I had a crazy idea


More information



A couple of years ago, I was on a leisurely bike ride with my daughter when I lost my balance, fell and broke both of my arms. That was bad. But my husband has an expression, No hay mal que por bien no venga — out of every bad comes good. So this story gets a whole lot better.

I endured three months of intensive physical therapy for my broken arms. Since I couldn’t drive, I took Metrorail to the Douglas Road station and then walked, underneath Metrorail, to therapy in the North Grove. As I walked, I was astounded that there was so much land underneath Metrorail. Even though it was the dead of summer, I could walk comfortably in the shade of the train tracks. The opportunity was obvious.

I have visited New York City’s High Line, the hugely successful above-ground linear park in every season and love it more each time I visit. The High Line was a barely utilized elevated train track.

The land under Metrorail is also underutilized. I thought, “This land should be Miami’s High Line” — but at ground level — and it would be a great public parkway all the way from Brickell Station to Dadeland South. It should have a wide walking and biking path with lush native foliage for all to enjoy. It should be lit, with wider, safer crosswalks, dog parks, exercise zones, activities, events and so much more. Wow! Maybe, people will get out of their cars and ride Metrorail to work because the path is so beautiful. Maybe, this 10-mile stretch of green space will transform the South Dade corridor like the High Line has transformed New York City’s west side. Maybe this isn’t just a crazy idea.

I started talking up my “crazy idea” with people, whenever and wherever I could. Maria Nardi of the Miami-Dade County Parks Department loved it, as did leaders at the Transit Department. It’s Transit’s land, originally earmarked for train and track maintenance. In fact, just about everyone I spoke to thought that I should go for it.

So, I did. Next, we landed in the dean’s office at the University of Miami Architecture School. Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, who was then dean, and later Denis Hector, the acting dean, agreed that redesigning this land into a public green space could transform our community. And, since pictures tell 1,000 words, they assigned a class of 10 students to create an architectural vision plan of the whole 10-mile tract. It was a massive undertaking for just one semester.

We now have a working title for this big vision: “The GreenLink.” We also have a nonprofit organization called Friends of the GreenLink. With more than 20 members from the private and public sectors who have already logged thousands of volunteer hours, we have an enthusiastic group to shepherd the process of visioning, funding, building and operating this great public asset.

There’s another saying I like a lot: It takes a village to raise a child.

In this case we need everyone who lives here to step up and take part in defining and building this great vision.

Here’s my call to action: We have a lot of work to do and will have lots of ways for each member of the community to be involved. There will be collaborative community activities, including a competition to name the path, online and on-site forums to comment on architectural plans, an online suggestion box to say what residents want and where they want it and even a video wall to tell everyone why you think our community needs the GreenLink.

Where can you do this? At www.thegreenlink.org. Sign up, tell us what you think, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Join us in designing our city’s future.

Meg Daly is founder and chairman of Friends of the GreenLink.

Read more Other Views stories from the Miami Herald

Tony Lesesne


    Tony Lesesne: Overkill, and an apology

    Yes, it happens in South Florida, too — and it shouldn’t. Black men pulled over, needlessly hassled by police officers who give the rest of their colleagues a bad name, who make no distinction when a suspect has no other description than ‘black male,’ who harass residents because they can. A North Miami Beach officer pulls over a black man in a suit and tie — and behind the wheel of an Audi that simply had to be stolen, right? In another Miami-Dade city, an officer demands that an African-American man installing a vegetable garden justify why he has a shovel and seedlings. Detained for possession of cilantro? Here are five South Floridians who tell of their experiences in this community and beyond, years ago, and all too recently.

Delrish Moss


    Delrish Moss: Out after dark

    “I was walking up Seventh Avenue, just shy of 14th street. I was about 17 and going home from my job. I worked at Biscayne Federal Bank after school. The bank had a kitchen, and I washed the dishes. A police officer gets out of his car. He didn’t say anything. He came up and pushed me against a wall, frisked me, then asked what I was doing walking over here after dark. Then he got into his car and left. I never got a chance to respond. I remember standing there feeling like my dignity had been taken with no explanation. I would have felt better about that incident had I gotten some sort of dialogue. I had not had any encounters with police.


    Bill Diggs: Hurt officer’s feelings

    “I’m the first generation in my family to go to college, and if I wanted to do nothing else, I wanted to make my mom happy. I was living for my parents, I wanted to be that guy, I wanted to go to work and not have to put on steel-toe boots. And here I am in Atlanta, I have finally grown to a particular level of affluence. I wasn’t making a lot of money, but I was a college kid, wearing a suit, driving a nice BMW going to work everyday. Can’t beat that. I would leave my house, drive up Highway 78, the Stone Mountain area, grab some coffee, go to work. So on this particular morning, there’s a cop who’s rustling up this homeless guy outside the gas station where I was filling up. I’m shaking my head, the cop looks at me. This homeless guy is there every morning. I get in my car and on to the expressway. The police officer comes shooting up behind me. I doing 65, 70. He gets up behind me, I notice he’s following me. I get in one lane, he gets in the lane, I get in another lane, he gets in that lane. He finally flips his lights on, he comes up to the car. I’ve been pulled over for speeding before, I know the drill. Got my hands up here, don’t want to get shot, and I think he’s going to say what I’ve heard before: ‘License and registration, please.’ He says ‘Get out of the car!’ and he reaches in and grabs me by my shirt. He says, ‘So you’re a smart ass, huh?’ Finally he says, ‘License and registration.’ I tell him it’s in the car. He says, ‘Get it for me!’ He goes back to his car, comes back and asks, ‘So where did you get the car from?’ I say ‘It’s a friend of mine’s.” He says, ‘Is it stolen? What are you doing driving your friend’s car?’ I finally asked, ‘Is there a reason you stopped me? You followed me, what’s up, man?’ He says, ‘I’m going to let you go with a warning, but if you see me doing what I’ve got to do for my job, don’t you ever f---ing worry about it.”

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category