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Alton Road plans to be modified, voted for on Wednesday

 

mherrera@MiamiHerald.com

FDOT has proposed three alternatives to the current Alton Road construction plan, which would widen sidewalks and shrink car lanes.

Miami Beach commissioners will vote for their preferred plan at Wednesday’s commission meeting. The city will not keep the current design and will instead be voting from among three new ones, Miami Beach state House Rep. David Richardson said at a meeting Wednesday evening with the West Avenue Corridor Neighborhood Association.

According to plans provided by Richardson at the meeting, all alternatives would create four 11-foot-wide lanes and eight-foot-wide parking spaces on either side, with wider sidewalks. The first plan would widen the sidewalks to 13 feet. The second and third plans would add an additional median between the north and southbound lanes. The second plan would have nine-foot sidewalks with a 21-foot median. The third alternative would have 11-foot sidewalks with a 17-foot median.

The city met Wednesday to discuss the designs and what potential hazards might arise with each plan. The fire and police departments are also concerned about the medians in the second and third plans, which could be problematic for them in emergencies.

Residents at the meeting were happy that changes would me made.

“The fact that two of the options are moving the curb line is extraordinary,” said Tammy Tibbles, who lives in South Beach.

Despite the increased sidewalk space, many residents still had concerns.

Some residents see the proposed median sizes as excessive.

“There have to be turning lanes,” said South Beach resident Lucille Acocella, who did not like the large size of the medians in the plans. “I don’t see why it has to be that wide.”

But for Miami Beach resident Russell Galbut, the concerns are broader. He believes that the plans have not been thought out and would still create problems at intersections, several of which — including at 12th Street — will limit turns and connectivity across Alton Road.

“The entire plan is outrageous,” Galbut said.

Galbut, along with other residents, had hoped for traffic lights at all intersections.

Richardson said at the meeting that the connectivity issues would be addressed at a later date.

Residents have been fighting the current design for five years, saying that wider lanes would lead to more speeding. They said that bike traffic on Alton Road was problematic and would prefer that it be routed somewhere else, such as along West Avenue. They also wanted wider sidewalks for pedestrians. The current plan would have two center 11-foot-wide lanes, an 11-foot turning lane in the middle, two 14-foot-wide outer lanes with shared bike lanes, and nine-foot-wide sidewalks on either side of the street.

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