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Monday, June 01, 2015

Revisiting the Grand Avenue traffic pattern

Now that the Main Highway project is on hold, perhaps the county should take a look at Grand Avenue.

Ten years ago, Grand Avenue was redone which changed four lanes of traffic (two lanes each direction) into two lanes of traffic (one lane in each direction). This of course is one of the stupidest things ever done. To make traffic even worse, a median was put in. A few of us were taking about it this weekend. The problem with this is that traffic gets worse and worse, and cities all over the world are trying to add more traffic lanes, not take them away. Why would anyone with a brain take four lanes on a major artery and squeeze them down to two lanes?


Last week, the Herald ran a story called, "No way out: For drivers caught in gridlock, little relief down the road." Not very comforting to know.

A good thing about the Main Highway project being on hold is that Grand Avenue would have been a main artery going in one direction while traffic on Main would be going in another direction. With the small lanes on Grand now, traffic will be backed up constantly, especially when a bus or dare I say trolley stops for drop off and pick up. Maybe they can manage to get Grand Avenue undone and back the four lane road that it was. This would be a great help when the Main Highway project starts.

I'm not sure why  Grand was made over to begin with, a friend told me it was to accommodate tables for restaurants. I don't think I have ever seen a restaurant with tables on Grand Avenue in Village West. Not that it's not a good idea, but the simplest solution would have been to brick in a parking space or two if they needed space for tables, which again, are non-existent now. They saw no problem with adding restaurant space at Lulu, GreenStreet and Spartico by filling in valuable parking spaces. And at The Grove Spot, two spaces were taken over by CitiBikes.

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5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Notice the difference of Grand east of Douglas Road and west of Douglas Road.
Grand east of Douglas belongs to Miami and is in Coconut Grove. West belongs to Coral Gables. Grove Grand street has been reduced to one lane in each direction with impassible median. If your car is stopped in traffic, there is nowhere to go in case of an emergency vehicle or a guy that comes to your window and demands your wallet and watch. A cyclist has a designated bike lane will riding on Grand in the Gables, but then it evaporates as soon as he crosses Douglas into the Grove. I thought we were promoting ourselves as a Safer and Bike Friendly Community! We seem to be neither.

June 01, 2015 6:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Before commenting on this blog I drove down Grand after turning right on Grand from 32'd Avenue to Douglas. There are 5 side roads running North to South, all going through single family homes & several schools and churches. The two lanes you & your friends discussed going each way on Grand would allow for a speed limit of about 40 MPH because it could be designated a thoroughfare. I noted that there were vehicles at all of these intersections, and Grand Avenue was backed up from 32'd by about 2 blocks, but moving briskly. When a vehicle passes 32'd, at the traffic signal heading North, the roadway is reduced to a one lane has been reduced to a single lane. In other words, why make a two lane thoroughfare that exits into a one lane, what traffic improvement would be gained? Further, there are 10 turn lanes, each with the capacity to handle about 3 to 4 vehicles turning off of Grand from 32'd to 37th. If Grand were a 4 lane with no medium allowing a thoroughfare speed limit of even 35/40 miles per hour, coupled with Miami drivers who have been labeled rude & obnoxious what do YOU think would happen!? Jobie Steppe

June 01, 2015 9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, it was a bottle-neck to begin with. Plus enough with the politically-correct talk: The Grand Ave. thing was done to accommodate the people who live on West Grove, who usually do not dine out on street restaurants, uses buses, bikes or walk. And to clean it up, which it did, crime has improved.

For once, we don't need to criticize the City too much for that one. Then again, you have the never-ending Horrors on 27th AVE or the re-construction fiascos on Commodore, so what the heck, go ahead.

June 01, 2015 9:41 AM  
Anonymous REinMIA said...

I disagree with the premise that "cities all over the world are adding lanes not taking them away." It is In face precisely the opposite. As studies of traffic patterns have shown, when roads grow and lanes multiply, additional traffic comes. In other words, a hypothetically expanded Grand would take pressure off other roads like US1. Drivers that don't necessarily use US1 today (perhaps a driver from further South such as Kendall) will see that US1 is less crowded and will prefer that route over another route on a different highway or freeway and will switch their pattern to "fill in" the excess capacity. Now both US1 and Grand will be packed, which perversely will create more not less traffic In the Grove. These studies have been done time and time again. This is why cities have been adopting traffic calming measures where they shrink the roads and push cars on "through routes" i.e. Not stopping locally, to other highways and freeways further away that have room to expand.

Let's not feel the need to butcher the big bad government for anything and everything that we don't like in life.

June 01, 2015 10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But Grand Ave now has lots of street parking as a result. Isn't that a hot button issue in the Grove or does it not apply to West Grove? I'm sure residents appreciate it.

Traffic on Grand can get slow, but it does keep moving. Well, except west of Douglas. It can get pretty bad there due to the Grand / US1 intersection being absolutely terrible.

June 02, 2015 12:26 PM  

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