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FIU’s proposed road threatens preserve so residents plan a protest

North Miami residents launched a campaign to fight Florida International University’s move to open a road through the city’s Arch Creek East Environmental Preserve. Some residents plan a Saturday, March 31, 2018, rally against the proposed road.
North Miami residents launched a campaign to fight Florida International University’s move to open a road through the city’s Arch Creek East Environmental Preserve. Some residents plan a Saturday, March 31, 2018, rally against the proposed road. ACE Preserve Action Group

North Miami City Councilman Scott Galvin is helping lead a rally Saturday afternoon after state lawmakers paved the way for Florida International University to open a road through a North Miami environmental preserve.

The protest, featuring residents who live near Arch Creek East Environmental Preserve on Northeast 135th Street, runs at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 31.

“This afternoon, we take to the street. We’ll march from Biscayne to the Preserve, letting everyone know this is our city and our preserve,” Galvin said in an email sent to the Miami Herald.

Earlier this month, Florida legislators, including Gov. Rick Scott, approved amendment HB 215 that would allow the state university to open a second entry and exit to its Biscayne Bay Campus for security purposes. Although the legislation doesn’t specify 135th Street, it says North Miami can’t block the university from using the existing road.

The university cited last month’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland as a reason to have more access to the sprawling campus that is accessible now only on Northeast 151st Street. There are three public schools on 151st Street near the university: Alonzo and Tracy Mourning High School, the David Lawrence K-8 Center and The Marine Academy of Science and Technology at FIU.

FIU is also currently dealing with public outcry after its 950-ton pedestrian bridge collapsed atop several vehicles, killing six people. The accident happened on March 15, adjacent to FIU’s main campus on Southwest Eighth Street in west Miami-Dade.

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