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The City of Coral Gables had a community meeting on Wednesday night to discuss the future of Alhambra Circle from Coral Way to San Amaro Drive.
The project is estimated to cost over $1.3 million and would provide installation of sidewalks, paved bike lanes and road resurfacing. A bulk of the funding comes from a federal grant.
The City mentioned the project would include traffic calming but residents learned tonight the bike lanes and reduction in the road width for cars are what engineers expect would slow drivers.
Over a hundred people showed up to the community meeting, although not all were Coral Gables residents. About half spoke. Anyone who wanted to speak was given a number and had two minutes to share their thoughts on the project.
The civil, yet passionate, discussion appeared to be split down the middle between those in favor and those against the project. Some against the project are cyclists and runners themselves, but don’t believe this stretch of Alhambra is the right place for it.
The most passionate speaker was a resident who lives next to the bridge just north of Bird Road. She has experienced several accidents near her home including a death.
Those in favor of the project want a more walkable and bicycle friendly community. Many referenced climate change and reduction of cars to alleviate traffic.
Since the city adopted the 2015 Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, residents have been quick to critique it. The last attempt to implement portions of the master plan was on Riviera Drive, south of US-1, when residents massed at city hall against it. Some of those residents showed up to voice their concerns that their street would be made part of the plan again.
One resident who wished to remain anonymous told Gables Insider he believes the city needs to give the same consideration to Alhambra residents as they gave those on Riviera.
“We will look at the results of this meeting, look at where people live and make a recommendation.” said City Manager Peter Iglesias. He says that right now the city is concentrated on getting the proper input from the neighborhood in order to see if they move forward or not. Let us know what you think by commenting below. Want to send us an opinion/editorial, email it to us at [email protected].