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Brickell

Bay Link

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There has been a very big debate over the last two years about Baylink, a light rail proposal connecting Miami Beach to the mainland.

I came across this pro transit website. Mainly posting so you all can see the videos.

Pretty neat.

http://www.protransit.org/

If you want more information, let me know.

There's an upcoming vote by Miami Beach as to whether to support the project or not. We'll see how it goes.

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That's a cool site. I couldn't get the second video to work, but I'll try later. I really hope Bay Link gets the support it needs.

EDIT: Ok, I got it to work. This project is awesome! It clearly is vital to the future of Miami and Miami Beach.

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I did a search on the internet and came up with this map Circa 2000.

Firstly is this the correct area?...and....

....secondly, seeing it is from 2000 (if it is the appropriate area), is it still relevant?

900_bay_dr.gif

BTW Early street car vs new light rail cars for the Miami Beach Bay Link:

cover2.jpg

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I'm not sure if that's the right map you meant to post, but no that's not the right area.

The current area served would be downtown miami to watson island to south beach up to the convention center.

it would ideally go up collins to the rest of miami beach, but that's not in the plans yet.

DES_Baylinkmap.jpg

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Hopefully it will pass next month. This system would go along way in improving the mass transit system in Miami-Dade County.

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I don't think the tourism links can be overlooked either. This could be a big help in attracting tourist from the beach to other parts of miami, such as downtown, design district, coconut grove.

likewise this would go a a long way towards attracting miami residents back to the beach. I know myself at least avoid south beach frequently because of a lack of parking.

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^I agree, Miami Beach kinda turns some people away, because of the congestion.

I wonder if they'll ever extend this system to the Design District. Wasn't there some article that mentioned streetcars going up there? It wasn't BayLink's streetcars, though. It was like a separate system.

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yes that was a sepparate City of Miami proposal. I'm not sure how exactly it would have interacted with baylink. As planned it'll go around downtown, up past the PAC, though midtown and to the design district. They claimed to be in a hurry to build it, so it'll most likely be built long before baylink is done.

I haven't heard much about it lately, but will see what i can find tomorrow.

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An interesting opinion article from the Miami Herald Politics section -- apparently the Miami Beach ballot question is a non-binding vote.

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/...ial/9874841.htm

The Herald recommends

OUR OPINION: MIAMI BEACH STRAW-BALLOT QUESTIONS

Miami Beach voters will face three straw-ballot questions on Nov. 2. While the questions are nonbinding, the decision on at least two of them could influence critical Commission decisions on transit and the pace of development.

QUESTION ONE

Do Miami Beach voters want BayLink, the light-rail trolley system that would efficiently move people around South Beach and connect to downtown Miami? Voters should choose Yes. The $500 million system would alleviate gridlock and parking problems that plague South Beach -- and spur tourism in the process. The alternative is to do nothing while congestion kills the charm that makes Miami Beach so attractive to residents and visitors.

Better still, the project would be built with federal, state and local transit funds -- not Beach tax revenues. But the competition for federal matching funds will be stiff, and a No vote could doom the chances.

Why should Washington, D.C., give $250 million to residents who do not want it?

The commission already gave BayLink a vote of confidence last month in green-lighting a detailed engineering study of the project. On straw-ballot Question One, The Herald recommends YES.

[remainder of article deals with other ballot issues, so it has been omitted here]

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Welcome to the forum, btw, I agree. Personally, I haven't been to Miami Beach in years, because of the traffic congestion. Instead, I've spent more time on the mainland and in downtown Hollywood and Las Olas, because its much easier to get around. The potential, for Miami/Miami Beach, will be unlimited if Baylink ever becomes reality.

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Thanks, Brickell and Lakelander!

Here's another one I found, a letter to the editor... Thought it might stimulate some debate.

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/2004/...ers/9922796.htm

---------------------------------

Posted on Fri, Oct. 15, 2004

No to BayLink

The Oct. 9 editorial in support for BayLink said that the transit system ``would efficiently move people around South Beach and connect to downtown Miami.''

The evening traffic jam headed to South Beach is at a virtual standstill until 2 a.m. The trolley will not move any faster than the ''congestion'' to which the editorial refers. So much for ``efficiently.''

Those who built the MacArthur Causeway bridge planned for an elevated monorail-type of transportation by constructing concrete caissons below the bridge. The engineers had the vision to know that when traffic became unbearable on the causeway, an elevated train would more efficiently move people across.

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Bruno Barreiro, who represents South Beach, recommended an elevated train system as he realized that 90-foot trolleys could not negotiate the narrow and congested two lanes of traffic on Washington Avenue. They knew that their presence most likely would lead to accidents.

The editorial further misleads in saying that $250 million from Washington is not coming out of our pockets. It's our tax dollars that provide Florida and the federal government with the millions that The Herald wants us to throw at this white elephant.

ARTHUR J. LEIBELL, Miami Beach

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Although I am in support of the project, which is BADLY needed as a circulator, a flaw that I find in the system is that it won't easily connect the Beach to the Airport. Would tourists use the line, if they knew that they would have to transfer from one line to the other?

