FYI Miami: August 31, 2017
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.
VIRTUAL TRAINS FOR US?: Miami-Dade County should study using the new virtual trains that 2-year-old Chinese rail manufacturer CRRC Corp. Ltd. unveiled June 2, Mayor Carlos Giménez told a mobility study group at county hall last week. The mayor said he met with the company about the trains last Tuesday. The rubber-tire trains have sensors that can run on a roadway, detect the road’s dimensions and follow a route better thaxn buses yet work without a metal rail, reports say. Each can carry up to 307 passengers and go as fast as 40 mph. The Beijing company, the world’s largest manufacturer of rolling stock with more than 183,000 employees, hopes to roll out the trains in 2018. The system costs about $2.58 million per mile, far less than conventional railways. “This is something we need to look at, something spectacular,” the mayor said. (See Transportation Planning Organization looks at trackless trains, page 3.)
TRANSIT HUB TIME OUT: The county could complete negotiations in October with Miami Gardens Transit Village LLC to develop a site at Northwest 215th Street and 27th Avenue with a transit hub as anchor of county bus routes, a park-and-ride facility and a six-story hotel, a memo from Mayor Carlos Giménez to county commissioners revealed last week. The development is based on a county solicitation for the site. The county was supposed to report on the negotiations to commissioners in September but the developer asked for two months more after finding “site conditions that may constrain the surface area that can be developed.” The county has grant funding of more than $5.6 million available just for the transit hub portion of the project.
VIOLENT CRIMES INCREASE: Violent crime in the areas patrolled by the Miami-Dade County Police Department was up 5.15% in the first seven months of the year from the first seven months of 2016, a county report says. Non-violent crimes rose 2.33% over the same period. The murder rate rose more than 20%, from 44 murders in the seven months’ time last year to 53 this year. Rapes also rose more than 20%, from 237 to 286. Robberies rose 2.7%, from 814 to 836. The data cover only the county police department’s jurisdiction. Most of the county’s incorporated areas have their own police forces and their own data.
PARTY ON THE PLAZA: Coral Gables officially opens Giralda Plaza, the open-air dining and shopping space on Giralda Avenue between Ponce de Leon Boulevard and Galiano Street, with live music and performances at 7 p.m. Sept. 15. The plaza was created as a part of the Miracle Mile/Giralda Avenue streetscape that began in July 2016 and is expected to be completed by January, according to the project’s website. With the city’s encouragement, several restaurant operators have created or expanded their outdoor dining options to take advantage of the pedestrian promenade.