Letters to the Editor

Expand parking lot to handle center for disabled

I was disappointed by the inferences in reporter Joey Flechas’ July 25 article, “Miami Beach considers seaside facility for disabled. Neighbors say build it elsewhere,” about the proposed Adaptive Center at 53rd Street. The parking lot services the public beach and public fire station, yacht show, and neighboring condos and businesses.

In a meeting at the Mid-Beach Neighborhood Association, City Commissioner Joy Malakoff said, “Parking demands during the boat show are high and the center will be closed.” Malakoff, spearheading this initiative, is more concerned about boat show parking than the Center’s operations or her constituents.

The Sabrina Cohen Foundation, which works with disabled people, will manage a commercial center to provide physical therapy to the temporarily disabled, elderly, and those with health conditions limiting movement.

The parking lot is small and overutilized. I have proposed to the City Commission that the commercial building need not be married to beach accessibility. There is space to store equipment at 53rd Street. A commercially zoned area can support the center. Should this center fail, then Miami Beach taxpayers will have a building to staff, maintain, and handle.

A city official mentioned that only two locations were explored, and the city settled on 53rd Street. What about the library on 71st Street? Or allowing beach access at 53rd Street and the commercial zone? After four years, why were no other lots considered?

Government villainized its residents. These are the repercussions that people live with daily when government ignores the will of its people.

Voters surrounding the 53rd Street lot never rejected allowing access to the beach. Our point is that they need a bigger a lot.

Diana L. Rodriguez, board president,

Amethyst Condominium, Miami Beach