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Guest pod

Local issues on the ballots...

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Guest pod

With all this talk about the national issues, I think we tend to forget some important local issues are up for a vote this November 2nd.

Depending on your municipality...

http://elections.miamidade.gov/sampleballots.html

The important ones, to me at least are the:

Baylink - Beach residents love this one. My take?: We need some form of mass transit besides the creaky old buses to link the beach with downtown. Their take? All the brown people are gonna invade South Beach and cause a ruckus. Beach voters are racist.

63rd Street Flyover Demolition - What it sounds like. There's a flyover on 63rd Street that some condo residents don't like. They want it demolished. Demolition will take 2 years almost. More traffic!

Building Better Communities Bonds - Various bond acts to "build better communities"...see the website for the skinny.

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Guest LeVeL

Thanks Pod for the link, this will be my first time voting so I am basically clueless to this. So many issues and Candidates so little time.

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Guest pod

The national issues are important, obviously, but so are the local issues...especially this year with the bond issues and Baylink controversy.

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Guest LeVeL

Exactly you got al these issues on the ballot that people have never evenheard of. I mean I haven't seen a commercial or anybody even mention it. Its like an easy way for the Govenrment to pass a certain issue without people knowing about it. And once its passed and people are complaining its too late.

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Guest pod

That's the thing. Those bond issues are big things...one of the proposed bonds will finance these huge museums on what is now Bicentennial Park. In my mind this is a waste as Miami has big museums already, but yet doesn't have a proper downtown park. If the museums don't go into place, the park becomes a full-fledged park, and not just a place where they throw concerts from time to time.

Another bond would finance a tunnel from Watson Island to the Seaport so trucks don't clog Downtown Miami trying to get to 395. That is actually a good idea in my mind.

Baylink too is a big deal to me as a regular user of public transit. It would allow a more effective interchange of people to and from the Beach. The current implementation kinda stinks that it is at street-level, but the other implementation was to extend the Metromover, but the Beach residents didn't want to spoil the look of Washington Avenue, so that got shot down...what look?

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Guest LeVeL

That's the thing. Those bond issues are big things...one of the proposed bonds will finance these huge museums on what is now Bicentennial Park. In my mind this is a waste as Miami has big museums already, but yet doesn't have a proper downtown park. If the museums don't go into place, the park becomes a full-fledged park, and not just a place where they throw concerts from time to time.

Another bond would finance a tunnel from Watson Island to the Seaport so trucks don't clog Downtown Miami trying to get to 395. That is actually a good idea in my mind.

Baylink too is a big deal to me as a regular user of public transit. It would allow a more effective interchange of people to and from the Beach. The current implementation kinda stinks that it is at street-level, but the other implementation was to extend the Metromover, but the Beach residents didn't want to spoil the look of Washington Avenue, so that got shot down...what look?

I am with youon all those issues....which I was completely clueless about before you posted it.

But that Tunnel idea would be great those dam Trucks do bring enough traffic as it is.

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Baylink - Beach residents love this one. My take?: We need some form of mass transit besides the creaky old buses to link the beach with downtown. Their take? All the brown people are gonna invade South Beach and cause a ruckus. Beach voters are racist.

can you blame them? miami beach is a war zone...

i'm all for any project that keeps immigrants going east and not north..

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Guest pod

Not for nothing, but the people that the insular Beach community fears the most come over all the time anyway, but using private transport which adds to the deplorable parking and traffic situation on the Beach. A method of reliable public transit would ease that congestion, with park and rides, and so forth...other major cities have no issues with taking transit to go out on the town...coach pointed out once though that the jet-set wouldn't be caught dead using public transit...then again, the jet-set forms a small minority...the majority of Beach users are people I don't see having an issue taking the train at all...

Yes, I said the Beach is insular. Look around. Most people I know are scared shitless of the mainland. They envision the shiny red trains bringing in loads of crackheads, knife-wielding thugs, and other degenerates. Chaos and anarchy will ensue, and we'll all be going to Epicure in armoured personnel carriers.

Yeah there's some bad parts, but for the most part the mainland is pretty tame (read:boring) and that is why they come to the Beach, and as of late, Downtown. Someone wrote in the Sunpost this week that the Beach is for everyone, black, white, Asian, Latin or anyone in between. Between the rampant opposition to the Baylink project, and the rapid privitization of beachfront property, the Beach is rapidly becoming a private island. Let's get it over with and put up a velvet rope on the causeways manned by the door staff from Mynt.

