FYI Miami: October 20, 2016
Below are some of the FYIs in this week’s edition. The entire content of this week’s FYIs and Insider sections is available by subscription only. To subscribe click here.
SLOW IT DOWN: Miami city commissioners are considering a 25 mph speed limit on residential streets in single-family neighborhoods. Commissioners were to consider a resolution sponsored by Francis Suarez Oct. 13 to authorize the transportation department and public works to develop a plan for a 25 mph limit but deferred it to Nov. 17. The proposal says a lowered limit “will benefit the public safety, reduce traffic accidents and fatalities, and protect the quality of life of single-family neighborhoods.”
LONG-TERM PLANNING: The county’s Strategic Planning and Government Operations Committee last week adopted a long-range strategic plan as a vision to 2035. The plan includes metrics to track progress. Committee Chair Juan Zapata said the goal is to make this planning process “truly transformative” with long-range objectives well beyond the scope of the five-year strategic plan adopted in 2012 for daily operating decisions. For the long-range plan adopted Oct. 11, Mr. Zapata said, “we have reached out to over 50 organizations that represent business, educational, environmental and civic interests all over the county; by focusing our efforts on generating coordination and collaboration of all interested parties, we can create not just a plan, but a strategic vision that reflects the true values of our community and in turn directs the county to fulfill it.” Through this collaboration, Mr. Zapata said, commissioners hope to reach a consensus on five to six major areas on which this 20-year plan should focus. Mr. Zapata leaves the commission next month.
FUNDING THE ISLAND: The City of Miami has set aside money for Virginia Key. The city owns most of the barrier island, including Miami Marine Stadium, and has created an advisory board to guide its future. At last week’s city commission meeting, parks director Kevin Kirwin said the 2016-17 budget includes $200,000 for planning and $2 million for “island-wide” improvements on Virginia Key. Mr. Kirwin is an ex-officio member of the new advisory board. The most expensive item on the horizon is restoration of the idled stadium, with cost estimates of $35 million to $37 million. No decision has been made on how to raise those funds.
PARKLETS ON PUBLIC STREETS: The county commission’s Transit and Mobility Services Committee approved legislation last week that would turn parts of public streets and roads into mini parks. Sponsored by Commissioner Juan Zapata, the resolution would set policy in unincorporated Miami-Dade as well as municipalities within the county to create a “parklet” program. If approved by the full commission, the mayor will report monthly on the program’s progress.