FYI Miami: November 19, 2020
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TRAIN “ENVELOPES”: An initiative to increase rail safety is now underway throughout Florida, with work on Krome Avenue, Biscayne Boulevard, Port Boulevard, Northwest 24th Court, Northwest North River Drive and Northwest 13th and 24th avenues in Miami-Dade already done. There and elsewhere, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is adding painted white X’s to show trains’ envelopes that, like yellow lines on Metrorail platforms, denote the areas near railroad crossings where motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians may be in danger. The pilot program, called “Operation Stride,” found 15% fewer vehicles that stopped on or too close to tracks. An presentation on the subject is to take place tonight (11/19) during a City of Opa-Locka commission meeting.
SAFER STATIONS: Following multiple attacks on Metromover riders that made headlines and prompted outrage, Miami-Dade commissioners directed the administration to allocate $10 million – including funds from the Cares Act – to beef up security at Metromover and Metrorail stations and to provide the county’s Real Time Crime Center access to station closed-circuit TV security cameras. During talks on the matter Oct. 6, Miami-Dade Police Director Freddy Ramirez revealed that station cameras had not been connected to live feeds when the attacks happened. “They should have always been hooked up,” said Commissioner Eileen Higgins, whose district encompasses Metromover. Twenty days later, Ms. Higgins thanked Joe Martinez for sponsoring the item, adding that Director Ramirez told her in subsequent talks that the cameras had since been connected, a development that could offset additional costs.
REIMBURSING RESTAURANTS: 17 Miami Beach restaurants have applied for a city program that could grant each up to $1,000 in reimbursement for fees charged by delivery services such as UberEats during the shutdown, and another 30 are currently in the application process. Rickelle Williams, the city’s economic development director, told commissioners last week that within five to seven days staff will begin to evaluate the nearly 50 applications and begin determining awards. Applications opened Nov. 1, and Miami Today previously reported that the program has a budget of $60,000 and a goal of helping 10% of roughly 600 potentially-qualified restaurants.
KIOSKS TALKS DEFERRED: Miami Beach’s Finance and Economic Resiliency Committee is to discuss in January plans to add interactive digital kiosks to high-traffic areas such as Lincoln Road. This was originally scheduled for discussion Oct. 21, and has now been deferred twice.