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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Civil rights violations and the trolley system

The Miami Herald has an interesting story today on the City of Miami and Coral Gables trolleys. Apparently we don't have a trolley in the Grove because "they," whomever "they" is, don't want the Village West people in their neighborhoods. I suspect that "they" is Miami-Dade transit, as I'm not sure who else has final say. The trolleys only operate in wealthy areas for the most part, where they do operate, most of the residents have cars. So it's just an added luxury where in the past, mass transit was for those who needed it. Not in this case. 

The Federal government is now looking into the situation after citizen complaints. Miami-Dade County was given millions in transportation money as part of the Federal Stiumulus Package. A $69 million grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) was given to the county.

The Herald says, "At issue is whether the local projects fail to serve poor and minority communities, potentially violating the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964." On top of that, it's just wrong. How are you going to pick and choose trolley routes based on the color of peoples' skin and not traffic patterns? 

For years, many of us in Coconut Grove felt slighted, it seemed that all the other City of Miami neighborhoods had a free trolley service and we were overlooked. People told me in hushed tones that it was because "they" didn't want people from the Village West hopping on and going to the other neighborhoods. I couldn't believe that this was the issue in the 21st century, but the Federal govenrment is now looking into this. 

CocoWalk, the BID, and so many business owners tried for the longest time to get the trolleys here. If you are a longtime reader, you know I've been harping on getting trolley service in the Center Grove for years. I was given all sorts of reasons for our lack of trolleys which didn't make sense. I was told that there aren't enough to go around, that we have the Circulator bus so we didn't need the trolley and we didn't need a trolley since we could walk from one end of the Center Grove to the other, as if this is what we wanted it for, to go a couple of blocks.


The trolleys go as far north as Mercy Hosptial, when I asked why, I was told because the hospital needs a trolley, but to be honest, I see those trolleys daily and I don't think I've ever seen anyone use them to go to or from the hospital, although I am sure that someone uses them, but it's just not worth the route for the few that use it. I only bring this up because I've been told that routes would be changed according to ridership. Well, after all this time, there is no real ridership to or from Mercy. But now we know why the routes are not changed to accommodate citizens who would use the service. They don't like the color of some peoples' skin; they don't like their low income levels either.

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5 Comments:

Anonymous Al Crespo said...

If the trolley system is the City of Miami trolley, then the "they" is not the county, but rather Commissioner Sarnoff, the self-imposed king of Sarnoffville, along with his sock puppet, the ever pliant Assistant City Manager Alice Bravo. Nothing good of bad is allowed to occur in Sarnoffville without it having been run by the Commissioner.

It was Sarnoff that "arranged" for the deal that let the trolley garage be built in the West Grove, and it was Alice Bravo who told the county that the city did not have the money to conduct the testing that they asked the city to conduct almost 3 years ago now over the contaminated parks.

Think about the fact that the only park in the city of Miami that was covered over with Astro Turf just happens to be across the street from Sarnoff's house, and that it occurred in the time period between the initial discovery of possible contamination and the revelations that Blanche Park was in fact contaminated, and that Astro Turf would supposedly work to seal in the contamination.

Think about that and then think about the new Regatta Park, and the meeting this week at City Hall. Sarnoff has only one constituency and that is the small group of developers and their lawyers who he sucks up to.

If you don't show up in large numbers and question every period and comma of this latest deal, then when a couple years from now, after he's gone from office you find out that he screwed Coconut Grove again, shame on you.

January 19, 2014 9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One thing you forgot to mention is how the Feds were investigating how the local polititions violated the Civil Rights Act in the building of the garage for the trolley's in West Grove and how illegally and duplicitously they went about it. .
(Miami Herald article, Nov 13, 2013)

The Grove is just fine for being the place where the bus repair and storage happens but heaven forbid that we actually benefit from the actual service they provide to the wealthier communities.

January 19, 2014 9:45 AM  
Blogger Headly Westerfield said...

Mr. Crespo is 100% right. Follow the Sarnoff.

January 19, 2014 11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Curious as to the thought of keeping the trolleys out of the entire Grove? Do you all think they have stopped at Mercy Hospital because if the route came through the North Grove and the Business district and still not West Grove it would be more obvious that the City was violating the Civil Rights Act? I think they are trying to crew us out of more money for parking. My answer has been for a while to boycott doing business in the Grove. I travel further by car so I do not have to deal with the Grove parking. I certainly would spend money in the Grove if I could take the Trolley. Right now we spend zero dollars in the Grove. Again no child friendly events or activities and no reason to ever go into the business district. I guess City of Miami wants to do Ghost tours of Coconut Grove because soon that's all that will be here Ghosts!

January 19, 2014 8:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarnoff wanted to make it illegal to feed the homeless. Recall the repulsive $?*&#@%.

January 20, 2014 12:05 AM  

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