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Front Page » Transportation » Plan to close Biscayne Boulevard lanes awaits state boost

Plan to close Biscayne Boulevard lanes awaits state boost

Written by on April 10, 2019
Plan to close Biscayne Boulevard lanes awaits state boost

The Biscayne Green project, sponsored by Miami’s Downtown Development Authority, may get a nudge this week if, as hoped, the City of Miami receives a letter of concurrency from the State of Florida.

Biscayne Green would close several lanes of traffic and eliminate some parking on Biscayne Boulevard from Southeast First to Northeast Eighth streets and create a grand promenade, as exists in many European capitals. In addition to connecting the city with Biscayne Bay, the promenade would include sitting areas, green spaces, and “activations” including art exhibits and activities that would invite people out of their cars.

But the Florida Department of Transportation requires a study to determine what will happen to traffic before it will allow the lanes to the closed, said Patrice Gillespie Smith, the authority’s senior manager for planning, design and transportation.

Funding has been set aside for such a study, and a consultant, T Y Lin, has been hired. What will trigger the process is the letter of concurrence.

“T Y Lin has a huge team, and they will study everything, as well as collect a lot of public input,” she said. “They’ll create a great model and help us present our case to FDOT.” The study process is expected to take about nine months, she added.

Even the Miami Parking Authority, facing an annual loss $1.5 million from the spaces that will be removed, is in favor of the plan. Last June, the parking board unanimously approved a new memorandum of understanding with the downtown authority. “We talked to the DDA about our role,” said Art Noriega, parking authority CEO, at that time. “This anticipates a very good working relationship with the DDA.”

He said then that both parties see opportunities ahead. “The future of Biscayne Boulevard will be radically different … this is a really unique opportunity for us, and the DDA as our principal partner.”

A focus will remain on income stream, Mr. Noriega told the parking board then.

“Whatever we lose from the median, we make up a little elsewhere,” he said of a redesigned boulevard. “Our goal is to minimize revenue impact.”

7 Responses to Plan to close Biscayne Boulevard lanes awaits state boost

  1. Gerwyn Flax

    April 10, 2019 at 3:29 pm

    This will not provide the desired results as long as any of the current parking lots remain on the blvd. The space should be used to create a grand plaza with lots of real art (as opposed to Wynwood art) that would welcome and encourage people to socialize and interact. Reduction of lanes work only in theory. What will happen with traffic when events are held at the Arena, Bayside or Museum Park?

  2. Jose

    April 11, 2019 at 9:18 am

    So true, but lets do it right more trollies and busses bike lanes and underground parking. Many have tried this and succeeded.

    Yes, we can!

  3. Gary Johnson

    April 12, 2019 at 7:22 pm

    They need to do underground parking similar to what Boston has done with the Boston Commons and other cities as well.

  4. Elizabeth

    April 15, 2019 at 3:49 pm

    I work in and am a resident of downtown. Closing lanes on Biscayne will just create more traffic and be more space for homeless people to junk up and use as a bathroom. The city needs to address the hygiene issue first. It smells like a toilet and is disgusting and dirty.

  5. Cully Waggoner

    April 16, 2019 at 12:38 pm

    Closing lanes of traffic in a high traffic area creates more gridlock. I’m all for more greenspace and areas like this. However, this literally right next to Bayfront Park. So why not add to elements from this plan to Bayfront Park instead? Probably, because Common Sense is not common in Miami. All this does is create a new pretty space for the homeless to sleep.

  6. James Livergood

    April 16, 2019 at 12:45 pm

    I feel bad for all those folks who spent a fortune on there condos just to live on one of the ugliest streets in Miami. What should be a focal point is an absolute eyesore. Designed for automobiles at the expense of people. Miami will never be great as long as they bow down to the car centic FDOT…

  7. Michael Holoway

    April 18, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    There are multiple complexities here, 1st, I agree that the concept of Grand Pedestrian Park – like, Boulevards that are common in European cities and places like Buenos Aires, are beautiful. However, I agree with the consequences that such a repurposing project would create. A) The homeless presence would only increase, with all of its issues. B) There are not enough roads already, in downtown Miami to accommodate the ridiculous traffic that already exist. I am a frequent visitor to Miami and embrace the idea of Miami as the Manhattan of the South. The skyline continues to evolve beautifully. That being said, there is definitely enough talent and $$$$ to make things happen in Miami, with a win -win outcome.