Category Archives: Traffic

Roadwork, causeway construction, commentary on the comings and goings along the causeway and Venetian Way.

Critical Mass rides on this Friday night; plan your evening driving accordingly.

Route for Friday night's bike ride.

Route for Friday night’s bike ride.

The July Critical Mass bike ride is taking a Miami Beach-heavy route Friday night, crossing our neighborhood from Dade Boulevard west across Venetian Way to the mainland.

The ride is scheduled to start in downtown Miami at 7:15 p.m., crossing over the 79th Street Causeway through North Bay Village and then into Miami Beach on 71th Street  before heading south along Indian Creek and then Collins Avenue to Dade Boulevard.

You’ll want to be patient, and planning ahead is the best strategy. Be careful out there.

Venetian drawbridge construction starts soon, and here’s how to learn more about it

With the newest road construction obstacle course underway off Sunset Harbor in preparation for the West Avenue Bridge, another major traffic inconvenience is about to begin.

This one will no doubt be more disruptive. As we’ve reported before, Miami-Dade County has to do major work on the eastern Venetian Way drawbridge span, the one between Rivo Alto and Belle Isle.

The drawbridge has been locked in the closed position since April 2015, due to a mechanical failure.

Some work is expected to start next month, but the biggest issue — the closure of the bridge to all foot, bike and auto traffic — may not happen until November. At one point, the county had said the bridge would be closed to all traffic for a 45-day period.

That’s a huge headache, no matter how you look at it. Miami Beach Commissioner Michael Grieco has told the Venetian Island Homeowner Association he’s investigating engaging a water taxi to ferry people across the gap, but it’s unclear how consistent the demand would be.

How bad will it be? What will be the precise timing?

Miami-Dade has scheduled a community meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2, at the community room at 1000 Venetian Way on Biscayne Island. It will be hosted by the Venetian Way Neighborhood Association, in collaboration with the Belle Isle Residents Association and the Venetian Isles Homeowner Association.

Residents are encouraged to attend.

Yes, the road construction has begun

The barricades are up again.

The barricades are up again.

You’ve no doubt noticed that work began last week on the raising of the Venetian Way/Dade Boulevard/17th Street seawalls near Maurice Gibb Park and Sunset Harbour.

And now comes word from the city that Miami-Dade County, as it prepares to rebuild the drawbridge between Belle Isle and Rivo Alto, will be opening the bridge tonight from midnight to 3 a.m. Wednesday, and Wednesday night from midnight to 3 a.m. Thursday.

This is a prelude to project that is expected to start in September and run through December 2016.

The work near Sunset Harbour involves raising seawalls along the Collins Canal, and is a early step in a process that will ultimately include raising the road and the construction of a new bridge along West Avenue over the canal.

Thinking of going north on Alton Road this afternoon or coming home on the Julia Tuttle?

You might want to reconsider. President Obama is coming to town, and he’s attending  a couple of fund-raisers on Miami Beach.

As a result, the city is warning commuters that between 4 and 7 p.m., “there will be periodic closures” on the Tuttle, Alton Road north, and the 41st Street corridor.

It might be a good time to sign up for Miami Beach traffic text alerts. They really do help. Or follow the city on Twitter.

Get ready for another edition of Venetian crossing closed

The repair of the Venetian Way drawbridge between Belle Isle and Rivo Alto and roadbed repairs around it will begin as soon as September, and the crossing will be closed for 45 days during the work.

The drawbridge has been locked in the closed position since April 2015, due to a mechanical failure. When the westernmost span of the Venetian was rebuilt (May of 2015 to March 1, 2016), Miami-Dade County kept it closed to keep an open path on the longer routes from the Venetian Isles to mainland Miami.

But now Miami-Dade is moving ahead with the roadwork, the Miami Herald reports.

The cost of the project is about 2 million.  Construction should start around September. The drawbridge is expected to be finished by December 2016. Repairs to the other bridge are expected to be done by May.

Belle Isle residents to meet Tuesday to plan opposition to Belle Isle Key demolition

DeformaStudio-Bella Isla3

Rendering shows view from south side of Belle Isle.

A group of Belle Isle residents have scheduled a meeting Tuesday night at Costa Brava to rally opposition to the demolition of Belle Isle Key apartments.

The meeting is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m.on the mezzanine level of the condo , 11 Island Ave.

The EuroAmerican Group, which owns the apartments at 31 Venetian Way, has submitted plans to replace the current complex of 120 units in five three-story buildings with 172 apartments in two five-story buildings. The project would also provide substantially more parking — 297 spaces in an interior garage, instead of the 109 spaces that are part of the current complex.

Belle Isle Key Apartments, 31 Island Ave.

Belle Isle Key Apartments, 31 Island Ave.

The Miami Beach Design Review Board will consider EuroAmerican’s plan on June 7.

Lawyer Richard Freeman, who lives in Costa Brava and is helping to organize opponents, said he’s trying to marshall a big group to show up on June 7 to voice opposition when the DRB meets.

“The best arguments are not as effective as having people show up,” he sad. “Sometimes numbers seak louder than words.”

At a meeting last week, Belle Isle Residents Association president Scott Diffenderfer said the island association would not be taking a formal position against the complex because the height and number of units are allowed under the zoning code.

“You can’t just fight it because you don’t like it,” he said. “It has to have a legal basis.”

A meeting announcement circulated by Freeman says some residents are concerned the project will bring more traffic, construction and block bay views from other buildings.

 

Development update: Purdy Avenue project stalls, 17th Street mixed up plan moves forward

Proposed mixed use development on Purdy.

Proposed mixed use development on Purdy Avenue

The march of development in our neighborhood lurches forward and a little sideways.

— The Residences at Sunset Harbour, the Purdy Avenue retail-parking luxury condo project developer that Bradley Colmer wants to build across from Maurice Gibb Memorial Park, stalled again last week at the Miami Beach City Commission.

Commissioners delayed across on the project for another month in hopes Colmer and his opponents in the Sunset Harbour neighborhood can work out their differences.

Colmer’s DecoCapital Group is asking the city for a 40-foot height increase from the allowable 50 feet for the project, which would go up immediately north of the Lofts condominiums. at the corner of Purdy and Dade Boulevard.

Colmer also has gotten into a legal tussle with Beach Towing, which tried to block the development because it provides (go fiture) parking. In response, Colmer’s lawyers filed a legal memo accusing Beach Towing of operating contrary to city zoning rules for decades.

Rendering of 17th and Alton project

Rendering of 17th and Alton project

— Another mixed use project, this one proposed for two lots south of 17 Street between Alton Road and West Avenue (including the old Shell Staion and a  parking lot),  got approval from the Miami Beach Design Review Board on May 2.

The project, proposed by members of the Soffer family of Turnberry fame, includes retail space, 36 apartments and roughly 200 parking spaces.

It still needs the okay from Miami Beach’s Planning Board, in part because it seeks to build a ramp over Alton Court, the alley that runs between the two parcels as well as behind Epicure. It’s supposed to be back before the Planning Board on May 24.