Tag Archives: miami beach

Overdue Dade Boulevard bike path won’t be done for a while

If you bicycle or jog across South Beach, you probably cheered the proposed bike and pedestrian path along Dade Boulevard and the Collins Canal when Miami Beach began work on it two years ago.

And now you think: Will it ever be finished?

The Miami Herald reports that yes, it will get finished. When?

Would you believe 2015?

That’s about two years behind schedule.

For now, there is an asphalt path, no landscaping, and lighting that works along one stretch (between Meridian and Convention Center Drive. Sigh.

Miami Beach Human Rights Committee wants feedback on Memorial Day weekend experience

With Memorial Day weekend about to start, Miami Beach is getting prepared.

That means barricades, crowd control and a major police presence along with lots of parties and visitors. For lots of Beach residents, the Memorial Day crush and attendant traffic makes for a less than relaxing holiday.

In years past, the city has been criticized for policing too little and policing too much. The Collins Avenue shooting of a motorist by police three years ago is still under investigation, and subject of a lawsuit. The annual arrest tally has drawn criticism from civil libertarians.

The Miami Beach Human Rights Committee has posted an online survey to get your thoughts (and those of visitors) on how well the city prepared for the festivities — and how it handled the weekend.

It wants to know if you felt safe — and whether the city treated residents and visitors with respect.


How to get Miami Beach discount on new ParkMobile app

The city of Miami Beach is launching a new parking app for iPhone and Android that will enable you to park at metered spaces and in city garages without worrying about cash; they bill directly to a credit card.

The app, called ParkMobile, is a free download, and city residents who properly register the app save money on their parking.  Registering requires a trip to the city parking office. Here’s the lowdown, from the city website:

Miami Beach residents will enjoy the discounted hourly parking rate of $1.00 per hour in South Beach (south of Dade Blvd/23rd Street) in lieu of the retail meter hourly rate of $1.75. This equates to a 43% discount!

Additionally, ParkMobile has agreed to waive transactional fees for qualifying Miami Beach residents. Miami Beach residents, who are actively participating in one the City’s residential parking permit programs, are automatically pre-qualified for the resident parking rate discount/transaction fee waiver when they enroll with ParkMobile.  Just download the app and start parking!

In order to enjoy the parking rate discount and transaction fee waiver residents who are NOT currently participating in any of the City’s residential parking permit programs, will need to register at the City of Miami Beach Customer Service Center located at 1755 Meridian Avenue, Suite 100, Miami Beach, Florida and provide the following information:

• Valid Photo ID – Issued by local, state, or federal agency (driver’s license, passport)

• Valid Vehicle Registration – vehicle registration belonging to the person applying for the exemption. If the vehicle is registered to a different person, the resident must provide proof of insurance.

• Valid Proof of Miami Beach Residency – one (1) of the following items must be provided at the time of registration: monthly bill/statement with the resident’s name and address. Current statement must have been mailed within the last 30 days.  IMPORTANT NOTE:  Internet/electronic bills are not acceptable proof of residency.

o   Utility bill (electric, phone, gas, cable)
o   Mobile phone carrier statement
o   Bank statement
o   Credit card statement (credit card number must be obstructed)
o   Vehicle insurance statement
o   Mortgage statement
o   Property tax statement (last one received)

Once registered, ParkMobile will automatically update your ParkMobile account status and you may start enjoying your discounted parking rate and ParkMobile fee waiver.

Miami Beach to unveil phone app for parking next week

The city of Miami Beach is finally replacing the failed iPark system with a smartphone parking app that will allow residents to pay at metered spaces and in city garages at a substantial discount.

The free test period starts Monday, May 12, and continues until May 25. During the time, transaction fees for the app, called ParkMobile, will be waived. You can download it to your iPhone or Android for free.

Once downloaded, program the app with your Miami Beach address and a credit card for payment. When the trial period ends, Miami Beach residents who register the app with the city of Miami Beach parking department will get a 43 percent discount if they use the app, paying $1 an hour instead of $1.75 hourly.

ParkMobile is similar to Pay-by-Phone, the parking app used by the city of Miami and Coral Gables and South Miami.  Looks while we’ll need two parking apps as we travel and park in different cities.

The app replaces the white iPark devices the city made available to Beach residents. Those devices, which were battery powered, failed, as did the company behind them.



Venetian Causeway water main work begins Monday

Venetian Islands_010214_Water Line Work Begins FINAL watermainThe contractor on the Venetian islands right of way project begins work on Monday, Jan. 6, on new water lines on San Marino Islands, and the work will last three weeks.

There will be roadway closings and detours during the construction, as well as some parking restrictions in the immediate construction areas. For San Marino residents, there will be parking restrictions during construction times, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the city asks that residents put a contact number on their car dashboard to avoid being towed.

According to Lauren Firtel, the city spokesperson for the work, there should not be any water service disruptions during this phase of the construction work.

Miami Beach approves auto tag scanners for Venetian Causeway

The city of Miami Beach has decided to buy auto tag readers for police to use on the Venetian Causeway, The Miami Herald’s Christina Veiga reports.

The city also decided to buy a security camera to monitor the drawbridge between Belle Isle and Rivo Alto Island.

