And to add insult to injury, Palmetto Bay residents - get ready to spend over $500,000 of our own tax dollars to relieve Pinecrest of its shared burden on this bike lane project. And apparently, no residents were ever consulted regarding this change in project. If they were, they were insiders with special privileged access.
Let me preface some of my remarks with the statement that when I was Mayor, I kept a close eye on projects such as this Howard Drive Bike Lane Project, so I am not buying into any defense from the current Mayor and Palmetto Bay Council that they were unaware. The Pinecrest Council even discussed that this matter was to be discussed at a Chamber South Transportation Meeting (was Palmetto Bay represented at this meeting?). The Mayor indicated that this project had been changed to the 10 foot multi-path months earlier. Palmetto Bay is not advising its resents, in fact, the village website continues to describe the project as follows:
This project is currently under design. Improvements include minor widening of the roadway to add bike lanes on both sides of the road and milling & resurfacing the existing roadway. We are looking to replace the existing 5’ sidewalk on the South side of SW 136TH Street (Village of Palmetto Bay Side) with a new 7’ wide sidewalk. Other improvements will include pavement markings, ADA Compliant pedestrian ramps, and landscape improvements. This is a LAP Project between Miami Dade County and FDOT, and Village of Pinecrest and Village of Palmetto Bay are also stakeholders.The above was the Palmetto Bay project description as of 11:00 AM, October 30, 2019.
There is so much more to being an elected official than selfies and trying to break records for the number of proclamations that can be awarded.
Protecting your residents from having to shoulder 100% of a joint infrastructure project is one such example. People who feared loss of trees for a simple bike lane will now face a much greater impact from a 10 foot 'multi-use path' (a/k/a a MEGA sidewalk) in front of their homes. There will be much less room to park without violating the ADA by parking on a sidewalk. There will be significantly less room for trees. And I am waiting to see how this MEGA sidewalk impacts the parking and 136th Street parking and student drop off at Howard Drive Elementary.
I knew how the (then) planned bike lanes would impact, or how we could and would mitigate impacts to neighbors at all times while I was mayor. Does current Mayor Cunningham have the insight for this material change? If so, when were we to be advised? Monitoring the project and actually delivering on the promises are even more important that the conceptualization.
It appears that this current Palmetto Bay Council fail to read and understand their agenda; what they are voting on. (See prior post, link far below)
And now we see what happens to our residents when the same members of the Palmetto Bay Village Council fail to follow up and monitor projects in development.
How did the Pinecrest Council react? View for yourself. What bothers me the most as a Palmetto Bay resident? What I perceive to be the sheer glee exhibited by some of the Pinecrest Council which you can see at minute one of the video when the Pinecrest Manager reveals that the entire shared path is actually going to go on the Palmetto Bay side. The entire Pinecrest Village Council erupts in laughter that seem to indicate to me that they are relieved their community is now off the hook.
“Excellent!” is the excited utterance of Pinecrest Vice Mayor Anna Hochkammer (at 1:11) when discussing how the project is entirely withing Palmetto Bay.
Then there is what I feel to be a somewhat caustic comment at one minute, 11 seconds, “…those guys cannot organize a two car motorcade - they're going to screw this up." Is this comment direct to Miami-Dade County or Palmetto Bay? Decide for yourself.
00:00:37 Pinecrest Manager explained that the issue is that County has analyzed SW 136th Street - trees are going to be an issue. (Editor’s comment: Not for Pinecrest, but now only an issue for Palmetto Bay) 00:01:00 – Pinecrest Manager reveals that the entire shared path is actually going to go on the Palmetto Bay side [Laughter erupts and ensues amongst the entire Pinecrest Village Council – “Excellent!” – Pinecrest Vice Mayor Anna Hochkammer ( 1:11 )] 00:01:11 Impolite comment: “…those guys cannot organize a two car motorcade - they're going to screw this up." (Editor's Comment: does this refer to Miami-Dade County or Palmetto Bay?) 00:01:19 Pinecrest council discussed "pulling their million dollars back" - "It's now in Palmetto Bay, it's never going to happen" Redesign was created (1:45:30). 00:02:50 Pinecrest Council discussion, confirming that the County Commissioner is involved. 00:03:05 Mayor Corradino discusses bringing this project up for discussion at the Friday, Chamber South Transportation Committee (this would have been Friday, October 18, 2019). Pinecrest Council debate goes on in regard to staying involved as it will never happen if it relies upon Palmetto Bay alone. 00:03:15 One Pinecrest Councilmember asks a ‘legitimate question’ – why is Pinecrest paying $1 million when this project is now fully on the Palmetto Bay side? 00:04:05 Pinecrest Council in discussion, that they cannot pull out, the project will never get done if they do. 00:05:08 Discussion of Traffic Control devices on Old Cutler Road – preliminary plans were to include up to 2 traffic circles as part of the program 00:05:40 Note the discussion in Pinecrest on control over the art for the traffic calming - Pinecrest will control. (mocking Palmetto Bay’s past choices). Pinecrest Manager talks about how she pushed back with Palmetto Bay to maintain Pinecrest’s choice / control as a requirement of Pinecrest’s participation. 00:06:07 (to 6:26) Pinecrest Council laughing at the loss of Palmetto Bay Village Manager - mocking Palmetto Bay's Manager situation. 00:06:54 Pinecrest Manager states that the County has committed to new construction plans by February (2020) 00:07:30 Mayor mocks Palmetto Bay - "Wait till you tell Palmetto Bay, then all hell will break loose in Palmetto Bay because they (PBay) are doing something" (7:38) End of discussion on this topic – the meeting moves on to the remainder of the agenda.
RELEVANT MATERIALS - THE ISSUE 'TOOL BOX':
See prior posts of January 13, 2019, Taking a close look. A ten foot multi-use path proposed for around Palmetto Bay by a member of the Village Council - here is how it might look. Actual photos of a similar, if not identical design. Offering some Pros & Cons
October 29, 2019, Foreshadowing - for now, please review the Palmetto Bay Path conceptual Plan proposed by Marsha Matson, Palmetto Bay Councilmember, District 3, March 18, 2019. and
October 28, 2019, Village Council Chaos - Interaction with Village Attorney at a council meeting - Village Mayor & Council: You have been told repeatedly. You are the voting body. You have responsibilities of reading and knowing what you are voting on.