Friday, April 25, 2014

Having a hard time getting to and from Miami Beach? Line up, here! … by gimleteye

The half billion repair job to hold back the rising seas on Miami Beach has tested the patience of residents and visitors for what has been a necessary but unpleasant traffic experience on Alton Road. My God, when the Heat are playing, when the Performing Arsht Center is tuning up, and the Miami Art Museum: the traffic on 195 can be mind-numbing.

God forbid anything else should happen to make driving worse on Miami Beach. Oops, it did!

Recently a Miami-Dade bus nearly fell through a hole in the bridge, causing a temporary repair (think, band aid made of sheet iron) and a plan to shut the entire Venetian Causeway bridge system down, in pieces.

Sophisticates of Miami who travel to or from the beach will appreciate that dealing with traffic requires a strategic mind and quick thinking. Depending on direction and time of day, one could figure on three possible avenues of entrance / exit: 195, 395, and the Venetian Causeway. Traffic tries to squirt out through the path of least resistance, but the hope to squirt a little faster just got stomped on with news of the Venetian Causeway planned closure.

Finding the fastest way to South Point, or the middle beach, or north beach, did not always mean taking the straight line or nearest bridge. For example, getting to South Beach from the south, in the early evening, on the causeway by the old Miami Herald site (gone!) could be a nightmare and has been, with the river tunnel project creating massive backups. Combined with the Heat and Performing Arsht Center crowds, sometimes you just wanted to be anywhere but Miami. Sometimes I've gone as far as the bridge at 40th street to get down to South Point instead of the bridge that drops you right at the Point.

This betting sometimes worked. Sometimes not. Now the closure of the Venetian Causeway, plus the limited access on Alton Road because of repairs everywhere, means that about half the options for avoiding traffic delays getting to South Beach are pretty much gone for the foreseeable future.

Drivers, start your engines and hold them in park … and park … and park.


Anonymous said...

I am a Miami resident, and used to frequent Miami Beach. It is completely off my list of destinations now. Instead head to Coconut Grove or just stay in my own neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

I think stay in you own neighborhood is the option of many Miamians. No one wants to deal the added stress associated with moving from one sector to the other. Because of this we are crippled as a major functional metropolitan area. The key is finding work in your neighborhood. If that issue is resolved, with the use of the Internet, the pain of moving around the metropolitan area will disappear.

Gimleteye said...

These points both ring true.

Anonymous said...

I've cut way back on driving to Miami Beach.

Anonymous said...

If Miami Beach had a elevated rail line that could curb traffic and allow another option to getting to the beach. The proposed street car will only add to the traffic nightmare. Maybe Miami Beach residents and elected officials might use logic and give elevated rail to the city.

Anonymous said...

The rumor is County Mayor Gimenez is pandering to retired soccer player Beckham and his handlers. Wait and see if Gimenez proposes giving away 24-36 acres of PortMiami? How will local pol Bruno Barrerio vote? Beach Commissioners hate the idea of soccer at the Port.