As 28-year residents of Coral Gables, I have seen many changes, some improvements and some despoiling of what used to be tranquil beautiful and leafy residential streets. Along with increased population has come more swale parking, so that many streets in our North Gables neighborhoods now resemble parking lots.
Further exacerbating the problem has been the proliferation of huge landscaper trucks which consistently obstruct the smaller streets, making a drive through the area a literal obstacle course, especially when they are left so close to the roundabouts. If the city cares to look at other municipalities that have taken a proactive stance to protect the residential environment, it will see that there are ordinances covering vehicles parked on swales, parking utility vehicles and landscaping trucks which reduce visibility and impede circulation, and those that address the issue of too many cars continuously parked outside one residence.
A common sense approach to resolving this issue already has many successful precedents that aim to preserve the charm and beauty of communities without putting undue burdens on those doing business or providing services to residents.
Coral Gables has justly been quoted as the City Beautiful, but city planners and commissioners will need to consider the part they are playing in moving our municipality into the “City Beautiful In Parts and Ugly In Others.”
Future potential residents may just decide that there are other towns which take better care of their environment and might choose not to settle in Coral Gables. The time to act is now to start returning our community to a more livable and pleasant place to call home.
Clifford Brazier, Coral Gables
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