UPDATE: Alhambra Bike and Sidewalk Plan Moves Forward

The Alhambra Circle Complete Streets project that plans to bring bicycle lanes and shared-use sidewalks to Alhambra Circle south of Coral Way continues to move forward and continues to create discussion and divide for the future of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in Coral Gables.


At the November 19th Transportation Advisory Board meeting, the city provided the board and residents in attendance an update on the project. Specifically, the concern about the signature heritage trees along the historic corridor was brought up along with the number of residents that will be sent out a ‘polling ballot’.

Assistant Public Works Director for the Sustainable Public Infrastructure Division, Jessica Keller, told the board the city was going to do the best they could to avoid damaging any of the existing trees. However, Keller added that a few trees have been identified as ‘sick’ during the recent site walkthrough.  Residents opposed to the project questioned which trees were sick and demanded more information.

Keller sent out an email this morning with an update along with information of how her team will handle protecting the canopy as much as possible. The provided diagram includes adding a concrete path over the tree roots. Residents argue that any disturbance will cause the tree to suffer and weaken the trees.

At the same Transportation Meeting, residents questioned the Transportation Advisory Board and staff why over 1,000 ballots were being sent to nearby residents off Alhambra Circle when only approximately 174 homes are directly impacted. Those opposed to the project claim this is staff’s way of diluting the voices of those directly affected and allowing others to dictate what happens in their front-yard. There was no immediate response given to the residents on that point.


At the November 12th City Commission meeting, Mayor Raul Valdes-Fauli made a statement saying he’s against forcing people to have sidewalks.

Local non-profit group and stakeholder of the 2014 Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, Bike Walk Coral Gables took issue with his statement, posting the clip online and asking for advocates to contact the city commission.

The item will be taken up at the December 10th commission meeting, including a personal appearance by an Alhambra Circle resident, Silvia Pinera-Vasquez.


The Alhambra Complete Streets Project follows a failed attempt for a bike lane on Riviera Drive, South of US-1 along with a bike lane along University Drive leading into the downtown business district known as the Gables Greenway project.  

At the time, the commission unanimously voted in favor of the residents on Riviera that were opposed to bike lanes on their street.

However, it was brought up at the Transportation Advisory Board meeting by board member Deborah Swain, former member of Bike Walk Coral Gables, that she believes the commission made a mistake with Riviera Drive and that it should be brought back for reconsideration.

The commission will have to ultimately decide if Alhambra Circle merits the same consideration that was given to the Riviera Drive residents. Proponents believe the City should follow the approved master plan and include all streets including Riviera Drive between US-1 and Lejune Road with the proper process.


9 thoughts on “UPDATE: Alhambra Bike and Sidewalk Plan Moves Forward

  1. Questions to the City, why does any one neighborhood has the right to tell the City “they don’t want sidewalks installed on the front of their residential homes? Really?
    Why do I have to walk on the streets or on the wet grass at night of after it has rained?
    I thought sidewalks was for everyone’s benefit and safety, who want to walk through our neighborhoods on a nice brisk day and admired gardens and architecture, not for just the 174 nor the other 1,000 + that got that were notified about this project.
    How about our city residents with A.D.A.
    I though that I paid taxes to enjoy 100% of the City Beautiful by walking on safe sidewalks and not on the street or roads looking over my shoulder, but above all, think about those with A.D.A.

  2. Alhambra Circle is a neighborhood collector street and serves all of the residential streets that intersect it. Surely the owners of the 174 homes directly affected by the project were aware of this before they purchased their property. All of the homeowners in the neighborhood affected by the project (> 1000) should have a say on the project.

  3. It looks like no one listens to the residents of Riviera Drive. We spent many hours and days canvasing our residents. The result was overwhelming against bike paths. Why is this being revisited?

  4. Bike lanes work when there is a either a grass median or parallel parking between the bike lane and traffic. Everyone texts while they drive here, if the bike lane is next to the car lane, it is not worth the effort. Expand the existing sidewalks into the already city owned swale for a true and safe bike lane.

  5. Just this morning there was a cyclist maneuvering down Alhambra on his way to UM, almost got hit twice…

  6. OOPS, I forgot to ask some important questions. What is the plan to cure those trees that were identified as “ill.” Are we to believe that they are “deadly ill”? What could have happened had they not been identified? Who would have been liable? C’mon, guys, it seems to be very clear to me. Residents were never advised that trees in front of their properties were “ill.” No plan has been put forth to save them! Why do we have arborists and landscape architect/s? What is their job description? Anyone listening??????
    Also, did I read or hear about a concrete bridge over the roots? Can anyone explain how that will protect the roots? If that were good for the trees, how come we haven’t done it to all the trees?

  7. Hello
    I have problems with FPL my house is
    Not properly wired, cables are hanging dangerously low
    (Hands reach) and branches need to be trimmed –

    I have called contractors to take care of these issues
    But all insist is FPL responsibility –
    And FPL does not take care of it –

  8. Wow!! Now I have really heard it all. “the city was going to do the best they could to avoid damaging any of the existing trees”, and this comment came from the person who is pushing very hard the “green idea for the city”. How convenient! Trees vs bicyclists!!! Let’s see who will win. Of course, who cares what those residents living in the area think about their trees. I am sure they will be replaced by the city. Don’t worry if the replacements will take a long time to get where the “damaged trees are.” Just look at the trees that were the replacements on Miller Road. Except for the two that I had trucked down from Ocala, the rest are still not even comparable to what we had before. What canopy do we have now?
    As to the sick trees that were identified, funny that they were just identified during the so called “site visit”, or walk. Where were our arborists and others responsible for our trees? Were they blind until now, or perhaps were they too busy planning bicycle paths that the residents do not want?????

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