Saturday, October 30, 2021

Another blatant violation. The dates may change, but the violations remain the same. Shared path – ha! It’s a delivery / parking zone.

When was I last apprised that the Old Cutler Trail was blocked by a motorized vehicle? Last week.  See: October 24, 2021, Special post - Video of the day. The Old Cutler Trail: a shared path. Would you walk or ride through a loading zone? No. But then why would you use a shared path as an unloading zone? Is there any enforcement?

Is there any village enforcement? Do any of our current elected officials concern themselves with providing a handicapped accessible path? Obviously there is no concern for the ADA anymore in Palmetto Bay.

The car parked squared in the center wasn’t enough. The icing on the cake is the wide open door. The driver was nowhere to be found. There was plenty of parking off the path. This appears to be a deliberate choice.

Shame on the current Palmetto Bay mayor and council.

You want shared paths? Then enforce rules that make paths safe. It is not up to cyclists to police the paths like a pack of 'boomer Karens'. The SW 136th Street Path is not even complete and already … it’s a parking space! Seen on SW 136th Street on Friday, October 1st, 2021. Hey, Sue, I guess the cyclists have more room in the lane when the cars 'take the path'! See: October 2, 2021, Special post - Photo(s) of the day. Reader submitted photos of the Palmetto Bay designed shared path. Or is it a car park? 

Friday, October 29, 2021

Have a happy and safe weekend. A Florida cold front coming - another reason to get out and enjoy the outdoors. No excuses, enjoy!

A cold front up north = snow

The same cold front in Florida = temperatures below 80.

The question is not "what am I going to do this weekend." The appropriate question is "how many miles will I ride".

We are blessed with outdoor weather year around. Don't squander the time! Get out and enjoy our South Florida native environment.



I wonder if Dr. Seuss was a cyclist?

Oh, the Places You'll Go!

by Dr. Seuss


Today is your day.

You're off to Great Places!

You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.

You have feet in your shoes.

You can steer yourself

any direction you choose.

You're on your own. And you know what you know.

And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

You'll look up and down streets. Look 'em over with care.

About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."

With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,

you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any

you'll want to go down.

In that case, of course,

you'll head straight out of town.

It's opener there

in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen

and frequently do

to people as brainy

and footsy as you.

And then things start to happen,

don't worry. Don't stew.

Just go right along.

You'll start happening too.



Thursday, October 28, 2021

Update – why the Ventanitas are important. This issue is becoming more about truth in government than what kind of coffee you drink and where you get it.

Credibility is important. Facts are facts. Palmetto Bay would rather engage the social media crisis managers rather than taking the issue on responsibly.  I was shopping for my mother earlier this week at the Publix located at 7805 SW 40th St (some may remember this location as where the Tropicare Drive In Theatre and weekend swap meet were once located). The photos of the walk up windows at Publix is what is being debated in Palmetto Bay:

How are the walk up windows so offensive to some that they want to ban them in Palmetto Bay?
Who sees a threat in a ventanita? What problem was being solved in enacting the ban on walk up window sales?

After looking at the pictures and after assessing the controversy created, what Palmetto Bay officials may want to now say is: Oh, you wanted a ventanita, we thought you wanted a walk up sales window! Why didn’t you say so in the first place?

But seriously, a ventanita is simply a walk up window. Vicky’s Bakery asked for one and was denied - that is an undeniable fact. Vicky’s Bakery is an established local business with several locations in Miami-Dade County, one with a successful track record that is willing to invest by opening at what has recently become a revolving door location. 

It's not easy to bring in a local business with a solid tract record. It is much easier to drive them off. Long time locals will remember that Vicky’s Bakery is now located where Ranch House, Flamingo’s, Coopers and others once tried to make a go of it. Why can’t this current mayor and her administration try to encourage the success of a new business? Why do they have to make it hard to both open as well as operate a business here? Are they that excited about new businesses that they want to see more revolving doors?

HINT: There is a problem if you are cutting a grand opening ribbon every few years at the same location.

Let’s look at the fiction being spun in order to deflect from the issue; the claim that  --- one can get Cuban coffee in Palmetto Bay – so what? Who said you can’t buy or drink Cuban coffee in Palmetto Bay? I can and do get it, both at home and out. That has never been an issue. However:

The truth and the issue: You can’t get your coffee (of any variety) or any other item when purchased through a walk up window. A ventanita is a walk up window.

The spin put out by the village officials as well as their social media allies is both ridiculous and disingenuous

Again, take the time to view as this just a 21 second video clip – watch it for yourself.

Can we just see this current mayor and council own up to the issue and make it right?

Are the mayor and the council unaware as to what they voted on or are they desperately dog paddling for air to deflect, deny and escape what they have done?

More people are now watching this current mayor and council and that is good. We will continue to separate fact from fictional spin. This is government and it must be held to the standard required in the Village Charter. See September 23, 2020, Palmetto Bay Charter - Citizens' Bill of Rights - requires Truth in Government by our elected officials and employees.