If it gets built, from the airport you would ride the proposed east-west Metrorail line from the future Miami Intermodal Center (MIC) to Government Center station downtown, after which you would have to transfer to the Baylink line to get across.

Thoughts?

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I continue to be impressed with the advances that Miami is making and proposing in transit. It could become the Portland of the south.

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Although I am in support of the project, which is BADLY needed as a circulator, a flaw that I find in the system is that it won't easily connect the Beach to the Airport. Would tourists use the line, if they knew that they would have to transfer from one line to the other?

If it gets built, from the airport you would ride the proposed east-west Metrorail line from the future Miami Intermodal Center (MIC) to Government Center station downtown, after which you would have to transfer to the Baylink line to get across.

Thoughts?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I happen to agree with you in that there should be one link between the airport and the beach. Tourists won't use a system if the have to transfer especially if they have luggage. At the very least Metrorail should connect the airport and the Port of Miami although I would like to see an extension from there to South Beach even if it's only one stop, other circulator systems can move people around the beach from there.

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First time poster here.

I live on Miami Beach. I do not own a method of private transport mainly due to financial reasons.

That being said, even if I was capable right now, I would debate it. Traffic is horrendous here on Miami Beach, with "rush hour" lasting several hours, and worse on weekends with added tourist traffic. The bus schedules are next to useless, to catch a bus you pretty much have to walk out to a stop and hope for the best. The heavily used L line from Hialeah which I use to get to my day job (I live on 71st Street on Miami Beach) is late more often than not, so usually I just walk to Collins and hope for a K, S, R, or H to come by, again they are usually off schedule by 20 minutes or more. Not to mention that half the time you get a ratty 15-year old bus that smells of homeless people or worse. (Sidebar: isn't there a policy of not letting those people onto transit?)

The only time the buses are somewhat on time and reliable is late at night when the S and L are running around the clock.

With that in mind I support the Baylink project, as I'm hoping that the people who normally use cars to commute to and from the Beach will utilize this method to get around.

Questions come up though after watching the video.

1) Beach residents are notoriously insular. I know, I live amongst them. A lot (not all, I know plenty who don't care) fear that a reliable, efficient mass transit system will bring all sorts of street trash and gang-types to their fair shores. To that I tell them to take a look around on any given evening. They're already here. Washington Avenue resembles a rap video on Friday nights. I don't mind it as long as they don't act out the video :D But still, they get all worked up about the "lower classes" deriving entertainment value from their little sandbar. Anyway, in the video it shows the Baylink going south of Fifth Street, which is a high-class residential area with all the new condos going up. Is the planned route 'fixed' or will these people be able to alter it?

2) Miami drivers stink. I know, I used to be one until my car died. On Washington, the streetcars share the road. What happens when some crazed driver cuts off a streetcar, causing a derailment? Does the system shut down or is there a way of keeping service alive despite accidents? If there isn't the system will be delayed all the time and not be much better than the bus system. Once a week or so there's a close call with a bus I'm on and a private vehicle.

3) Security. The reason the buses smell is due to driver ambivalance and lack of security. Odorous bums are free to get on as long as they can cough up (sometimes literally) a bus transfer or $1.25. With these new trains buzzing around, I'm wondering whether security will be present to keep riders safe and comfortable?

4) Hours? Will this run 24/7? I can see it being a benefit in a way. A lot of people work off hours, plus on weekends the Miami Beach clubs and bars are open until 5 AM, and public transit would hopefully help drunk driving incidents go down...

Just some more ideas for debate...

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welcome to the forum. It's nice to have a beach residents's perspective.

As to the questions, I don't know the answers. I doubt very many do.

In the meantime I guess we can use the Metromover downtown as a guide.

1 - There are problems with homeless sometimes. Given the area, that's not a big suprise though. I think it's really a straw argument meant to scare beach residents into voting against it. There's plenty of homeless in south beach as it is.

2 - Not an issue with metrovmover, but a valid argument. I think it'll just be something we'll have to live with either way. I don't see any other alternative for transit in south beach.

3 - There is security, but there are also some shady characters. Just the same I've never had a problem on either metrorail or metromover.

4 - Metromover is not open 24 hours. The transit department went back on their promise :angry: . I would think baylink would have to be though.

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Regarding derailments, this is a problem that all streetcars face, and all streetcars are able to deal with it. It is actually quite simple to re-rail a derailed car, and any other streetcar can push or pull a disabled vehicle, it happens all the time in Boston.

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Regarding derailments, this is a problem that all streetcars face, and all streetcars are able to deal with it. It is actually quite simple to re-rail a derailed car, and any other streetcar can push or pull a disabled vehicle, it happens all the time in Boston.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Interesting. I'd like to see this in practice. I have relatives in Boston, so I'll keep one eye out for a derailed streetcar and see what happens. Well at this rate the system won't be active till 2023, so I'm guessing there will be ample time to analyze all the issues at hand. Either that or the Beach will sink into the ocean with the ever increasing traffic and we won't have to worry about it. The Baylink will terminate at the brand new 5th and Alton Boat Dock.

