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Sunday, August 24, 2014

What's up with Commodore Plaza?

I have been out of town for three months, and returned looking forward to seeing the new sidewalks. But, oh my God, I could not believe my eyes when I saw all the parking spaces that were eliminated!  
What was anyone thinking?  What's the purpose of those islands in the middle of Commodore Plaza? They are neither attractive nor useful; but they are detrimental to Commodore Plaza businesses specifically, including 7 restaurants, and center Grove in general. They effectively narrow the street by 16 feet, as well as remove 6 parking spaces.

I'd sure like to know who the "they" is that makes decisions like this. Someone really does want Coconut Grove to curl into a little ball, and just go away. As Yogi Berra said, "No one goes there anymore.  It's too crowded."
I'd love to start a revolution to get those islands removed.  Everyone I have spoken to about them feels the same way I do. I'm sure I'm not alone.  I'd love to know what the Commodore Plaza business owners feel about this situation.

Signed, A Friend 

Please send your Coconut Grove observations (good or bad) for "Postcard from a Friend"  and we'll run it. Any observation, long or short it good, if it's not good, please try not to use names of people or businesses. Email address is to the right, you can email your "postcard" there. These postcards work better without a name (yes, anonymously, believe it or not). If you would like your name attached, let me know and we'll run it as a Letter to the


Here you can see the extended sidewalk. There's a gutter between
the regular sidewalk and the extended sidewalk.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow I have not seen this as I do not bother going into my town anymore. With all the insane road construction and now this who wants to go to the Grove? Not me and I have lived here and supported the Grove for along time. Sad situation , they are ruining the Grove one day at time. If I did not won my house I would move to the Gables, where amenities and services are at an all time high! I actually hate the Grove these days. It has become a nightmare!

August 24, 2014 9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

perhaps the restaurants will put tables on the extended sidewalks with a bridge over the gutters

August 24, 2014 9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah I bet the businesses are quite happy. Isn't this basically wider sidewalks? Many local communities are going this route including the Gables. Miami Beach is proposing closing all traffic on Ocean Drive in favor of wider sidewalks and a pedestrian mall.

August 24, 2014 10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I didn't know that was what they were doing when I saw this construction. That is awful and definitely serves no purpose.

August 24, 2014 10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the idea of making the Grove more walk-able. To replace missing parking spots, they should add more attractive public parking in the form of a building surrounded by lots of plants/trees. I think this is what they plan near regatta park but another such place may be needed in the more western part of the Grove retail area.

August 24, 2014 11:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Presently there are but 2 islands, one is in front of a fire hydrant where no one could park legally, the other in front of a restaurant with sidewalk tables. Who wants to relax & eat next to cars pulling up within inches, gas fumes, car doors opening & closing and listening to people complain after having been squished between those who rudely lock them in as they squeeze into any opening? No one complained about Green Street having extended sidewalks!? I talked with numerous merchants who said the main complaint from their customers was the curb was higher in the Grove than elsewhere and when people exited from the passenger side, no problem, but when they returned the added weight caused the door to become stuck on the curb and the only solution was to get out, wait for the car to be moved away from the curb and re-enter the car. In most countries, Brazil comes to mind, as does Panama the Plazas/walk ways are pedestrian friendly, modest vehicle traffic and their business are mostly thriving with few closures, unlike here in the Grove. Soon, in less than 5 years the Grove, along with merchants that understand what the general public desires to spend their money on shall prosper, and those who don't care will close their doors. JOBIE STEPPE

August 24, 2014 11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those gutters are a lawsuit waiting to happen. More than the uneven bricks we had before. Perhaps they should paint them yellow or put a grate over them to keep people from falling into them.

August 24, 2014 12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no way restaurants can put tables on those extended sidewalks, the slope would make the tables tip over, go look at them for yourself. The construction is basically a waste of our tax money to a tune of over a million dollars. On the bright side some one is laughing all the way to the bank. Thank you Commissioner Sarnoff.

August 24, 2014 12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That two strips of side walk is a symbolic way of our local representative giving Coconut Grove and its residents the proverbial middle fingers.

