This downtown street is closed forever, and traffic will be a living nightmare

R.I.P, Northeast 12th Street.

You are closed now forever from Biscayne Boulevard to Northeast First Avenue, a martyr to the redesign of I-395 and the Florida Department of Transportation’s endless need to terrorize the citizens of Miami. Your time on earth ended so we could make way for four long, miserable years of a new world order, one in which downtown traffic will be catastrophic and more hated than Ultra, spring break and flying cockroaches put together.

And it will all be for absolutely no benefit whatsoever.

But you will be remembered, Northeast 12th Street. You were small but solid. You funneled thousands of drivers daily from Biscayne Boulevard north on I-95, past the murals of Wynwood on to the mighty Golden Glades (in the regular lanes because the express lanes are always inexplicably closed). You guided the drivers of Coral Gables and Coconut Grove back to their overpriced homes and sent the Kendallites back to Kendall where they can roam proud and free from one strip mall to the next. You sent us home to Miami Gardens and Hialeah and Doral, even though no one in their right mind ever wants to go to Doral.

You carried us all.

You weren’t a high-profile kind of highway, and sometimes we barely noticed you in our rush to get home from the Miami Heat game or the 400th revival of “Wicked” at the Arsht Center. You lacked the glamour of the Palmetto, that pit of hell where all that’s good goes to rot (and where new express lanes are already making traffic worse). You didn’t have ongoing construction or Don Shula’s name.

But we didn’t have to pay huge fees to drive on you, and for that, we are grateful.

The next four years will be an era of fury, wasted time and massive carbon emissions. The healing will come someday, maybe, after the $800 million spider monster redesign is complete. We know this will take longer than four years.. We have been here before.

So thanks for the memories, Northeast 12th Street. You weren’t exactly beloved, but you did get us where we needed to be. Which is a lot more than we can say about the next four years.

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