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Monday, April 30, 2018

Too many street closures at one time

A lot of people are not happy about the closure of Virginia Street for the purpose of CocoWalk's construction of their new office building. I remember when there was a time when Commissioner Sarnoff wanted to close off Virginia Street for good and make it a plaza, people weren't too happy about that back then. And remember the time Virginia was closed so that the Mayfair Hotel could have a pool lifted to the roof? That was May 2008, I can't remember how long the street was closed for that, but it was a bit of time. Here are photos

Here are a bunch of stories we did at the time of the proposed Virginia Street closing, ironically, CocoWalk sent out a letter opposed to it. There was even a petition against it.

Oak Street is a mess at the garage-turned-office building and that whole corner of Oak, Tigertail and Mary is really a mess every day of the week, we are at the mercy of construction workers trying to direct traffic with huge cement trucks and other equipment taking over those streets in that area. 

The 18 month proposal for the closure of Virginia Street for CocoWalk's project is quite  long and as we all know - 18 months turns into years when it comes to construction. They should have had the building knocked down by now and they haven't even started. 

A reader wrote to me, "I’ll bet that, if the owners were charged a steep fee (like $10,000 per day) they’d find a way to get the work done faster. The other upsetting part is that the City allows street closures in so many places in very close proximity to each other, which just creates a total gridlock problem.  Add that to the sidewalk/sewer/street repairs scheduling (along with their absurdly slow pace), and we wind up being unable to traverse mere blocks in less than 30 or 40 minutes at times."

He went on, "It seems to me that a rule prohibiting lane/street closures for private purposes for more than some period of time (maybe up to 90 or 120 days in any 12 or 18 or 24 month period) would be appropriate and that those wanting to close the roads should pay a daily fee to the City, which fee would rise with the number of days a lane or street is closed (like $1,000/day for the first 30 days, $2,000 for the next 30 and so on). Naturally, builders should still be required to maintain the entry/exit points of their developments in a clean and safe manner, with traffic control for entering and entering vehicles. I believe there are ordinances prohibiting dangerous work over public spaces, but, if not, that should be part of the law. In short, a property owner should execute the work exclusively on their property, except for a limited number of days."

He says he is exploring the possibility of getting a petition drive going to get this issue on the ballot.

It's interesting what he says about developers and street closures. In my own little neighborhood a private developer would have one of the streets closed for weeks on end while building townhouses, he told me he paid people off in order to build double the amount that were allowed at the time. Another developer is starting a project and that has become an issue with blocking streets, too.

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4 Comments:

Blogger gail said...

I agree with whoever said charge a steep fee and YES the work would get done. All these Grove projects take too long at the residents expense. While the cars have to pay a daily parking fee - I just always wonder what the city charges for the closing down of the street for days, weeks + years is ?????

May 01, 2018 7:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of the corruptness of developers.
What has just been made public knowledge.
One of the builders of townhomes throughout
the grove,and continues her building spree,has just been found guilty of homestead tax fraud.She has owned a property, a Center grove townhome for 20 years,and for all 20 stated it as her homestead,where in reality it has been a rental unit the entire time.
Her permanent residence is a duplex that she resides in and rents the other unit.The State of Florida only allows 10 years to be levied against the person committing fraud.She has been just fined,back taxes,interest,and fines in the amount of $89,000 dollars Now clearly stated in the public real estate tax records of 3009 Day Ave..This is beyond outrageous.With this despicable behavior,which many are guilty of,create the issues of higher taxes for all.But for someone that is so prevalent in the grove, for twenty years to have done this shows the true character of this individual.And one wonders as a developer what else that has been unscrupulous over her years of developing.A beyond sad state of affairs.

May 01, 2018 7:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's about time they got her. Check out folio 01-4121-107-0050. She fronts for a developer who is responsible for much of the illegal tree removal and signs waivers for things not permitted by code.

May 01, 2018 9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Public construction, such as streets, takes too long in Miami. The contracts should have sensible completion dates enforced by penalties. It is not uncommon for contractors to leave the site for weeks, e.g. the reconstruction of 27th Avenue.

May 01, 2018 9:12 PM  

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