The most important question regarding Miami Beach’s March 15 ballot item on the convention center hotel is whether the claim that it will reduce traffic is valid.
I’ve analyzed the Beach’s 25-page traffic study and read the documents. I have concluded that the claim is substantiated: Traffic will be reduced. I will be voting in favor of the lease.
Currently, consumer/trade shows make up more than 90 percent of convention-center bookings, creating traffic nightmares. More than 6,000 vehicle trips in and out of the city each day turn congestion into gridlock. Conventions would reduce this daily traffic by more than half, but they won’t book without an adjacent convention center hotel.
When there are no conventions, the traffic generated by hotel guests, employee and service-vehicle trips will be much lighter. I have seen no development in my 20 years in the city that has been planned as carefully as this one, taking into account not only the city’s economy, but its impact on residents. I’m comfortable in recommending its approval.
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Frank Del Vecchio, Miami Beach