Things to know as we start another work week:
– Sunday night’s rain led the Florida Department of Transportation to delay the closure of the Alton Road flyover for a day. It closes tonight — weather permitting, we suppose. Detour plan is the same. We’d say enjoy it, but we wonder if that is possible….
– The Alton Road Reconstruction Coalition, the grassroots group pushing for a more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly rebuild of Alton Road, is making headway. Due to thei group’s lobbying — and the efforts of state Rep. David Richardson and the West Avenue Neighborhood Corridor Association — FDOT has devised three alternative plans that will be discussed at Wednesday’s Miami Beach City Commission meeting. The options include wider sidewalks. The Miami Herald reported on it from last week’s WAVNA meeting.
– FDOT has restored on-street parking on the east side of Alton Road between 12th and 16th Street until construction resumes in that area. The area has been re-striped and placed in its original configuration, the city of Miami Beach say. On the west side of Alton, parking will be allowed intermittently as drainage tests are done.
Have a safe week.
FDOT map of Alton Road flyover detours
Here it comes….starting Sunday night, the flyover from the eastbound MacArthur Causeway to northbound Alton Road will close, and along with it, traffic patterns in the area will be scrambled.
The flyover will be closed for a month while a contractor replaces its guardrail and rebuild the base of the bridge. The work is being overseen by the Florida Department of Transportation.
There will detours and lane closures:
–Motorists traveling east on the MacArthur Causeway who wish to travel north on Alton Road will have to continue east on Fifth Street and turn north on Alton Road.
– Motorists traveling south on Alton Road who wish to travel east on Fifth Street will have to turn east on Eighth Street, then south on Lenox Avenue and turn east on Fifth Street.
– Motorists will be able to travel south on Alton Road to access westbound MacArthur Causeway.
– Motorists south of Fifth Street who are traveling north on Alton Road and wish to continue north will have to turn east on Fourth Street, then turn north on Lenox Avenue and then turn west on Fifth and then turn north again on Alton Road.
–Motorists south of Fifth Street who are traveling north on Alton Road and wish to travel west on the MacArthur Causeway will have to turn east on Fourth Street, urn north on Lenox Avenue, turn west on Fifth and then continue across the MacArthur.
–Motorists will not be able to cross Alton Road at 6 Street.
The Florida Department of Transportation plans to close the flyover that bring eastbound traffic from the McArthur Causeway north on to Alton Road for repairs.
The closure would begin July 14 and last for a month — ending on Aug. 13.
The Miami Beach City Commission is having a special meeting at 11 a.m. Monday to discuss the closure, which is sure to have a major traffic impact in the Fifth Street area and potentially lead to more traffic over the Venetian Causeway.
The FDOT wants to close the flyover for repair work to the one-lane elevated roadway.
The work will mean drivers who want to go north on Alton Road will have to crowd with other eastbound drivers on Fifth Street and take a left on to Alton. Southbound drivers on Alton who want to head east will be detoured east at Eighth Street, and then will have to turn right on Lenox and right again on Fifth Street.
From the FDOT advisory on how traffic will diverted:
Motorists traveling east on the MacArthur Causeway who wish to travel north on Alton Road will have to:
1. Continue east on 5 Street
2. Turn north on Alton Road
Motorists traveling south on Alton Road who wish to travel east on 5 Street will have to:
1. Turn east on 8 Street
2. Turn south on Lenox Avenue
3. Turn east on 5 Street
Motorists will be able to travel south on Alton Road to access westbound MacArthur Causeway.
Motorists south of 5 Street who are traveling north on Alton Road and wish to continue north will have to:
1. Turn east on 4 Street
2. Turn north on Lenox Avenue
3. Turn west on 5 Street
4. Turn north on Alton Road
Motorists south of 5 Street who are traveling north on Alton Road and wish to travel west on the MacArthur Causeway will have to:
1. Turn east on 4 Street
2. Turn north on Lenox Avenue
3. Turn west on 5 Street
4. Continue west on 5 Street to MacArthur Causeway
Motorists will not be able to cross east or west on Alton Road at 6 Street.
Meanwhile, other Alton Road construction — including the maze east of Sunset Harbour — continues.
The Alton Road-Dade Boulevard construction maze gets a new little twist today, and today only: FPL will be working on traffic signals at Dade and Meridian, a key pressure point in the detour around the Alton Road work.
Traffic lights will be out from 9 a.m. til 1 p.m., and police will be directing traffic at the intersection. Good thing this is a holiday week.