August 24, 2014 1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a mess they have created on Commodore. I cannot understand why they put in the gutter. It is a lawsuit waiting to happen, according to one of the anonymous posters. Very depressing for someone who grew up here and has lived here for most of my life. There is a lot of money being wasted. What's next? I am sure whatever it is, it wont be for the benefit of the residents. I don't want to be negative, but I don't see much good happening here.
Liz Gibson

August 24, 2014 3:52 PM  
Blogger Sledge said...

"They" must be trying to make it look like a real Plaza.

August 24, 2014 4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gutters have been around since the plague & are a necessary part of historic and modern life to move standing water from where humans live. But that was before cell phones & texting while chewing gum. If you cannot take a simple step of about 18 inches, fall & break your jaw or lose a few teeth there will be no sympathy for your lack of coordination in Florida courts since you are free to walk around to avoid harm or injury. Are you men or mice? Pray tell, how did Mr. Sarnoff get on this blog? And Commodore is a "real plaza" getting a real face lift ready to enter into the real world where real people thrive! JOBIE STEPPE

August 24, 2014 6:07 PM  
Anonymous Dexter said...

Cool, somewhere to park my motorcycle.

August 24, 2014 6:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dexter, cool, your glass isn't half full, great idea, pass it around. We need more humans who seek answers & who contribute. FREE PARKING FOR MOTORCYCLES IN THE GROVE!

August 24, 2014 6:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarnoff is a disgrace to Coconut Grove, he wants to help Rick Scott get reelected as Florida's Republican Governor and actually went as far as comparing Rick Scott to Teddy Roosevelt. Please folks, this year vote with a conscience.

"In the most bizarre event of the tour, Miami City Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, a Democrat, claimed Scott’s environmental record rivaled Teddy Roosevelt’s. While Teddy is turning in his grave, I’m certain his stellar environmental record remains unmatched"


August 24, 2014 7:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This blog is titled "What's up with Commodore Plaza"? What the heck - - - Mark your squirrel's are eating my avocado's, your mosquito's have invaded my yard, you've caused hurricanes, tornados, water spouts, tidal waves, WWI, II, Viet Nam, toad frogs, cancer, rising sea levels, jet lag, flat tires, the depression, recessions, road kill, over-population, pythons in the glades and more importantly high ice cream prices - bad boy! JOBIE STEPPE

August 24, 2014 7:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jobie, your posts rival JFK's speeches.

August 24, 2014 8:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dont get to happy just yet.next week they are going to put up no motorcycle parking signs all around the gutter.its only going to get worse my freinds.so sad to see the grove has turned into the laughing stalk of miami.

August 24, 2014 10:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

C'mon, be nice. That cost over a million bucks to make it look this way. Its money well spent for absolutely nothing. Way to go guys... Cant wait to see what the next project will be and for what reason you'll claim.

August 24, 2014 11:23 PM  
Blogger Tony Scornavacca Jr. said...

The islands seem to have no purpose. This fits into the City of Miami's Public Works Dept. pattern of spending money pointlessly and frivolously. (Example: Hundreds of signs all around the Grove, including dozens of "Share The Road" signs.)

August 25, 2014 1:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These 2 islands have an important purpose & are called Pedestrian Refuge Islands. On Commodore, if you take the time to observe you'll notice many times hourly drivers will make sudden U-turns, illegally, to park in an empty space. Look closely & you'll also notice the cars are packed in like sardines. Pedestrians crossing on Commodore first have to squeeze between autos & delivery trucks, which if moved only inches could cripple people easily by breaking both knees; it happens all the time worldwide. Children are crushed frequently. With Pedestrian Refuge Islands folks can get a clear view, safely before attempting to cross the street. Many people have been run over & killed at the University of Miami & on Brickell. For those of U who invoked Mark Sarnoff's name negatively, although he had nothing to do with the design, are actually ignorant because the design assist aged folks like your Mother's & Father's, children, handicapped persons who might move slower, and drunks, etc., etc., etc. But, if you want, go ahead and run out into the street without looking from a safe vantage point! JOBIE STEPPE P.S. There won't be any NO PARKING MOTORCYCLE signs because there's no room for kick stands.

August 25, 2014 8:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Refuge islands are in the CENTER of large roadways, not immediately adjacent to the sidewalk. These are purely aesthetic.

