It is universally recognized that the 87th Avenue Bridge is one of the most important issues of concern above affected Palmetto Bay residents. This post is in follow up to a PRIOR RELATED POST of May 18, 2021, Any updates on the 87th Avenue Bridge "fight"? Why are village officials not holding any public stakeholder town halls? The issues relating to the 87th Avenue bridge are complex. Palmetto Bay officials need a solid plan – worked out with public and expert involvement. Many are pointing to the litigation involving the Town of Miami Lakes against Miami-Dade County, filed to keep the NW 170 Street bridge closed to regular traffic. (Town of Miami Lakes v. Miami-Dade County, et. al. 2019-029261-CA-01). This case was dismissed with prejudice by order rendered October 15, 2020, after a hearing was held on September 29, 2020. CLICK HERE to read this 18 page order. Read, digest and draw your own thoughts.
After reading this order of dismissal, it is easy to see that the Palmetto Bay public was better served by the negotiation and collaboration between Palmetto Bay and Miami-Dade County during 2014-2018 on the local issues than the recent saber rattling and name calling and listless litigation.
Bask to the order and the greater issue of bridging affecting municipalities, several important points:
One is that the Court ruled that Miami-Dade County did not transfer its power to “provide and regulate” roads to the Town, ruling that
On the contrary, the County expressly “retain[ed] jurisdiction over traffic engineering matters within the territorial area of Miami-Dade County including within municipalities, except state road rights of way.” … “[t]he right and responsibility to regulate traffic and determine appropriate measures for and provide traffic control devices such as traffic signals, sign and pavement markings, including road closures or traffic-calming devices” …. (all Emphasis original from source) (Order dismissing complaint with prejudice page 11 of 18)
Another is that this case was also dismissed based upon the ruling of the Court that the Town failed to show that a permanent closure of the 170th Street bridge would be in the best interest of the public, the court determining the meaningful determination of who, or how many reasonably constituted 'the public' (Order dismissing complaint with prejudice pages 13-14 of 18) Here the court ruled that Miami Lakes erred by
… Substituting what it perceives to be the best interest of the Town for the best interested of the public. …This narrow conception of the public’s interest does not survive scrutiny, as the public includes residents and travelers throughout the County, not merely those within the corporate limits of the Town. (All emphasis added) (Order dismissing complaint with prejudice page 13-14 of 18)
Again, it cannot be overstated, the 87th Avenue Bridge is one of the most important issues of concern above affected Palmetto Bay residents. This is not a shoot from the hip issue. Where is the plan?
My ask to current Palmetto Bay officials, please don't go forward without a proper plan - and after discussion with, inclusion of ,the affected residents - those representing all sides of the issue(s).