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Front Page » Profile » Tim Meerbott: Cutler Bay Mayor plans for a community gathering site

Tim Meerbott: Cutler Bay Mayor plans for a community gathering site

Written by on February 25, 2020
Tim Meerbott: Cutler Bay Mayor plans for a community gathering site

Tim Meerbott’s first year as Cutler Bay mayor came at a pivotal time for the municipality. After more than a decade of operating in a space too big for its needs, the town’s government was close to securing a $17 million land swap deal to relocate its town hall and build a surrounding congregation space for residents.

The project – the deal for which closed last month – is one of many he hopes to initiate in his first four-year term. Others, aside from a potentially game-changing redevelopment of the space where Southland Mall now stands, share a common thread familiar to all Miami-Dade residents: traffic.

“I want to make sure we’re working with the Beacon Council, South Dade Chamber and ChamberSOUTH to bring employers to the community to provide relief, because while I can’t fix the traffic or build more roads, I can bring businesses here,” he said. “If I can’t do that right away, we need to do things to make our commutes easier. That means making sure bus rapid transit [on the South Dade Transitway] moves forward and finding ways to satisfy that last mile so people can get from their homes to the busway. It’s also exploring options like opening the bridges on 87th and 77th avenues so traffic can flow like originally designed and intended.”

To stanch further congestion, the mayor recently called for a building moratorium to help local policymakers examine the methods by which developers forecast traffic impacts.

Proposed developments must include traffic studies to show a project will not hurt roadway service levels. But because a developer itself is responsible for hiring the firm that conducts the study, the resultant figures may not accurate, he said.

“I believe engineers would skew their results in favor of the developer, so I’ve proposed going forward that the developer would pay for the study but the town would conduct it,” he said. “In addition, I insisted that the method used to grade a level of service on a roadway include not only the number of cars that pass through an intersection but also the speed they are traveling. If you look at speed and recognize the cars are only traveling at an average [low speed] rather than the speed limit, it becomes apparent the level of service for the roadway is poor.”

Over the nearly 15 years since Cutler Bay was incorporated, the town’s population has nearly doubled to an estimated 50,000 residents – a number, he said, that would earn him a seat on the influential county Transportation Planning Organization Governing Board.

“It’s important that everyone answers the Census,” he said. “With a seat on the board, I’ll have a much greater impact on making transportation decisions for the south to make sure the needs of our citizens are met.”

Mr. Meerbott sat down with reporter Jesse Scheckner.

The interview, recorded by Jahmoukie Dayle, can be viewed below.


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3 Responses to Tim Meerbott: Cutler Bay Mayor plans for a community gathering site

  1. Luz Ibanez

    February 26, 2020 at 7:32 am

    Mr. Meerbot, since you took over, I have seen quite a difference in Cutler Bay..and all are good and beautiful. Thank you for wanting our community to shine and to bring jobs to the community so the residence do not have to look for jobs elsewhere.

    The traffic is horrible, but it is all around Miami Dade..What is needed is less multi family development so our city stays “green”.

    Thank you and yours.

  2. Nancy McCue

    February 26, 2020 at 4:45 pm

    Cutler Bay has had dramatic improvements since incorporation 15 years ago, thanks to a lot of planning and efforts by the community and many of the elected officials. It’s not a new thing. I’m glad Tim Meerbott is continuing that legacy. It’s been the residents of Cutler Bay who continue to stand against poor development and have agonized over traffic issues that continue to bring out what’s best about the town. Kudos also to Meerbott for his efforts and the council. FYI, the population of Cutler Bay was 42,000 when incorporated 15 years ago.

  3. Jerry Johnson

    February 27, 2020 at 5:28 pm

    The Village of Palmetto Bay incorporated a couple of years before Cutler Bay and has had dismal dis-functional leadership since then, i.e., refusing the County’s fully funded 2004 request to widen 87th Avenue, refusing to bridge/connect 87th Avenue (also fully funded), approving the 5,661 apartment unit plus 1,500,000 square foot commercial in the less than one square mile Downtown Urban Village, then letting the D.U.V. moratorium expire which has resulted in nine applications in the past few months while knowing there would be no viable easy accessible, safe mass transit happening for decades. By (malicious?) design, the Village remains bottlenecked while concurrently drastically increasing traffic. Also, the Village Council chose Sacytr Construction over Acosta Tractors (who successfully completed the Cutler Bay infrastructure improvements) to do the Franjo Road improvements which seem to be an unmitigated not yet completed overbudget disaster. The bottom line suggests Mayor Tim Meerbott MERGE Cutler Bay with Palmetto Bay so Village residents would be better served.