Stay tuned. Demand truth in government.

For more background and additional details, see the prior related post of October 26, 2021, Facts are important. Claims from Palmetto Bay elected officials and staff, stating that Ventanitas are not “banned”, do not appear to line up with the experience of Vicky’s Bakery, the updated ordinance or staff presentation at the hearing. Read/see for yourself.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Facts are important. Claims from Palmetto Bay elected officials and staff, stating that Ventanitas are not “banned”, do not appear to line up with the experience of Vicky’s Bakery, the updated ordinance or staff presentation at the hearing. Read/see for yourself.

Credibility is important. Facts are facts. Are the mayor and the council unaware as to what they voted on or are they desperately dog paddling for air to escape what they have done?

What am I talking about? Well, it has been the talk of Miami, starting with the article in the Miami Herald - ‘Either stupidity or racism’: Is Palmetto Bay really trying to ban Cuban ventanitas? By Samantha J. Gross and Carlos Frias, 10/22/2021: Miami Herald subscribers can read more at:

The facts are telling.  The herald quotes a staffer who denies that Ventanitas are banned alleging that:

“They have never been prohibited, and they are not prohibited now,” Community and Economic Development Director Maria Pineda told the Miami Herald. “We just have to take a look at parameters, just like we look at parameters for outdoor seating.” Ventanitas can be pivotal to Latin bakeries’ success.

Hold on there – is this true? So then does Vicky’s Bakery have a Ventanita? The Herald reporters checked in with Vicky Bakery CEO Pedro Cao who stated that:

Vicky Bakery had to work around a Palmetto Bay rule that didn’t allow for a walk-up window when it opened its village store two years ago. The owners had to build a window 2 feet inside the building, behind double doors, hurting visibility from the street, Cao said. (bold emphasis added)

There are many who would argue that a window placed 2 feet inside the building is NOT a Ventanita.

Is a Ventanita important?

“About 25-30% of a bakery’s business comes from the walk-up window, said Vicky Bakery CEO Pedro Cao, who has a franchise in Palmetto Bay. Often the window is a major draw for people driving by who see it and decide to pop in for a quick coffee or pastry. “

So who is reporting or telling the truth? What was said at the meeting? What was presented in writing?

It appears that their purpose was very specific. It says that all sales shall be inside the establishment and walk up sales windows shall not be permitted. It is the use or consumption of merchandise that shall not be permitted except by conditional use approval. So this looks to be very clear that in the B 1 limited business district, the walk up windows are specifically banned.

A conditional use application would not apply as “…walk up sales windows shall not be permitted.” It does NOT say that walk up windows require conditional use approval. Nope  - “not permitted.

Page 35 from the agenda is pictured at the bottom wiht an excerpt posted to the right. A 21 second video clip of the staff report is embedded below. Please watch the excerpt. The 21 seconds are VERY important. What I hear is that staff is clearly stating that walk up windows are banned consistent with council request. Again, walk up window, as opposed to drive through windows. Please listen for yourself.


If not the B-1 zoning district, then how about the B-2 zoning District? B2 also includes a ban as walk up windows are not listed uses (items 1-14 additional to those uses permitted in the B1 district). Walk up windows are not listed under accessory uses or conditional uses (limited to items 1-4). "Prohibited uses include all uses that are not specifically listed in the section." I don’t see how or where Ventanitas are permitted in either of these zoning districts.

Facts are facts. What did the ordinance say? Here is the applicable page from the zoning hearing where this ordinance was approved on second (and final) reading. It was approved 5 – 0. It will be important to review the final ordinance, signed into law by the mayor and clerk as well as the meeting minutes. You can be sure that all these documents will be reviewed by the public with a very detailed fine tooth comb.

For now, I see a ban, no chance for a conditional use, and a need to totally revise this inartfully prepared ordinance. I see that Vicky’s Bakery in fact does NOT have a Ventanita in direct contradiction of the statements made to the Miami Herald Reporters.

Everyone is watching this current mayor and council. We will separate fact from fictional spin. This is government and must be held to the standard required in the Village Charter. See September 23, 2020, Palmetto Bay Charter - Citizens' Bill of Rights - requires Truth in Government by our elected officials and employees.

Stay tuned.

Monday, October 25, 2021

Apartment People - a serious issue slipped in within the jokes. Applicable to "Ventanitas"?

Sometimes the meanings are hidden within clever jokes. Great show on several levels. 

This episode was a trigger - I've heard code words used in Palmetto Bay - "renters" or "Ventanitas" and then hearing they had nothing against "renters" but rather, "we simply are a Village of owner occupied." Nice try, but not entirely true. 

This video takes it to another level - and comes out swinging stating what some people stop short of saying, at least what they say publicly. What they think may be another matter.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Special post - Video of the day. The Old Cutler Trail: a shared path. Would you walk or ride through a loading zone? No. But then why would you use a shared path as an unloading zone? Is there any enforcement?

