Sunday, January 13, 2013

Walking the Ugly Streets of North Bay Village

On Friday, I felt the need to drop $18 for two pounds of artesanal pasta and so ventured on foot to the Farmers Market from my house on Hispanola.  Along the way I was thinking about all the time and money the village expends on visualizing a new Causeway to bring prosperity to North Bay Village.  Not that I had much time to think between ducking the traffic on the Causeway and weaving around the many obstacles.  

The truth is that it is not worth a single penny to invest in infrastructure when we allow what we do have to be treated like garbage.  Our police chief claims that he drives each street in the village at least once a week, which he might do, and he fails to notice the decrepit parking lot that he put next to the city hall.  

We have a full time code enforcer who could walk the streets once a week and get them fixed up at no cost to the village by doing his job.  

The fact is that North Bay Village is unnecessarily unpleasant and dangerous for a pedestrian.  Our lack of code enforcement, our own residents sense of entitlement allow them to abuse our public right of way, and our police chief's lack of respect for how the village looks,  have created a unappealing mess of a street scape.  

The Farmer's Market is a perfect example.  It should be a pleasant stroll for the majority of the village residents, an entertaining place to bring the family, and it's not.  The only safe way to get there is to drive an absurdly short distance, fight for parking, and then get back in the car to join the  traffic jam.  

I took a walk yesterday with a camera and everything you see below would not cost the village a single dime to get fixed, except for maybe  the lines needed to create a crosswalk on Adventure.   The owners need to be cited and if they don't remove the obstructions, fined and let the village use the money to fix it.  The police chief needs to fix that mess and relocate the debris to the city lot or get the landlord to properly fence it.  

Unless and until we can maintain basic standards on our streets, laying out money for the Causeway is throwing it down a well.  

The Tour (click on the pictures for detail)

Let's start our walking tour by heading north on Hispanola where the first obstacle you encounter is the west sidewalk completely blocked by shrubbery.  This has been reported at least twice in the last year.

Then cross the Causeway to the north side, and you find this amazing 10 inch high bus bench for the unprotected bus stop.  It's useless and ugly. 

Crossing the Causeway to the south, and here you'll notice that the Walk button doesn't work, giving you about 30 seconds to move across six lanes on foot, make a left and what you see is our North Bay Village Police Department Junk Yard - wire fencing, green plastic ripped and floating in the breeze, a large dumpster and cars, boats and other things strewed haphazardly in a lot that the village pays $1400 per month for.  It's an undisciplined mess that reflects badly but accurately on our police leadership. 

Now walk west along the Causeway.  These lovely trees, and they are lovely, would do any landscaping proud, but why exactly does Sushi Siam have the right to cut the sidewalk in half and force able bodied pedestrians to walk single file and good luck getting a wheelchair or a baby stroller by this one? 

 If you survive passing these trees, your next obstacle is these bushes which also block the sidewalk on Adventure.  


We're going to make a left and continue south on Adventure  but not before noting that is no crosswalk at the corner.  None at all.  Technically to continue across Adventure, you need to go one block south, cross and and walk one block north.   

Continue south on Adventure and you'll notice one of the several houses who strew their cars along their front lawn.   

Finally turn left at the southeast corner on Adventure and South Treasure Drive and you are confronted with these overgrown hedges.  

Stuart Blumberg asked the question, "Where's the pride?"  Not in our code enforcement or police leadership, that's for sure.  

Next up - just to try to walk Harbor Island.  

Kevin Vericker
January 13, 2013 

1 comment:

  1. Kevin, our code enforcer is a joke! When I first moved here, they gave me a warning because my shrubs were sticking out an inch. Our Police Chief and code enforcer do not walk our streets...come to think of it, our Mayor and Commissioners don't either with the exception of Commissiner Chervony.

    Mario Garcia


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