City To Have A ‘Walkshop’ On Sidewalks and Bike Path On Alhambra

On Saturday, October 19th the City of Coral Gables will have an on-site walk though along the Alhambra corridor (South of Coral Way to San Amaro Drive) that is being considered for sidewalks and a bike path.  This will give participants the opportunity to show the design team location specific issues and concerns.

 October 19th Walkshop Schedule:

  •  9:00 am:     Coral Way – Saragossa Avenue
  • 10:00 am:   Saragossa Avenue – Bird Road
  • 11:00 am:   Bird Road – Blue Road
  • 12:00 pm:   Blue Road – Miller Road
  • 1:00 pm:     Miller Road – San Amaro Drive

Residents may join all or part of the ‘Walkshop’. The city recommends comfortable footwear and bicycles and scooters are welcome.

After the on-site walk through, the city will be mailing voting ballots to the directly affected neighbors on Monday, November 4th. Property owners will have 4 weeks to vote, not counting Thanksgiving week and will be due on Monday, December 9th.

“The reason we’re doing the on-site walk through October 19th and then the ballots in November is for complete transparency.” said City Manager Peter Iglesias. “We want to put this project to vote and have the residents decide before the end of the year.”

If residents have any questions, they may contact Jessica Keller, Assistant Public Works Director at jkeller@coralgables.com or 305-460-5000.

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8 thoughts on “City To Have A ‘Walkshop’ On Sidewalks and Bike Path On Alhambra

  1. As an Alhambra Circle resident directly impacted by the planned “bike path” included in a 2014 Master Bicycle Plan drafted solely with input from Special Interest Groups and a total lack of resident input, we are opposed to the proposed path for reasons having nothing to do with “NIMBY”. This is not a “bully” situation; this is a common sense position deeply rooted in George Merrick’s vision for our City Beautiful.

    First, the planned route through the Alhambra bridge presents significant safety concerns for all. The bridge combined with the narrow street and sharp curves south of the bridge, with limited visibility, presents an inherently dangerous situation that will have devastating consequences for a biker, a motorist and the City.

    Second, there is a bicycle path on Red Road following the exact route as the dangerous Alhambra Circle proposed path – this one is a straight path all the way down to UM and beyond. The dangerous path down Alhambra Circle is simply a waste of public funds that can be better used elsewhere. Waste of public resources cannot be condoned.

    Third, I echo the comments that Alhambra Circle is a beautiful street with large trees that took years to grow and building a concrete path over these roots will not only kill the trees but significantly cut into the green swales that define Alhambra Circle and Coral Gables.

    Simply put, this is a bad idea that has been pushed through by those with special interests with a complete lack of due process and transparency for the Alhambra Circle residents directly impacted by the proposed path. I encourage all impacted residents to be present on October 19th and voice their opposition to the proposed path.

    Lastly, having only recently learned of this proposed path, we do intend to participate in this open government process and voice our significant concerns. Contrary to one of the comments trying to negatively characterize our participation – “I realize that opponents would rather take it to a commission meeting where they can attempt to fill the seats with the people that can take time off from work to attend” – we are hard-working individuals who are willing to sacrifice time from work in order to make sure that Alhambra Circle remains the street that George Merrick envisioned and not a concrete bike path. It’s not called “filling seats at a commission meeting”; it’s called participating in a democratic process where all voices are heard.

    to defend the vision of George Merrick vigorously and Alhambra Circle against a concrete bike path.

  2. Again which is it, Are you fighting against the bullies to keep from silencing all the wanna be cyclists or we playing the pity card now with the elderly and kids. Pick a side Mr Ruano. You’re really confusing me. Alhambra Circle is deemed historic. There is no law that requires home owners to let their driveways abutting the asphalt to get cut into. The oaks whose roots are also abutting the asphalt can’t be touched either as those trees are protected. I walk on Alhambra I also walk on 57 Ave without any issues. The section of Alhambra you are referring to which does have bike lanes, is because of the median. Vehicle lanes remain wide enough for said bike paths. And Country Club Prado literally has a park running through the middle. The section of Alhambra Circle south of Coral Way to Bird will be a disaster as well as being a visual vomit.