Another day, another violation on a shared path in Palmetto Bay. This is a safety issue.

I ask you, would you allow children to walk or ride bikes and scooters around trucks in a loading zone? Of course not. Then why would you allow multi-paths to be used as a parking/unloading zone, especially at a time and on a day when you expect children to be riding this shared path?
This is yet another example as to why I fight for bike lanes, not shared paths. Multi-paths are too easily misused by vehicles for either parking or even driving. And please, I've heard that I should call the police, not post on social media. Not buying that. I'm out riding, not patrolling. We have police patrolling. In my opinion, this is a clear and obvious violation of the multi-path (no motorized vehicles) as well as an affront to the ADA. You want shared paths? Then enforce rules that make paths safe. It is not up to cyclists to police the paths like a pack of 'boomer Karens'. The SW 136th Street Path is not even complete and already … it’s a parking space! Seen on SW 136th Street on Friday, October 1st, 2021. Hey, Sue, I guess the cyclists have more room in the lane when the cars 'take the path'! See: October 2, 2021, Special post - Photo(s) of the day. Reader submitted photos of the Palmetto Bay designed shared path. Or is it a car park?

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Sat 10-16-21 Update on 136th Street Shared Path - take the virtual ride via 3 videos that demonstrate the status of this project

Video I (3 minutes, 54 seconds)- starting he journey from the furthest point currently paved west end - moving east 


 Video II (3 minutes, 3 seconds)- Moving eastward from 77th Avenue:

Can one ride a bicycle on the existing standard sidewalk, aka, was it really necessary to spend $1.8 million to widen the existing sidewalk from the standard 5 feet to 5, 6, 8 or 10 feet in odd areas? Let's find out in video III.

Video III - (52 seconds) riding the existing standard size sidewalk that remains (for now) eastward to the end at Old Cutler Road:

PRIOR RELATED POSTS on Shared Path Comparison - the Red Road Linear Path in Pinecrest as well as the Cutler Bay Shared Path. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

RIP Sad to learn of the passing of Lloyd Hough, a true pioneer of Palmetto Bay, devoted family man and public servant.

I offer my heartfelt condolences to the friends, family, co-workers and acquaintances of Lloyd Hough. I was saddened to learn of his passing. Lloyd was a part of Palmetto Bay history. It was my honor to see him appointed to a committee and work with him as part of the start up of Palmetto Bay.

Lloyd served on one of Palmetto Bay’s first official committees – the Public Service Advisory Committee; created to address all aspects of police and fire services as well as to give immediate priority to the development of service levels for police services. See Palmetto Bay Resolution 02-19, approved November 25, 2002 - our very first year of incorporation (our first month of meetings as a Village Council)

Photo credit: Miami Herald
My sincere condolences to his family, especially to his wife Nikki. Thank you for his valued service to Palmetto Bay.

 The Miami Herald posted an article detailing some of Lloyd’s accomplishments. Subscribers can click the headline to read the full article: Retired detective who investigated River Cops and Cocaine Cowboy murders dies at 85, by Charles Rabin, 10-18-21. 

It was reported that his public service included 13 years as a homicide detective in Miami-Dade, investigating some of the county’s most high-profile murders. Among them, homicides connected to notorious Ricky Cravero and his gang, believed to be responsible for as many as 40 executions.

He also worked the infamous Miami River Cops case among his numerous high profile cases.

May his memory be a blessing. I will always remember Lloyd as a pioneer of early Palmetto Bay.  Thank you Lloyd for your invaluable service to our community.

Monday, October 18, 2021

UPDATE: Series on Multi Paths - looking at the Red Road Linear Park Path. How it compares to the Palmetto Bay designed 136th Street project.

This video is part of a series examining multi use paths in our area. I plan in comparing the Old Cutler Trail, the Cutler Bay Shared use path, the Pinecrest Red Road Lineal Park Path. All compared with the current Palmetto Bay designed Shared Path now under construction on SW 136th Street. 

Many of you may be familiar with this Red Road Linear Park Path. It was originally created under Miami-Dade County and later nurtured and maintained by the Village of Pinecrest. Compare it with the JPA shared path that Palmetto Bay designed for SW 136th Street.

The Red Road Linear Park Path is a 2.5 mile lighted walking/bicycle path along the Snapper Creek Canal on Red Road. There are three rest areas accented with coral rock walls and enhanced landscaping along historic Red Road, located along the East-side of Red Road between Kendall Drive and Killian Drive in Pinecrest, Florida.

Now this is a shaded, park type amenity that provides safe mobility!

Here is a Yelp Review of this path/park:

Yes, per the Village of Pinecrest, this does qualify as parkland. It's a little strip of land bordered by Red Road on one side and the Snapper Creek Canal on the other. There is a meandering paved path, one upon which my running feet pound quite often. It's a running/walking/biking/blading path, and a good one.

