Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Traffic, Mr. Beckham. The Traffic … by gimleteye

The other day I was listening to a UK radio program on football (soccer version) and the commentators were speculating on why Miami is such a fickle city when it comes to support for professional teams. The context was the David Beckham initiative to put a MLS franchise here.

I was tempted to respond as a twenty year Miami resident and sports fan who will not attend a professional sports event in Miami for one reason: traffic.

I was reminded last night, when I made the error of crossing from Miami Beach at 10 PM from the Venetian Causeway to get home in Coral Gables. The reason I took the Venetian is that the traffic on Miami Beach north/south axis is like a war zone.

I'd just spent half an hour looping along a few blocks of Miami Beach to show visitors from out of town, dropped them off near Lincoln Road. Rather than braving the congestion back south along West End, I decided to take the Venetian Causeway.

Big Mistake.

On the other side of the Causeway, the venues at the Performing Arsht Center were letting out. It took another forty minutes to get from west end of the causeway, across the exiting flow of concert go'ers and traffic, back onto 95 South.

The Miami police "guiding" the traffic appeared to have no sense or logic about the traffic flow.

The police aren't to blame for the traffic. The responsibility rests solely on the shoulders of the decision makers who zoned and permitted the mess of Biscayne Boulevard, the condo canyons, and -- hence -- the traffic. Start with the Miami City Commission and the unreformable majority of the Miami Dade County Commission.

Miami hosts some of the best known, most skilled urban planners in the world. Decision makers, the builders and Great Destroyers decided long ago to ignore them. Hubris.

When you create a place as hostile as Miami to getting from here to there, then put people in cars for a significant fraction of their waking hours in a city that is among the least affordable for middle class sports lovers, why would you then expect them to be fans of professional sports teams?


Geniusofdespair said...

Why are you always in Miami Beach?

Anonymous said...

David Beckham's soccer stadium should NOT be located on Dodge Island at PortMiami. A better site would be west of I-95 on 12-15 acres easily reached by fans from three counties. PortMiami space is needed by cruise and freight industries.

Anonymous said...

Typical Gimenez who thinks he has his ear to the ground on public opinion. Just impose your bad idea from your office which is 29 floors away from the ground.

How many taxpayers dollars and staff hours and consultant fees were already spent analyzing this port site and have plans drafted?

You are so wasteful.

Anonymous said...

Saturday afternoon -- I was stuck on 95 for an hour at 135th St. trying to visit an ill relative at a hospital in Fort Lauderdale. Cars were jumping across the toll lane plastic tubes all over the place. What a mess! I turned back and never made it. US Route 1 was a disaster all day. Is something wrong with the traffic light timing?

Anonymous said...

One small detail to overcome: the deed granting the property to the county where soccer stadium is proposed limits the land for Port purposes only. City of Miami or it's residents could sue the County for the property to revert to the City if deed restrictions are violated.

Anonymous said...

Good idea, but Mayor Tomas Regalado is too much of a coward to speak up. Highly unlikely Regalado will stick his neck out to defend City of Miami residents. Not likely any City of Miami commissioners will speak up. God forbid they speak "truth to power".

Anonymous said...

tuttle is the only way to get on and off the beach now

Anonymous said...

Does Miami really need one more stadium? Can’t we figure out a way to have a multi-use sports facility? Miami is a very fickled sports town. Attendance only is good with a winning team.
Not a good idea to add more traffic to PortMiami and create more congestion with cruise ship passengers. I thought the purpose of the tunnel was to reduce traffic to PortMiami. Arquitectonica designs are flashy but they have a reputation of being poorly constructed with considerable faults. I think we already have enough buildings designed by them already.
Miami has a proliferation of Arquitectonica buildings and Romero Britto sculptures and paintings. Its time they took their designs elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for the pitiful people who have to go downtown. I avoid it at all cost.

Anonymous said...

Beckham's handlers refuse to release a "traffic study". Hmm.