It’s something the Venetian Causeway Homeowner Association has been seeking, as Miami Beach police work with the neighborhood to combat home burglaries along the Biscayne Bay islands.

In addition, island residents were concerned about the death of a 65-year-old homeowner  who died after slow emergency response to the islands. At first, an open drawbridge was blamed for the delay, though it was learned the dispatcher took 14 minutes to put through the emergency call.

This week, Veiga reported that the 911 dispatcher who mishandled the call has been diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Wondering what Miami Beach plans for Memorial Day traffic and security? How to find out

The Miami Beach Police Department has scheduled something  called a “Memorial Day Symposium” to discuss traffic, security and crowd management preparations for the annual Urban Weekend.

The meeting happens at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 8 at the Miami Beach Police Department Community Room, 1100 Washington Ave.

Last year, Miami Beach police had officers on nearly every corner of the Venetian Causeway islands, with signs posted warning drivers the causeways was for locals only.

A traffic control strategy squeezed eastbound traffic from Miami to Miami Beach from three lanes to one at certain times on the MacArthur and Julia Tuttle causeways, and license tag scanners were used to check for drivers with outstanding arrest warrants.

Police used DUI checkpoints as well.

We’ll see if the plan for 2013 is as aggressive.

“The primary goal of the Police Department during this weekend is to maintain public safety for residents and visitors and to proactively address issues….to reduce potential future problems,” according to the city email announcing Wednesday’s meeting.

Planning Board approves 17th Street hotel; Design Review Board comes next

Proposed Residence Inn site north of 17th Street

Proposed Residence Inn site north of 17th Street

The Miami Beach Planning Board approved the proposed Marriott Residence Inn at 17th Street and West Avenue on Wednesday night, after more than four-and-one-half hours of discussion.

The project, which includes a sleek 116-room hotel designed by architect Kobi Karp and a 66-space mechanical parking garage, now will go before the Miami Beach Design Review Board.

The 6-1 vote came after board members heard from more than a dozen residents from different neighborhood associations who expressed concerns the hotel would add to traffic woes on 17th Street between Alton Road and Belle Isle.

They also heard from supporters of the project, who said an extended stay hotel in the residential part of Miami Beach would add convenient lodging for family and friends of Miami Beach residents.

The property is bounded by 17th Street, the Collins Canal, the path of the planned West Avenue Bridge and a parking lot that serves Boston Market and a retail and apartment building at the corner of 17th Street and Alton Road.

Rendering of proposed Marriott hotel

Rendering of proposed Marriott hotel

Board members praised the design of the hotel project, proposed to be built on land under contract to be purchased for $5 million from the Miami Beach Housing Authority by the Finvarb Group.

Finvarb owns several Marriott properties, including the Courtyard on Washington Avenue.

But most of the debate involved impact on 17th Street traffic from the project.

Henry Stolar, the only board member who voted against the project, did so after asking for the vote to be postponed so the development team and city staff could do more work on the 17th Street issues.

“I can’t imagine a better case for doing the right thing than giving this another month….otherwise we are in a position of just getting this done. I do not like haste in deciding something that has taken seven months while a political process takes its course.”

Board chairman Charles Urstadt said the decision was difficult because he believed the project is a good one, but the concerns about traffic were legitimate.

“We are here to balance the greater good to the public with the rights of the property owner.” he said. “We can’t force this to become a park, we have certain limits on what we can do.”

To try and address traffic, board members asked for a slim median on 17th Street to keep eastbound traffic on 17th Street from attempting left turns into the property, and a requirement that a fourth valet be added during peak business hours at the hotel to prevent cars from backing up from the hotel entrance into the street.

Developer Ron Finvarb told board members the hotel would be something the city will be proud of. “This will be a Residence Inn by Marriott. It must adhere to very high standards,” Finvarb said.

“It will not have any accessory uses that will create additional impact or noise…. With all of the conditions we have offered…the hotel will only benefit the neighborhood. This will not be a party hotel. It will be a state of the art hotel with great design and service.”

Another Venetian curiosity: Ruby Foo’s on the Causeway

We think Rub Foo's closed back in the 1960s.

We think Ruby Foo’s closed back in the 1960s.

We know Ruby Foo’s — the Times Square Chinese restaurant and sushi bar at 49th and Broadway. It’s a Midtown landmark.

The matchbook cover.

The matchbook cover.

But only recently did we learn that there used to be a Ruby Foo on the Beach — right off the Venetian Causeway, where it meets Dade Boulevard east of  Belle Isle.

First, Nine Island resident Josh Fisher turned up the old black and white photo. And then we found this matchbook cover on eBay — with the old style phone number without area code and location — at Miami Beach and the Venetian Causeway.

According to historian Seth Bramson’s 2005 book, Miami Beach, Ruby Foo’s “was a favorite for Chinese food before Thai, Indian and Vietnamese became popular. Some Beachites vaguely recall the eatery relocating to 41st Street, but in any location it is a happy memory….’

Urban flood advisory for Miami Beach

If the rains of the last two days weren’t enough — and they left water standing in Sunset Harbour — the National Weather Service just posted an urban flood advisory for Miami Beach with today’s deluge.

By noon, three to four inches of rain had been recorded along the Tuttle Causeway, and about three inches on Miami Beach.  More thunderstorms are expected this afternoon.