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Guest bcnjunkie
In my mind this is a waste as Miami has big museums already, but yet doesn't have a proper downtown park.

absolutely ! the Bass with its' new wing is great, The Wolfosonian is also nice but they are always empty (I never see a great influx of people into these Museums). The Margulies collection is awesome and I think the location is great but It rarely gets the large numbers. MOCA has interesting exhibits also but it's never packed. So I don't understand how they want to build a huge Museum if we can't pack the ones we already have ?

ps for those that don't know the Margulies collection I highly suggest you visit if you like contemporary art. if you are driving on I-95 northbound from dowtown, at about a mile before reaching I195 (SR112) you will see on the right hand side a building with two huge pictures consisting of a man and a woman' face with a sort of blank look... that's the museum. It's in the middle of the garment district and it's a huge warehouse; very city-like indeed

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Guest JMT

im not from miami, but ive never heard anyone say its museums were comparative to other major cities. this is a first, but ill take your words for it.

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Guest pod

Well, the museums are there, but nobody goes to them. The resources to build new ones should go to promoting existing ones.

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Guest bcnjunkie

im not from miami, but ive never heard anyone say its museums were comparative to other major cities. this is a first, but ill take your words for it.

well they're really not comparable, you are right. What I mean is that even with these small but good museums and we can't get a large interest in art, why would lead the city of Miami to believe that large museums are a good idea ? they are in no way a Smithsonian, Gugenheim or Chicago art institute but I don't think Miami is a good city for these kind of museums

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Guest macboy

Baylink - Beach residents love this one. My take?: We need some form of mass transit besides the creaky old buses to link the beach with downtown. Their take? All the brown people are gonna invade South Beach and cause a ruckus. Beach voters are racist.

Beach residents are NOT racist. This is just a common strategy that is being used by Baylink proponents to help their measure pass. Reverse psychology and Jedi mind tricks. When they hear racism, people sometimes block out whatever else is being said - and that's a shame. There are legitimate reasons not to build baylink, most importantly the traffic congestion it will actually cause, and the devastation to local businesses along the construction route that it will most certainly lose customers not willing to sit through traffic.

But the REAL reason for the opposition? The majority of the voting population in this town is old and may not likely see Baylink in their lifetime. Even if it passes, it will be at least 7 years before construction begins and another 6 years before it gets completed. 2018? Many of these geriatrics don't want to spend the final years of their life in snarling traffic.

Of course, there is one benefit to Baylink getting approved, pod. There will most definitely be an increase in one segment of the population - your favorite: THE HOMELESS.

But we all know if you were already riding your Kawasaki or whatever brand of Japanese motorcycle you like, Baylink would be just an afterthought to you. :P

I am against this for the simple reason that they don't even have a concrete plan as to where on the Beach the train is supposed to go. They've been talking about it for so long yet they can't agree on the best route for this thing to take. They need to provide a final plan to the public before even having us vote on it.

One final note: these are NON-BINDING STRAW POLLS. That means regardless of what the final vote is, the City Commission could vote the other way. This is just a sentiment gauge. Our vote may not matter in the end.

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Guest pod

Well the vote would approve the funds, the final execution of the plan is still up in the air. Construction would mean an increase in traffic for the time being, but that comes with any major project like that. Notice none of the other corridors being planned have nearly as much controversy. Most of the other corridors for rail are almost done with planning and will be starting construction in the next year or two. Traffic sucks around here, a viable urban transit option is desperately needed. When gas prices hit $4.00/gallon in the next year or so, then people will be really asking for it.

You're a tolerant person, Macboy. But corner your more well-heeled friends, get a few drinks in them, and hear what they have to say about the "degenerates" spoiling the beach. Again, if they had their way, there'd be a toll-booth operated by the Mynt doorstaff on each causeway.

You're right, Baylink wouldn't be done till 2023 at the earliest. Though by then I'll have my own form of transportation, I still think it is a good idea. If anything with the development of Downtown as an entertainment area, it may just cut down on DWI incidents on the causeway. As for homeless on transit? Well, just step up security. You look like a vagrant, you don't get on, that simple.

http://www.miamidade.gov/trafficrelief/updates_bay_link.asp

While you're there, check out the other transit initiatives, most of which will be done by the middle of the next decade.

