What do I see as the biggest challenges facing Miami Beach right now, and what are some solutions I would propose:
I do not think Miami Beach is adequately preparing for rising sea levels. They have the best intentions and a respectable sum of money to commence construction, but without the proper environmental oversight / scientific voice on Commission, the City is not making the right decisions at the times required. They have authorized plans to move forward with engineered solutions that impact our surrounding waterways. This is unacceptable. We cannot destroy our surrounding waters as we mitigate to prevent these flooding impacts.
Alternative mitigative techniques using green alternatives can be employed to divert the flow of water rather than allow for runoff to flow directly into a pump station for discharge into our Bay. There are ways to allow for the safe discharge of stormwater effluent into our waterways, but they have not been implemented. What the City has done, is deceive the residents leading them to believe everything is fine. However, they have violated multiple permits, and have been operating illegally in additional locations without permits. This has all been under the direction of an uninformed Commission which lacks the professional expertise to protect our infrastructure and surrounding environment from these impacts.
Additional mitigative techniques include:
We must immediately increase the minimum finish floor elevation.
We must Improve our stormwater pump stations.
I call for the implementation of a green streets program to absorb and divert rainfall.
And as we continue to elevate roadways and sidewalks, we must also, elevate our critical infrastructure and facilities
With an additional $100 budget I would allocate the funds as represented in the following:
A few words on challenges our city faces:
We need to develop additional workforce housing for our middle and working class families. Large developments to increase density need to be scheduled in a manner to allow for the reduced levels of congestion. Developments need to be consistent with the surrounding architectural design and scale in the neighborhoods. We need to increase the availability of bike lanes through neighborhoods.
On transit options, alternative mobility is the apex for modern transportation when assessing efficiency; however, the complexities of modern transportation requirements involve many facets to be considered, some of which do not become apparent until a problem occurs. Careful review and preparation for rapid changes are necessary to reduce these impacts and improve traffic flow. Proper planning is a primary source for a solution to the City’s congestion. As the population and infrastructure increases, we will need to prepare accordingly for the growth that the City and the streets are to incur.
We need to install multi-modal systems at new locations to ease public travel; and expedite the completion of our boardwalk / beachwalk to allow safe passage for bicyclists and pedestrians.
Systems I would support include:
- Increased infrastructure to accommodate an enhanced multi-modal system;
- Express buses for the 395 and 195 corridor;
- Coordination to improve current systems in place including the County transit system;
- More frequent metrobus routes and improved stop locations;
- Increased free trolley routes;
- WiFi in all transit systems to entice additional riders; and
- Increased bike share programs.
On Climate Change and Environmental Damage, please see above
Transparency is a serious problem. Residents cannot find out what they need to know without facing obstacles. In fact, many residents feel the City keeps the residents in the dark to decrease “interference.”