Grassroots push for better Alton Road seeks community input tonight, Tuesday, Wednesday

The Alton Road Reconstruction Coalition – a grassroots group pushing for more of a mixed-use rebuild of Alton Road by the Florida Department of Transportation– starts a series of community meetings tonight (Monday) at 6 p.m. at the Police Athletic League offices, 999 11th St.

There also is a discussion Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. at David’s Cafe, 1058 Collins Ave.

And Wednesday at 5 p.m., Alton Road’s design is on the City Commission agenda. That’s in the city of Miami Beach Commission Chambers, third floor, 1700 Convention Center Dr.

Work on rebuilding Alton began fittingly on April 1 by FDOT. They embarked on a 28-month, $32 million project that includes the construction of new pumping stations at Fifth, 10th and 14th Streets to battle chronic flooding in the Alton Road-West Avenue area. It wil also bring new signage, stoplights and street lights.

What it doesn’t do is make Alton Road work better for pedestrians or bicyclists, and that’s and important part of the transportation equation on South Beach.

The Alton Road coalition, which includes several neighborhood associations, advocates for wider sidewalks, a hike and bike trail on the west side of Alton, a lower Alton Road speed limit and narrower lanes to slow traffic, more shade trees and a center median.

From its latest newsletter:

10 Things you should know about FDOT’s plan for Alton Road

  1. The project boundaries are between 5th Street and Michigan Avenue
  2. The project is supposed to stop the flooding but it may not.  Some city of Miami Beach engineers think the pumps will not meet demand.
  3. The new roadway will be 81′ wide compared to the current 72′.
  4. The new design speed is 40 MPH compared to the City’s requested speed of 30 MPH.
  5. Cyclists will be sandwiched between 40 MPH traffic and parked cars in a 14′ shared lane.
  6. Sidewalks will be reduced to 9′ wide compared to the current 14′
  7. Approximately 90 on-street parking spaces will be lost
  8. Turn restrictions at 6th,  7th, 9th, 12th, 13th, 14th, and 15th Place will inhibit ease of access for residents and to local businesses
  9. Landscaping will be limited because of the narrow sidewalks.
  10. Pedestrians will not have crosswalks or on-demand walk signals at 9th, 13th, and 14th Streets.
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5 responses to “Grassroots push for better Alton Road seeks community input tonight, Tuesday, Wednesday

  1. Pingback: Belle Isle Blog and Herald Feature ARRC | Alton Road Reconstruction Coalition

  2. Laura Jamieson

    Why is there an assumption that EVERY street in Miami Beach must be focused on pedestrians, bikers and cars equally? Why not designate several high traffic state roads — Alton, West, Collins & Washington — to move cars, buses, commercial vehicles, fire trucks, ambulances & emergency vehicles more quickly & effectively as VEHICULAR circulation. Focus bicycles & pedestrian traffic with improved sidewalks, better lighting, and well marked bicycle lanes on our many other north-south streets — Ocean, Collins, Pennsylvania, Meridian, Lenox & Michigan. Not every street needs to be maimed & mangled to cram in every conceivable use. That is what urban planning is about..

  3. not really what urban planning is all about… what you describe is a “bypass”, that goes around an urban environment. Alton road is where most of us in the flamingo park neighborhood shop, eat, go to happy hour, drop of dry cleaning, do food shopping, etc.. we don’t want a high speed road, plus, there is no reason to have cars going 40mph through a highly pedestrian zone, then slow them down to 30 mph by the golf course, they aren’t going to move faster. FDOT’s own studies say the best speed to move traffic through an area like Alton Road is 27mph, but with the proposed 40 mph design speed, cars will just speed in between traffic lights, and those who get hit by cars, pose a greater risk of serious injury or death. put high speed cars away from pedestrians, not in the thick of them please.

  4. I think it would have been more polite to mention that the discussion tomorrow morning at david’s café is being sponsored by the TUESDAY MORNING BREAKFAST CLUB. mike burke

  5. I already use West Avenue as a way to travel on my bike because I can’t use Alton, it’s much too busy, so I can’t imagine if it was used for vehicles only. When I do my shopping and running of errands on my bike at Alton Road businesses, I ride through the stinky allies in between Alton and West Ave. and then come to Alton to just park my bike. I hate when I’m forced to ride on the footpath on Alton, but there is no choice unless I want to keep going through the alley. I love that I am able to ride my bike on Washington with my own bike lane.

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