The park is listed as 2.5 miles long. I'm surprised at that, because my internal odometer says it feels a little less. Maybe that's because unlike many other South Florida "parks," it actually has a bit of a tree canopy, helping somewhat to ease the pain the sun brings. In fact, there's a wide variety of native plant life on display along this path, from gumbo limbo to cypress to pond apple. This helps make the path as scenic as a path that close to a busy road can be.

This stretch of Snapper Creek looks like an enticing place to cast a fishing line, but in all honesty, the fishing here sucks. This stretch of the canal is just a deep featureless ditch, with little or no aquatic plant life or other structure providing cover for fish.

Insider tip....only run here when the wind is out of the east, the path is on the east side of Red Road. Run here during periods of westerly breeze, and you open yourself up to breathing truck exhaust.

Important note - this is one multi use path where there are no potential conflicts with motor vehicles - not one. At no point do vehicles cross the path at any point along any of this 2.5 mile path.

Take note of the following for this Red Road Linear Park Path:

  • The appearance of park amenity including numerous park type benches. The uniformity of the path.
  • The quality of the construction.
  • There are no areas of conflict with cars anywhere along the entirety of the 2.5 miles of this path. It is a path uninterrupted by any conflict from motor vehicles crossing the path. 
  • At no time does this path narrow from its uniform width, nor does it take any sharp turns or curves (once it begins – the southern terminus connects to the cross walk that leads to Pinecrest Gardens – and other path. 

Contrast this with the Palmetto Bay designed shared path. Note that there will be as many as 70 separate areas of conflict with roadways and the numerous driveways that will cross the Palmetto Bay designed shared path along SW 136th Street. And note, I have previously identified that safety is compromised at each point where motorized vehicles cross shared paths. 

See PRIOR RELATED POST of September 29, 2021, Series on Multi Paths - looking at Cutler Bay's shared path project. How it compares to the Palmetto Bay designed 136th Street project.

Friday, October 15, 2021

RIP Guido Inguanzo, Palmetto Bay’s first Village Clerk

My heartfelt condolences to the friends, family, co-workers and acquaintances of Guido Inguanzo . I was saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Guido Inguanzo who was a part of Palmetto Bay history.  Guido Inguanzo served as Palmetto Bay’s first Village Clerk (acting Village Clerk), on loan from Pinecrest to assist with the start up. He served with honor until our first Village Clerk was appointed, even serving on the search committee.

My sincere condolences to his family, including his wife Monica and son.

May his memory be a blessing.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Small bite update: Why are cyclists still riding on the road, not the path along SW 136 Street

I received the following text from a teacher at Howard Drive Elementary yesterday (October 12, 2021):

“Two days in a row I have seen people biking on the road instead of the new path.”

I answered that cyclists will remain using the road as they do on Old Cutler Road and Red Road. A shared path is not a bike lane. In Florida the bicycle is defined as a vehicle and the bicyclist is a driver. Bicyclists have the same rights to the road ways. HOWEVER, bicyclists must use a bike lane where provided (subject to certain exceptions).

Her response was in the form of an emoji. It was very telling as well as amusing (emojis can be so revealing - and saved so many words):

See: July 8, 2021, Cycling/Rules of the Road update: Changes in Florida Law that impact Motor Vehicles / Bicyclists effective July 1, 2021. This article is an update of a Rules of the Road post of November 28, 2018.

The bottom line is that there will be little change for the cyclists. It is the motorist who lost out when the bike lane plan was changed to the shared path. Get used to SW 136 Street working as depicted in the photo.  And please don't yell at the cyclist for remaining on the road and not using the path as they are doing what was intended, recommended actually by at least one of mayor Cunningham's advisers to the 136 Street shared path project. 


June 22, 2021, Palmetto Bay can change the project, but municipal officials cannot change State Law which determines where bicyclists may ride.

October 2, 2021, Special post - Photo(s) of the day. Reader submitted photos of the Palmetto Bay designed shared path. Or is it a car park? 

June 24, 2020, Yet another car v bike conflict along the Old Cutler Trail – a multi-use path, not a dedicated bike lane.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Opinion: "Nevertheless, she persisted". Did this lead to a “Code Red” being called on Marsha? Cringe-worthy is the only way to describe the beat down administered on Dr. Matson at the October regular council meeting. Was this all because Dr. Matson wanted to restore just a scintilla of transparency into Palmetto Bay government?

She was warned. "Nevertheless, she persisted" and now we have to wonder who called the ‘Code Red’ on Council Woman Marsha Matson? Dr. Matson believes that we, the people, can handle the truth and wants affected residents to be included in the process, rather than merely voicing ok or objections after the proposed Interlocal agreement is a 'done deal'.

