Friday, November 8, 2019

Time is past due for a Public Meeting to engage and update residents regarding the SW 136th Street Project

Transparency and public involvement matters to those Elected Officials who want their fellow residents to trust their government. Residents should be able to expect transparency from their elected officials.

The time is long past due for our elected officials to update and involve our fellow Palmetto Bay residents on the Howard Drive "bike lane" project.  As background, please review  a PRIOR RELATED POST of January 25, 2017: Update on the 136 improvement meeting held at Howard Drive Elementary & Temporary Traffic Tables coming to Farmers Road during County Pilot Program. Significant information was provided then and an update is long overdue, especially as the wheels appear to have come off the tracks for this project.  Transparency counts.

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 (OK, I understand that the MEGA sidewalk may be reduced a 'mere' 8 feet in some sections). Regardless, 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. 

I am waiting to see how this MEGA sidewalk impacts the 136th Street student drop off in front of Howard Drive Elementary.  We need answers.

What happened to this project?  Other important questions include: 
  • Did any of our village council members work to change out the agreed to bike lanes to a 10 foot MEGA path placed solely on the Palmetto Bay side? And, if so, why wasn't the public updated. 
  • Or were they caught unaware? 
  • Why weren't our residents consulted in advance of this major change, did our representatives not know, or do their voices not matter? 
  • Is the MEGA path a 'done deal' or can our residents still have input? 
  • Which residents were provided inside knowledge and if so, why were other concerned residents neither not invited to meetings or at least provided a timely update?
And still, the current Palmetto Bay Mayor and other officials still remain unaware, or unwilling, to update the facts of the project as the Village Website continues to incorrectly mislead the readers that the "136th St. Improvement Project remains as follows:
136th St. Improvement Project
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.
(this is how the web notice reads as of 3:00 PM, Friday, Nov. 8, 2019)
CLICK HERE if you want to see if the website has been altered as a result of this blog post.
Screen shot taken 2:35 PM, 11-8-2019
Do you want to see what a 10 foot MEGA Multi-Path looks like? Please see a PRIOR RELATED POST 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
Will this be the new look for the Palmetto Bay side of Howard Drive?

 Other PRIOR RELATED POSTS of interest - part of your tool box of information relating to this process:

October 30, 2019, Pinecrest Wins, Palmetto Bay loses. Pinecrest Council discusses material changes to 136 St Bike Lane. Palmetto Bay may be home to a 10 foot MEGA sidewalk instead of a shared project.

EDITOR'S NOTE - There was no update on this project was provided (at least to the public) at the Palmetto Bay regular village council meeting of November 4, 2019. Why not?

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.

I will place any updates here when the long-overdue public input session is set and noticed. This blog has a way to nudge Palmetto Bay into action.

Eugene Flinn

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