  3. Since you are bringing up the ADA., permit me to list all of the Public Accommodations under ADA

    1. Places of Lodging e.g., inns hotels, motels, except for owner occupied establishments renting fewer than 6 rooms.

    2. Establishments serving food or drink e.g., restaurants and bars

    3. Places of exhibition or entertainment e.g., movie houses, theaters, concert halls, stadiums

    4. Places of public gathering e.g., auditoriums, convention centers, lecture halls

    5. Sales or rental establishments e.g., bakeries, grocery stores, hardware stores, shopping centers

    6. Service establishments e.g., laundromats, dry cleaners, banks, barber shops, beauty shops, travel services, shoe repair services, funeral parlors, gas stations, offices of accountants or lawyers, pharmacies, insurance offices, professional offices of healthcare providers, hospitals

    7. Public transportation terminals, depots, or stations not including facilities relating to air transport

    8. Places of public display or collection e.g., museums, libraries, galleries

    9. PLACES OF RECREATION e.g., parks, zoos, amusement parks

    10. Places of Education e.g., nursery schools, elementary, secondary, undergraduate or post graduate private schools

    11. Social service center establishments e.g., day care centers, senior citizen centers, homeless shelters, food banks, adoption agencies

    12. PLACES OF EXERCISE OR RECREATION e.g., gymnasiums, health spas, bowling alleys, golf courses

    Kindly advise where you see historic roads with private homes under ADA. It seems to me Sir, you are the one strong arming. Learn the law before spewing up terms you are unfamiliar with. Your neighbors and residents of our City that are opposed this plan are not the bullies. And no one can force them to deface their street.

  4. Lucy,
    Thank you for your comments. First, the admittedly, by them, ‘unscientific’ poll that Gables Insider put out allows people to vote multiple times – I know because I voted twice before I stopped, feeling bad that I was skewing the results. Also, the votes come from this publication’s readers, NOT necessarily Gables residents. Because of this, it cannot be counted as valid. The editor is looking into my request to see if we can determine unique participants, but he has not received an answer yet from Google that administers the poll. He may have an update today, though.

    As for your comment ‘you don’t care whose homes you ruin’, that could not be further from the truth since this current project will certainly not deface any home or property, but would rather simply add sidewalks on the public right of way, including two feet on either side of the street to accommodate a bike lane. Of the 17 homes that face the golf course many of them already have sidewalks; this project would just complete that network. I’m sorry if you feel this would somehow degrade a home, but I disagree. The beautiful, historic homes on Country Club Prado or Greenway Drive are certainly not ruined by the sidewalk in front.

    Finally, I would love for bike lanes and sidewalks to not be necessary on this road, but that is just not the reality of this major collector road where roughly 8,000 cars travel daily. I walk this stretch several times a week and I have seen a neighbor that has to push their son with Cerebral Palsy on the street in a wheelchair because of the lacking sidewalk. There are little kids, some as young as 8, riding next to the cars on the road. There are also elderly individuals that are forced to walk in the street to get to one of the side streets. If you think that their needs are somehow less important that is your right. I will aggressively speak against that mentality, however. In the same way, you are free to attend on October 19th and walk or ride this stretch of road. Hope to see you there.

  5. Isn’t there enough concrete and artifice in Coral Gables already? Do we really need to add more? People are free to bike on the often open roads of Alhambra whenever they’d like. We don’t need another empty bike lane cutting into our green grass setbacks. And we certainly don’t need sidewalks, especially after the city just recently, at long last, got around to planting trees along my property line on Alhambra. More trees: yes. More pavement: no.

  6. Mr Ruano,
    With all due respect Sir, I really don’t understand your passive aggressive comments. On the one hand, you praise the transparency of the meetings and you appreciate and encourage all opinions from the residents. On the other hand you are taking on the aggressive attitude of the NIMBY. For all those that don’t know what NIMBY means, it’s “NOT IN MY BACKYARD” and you refer to all those opposed as BULLIES. So which is it? The reality is Sir, you don’t care whose homes you ruin, you don’t care about defacing historical streets. Just say it like it is…you want to plow through our streets with little regard for your neighbors, the residents of this City. Did you happen to see the results of the polls? Out of 700 participants, 64% voted “NEITHER” a bike path or sidewalk. Isn’t it obvious the residents that will be directly impacted have spoken?