You are right, the transit department shut down nighttime service of the Metromover and Metrorail. From what I saw, ridership was low, but consistent with what I expected from night-shift workers and so forth. I wonder how much of a loss they were taking from running it at night? Though they kind of made up for it by placing a shuttlebus along the Metrorail alignment. I rarely use the Metro system afterhours, but it is nice to know around the clock service is more common than it used to be. The buses actually run on time at 3 AM.

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Yes. I work nights and occasionaly take the new Night Owl route. It comes a little too much on time for me though. I get off at 1am and it takes me 15 minutes to get to the station. The stop time is 1:11. I've missed it twice now. The thing that sucks is that it only runs every hour. That's a lot of waiting.

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Very interesting points brought up in this thread... Miami-Dade County's website has some interesting information about both the Baylink and Miami Streetcar lines proposed, including proposed station designs and funding sources.

  • Miami-Dade Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO):
http://www.miamidade.gov/mpo

  • Baylink Newsletter, Q3-2004:
http://www.miamidade.gov/mpo/docs/MPO_nl_baylink_2004q3.pdf

The Miami Streetcar line as currently proposed will run from the Design District (north of 36th St) and head south toward downtown, where it will partially overlap the Baylink line. Miami-Dade County's People's Transportation Plan (PTP) website has a very interesting study (link below)

  • PTP Traffic Relief:
http://www.trafficrelief.com or http://www.miamidade.gov/trafficrelief

  • City of Miami, Streetcar Corridor Feasibility Study - Project Update:
http://www.miamidade.gov/trafficrelief/lib...ject-7-8-04.pdf

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Regarding derailments, this is a problem that all streetcars face, and all streetcars are able to deal with it. It is actually quite simple to re-rail a derailed car, and any other streetcar can push or pull a disabled vehicle, it happens all the time in Boston.

A few examples will have to be set before people bear the consequence and expense (increased insurance rates) of hitting a streetcar (not to mention how much damage it will do to your car). It is a train afterall, and people will need to think twice before cutting in front of one, running a red light, or making illegal U-turns and left turns.

Houston and Dallas have had some experience with collisions:

===========================

Metro trains to make their presence felt

Whistle, lights response to accidents

By LUCAS WALL

Copyright 2003 Houston Chronicle

http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/s...ghtrail/2315926

Metro officials, responding to three collisions between light rail trains and vehicles last week, announced Monday that its trains will sound a louder warning at intersections and flash strobe lights to better warn motorists.

The transit authority executives called a news conference Monday afternoon to encourage drivers to pay more attention to traffic rules along the Main Street light rail line, where the city's first rail system is under test in preparation for a New Year's Day grand opening. The three crashes last week were all the fault of drivers making illegal turns or failing to pay attention to a train coming down the street, Metro police said, and a fourth incident last month also involved a driver making an unauthorized turn.

"Clearly, people are not getting the message, or they are just ignoring it," said Shirley DeLibero, Metropolitan Transit Authority president and CEO. "As much as we're doing to preach safety, ultimately drivers and pedestrians have to have the responsibility for their own actions."

Metro trains had been sounding a bell at most intersections and a louder whistle at gated crossings over major intersections. Jeff Arndt, chief operating officer, said trains are now sounding the whistle at all intersections and will continue doing so until the safety situation improves. Each train also has a loud horn that can be sounded in an emergency, such as a car pulling out in front of a train.

The 98,000-pound trains are not able to stop instantly, DeLibero stressed, and the four collisions thus far have involved vehicles making sudden turns into them. No horn or warning device can prevent that kind of driver error, she said, pointing to a fatal crash in Dallas on Sunday, when a woman drove her Chevrolet Blazer through a flashing crossing gate and smashed into a Dallas Area Rapid Transit light rail train. The driver's daughter was killed, and the driver and two passengers were hospitalized. It was the third fatality this year involving motorists who ignored crossing arms and ran into DART trains.

No one has been seriously injured in the four Metro train collisions, but property damage has added up to tens of thousands of dollars. Metro executives emphasized the high cost of ignoring traffic rules: Drivers who crash into trains will be fined and their insurance rates will likely shoot up after their company pays for repairs to their car and the train.

Metro police will step up patrols along the line to target drivers making illegal turns and ignoring other rules.

"There is signage along the entire corridor and also lane markings," said Metro Police Chief Tom Lambert. "We will be blitzing this corridor to make sure we are putting the appropriate enforcement focus."

DeLibero said Metro will produce a safety commercial this week and begin airing it on local TV stations as soon as possible.

"My concern is that people aren't paying any attention," she said. "I realize this is a new mode for Houston, and we know that. That's why we went out over a year ago and started the education program."

Metro has distributed more than 1.5 million rail-safety brochures, run 98 newspaper advertisements and aired 1,200 radio spots, Lambert said. Once the TV commercials air, Metro will have spent about $1 million promoting safety along the 7 1/2-mile rail line.

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