Dr. Matson should have seen it coming. After all, she revealed that the Manager advised her that her fellow council members were angry with her (CLICK HERE to read her e-mail or CLICK HERE to read the transcript of her appearance with Michael Miller of the Community Newspapers ).  Was it speculation or fear? Regardless that anger played out in the late hours of the October village council meeting when she was at the receiving end of what appeared to many to be a “Code Red” – a beat down for daring to break an unwritten chain of command in requesting a legitimate and interactive town hall meeting. (There is no such chain of command, by the way. Members of the Village Council always had access to the public through scheduled Town Hall meetings - that it until now, or so it seems)

What’s a Code Red? When many people hear the term "code red," they immediately think of the popular movie A Few Good Men.

As portrayed in that movie, a "Code Red" refers to a form of extrajudicial punishment — a type of punishment that’s carried out without a court’s oversight or any form of legal approval. The code red was a major plot point of the 1992 film A Few Good Men, where a character dies after receiving a code red. In the movie, the motive for the “Code Red” was retaliation for the young Marine violating an order of silence of the commanding officer. Hmmm, that sounds familiar as some suspect that motive for the October council meeting beat down was anger by 3 of the 4 other council members over Dr. Matson violating an unwritten rule of silence as to the bridge negotiation. How you might ask? By daring to ask for a public noticed, publicly held meeting where the veil of silence would be lifted on the 87 avenue bridge fiasco and, (horrors!) the affected residents would actually have input on what happens to street within Palmetto Bay before it is voted on. Dr. Matson's plans were not for mere comments, but an actual live forum with give and take interaction. You know, how town hall meetings were held prior to this current mayor and council.

But Noooooooo. The decorum really went out the window that night as council members took their turns voicing their displeasure at Dr. Matson. This should not have occurred. Read the decorum rules.

The decorum rules are simple. Really, a dignified council should be able to adhere to Village Code 2-45 concerning Decorum: 

All speakers must address their remarks to the mayor, speak in a dignified and courteous manner, and avoid admonishing individual members of the public, council and representatives of the village.

(bold emphasis added)

Fellow residents reached out to me who were embarrassed by how Council Woman Matson was treated. One specifically asked me "What do you think about Marsha’s treatment at the council meeting Monday night?  Council comments especially

What do I think? In my opinion, it was shameful, unbecoming and textbook examples of blatant violations of the decorum ordinance. As Mayor, I championed both the original decorum ordinance as well as an update that was attached to each and every agenda. Currently published with each agenda is the following statement that all members of the village council agree to abide to:


• We will respect the right of all citizens in our community to hold different opinions;

• We will avoid rhetoric intended to humiliate or question the wisdom of those whose opinions are different from ours;

We will strive to understand differing perspectives;

• We will choose our words carefully;

• We will speak truthfully without accusation and we will avoid distortion;

• We will speak out against violence, prejudice, and incivility in all of their forms, whenever and wherever they occur.

(bold emphasis added)

These words have become meaningless under the current mayor and village council who engage in what can only be termed as shameful behavior directly and through proxies. Examples exceed the apparent code red beat down of their own, Dr. Matson, at the regular council meeting. Examples include juvenile attempts to give cute little code or nicknames to those who disagree with them, even publishing a strangely irrelevant video actually played as part of an official council meeting.  This really is one of those ‘you can’t make this stuff up’ moments. Members of this council, under this current mayor, often act as wannabe elementary school yard bullies. This is all yet another in a long series of events where they say one thing that sounds great, but act otherwise in defiance – an ultimate act of passive aggressiveness.

Private meetings held, not open to the average resident. Interesting note: Another thing I learned from watching the video is that the current mayor has been talking to a select few (one family was identified), who also were her main campaign supporters. This begs the question, why not include everyone? This is one goal achieved through Dr. Matson's request for a town hall, everyone has an equal chance to be heard rather than those village insiders who have special relationships and special access to the mayor.  Can we have a list of those meetings as well as the substance of what was discussed or agreed to?  I'm betting that this disclosure wont happen)

Though I have a long history of disagreements with Dr. Matson; I do also share items of agreement with her. Keep persisting Dr. Matson. It will take a change in mayor and at least 2 members of this village council, but the fight to restore transparency will eventually succeed.

My personal message to Dr. Marsha Matson, Council Member, District 3: Transparency and good governance in Palmetto Bay is a worthy fight. Don’t fear their angry words, proxy email attacks, or their juvenile attack videos or characters.

I also want to thank Patrick Fiore, Council Member, District One, who was the lone ally for transparency, who stood with Dr. Matson that night. He too believes that this is an issue of great public importance where residents should be a part of, not excluded from the substantive discussions of this process. 

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Tuesday, Oct. 12 - Miami-Dade TPO Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) MEMBER DISCUSSION – PALMETTO BAY GOLF CARTS use of Old Cutler Trail / Shared Paths

Should golf carts be added to shared paths in Palmetto Bay? This issue continues behind the scenes and will come up for a public discussion far from Palmetto Bay's borders, at a live meeting held in downtown Miami. This time, the meeting discussion will be  amongst the Miami-Dade TPO Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC). 

