Commodore Plaza; a very casual street
People were concerned about some parking spaces in the middle of the block being removed, and I think four other parking spaces were removed at one end of the block and made into sidewalk space so that restaurants could add more tables; and the trees; so many could have been saved with one word from business owners, but more table space was more important than protecting the trees.
The biggest complaint we always hear about Coconut Grove is lack of parking or at least the perception of lack of parking. For some reason, people don't care to park in the many lots we have around the Center Grove, they prefer street parking. People really don't even complain much about the meters, they are willing to pay, but they want street parking. Taking street parking away for no logical reason makes me question the logic in this.
When I first saw the changes on Commodore Plaza, I didn't really think much because there is always talk about making the street a pedestrian plaza (it would actually be a plaza then), so parking would not exist then anyway.
As for the new extended areas of the sidewalks, Ron Nelson, Commissioner Sarnoff's Chief of Staff told me that they are intended to allow crossing in the middle of the block. And the gaps between the sidewalks are supposed to be covered and should have been by now for safety reasons and also Ron says to keep water from collecting there in heavy rains.
That street seems like a plaza already to me, what I mean is, I have crossed the street at all points, not necessarily at either end or in the center of the block. It sort of feels like a closed block for some reason. Traffic never seems to speed through there and it almost seems at times that cars are intruding on the life of the street. Does that make any sense? I mean if you walked into the middle of the street and stood there, I don't think cars would beep at you to move and many times, cars seem to casually double park. It's a very casual street.
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