An updated Miami-Dade Smart Plan East-West Corridor presentation this week revealed the county’s Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW) intention to start the project, develop four main stations, and improve surrounding areas with smaller affordable housing projects. housing, shops, offices, hotels and car parks.
The corridor is to connect the Tamiami Terminal to downtown Miami via the Dolphin Terminal and the Miami Intermodal Center (MIC) at Miami International Airport.
Last October, a Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) resolution chose Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) as the preferred mode of transportation. Since then, the DTPW authorities have been working on the development proposal.
At the September 20 TPO Transportation Planning Council meeting, a representative of the consulting firm WSP explained that under the updated proposal, small projects could be developed in vacant areas. near.
Northwest 107th Avenue (near Florida Department of Transportation, District Six headquarters) and Northwest 97th Avenue (near 12th Street car dealerships) stations are focused on serving the business district due to their proximity to shopping malls Dolphin and International, but also to the heavily residential area.
For the area around Northwest 107th Avenue station, residential developments have been proposed in a vacant area with retail, office and parking garage developments. For the proximity of 97th Avenue Northwest, office spaces, flexible spaces and parking garages have been suggested.
Northwest Seventh Street station, dubbed The Wedge, primarily targets affordable housing in the surrounding area, and it’s a space that has been connected to the Mall of the Americas on the west side of the Palmetto by a new street connecting Seventh Street to the east. from this site is 72nd Avenue, which runs to the west end of the airport.
The site was described by a representative from WSP at the meeting as a “great place for the workforce for affordable housing”. But the Northwest Seventh Street station is on a plot that the Florida Department of Transportation investigated for freight and truck parking and would potentially continue to be investigated by state officials, a conflict of interest. which Francisco Arbelaez, DTPW project manager, acknowledged at the meeting.
The 42nd Avenue station has a commercial approach. Its proximity to airport flight paths creates limits for the development of affordable housing, so a modest element of retail, office and hotel has been proposed.
A total of 10 stations are listed in DTPW’s October 2020 Executive Summary and Implementation Strategy: Terminal Tamiami, Terminal Dolphin, 107th Avenue, 97th Avenue, 87th Avenue, Mall of the Americas, 72nd Avenue at 12th Street , Seventh Street at Milam Dairy Road, The Wedge (southeast corner of SR 826 / Palmetto Expressway and Northwest Seventh Street), Seventh Street at 62nd Avenue, 57th Avenue at 12th Street, LeJeune Road / Northwest 42nd Avenue and Miami International Airport / MIC.
An updated budget and phasing was not presented at the meeting, but a DTPW presentation from October 22, 2020 to the board of the transportation planning organization details a phase 1 proposal – BRT Route 1 Tamiami to MIC and Route 2 Tamiami to downtown with an estimated capital cost of approximately $ 265 million. A Phase 2 BRT from Dolphin to MIC would have an estimated capital cost of $ 153 million.
In addition to the four selected station zones, the DTPW and the WSP consultant presented recommendations to add almost 70 miles of cycling infrastructure and over 10 miles of sidewalks and multi-use paths.
Other proposals include: Designating station areas as priority areas for pedestrians; Designate all county-owned land (parcels larger than one acre) within a half-mile radius of the corridor as a rapid transit area; Encourage municipalities to promote affordable housing developments in transit-oriented developments; and implement the required improvements identified by the water and sewer service for each transit-oriented development site, including new pumping stations, as well as water and sewer extensions.