You can download the complete workshop agenda package at the TPO website and/or by clicking here on BPAC.  

Why this discussion? 

Mayor Cunningham and Council passed a Village of Palmetto Bay resolution to study the feasibility of allowing motorized golf carts to use the county's Old Cutler Trail, a shared use path. (Note - this resolution is NOT posted on the village website for viewing). After review, the Miami-Dade County Transportation & Public Works Department (DTPW) issued this response:
"The path is not designed or warranted for the use of golf carts. After reviewing the request DTPW does not recommend the use of golf carts along the OCR (Old Cutler Road) shared use path."

The DTPW specifically cited Florida Department of Transportation standards saying:
"...the conflicts between the golf carts and the shared use path users (pedestrian and bikers) would create significant safety and operational problems..."
No new action has been taken publicly nor have any additional resolutions been passed at any meetings, yet Palmetto Bay has sought additional hearing on this matter, hence this meeting scheduled for Tuesday, October 12, 2021. 
All sides of this issue may want to be present at this meeting.  
What is the position of the current Palmetto Bay and Council? Palmetto Bay officials have not openly discussed this upcoming meeting or posted any advisement of it to the public. I am unaware as to any policy set by the council setting forth the official position of Palmetto Bay officials. This appears to be yet another example of allowing things to happen instead of proactively advocating for a desired result. Weak leadership allows for others to make decisions affecting our municipality - a desired result for those who refuse to take positions.  
Just what do Mayor Cunningham and Council mean when they asked for a "study" as to "the feasibility of allowing motorized golf carts to use the county's Old Cutler Trail"? This just sounds like a feeble attempt to walk a political tightrope to hide their actual position, reserving the right to claim victory regardless how this issue plays out. This is yet another textbook example of allowing things to fester instead of actually making a decision this mayor and council may fear is unpopular, allowing them to play both sides - for the winners: taking the credit while consoling the losers by blaming the county (sound familiar? Recent examples include the 87th Ave bridge, 136th Shared Path).
Meeting info:

Miami-Dade TPO Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC)

In-Person Meeting*

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Starts at 5:30pm


Miami-Dade TPO Governing Board Chambers

150 West Flagler Street, Suite 1924

Miami, FL 33130 


*Pursuant to CDC guidelines, all persons entering the building are required to wear facial masks at all times. Social distancing measures will also be enforced. 

This is listed as a "BPAC MEMBER DISCUSSION relating to PALMETTO BAY GOLF CARTS" - (NOTE: this topic is on the agenda "for Discussion Only; This is Not an Action Item")

Friday, October 8, 2021

Time is short for taking the survey. Do you prefer bike lanes, shared paths or nothing at all? It is critical to make your voice heard.

Do you want more shared paths in Palmetto Bay? After all, 136th Street is going so well (NOT!). Doing nothing at all is a choice. CLICK HERE to read prior posts related to this SW 136 Street MEGA sidewalk / shared path.

Take the survey. The DEADLINE is 5:00 PM, October 15. Please take this survey and support true bike infrastructure: bike lanes, not shared paths. The study is considering multi-use pathways, sidewalks and/or protected or buffered bicycle lanes. Two alternatives will be evaluated for the above-mentioned roadways. The final plan will include 15% design plans for up to two corridors connecting Old Cutler Trail and the South Dade Trail. The project is anticipated to be completed by November 2021.

Participation has been pitiful, which makes it even more important that you get involved. The facilitators (and the Village) claim they first want to hear from our residents to appropriately assess how, when and in what form our residents use or would best use the bicycle and pedestrian network. The survey will be used to assess the types of improvements and which two roadways the study will focus on.
Please participate. You only need to look to what is happening on SW 136th Street to see the importance of participation. Here is the link to the survey page:

Thank you.

A necessary read - MOBILITY HUBS & TRANSIT INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN, January 2020, prepared by Marlin Engineering for the Village of Palmetto Bay.

The effort appears stacked toward this feasibility study being more of promoting acceptance of recommendations for the shared paths having been made in 2020. Look at the 2020 mobilities recommendation in the doc I have provided a link to. The 2020 plan recommends shared paths for 152 and 184. Thankfully it still seems to recommend bike lanes for 168. Note that this 2020 plan was prepared by Marlin Engineering.

The village has now moved on to a feasibility study. Remember that they were looking at 144, 152, 168 & 184. The facilitators stated recently that they will be recommending shared paths for 152 & 184. Well guess who is facilitating the study: Consultant Project Manager (Marlin Engineering) Christina Fermin, AICP, LEED Green Associate 3363 W. Commercial Blvd, Suite 115A Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 954-870-5064

CLICK HERE to view a link to recent actions / documents by the current mayor and council relative to a shared path for SW 184th Street.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

I am very disappointed. No meaningful public input for Palmetto Bay in regards to the ongoing 87th Av bridge fiasco. I believe our residents have something to offer.