  7. Kudos to the city for continuing this transparent process and allowing residents to meet with staff on site. This is an important public safety project for the city and all residents will benefit. I realize that opponents would rather take it to a commission meeting where they can attempt to fill the seats with the people that can take time off from work to attend, but the fact remains that parents with strollers, in wheelchairs or simply that want to walk, have the right to do it safely. It’s called the Americans with Disabilities Act. As for the bike lanes, this will be an important link connecting the downtown to UM and will help slow cars on this road. The details can be hammered out.
    I encourage all my neighbors to attend on October 19th and to not let the NIMBYs bully you into silence.

  8. As you all may know by now, I do not hide. This message was sent this morning to Mr Iglesias,at his City email address and it is now public record. To avoid any confusion, here it is in its totality. It presents exactly how it went down from the beginning until today. Please read it completely and do whatever you need to do.

    Good morning, Mr Iglesias

    I just finished reading the email that I was contacted about while fighting traffic on the Palmetto Expressway with my two granddaughters in the back. I am not upset, I am in complete shock! I have been in touch with you almost daily, in person and,or by phone about this matter. I spoke with you before the Community Meeting that took place on September 25, I spoke with you again that day from the Youth Center before the meeting, I spoke with you after the meeting…… At first the issue was that we wanted the meeting to be set up as a TOWN HALL meeting because we thought it was better for everyone to be together to watch the presentation and discuss the project. You agreed and that was the way it was done. The second concern was the Jessica Keller proposed “WALKSHOPS” that were posted on the website. First in front of me, in your office, you called her and asked her to take it down.
    When that did not happen, I called you again and you told me that “AS NEEDED” was going to be added on the website. I told you that that was not what you had promised first and I questioned whether Ms Keller was running the City, but I believed you and I expected them not to happen unless needed. After the meeting, in front of several people, you told me that the meeting had not given you a clear cut idea of what those affected wanted. You also said that there were not enough of them present, but that you were aware that there were a lot of others, and that you did not care because they were not going to be considered when making the decision.You said those affected would be given a chance, like any other traffic calming project, to vote on what they wanted. You said if the the people in the area affected did not want this project to be done you would pull the plug and return the money.
    Day after the meeting I spoke with you again because the Walkshops were still posted on the website. You told me not to worry that they were not going to happen! You also said that you had spoken to Mr Santamaria and Miss Keller after the meeting and that they understood what the plan was. On Monday I spoke with you again, and now the tune was changing, if during the canvassing people in the area wanted to see exactly how it would look, you would provide them with a walk through, not by sections! I again told you that Miss Keller had not taken down her original posting. You told me not to worry, that they would not happen!
    Yesterday, again, I spoke with you and I told you that this issue was creating a civil war and you agreed with me to send something out by the end of the week letting everyone now what was the plan. Ballots would go out within 30-45 days to those who received the original invitation to the meeting. I very clearly told you that it would be a mistake to have the process during the holidays, and you agreed.
    This morning, I got the phone calls, and without even reading the email, which was sent after 10:00 pm last night I went to your office and was told you would not be available today. I called you and you tried to explain that the ballot would go out and the deadline to return would be December 5th. That is contrary to what we had discussed because that would be in the middle of the holiday season and most people would probably be too busy to worry about this. And then, when I brought up the famous WALKSHOPS you said that we would be having “FIELD MEETINGS.” You really underestimate the people that live in our city. Do you think that just changing the name from the original workshops, to walk shops, to FIELD MEETINGS changes what is planned? You were very clear when you said they were not going to happen,and also when you said they were only going to happen if people requested to be shown in the field, and even then that it would not be chopped up in sections! What has happened that you have changed everything you told me and others? Were you not being truthful? I still choose that not to be the case! or, worse yet, are you not running this City? Are the employees, ie, Mr Santamaria and Ms Keller, dictating what is going to happen? Perhaps it is time for someone else to be in charge of this project to avoid personal agendas to interfere.
    Anyone who wants to see what this project is all about could have gone to the meeting, can see the video of the meeting on the website where there is also a link about the complete project. Peter, this is not Miami, you should know it by now, and you are even a long time resident!

    I know that you do not usually like to reply in writing, but in this case I would prefer that you do so because I am not sure that what is said is what actually is.

    Please reply to me today, before the agenda for Tuesday is closed as we may have to have all this mess discussed publicly.

    Thanks!

    Maria
    —–Original Message—–

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