With mixed reactions, an informal mid-December survey of community leaders and residents saw little hope of solving Kendall’s mounting traffic problems in 2016.
More than 50 emails were sent to a cross-section of community leaders and residents on Dec. 20, noting: “In hopes that Miami-Dade officials will prioritize solutions for Kendall’s traffic issues this year, we are asking you, among key community leaders and activists, to obtain a cross-section of viewpoints.”
The question posed: “What can Miami-Dade government do in 2016 to begin solving Kendall’s traffic problems?”
Among a dozen community area leaders, perhaps Kendale HOA’s Diane Lawrence best summed up the answer by responding succinctly: “There is no easy solution to the gridlock.”
Several pinpointed specific areas that might relieve special neighborhood traffic problems. A sampling of answers provided follows:
No easy solution
There is no easy solution to the gridlock in Miami and, in particular, Kendall. The damage has already been done as far as population density is concerned. The county commission approved high-rise apartments behind Dadeland, probably being told by developers that all those people are going to use the trains. Have you ever walked several busy blocks to a train station in the heat and humidity of Miami? No, those people will have cars. If the commission just holds the UDB line, that will help a little bit.
— Diane Lawrence, Kendale HOA director
Urban sprawl must cease. The corridors heading west are insufficient for the traffic flow; e.g., Kendall, Killian and Coral Reef [drives]. The Shula [expressway] and turnpike expansion at SW 152nd Street pours multiple lanes into a narrow corridor heading west, choked from 4 to 8 p.m. Traffic lights are not synchronized nor recalibrated for peak patterns. Left turn arrows are often inoperative, for example, Killian Drive (SW 104th Street) westbound turning left into the turnpike at SW 107th Avenue. Patience and courtesy must be our demeanor because these problems are here to stay for a long time.
— Doug Kostowski, -resident, Travel People
What about planning for a light rail transit above Kendall Drive?
— James Blough, president, MPD West District Citizens Advisory Committee
Help from developers?
The solution has to be creative and requires the cooperation of multiple governmental agencies. Every developer of property, residential or business, should be required to set aside property to be used as park-n-ride lots. Then Miami-Dade Public Works and Transit need to work together with the developer to provide frequent Kendall circulator bus support intersecting with other transportation nodes and existing work centers, such as West Kendall Baptist Hospital, shopping areas and colleges. The key is where lots are located and easy to use to get around the Kendall/West End area and to connecting transit services for long distance commuters.
— Suze Rice, president, Wings Over Miami Air Museum
Stop new homes
Halt all new residential construction west of SW 117th Avenue from Flagler south to SW 162nd Street until cures are built and operational. Need new east-west expressways.
— Henry ‘Hank’ Hamilton, Dadeland CPA
Traffic: No. 5
My top five things that I want solved in 2016: cancer, world starvation, wars and terrorism, and gun deaths in America. No. 5 is a cure for Kendall traffic. There’s more of chance (solving) the first four before No. 5. Perhaps if Kendall Drive were triple-stacked, we might see a dent. As long as schools and businesses are open at rush hour (and) as long as we live with 400,000 Kendall people squeezed in together, we are stuck. The Kendall Federation of Homeowner Associations has stated that no more building be allowed in Kendall until our quality of life is restored.
— Michael Rosenberg, president, KFHA
The issues about Kendall Drive improvement have been talked about for several years as well as recently. The Kendall residents need the improvement desperately.
— Aster Mohamad, Miami-Dade School Board candidate for 2016.
Many of our transportation problems stem from unchecked overbuilding in West Dade without thought to how the populace was going to get to workforce centers. Miami continues to suffer from this complete disregard for public services, especially transportation. Miami-Dade citizens do not take well to public transportation. Since there are such negative feelings about rail going west, possibly express bus transportation would be more acceptable for traveling to the western suburbs, using Kendall, Sunset, Miller drives as target areas that become grid-locked. When this happens, no police are in sight. There could be a way to contact the powers that be to request assistance in these areas. Traffic light synchronization is sometimes at fault. Meetings have been held over and over about transportation. I have been on committees myself. Let’s stop studying the issues and do something about them!
— Holly White, president, Continental Park HOA
I’m sure that there have been studies but nothing has been done to improve Kendall Drive traffic from SW 117th Avenue to SW 122nd Avenue. No matter what time of day, traffic slows to a crawl in both directions. Also, extend SR 836 to Krome [SW 177th Avenue] when Krome widening is complete. FDOT and MDX should be looking into an eastbound SR 836 and northbound I-95 interchange. It’s also a danger with cars moving across lanes to get into the one lane exit ramp.
— Jeff Wander, Lakes of the Meadow HOA