Denial of public input speaks to the state of Palmetto Bay’s lack of transparency. When a fight isn’t a fight and when elected officials are so arrogant that they think the public has nothing to offer. 

My opinion? Obviously they just want to bury it and move on to their (meaning our) next fiasco.

All they want to do is package the same offers made by the County back when the bridge was fought off in 2017 and claim victory. It was their missteps and combative attitude toward the County, failure to follow through on the agreements on traffic modifications that led to this bridge being revived and rolled over upon this council. But wait, the County offered back then to fund everything 100%. However, Palmetto Bay officials, high off their first-ever global tax increase, now have even more of our money to burn and are actually offering to have Palmetto Bay contribute to costs on this County project. 

This seems like mitigation and I remember being successful in ending mitigation. 


Why is the public being denied an opportunity to present their case? Commenting at a manager held meeting with the county amounts to little more than cheering or jeering from the sidelines. Comments do not equate to an open two-way dialogue. 

It is amazing that two of the three members of this council earned law degrees yet fail to see the value of meeting with their clients (in this case the impacted residents, on all sides of the issue) before they try to negotiate. The public certainly would have done a better job on recent fiascos borne of this mayor and council including (but certainly not limited to):

  • The mega sidewalk on SW 136 Street that no one asked for
  • The never ending Franjo road project
  • The Palmetto Park Road project, started under this mayor then abruptly halted far from completion
  • The Coral Reef Park Bridge resulting in loss of tree canopy
  • The barely there parking lot lighting at the Coral Reef Park Tennis Center

… need I go on?

Public input would be valuable and would assist in working with the County, but perhaps this is what the current mayor and council fear.

This mayor and council would rather have a poor product than actually involve the project and have to share credit.

That’s a shame and this ill-advised lack of public input will lead to the 87 Avenue bridge being worse that it could have been for all concerned.

Monday, October 4, 2021

OPINION: It is time for this mayor and council to come clean and hold a proper town hall update. Residents' voices should matter. Come out of the shadows on the bridge.

Residents' voices should matter, but it is merely a catch phrase here in Palmetto Bay. 

Why does this matter continue to move forward without any serious resident input? Why don't their voices matter? is raised this issue on May 18, 2021, Any updates on the 87th Avenue Bridge "fight"? Why are village officials not holding any public stakeholder town halls? Palmetto Bay officials have NOT responded positively since that post and instead have only 'doubled down' to squelch any input from those who will be most affected.

Why has transparency and public input become so toxic for the current set of Palmetto Bay elected officials and staff? Do current village leaders really that arrogant that they have all the answers? Believe me, they don't and that was demonstrated for everyone to see at the special council meeting of September 23, 2021.

The best decisions are those that are made with public input, in the public, not those made on behalf of others.

Why do Palmetto Bay officials opposing a public meeting to hear resident's concerns?

Palmetto Bay Council Member Dr. Marsha Matson, Council Member, District 3, apparently made the mistake of trying to look out for resident input and tried to set up a town hall meeting (Note that previous councils were pro-resident input, but not this current group - save one).  She is facing an internal firestorm that she has termed bullying. 

I am shocked and dismayed at the level of bickering and lack of civility that is ongoing within the current Palmetto Bay administration – I have reviewed the email of Dr. Marsha Matson, Council Member, District 3. I simply cannot understand why she has been cornered into this situation.

A VERY IMPORTANT READ: October 1, 2021, Dr. Marsha Matson, Village Council, District 3, reveals how low Palmetto Bay Officials have sunk in denying transparency and access to government. All detailed in a shocking email of 9-30-2021 to the village manager.  


September 22, 2021, 87 Avenue Bridge Update. Here is the complete document - the proposed Interlocal Agreement between Palmetto Bay and Miami-Dade County. What does the agreement really provide?

September 20, 2021, Special council meeting set for Thursday, 9/23/2021 - relating to an agreement on the bridge. Does anyone have the specifics?

Sunday, October 3, 2021

POD - Nature - as seen on a bike ride - Sunday morning, 10-3-2021

Look who is cooling out enjoying a little sun on a Sunday morning: 

I enjoy the view from a bike, regardless of whether it is a road cycle or a gravel day. It is being able to view nature like this that I ride. I also was blessed to see many ducks (with little ducklings), Ibises, cranes as well as native songbirds. Also, the underappreciated sparrow, one of my personal favs.

Today was a road ride. And no, I am not giving up the location where these photos were taken. This beautiful creature deserves some peace and quiet. I bet at least 80% of those who walked or rode by missed seeing it.

This photo was not taken within the jurisdiction of Palmetto Bay, but the trip did start and end in PBay. 