Speaking of which, there will be no active construction on Independence Day, the city reports. Of course, northbound Alton Road is still barricaded from 17th Street to Michigan Avenuem but you knew that……
Okay, you already know you can’t go north on Alton Road from 17th Street to Michigan.
For Tuesday, at least, one southbound lane on Alton Road will be closed between Dade Boulevard and 19th Street. In a press release, the city of Miami Beach says at least one southbound lane will stay open.
The closure is for water main repairs. The closed lanes are supposed to reopen by 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
- The project boundaries are between 5th Street and Michigan Avenue
- 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.
- The new roadway will be 81′ wide compared to the current 72′.
- The new design speed is 40 MPH compared to the City’s requested speed of 30 MPH.
- Cyclists will be sandwiched between 40 MPH traffic and parked cars in a 14′ shared lane.
- Sidewalks will be reduced to 9′ wide compared to the current 14′
- Approximately 90 on-street parking spaces will be lost
- Turn restrictions at 6th, 7th, 9th, 12th, 13th, 14th, and 15th Place will inhibit ease of access for residents and to local businesses
- Landscaping will be limited because of the narrow sidewalks.
- Pedestrians will not have crosswalks or on-demand walk signals at 9th, 13th, and 14th Streets.
Mailed in 1938, a pre-development view from the old Venetian Hotel.
We found a couple more old postcards that show The Miami Herald property before The Herald built its bayfront headquarters in the early 1960s, so we thought we’d add them to the blog and create a gallery that shows different views in different years.
Your BelleIsleBlog is guilty of not being able to get enough of this….we admit it. But with The Herald leaving last week it’s 50-year headquarters last week, and portions of The Miami Herald sign coming down on Friday, and the prospect of Genting tearing the building down between now and year end, well…
So let’s look closer at what it looked like before the Knight brothers built Florida’s largest commercial building, which is what One Herald Plaza was upon completion in 1963.
Between the Venetian and County causeways (MacArthur wasn’t a hero yet)
Here’s the tightest view we’ve seen of the Venetian Hotel, as well as the Boulevard Shops (now a historic landmark on the site) and some other small structures. Click on it to check out the detail. The postcard back describes non-stop traffic on the causeways.
And here’s a look at the rest of the postcards we’ve found with the same general view.
Residences and the Venetian Hotel, undated.
More of a step back view, mailed in 1930.
1939 view of Biscayne coast, from east to west.
A rendering of Palau at Sunset Harbour.
The developers of the Palau condo — the condo-retailed project that includes the old Mark’s Cleaners site — have made peace with their Sunset Harbour neighbors, The Miami Herald is reporting.
According to an agreement provided last week to the city of Miami Beach, the developers of Palau — which include the Disney family — will position the project further back from the bridge to Sunset Islands 3 and 4, provide greater setbacks of the retail space. There will be a public plaza near the bridge as well.
Sunset Island residents in March persuaded the Miami Beach Planning Board to reconsider an approval its approval of the project.
The project, designed by Kobi Karp, includes 50 condo units in addition to 11,000 square feet of retail space.
Another batch of important projects are moving forward that affect Belle Isle and our Venetian Causeway neighbors, and there are key informational meetings coming up to learn more about them:
– The Venetian Causeway will be changing over to SunPass by year’s end, and Miami-Dade County’s Causeway Division will explain the shift and answer questions at a meeting Tuesday, May 21.
The meeting, sponsored by the Belle Isle Residents Association, the Venetian Island Homeowners Association and the Venetian Way Alliance, starts at 7 p.m. at 1000 Venetian Way on Biscayne Island.
Expect to learn about increased security, the possibility of raising tolls for non-residents and the possibility of a lower speed limit.
– The Alton Road Reconstruction Coalition will pitch a lower speed limit for Alton Road at the June 12 Miami Beach Land Use Committee meeting, instead of May 22 as had been planned. The May meeting was canceled. The coalition hopes to make the case for a more bicycle-friendly reconstruction of Alton Road.
– On June 5, the Venetian Isle Homeowner Association has scheduled a meeting at the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens so residents can get an overview of the Venetian Streetscape plan from Miami Beach’s capital improvement experts. That work — which includes new sidewalks, lights and landscaping around Rivo Alto, DiLido and San Marino islands — starts in June.
Panther Coffee in Sunset Harbour
In case you were wondering….both Ice Box Cafe and Panther Coffee were open and doing a nice lunchtime business in Sunset Harbour on Tuesday…..
The neighborhood should be hopping this weekend!