be fooled floridians they will not benefit your every day commuter only tourism.

  4. Kristi

    June 20, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Biscayne is already gridlocked as another poster mentioned so removing even one lane would have a serious impact on traffic. Would love to hear more on the “alternate routes” that drivers will magically find as the developer suggests. The streets to the west in the downtown area don’t run all the way north so they are not viable alternates (and they are also gridlocked at only 1-2 lanes) and there are no streets to the east…
    And while it’s a lovely thought to have a more pedestrian-friendly promenade, no one is addressing all the extra cars/vehicles/traffic that will come with all the new construction (from another article in this edition of Miami Today: “There are 49 projects with a total of 16,843 units in the preconstruction phase in the greater downtown area, according to data compiled by Cranespotters.com, a website affiliated with the Miami Association of Realtors that tracks condo preconstruction projects in South Florida.
    http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/05/28/49-downtown-high-rises-set-start/ )

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