Thursday, January 10, 2019

A much needed parking lot for transportation - Banyan Street lot - close the deal and open the Park & Ride lot. For the good of Palmetto Bay traffic relief.

This was one of my many priorities as Mayor. We were deep into negotiations with the owners of this vacant property for use as a direct lot for the misnamed Miami-Dade Transit Way (it's a bus way), waiting for a contract offer that may have been provided by now. The property address is 17280 S. Dixie Highway, Miami, FL 33157. This property is listed as 74,615 square feet, so I am calculating its usable space at 1.5 acres of land for parking.

I call upon the current Mayor and council to support this park & ride lot and bring it to operation.  I did have separate discussions with some members of the current village council on January 9, and asked both to negotiate smart on HRSR (I am confident that these council members will) as well as to keep in mind that the price set on the park & ride lot at HRSR will set a precedent for this lot as it risks setting set a corresponding price too large for Palmetto Bay to be able to afford (they were well on this point). 
Photo edit credit declined
This is a vision of what could be

I never, never, understood why Miami-Dade County Transit has never obtained this lot for use in transit (I'm sure they have their reasons - funding maybe?). I believe that this is one piece of property, one project, where Palmetto bay is forced to step up on where the County has not. How many drivers choose to cut through Palmetto Bay, through the neighborhood streets, creating much of the congestion that cause many drivers to divert into the neighborhood to avoid?

This Banyan Street lot is critical for the future of Palmetto Bay neighborhoods. A few points: 
  • This lot is large, so hundreds of cars can park there. 
  • It is actually on the bus line, so you walk to the bus for a pick up every 6 minutes (or the schedule for the time of day). 
  • Palmetto Bay commuters drive out of our village, not through it to reach transit. 
  • This lot is located in a location that actually discourages cut through traffic in Palmetto Bay. 
  • How many vehicles would be removed from roads running through Palmetto Bay (particularly 87th Avenue) if this lot was opened for commuters who would now have added incentives to ..., ready?  To actually 'park & ride'. 
  • This lot would be of great benefit to those living at or north of 211 Street in or west of Cutler Bay (the next large metrotransit park & ride lot).
I am posting photos that demonstrate why this current vacant lot, operated as transit parking, would have such beneficial impact to Palmetto Bay.
The photo, above left, is unaltered. I circled the actual transit stop in the photo to the above right in order to document how the transit stop is actually connected/adjacent to the large parking lot. No interim ride, no addition IBus trip, is required to reach transit. 

This lot could also serve as a stop for a south leg of another IBus route, bringing residents from south of 168th from Palmetto Bay neighborhoods to County Transit.

Final negotiations with the Manager remains ongoing (assuming this new council is supportive of this lot that we began work on in 2018). I have no update as to where it stands, if it is still standing at all. This project needs to close successfully sooner, rather than later, for the good of Palmetto Bay.

Whether efforts continue on this project deserves a public discussion at the very least.  This was a project that I was personally looking forward to completing and opening.  I call upon the current mayor and council to not lose this lot and assist the Manager to bring this lot to completion.

Thank you.


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