Where else can you live and ride, able to enjoy so much nature?

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Special post - Photo(s) of the day. Reader submitted photos of the Palmetto Bay designed shared path. Or is it a car park?

Part I - This is just plain funny. You have to laugh or we will all end up crying. This split of the path is not on the plans. This is an off plans modification. The question is whether two 5 foot sections really function as a 10 foot shared path when it is split in two and have trees placed in the median? Is this a Palmetto Bay designed landscaped median for a divided walkway? [Editor's note - these photos were sent by a reader (FOSDU) who asked to remain anonymous.

Does this look familiar? Like maybe the same treatment that killed the oak at Coral Reef Park?

The contributor provided the following comments with the photos:

Coral Reef Park - it killed this tree

This tree might not survive because the root was pruned back to the trunk.  The 10 foot sidewalk is now a double sidewalk and unsafe close to the road. Perfect situation for injury.

Who dreams this stuff up?

Editor's opinion: Who dreams this up? The current mayor and 2 additional village council members who voted (3-2) to change the plans from bike lanes to this shared path. See: June 28, 2021, The smoking gun: April 6, 2019, the day the current mayor and the 2019 council voted to change the bike lane plan to shared path by a narrow 3 – 2 vote. Now they are coming for the mature trees

Is this another Palmetto Bay project that will result in stressing and killing yet more trees here in a Tree City USA Community? see September 12, 2021, Why? These trees once thrived in Coral Reef Park. That is until this current mayor and council started their war on trees in Palmetto Bay 

This is one of those truth is stranger than fiction / you can make this stuff up. I have to ask Sue (you know who you are), do you really think that this path will properly function as a shared path - for bike mobility? See Part II, below, for some cold water in the face reality as to the real uses for this shared path.

Seriously Sue, you are against bike lanes, as cycling groups would have to ride within the bike lanes where provided and, as you say, they (cycling groups) would rather take the lane. That is incredibly selfish.

Part II - That sure didn’t take long. The path is not even completed and already … it’s a parking space! Seen on SW 136th Street on Friday, October 1st, 2021. Hey, Sue, I guess the cyclists have more room in the lane when the cars 'take the path'!

Note the cyclist, who is STILL making proper use of taking the lane. (This cyclist is riding properly - riding a legally intended on this road.)

Friday, October 1, 2021

Dr. Marsha Matson, Village Council, District 3, reveals how low Palmetto Bay Officials have sunk in denying transparency and access to government. All detailed in a shocking email of 9-30-2021 to the village manager.

When did it become a rule that elected members of the Village Council cannot hold a town hall meeting? This is outrageous. There was a time that Palmetto Bay was known for its Town Hall meetings and public access. My blog list 50 entries for blog posts involving Town Hall meetings (CLICK HERE to view a link to the 50 articles).

I speak as one of the founders of the Village of Palmetto Bay, as well as having the honor of serving as Mayor for 12 years, in stating that Dr. Matson has the right – and all members of the Village Council have the responsibility – to engage our fellow residents in town hall and other public meetings.  A critical purpose of town hall meetings is for officials to hear the community's views on issues of public importance. Residents have the right to hear from their officials as well as address them in a public setting.  

Who authorized the current mayor and manager to shut down town hall meetings? I missed any resolution or other official action implementing such a policy against transparency.

There have been no specific rules or guidelines for holding a town hall meeting and certainly there are no bars within the Village Charter or any ordinances to holding such meetings.

There should have been, and there should be, town hall meetings on topics including the ongoing 87 avenue bridge issue (the negotiations on the interlocal agreement), the 136 Street multi-path, budgets and so many other issues.

I am shocked and dismayed at the level of bickering and lack of civility that is ongoing within the current Palmetto Bay administration – I have reviewed the email of Dr. Marsha Matson, Council Member, District 3. I simply cannot understand why she has been cornered into this situation.

The behavior and resistance detailed in the email is unfortunately consistent with other behavior of this administration, led by the current mayor and village council members. I have 250 articles posted relating to transparency, many critical of what I view as a total lack of information available to the residents, not only in terms of public Town Hall meetings, but also being shut out to access to public records.

This government in sorely lacking in transparency, openness and accessibility when residents don't have access to the most basic information on what is going on in the Village and what the Council is doing.

A simple view of the Village Agenda Center demonstrates that NO meeting minutes, not a single set for minutes, has been posted online for any Village Council meeting held in 2021, 2020 and only four (4) for the meetings held in 2019. These meetings are limited to: January 7, 2019, 2 sets for the regular council meeting as well as the special council meeting of February 4, 2019, and May 21 (all not posted until November 5, by the way).

I have stated that transparency is dead in Palmetto Bay. Council Member Dr. Matson provides even greater insight as to how far this Village has sunk in withholding information and public access from residents.

Palmetto Bay residents should have full access to information. It is time for a movement to return to a transparent and accessible government in Palmetto Bay.