Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Leadership - pushing for a safety crosswalk to replace the stop signs that were removed by the County, not by or at the request of Palmetto Bay

The political campaigns are getting ugly and the truth is the first casualty. Conspiracies are used far too often to rile people up, but in the end they do nothing good for the community.  Here we go again. The latest conspiracy is from a district 2 candidate who I feel is trying to divide the community solely for the benefit of his campaign - this latest missive concerns a serious matter - the stop signs formerly at SW 82nd and 148th Drive in Mangowood.  Note that I am providing postings of actual e-mails to read and judge for yourself rather than merely telling you an opinion as to what they reveal.

The long-time stop signs on 82, at 148, were removed by the County on Friday, September 9, in the late afternoon.  This was done by the County, based upon their ongoing analysis and without input or request from Palmetto Bay (see e-mails posted below).  The County has advised that this is not specific to Palmetto Bay, but is an ongoing effort to remove signage that the County (not the municipality) deems "unwarranted".  Further - this same action has occurred in other municipalities including Pinecrest, Hialeah and North Miami.  To assist in your review, I am posting my e-mail statement and two e-mails from the County Public Works department below.

We are and should always remain a tight knit "Small Town USA" community; an oasis within greater Miami-Dade County. Let's work together to solve issues.

Please call me to personally discuss any rumors or campaign rhetoric you would care to discuss - at (305) 302-3713 (as many of you have - and I thank each and every one of you).  This is the same number I've used since I was first elected mayor of this wonderful village.

I may not be able to get the stop signs replaced, but I immediately began work on enhancing safety through championing the appropriate safety crosswalk for our community.  I ask my fellow council members to join in with me on this important effort.

I also ask that my fellow council members make their comments public where all can see and be fully apprised of their respective comments.  Backroom discussions only lead to miscommunications and rumors.  I sign my comments and I remain very public about my statements - for all, not just a select few to see.

Again, here are the facts, directly from the County, in their full, unedited original e-mail as to the Village of Palmetto Bay and/or their representatives: Lack of involvement of PBay in the stop sign issue at hand.  Click "Read more" below for more information and the posting of my complete public statement
A message to the residents from Eugene Flinn, Mayor of Palmetto Bay, Florida (posted both on the Official Village website and on the village Facebook page):

          To all Village residents- 
We have received notification from Miami-Dade County concerning the removal of stop signs at the intersection of SW 148th Street and 82nd Avenue. According to the Assistant Director of Traffic Services at the Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works, the County made the decision to remove the signs because the signs are not warranted and county policy is to “not have unwarranted signs, pavement marking, traffic calming devices, etc… throughout the county.” The Village has been advised that this is a countywide effort and other cities including the City of Hialeah, City of North Miami, and the Village of Pinecrest have also had signs removed. It is important for you to know that this was not a decision made by the Village of Palmetto Bay and without the awareness of our County Commissioner.

Our concern with removing the stop signs is the safety of our kids who cross that intersection on their way to school. County staff has indicated that they will look into the possibility of adding pedestrian signs or a crosswalk. Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava and I want you to know that we are working together to reach a practical solution to this issue and ensure that something is done to preserve the safety of our pedestrians, particularly our children. We are meeting next week to come up with options that can be implemented without delay.
Thank you for taking the time to read my comments and allowing me to bring you up to date on the situation as well as efforts to resolve this matter.

Very truly yours,

Eugene Flinn, Mayor


  1. Was this sent in error by the county, or perhaps a fake correspondence? It clearly mentions a request by the Village concerning the 4 way stop.

    Good morning Rick,

    In response to your request on behalf of Mr. Robin Bachin regarding the “All-Way” stop control at the intersection of SW 82 Avenue and SW 148 Drive, our staff has recently evaluated this location based on a request from the Village of Palmetto Bay.

    Please note that the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) was established by the federal government to provide a national standard for all traffic control devices installed on any street open to public travel. The evaluation of the previously collected traffic data in the area revealed that vehicular volume and other operational characteristics do not meet the minimum requirements established in the MUTCD for the installation of an “All-Way” stop control due to an unbalanced traffic flow. According to the MUTCD, the location should have a balanced flow to function effectively. However, the north/south traffic volumes on SW 82 Avenue are much higher than the east/west traffic volumes on side streets. As such, the installation of an “All-Way” stop control is not recommended at this location.

    Additionally, staff reviewed the traffic accident reports for the past three (3) years obtained from the Village of Palmetto Bay Police Department which revealed that this location does not meet the MUTCD criteria for an “All-Way”. Therefore, staff has issued a work order to remove the existing “All-Way” stop controls at the intersection of SW 82 Avenue and SW 148 Drive.

    Thank you.

    Claudia P. Diaz, P.E.

    Chief Engineer, Traffic Engineering

    Miami-Dade Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW)

    111 NW 1st Street, Suite 151

    1. The e-mail JPEG posted above address that e-mail. It is not a fake email, but was not factually correct. We are working with the County on traffic issues - but there was no request by the village to evaluate that stop sign. I posted the e-mail of 9/13/2016 from Darlene Fernandez, Assistant Director, Traffic Services, DTPW, specifically address the email from Claudia Diaz that you refer to. She clarified – that the “request” from the village was a requested traffic analysis about traffic calming initiatives like the roundabouts and speed bumps for the village. I trust this documents and clarifies the situation.

  2. Your letter above has the incorrect intersection, it's 82nd ave.

    1. Scrivener's error. I cannot change it since it has gone out - but I was clearly referring to 82nd and 148th Drive. Thanks.

  3. It's difficult for most of us to sift through all of this. One county e-mail is factually incorrect, yet the one you posted is correct. The second one, of course, supports your version of the debacle. I will shamefully admit that I enjoy reading the back and forth banter & accusations between you and the aforementioned candidate. Yet it's like reading tabloids at the Publix check out. One would surmise, beneath most of us, especially elected officials, but here we are. We're a tiny municipality that's turning into Trump vs Clinton. Many of us are disgusted by what's taken & taking place in our Village. I've been to several meetings & I'm appalled at how some of our elected Village officials conduct themselves. We are constantly reminded that as citizens, we're in the cheap seats and your council members are in the V.I.P. section. There's so much room for change & improvement which we all hope to see. I'm a 23 year resident of Palmetto Bay & love it here. We have another home on the Treasure Coast but spend most of our time here BECAUSE we love it. Please rise above all the pettiness and make our Village proud of the people we've elected. I can assure you. as of this moment, that's not the case for me. Thanks for taking the time to respond to the first comments.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment. I enjoy it. I try to stay above it all and you should know how invested I feel. It is most disappointing to hear of the rumors being put out there. I feel that I need to respond in this particular case and document by posting actual e-mails.

  4. Although this opinion is less than a week after the sign removals, I can say that my afternoon commute now (which I have done for over 3 decades) is much smoother and an easier pace. With the addition of marked crosswalks and appropriate signage it can be a win-win for pedestrian's and motorists alike.
    Jim Haas

  5. I am working with the County to make this crosswalk happen. A temporary sidewalk be installs very very soon. We are working on an outstanding crosswalk with the flashing crosslights and other devices/markings. Thank you Jim for bringing this up. Hope all is well.

  6. It has only been a few days, but in my 35+ years going this way my afternoon commute time has been noticeably lessened this week. The traffic flow is smoother and better paced. With some appropriate crossing signage and marking it can be a win-win for both pedestrians and motorists.