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Guest nickjunkie

I sit on Macboy's side of the fence on the Baylink idea. I don't see any concrete benefit for Miami Beach, and the mess caused by the construction that took place on Collins last year was enough to put me off the idea completely.

However, spoiling 'the look' of Washington Avenue would not be one of my objections... ;)

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Guest pod

If racism is an inflammatory statement by the pro-Baylink side, spoiling the "look" of Washington is an inflammatory statement by the anti-Baylink side. Hell guys it could be worse, like I said before the original plan was to drop the Metromover scooting on those Stonehenge-looking pylons all the way up to 71st Street.

Though with some restyling those things could look kinda cool in a Blade-Runner kind of way. Or a Maglev woulda been cool like they have in Germany.

Washington Ave is a dump. Aside from a few buildings like the Cameo Theatre where crobar now sits, it is ugly and smells bad. Traffic is horrendous, but then again it is horrendous everywhere on the beach. It took over an hour to get home yesterday, and I live on 71st, which is about ten or fifteen minutes on a good day.

Baylink or whatever, Miami Beach does need a viable mass-transit link to the mainland.

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Guest macboy

If they're going to do it, I think it should be a train that goes north and south on Biscayne, with tracks going east on MacCarthur, Tuttle, and Kennedy, and then stopping one block into Miami Beach at each of those crossovers. First crossover that should be done is Kennedy, as I suspect it is the least traversed of the three.

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Guest pod

I'd be for that. I live just off the Kennedy.

There's a "Biscayne Corridor" rail line being planned, actually.

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Guest bcnjunkie

I think a link between the airport and Miami Beach would probably be more beneficial

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Guest pod

Well, the Baylink system would tie into the greater Metrorail system, which will have a rail link to the proposed MIC hub being built right now. the MIC (Miami Intermodal Center) will be like a big bus/rail terminal next to the airport, basically...

BTW, here's a map of the proposed and in-progress rail expansions...

railcorridor.gif

The blue line is the existing system. The green dashed line is the Tri-Rail The orange, red and yellow lines are planned rail systems. Macboy's Biscayne Line idea is presented, and the Baylink, and BCN's airport idea are there. Some of the lines proposed are due to be done by 2012, eight years from now. The Baylink is due in 2023 because of the delays brought upon by infighting in the Beach government, and the North East (Biscayne) Corridor and South Miami-Dade Corridor are due in 2033 since it is going to take forever to purchase rights of way and plan around people who won't sell.

I think that is the opposition that the system currently faces. People want a fix now, and aren't willing to wait 30 years for it to be done. Christ, I'll be 54 years old when this is all said and done. I think the long term benefits are a good reason though. Even with modern construction techniques, stuff like this takes a long time. Though I'm sure they will build it in stages and as each stage is done, they will turn it on for immediate use, like they did with the original Metrorail, which wasn't completed until 2003...yeah there was a 15 year break, but that was political.

New York's massive system took decades to be completed and they are still building new lines.

That is the trouble with massive civil works projects, especially these days...people don't think of the long term benefits. I could wax intellectual about how when we're in our 50s, we'll be healthy like we're in our thirties, but even forgoing that, I'd like to see a good system for the future residents of Dade to enjoy.

Oh, and they plan on linking this with a similar system being thought out in Broward, so watch out Saleen, all the brown people are gonna have a train to Broward!

This is all proposed/being planned, and so forth. There's so much that can happen from the now till the first pylon is built.

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Guest pod

More transit geekery

http://www.protransit.org/video_b1.htm

9 minute video showing how a Baylink system could work. It is heavily biased of course, but it shows the potential. It mentions the issue at hand though, that traffic is going to get progressively worse in the next ten years on Miami Beach unless something is done now.

My obvious question is, that when it hits Miami Beach and shares the road, what is the MPO's plan to deal with the shitty drivers around here? Yes, you all suck at driving. So do I. Ask TJ about the crazy family bumping his shiny sports car outside of crobar one day. They looked at him like he was being rude for mentioning the fact.

The shiny new streetcars are the shit until some crazed driver cuts one off and gets plowed under until the computer figures out something's wrong and stops the system...or worse yet nails some homeless guy and splatters him. Better paint the trains red.

I'm still pro-Baylink though, I just hope they address issues like these during build-out.

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