The biggest issue with these islands is the gap between them and the sidewalk. If the gutters could not be routed on the street site, they should at least be covered with grating

August 25, 2014 9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somebody call carmell from 7 new or help me howard cause the mess in the grove is getting out of hand

August 25, 2014 9:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, sorry anon 9:33. There are 40 types of fruit in the peach family. There are thousands of different kinds of fish. How many different kinds of cars, trucks, trains & airplanes are there? And there are literally hundreds & hundreds & hundreds of different types of raised refuge pedestrian crossings. The two on Commodore are known as MIDBLOCK CROSSINGS CURB EXTENSIONS due to blocked sight lines of sight. These originated in Germany & Japan and are now popping up throughout the U.S., and Canada. And there are about 80 types of mosquito's in Southern Florida & 8 carry 47 separate diseases. You would be correct to say that most refuge pedestrian islands are between opposing traffic.

August 25, 2014 10:43 AM  
Blogger markusbc said...

It is quite surprising how many (anonymously commentin) people on this blog can get worked up about losing six parking spaces, as if walking a few blocks is the biggest obstacles for people frequenting Coconut Grove. Having wider sidewalk and shade is a boon to businesses and pedestrians, which the area can use more of. I do not condone government waste, but this does not strike me as a good example of one (baseball stadium comes to mind). I realize that this is a car-centric part of the country, but having a "revolution" over this?

August 25, 2014 11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Worked up, where? Your words "Quite surprising" indicates worked up.
"Revolution" over this. Now that's getting worked up. People who follow the Grape are obviously opinionated, worked up!? how about strongly opinionated? The word revolution is appropriate for the Middle-East, not here in the Grape. Besides, this is fun.

August 25, 2014 1:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarnoff wanted it done and approved the design as part of his worthless legacy, the proof is on the record at the City Hall.

August 25, 2014 4:40 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I am not going negative here cause besides not knowing the reasons or facts will just add my 2 cents. The Pedestrian Refuge comment above seems to makes sense. My personal wish they just paved the whole street for "evening closings" where everyone could walk and enjoy at night or festivals.

On another note I always wondered why so many people post Anonymous?
Peace :) Kat

August 25, 2014 5:52 PM  
Blogger Tony Scornavacca Jr. said...

Excellent, Kat! Yes, why the anonymous comments? ... And, the Sarnoff haters are actually shining a negative light upon themselves. Not Sarnoff.

August 25, 2014 6:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why would anybody let something this rediculous be built.these little troff will hold stagnent water and smell and bring mosquitos.and rats love these gutters since they are always filled with roaches which is a huge problem in the grove.why doest the grove hire a cunsultant like other cities.and where did they get these cheap and ugly generic bricks from.omg the ones they used in the gabage dumps look better.

August 25, 2014 11:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have the right to your opinions but not to the facts, Sarnoff pushed and shoved to get this stupid project done, it is a fact and it is a stupid project, the proof is in the pudding, and the funny thing is that it is not the first time a misguided project has been sponsored by the man and a mindless few give it unconditional support.

August 26, 2014 10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What U imply defies gravity. The grade on the road wasn't modified, so rain water shall continue to flow down to the rain water gutters @ the end of the street. There will be no deadly swarms of disease carrying mosquitos, marauding hordes of plague infested rats or waves of cock roaches. What you imply in all probability is a phantasy, delusion or psychosis. You would have fit snugly into the old Grove. Better check under your bed before going to sleep tonight, perhaps you'll find something! JS

August 26, 2014 11:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Admittedly, I use to troll before I knew/realized what that entailed mentally. And on occasions when my wife looked over my shoulder asking "what's wrong with U" causing me to examine my motives I realized how ignorant, stupid, & unintelligent I appeared both to others & finally myself. It took several years due to my hard-headedness, so I'm slightly qualified to remark that some of U are still acting out on blogs just as stupidly as I did, way back when. So grow up, jump off the band wagon, leave Sarnoff out of the equation. The subject matter of this blog are those two islands! What do you think about them? JS

August 26, 2014 2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarnoff is the reason those useless islands are there now, he is part of the equation and he is responsible and accountable for wasting our money on this dubious project and numerous other pet projects. Capeesh.

August 26, 2014 6:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 6:59 These islands will save life & limb, and if you're not concerned please don't bring your parents, kids, friends, pet into the Grove or elsewhere since you display a certain degree of, well extreme ignorance. JS P.S., oh, U invoked a response!

August 26, 2014 8:30 PM  

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