County Revives Interest In Bay Link Project, Could Relieve South Beach Transportation Hell

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Living in South Beach is like getting gonorrhea: it's all fun and easy until suddenly everything comes to a painful stop.

Lately, SoBe residents have woken up to find a foot of foul-smelling water inside their cars. When they bail out their rides, they still face insane traffic jams to the North and South on Alton Road. The MacArthur Causeway is a construction cluster*ck. And good ol' Collins Avenue continues to be jammed with narcoleptic cabbies and moto-clad tourists with a death wish.

Thankfully, county officials have a plan to relieve this agonizingly slow drip of traffic. They are now reconsidering a proposal to build a light rail system stretching from Miami to Miami Beach. Penicillin could be on the way.

See also:
- MacArthur Ramp Closure: Getting to SoBe Will Be a Catastrophe for the Next Month
- South Beach Is Underwater Again This Morning (And For Once, So Is the Rest of Miami)

The Miami-Dade Metropolitan Planning Organization unanimously approved funding to study the light rail plan yesterday, the Miami Herald reports.

The funding -- $325,000 total, roughly half from the MPO -- couldn't come at a better time.

"If we don't do something about traffic in Miami Beach, it's going to kill the tourism industry," acknowledged county mayor Carlos Gimenez yesterday.

The idea for a light rail system isn't new. But the county hasn't officially considered it since shooting down the Bay Link proposal in 2004. Bay Link would have connected South Beach to downtown Miami via a train across the MacArthur.

The MPO is also considering a system of electric streetcars (without overhead lines), according to the Herald.

News of revived interest in the rail system comes a day after Miami Beach commissioners finally green-lighted a billion-dollar design for the island's convention center.

But with standing water swamping roads, stagnant traffic everywhere, and bikers hit by cars while crossing the bridge, it's about time someone rid South Beach of its transportation misery.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes. Follow this journalist on Twitter @MikeMillerMiami.

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This will never, ever, ever happen. South Beach doesn't want "the poors" to be able to get to SoBe cheaply. Sure, they allow the last dregs of them to congregate mostly south of 10th. But even those buildings will soon be bought out and turned into deluxe condos. They can say it will be great for tourism, but the only tourists they want is the ones from Argentina with alot of cash. The "tourists" who want to ride mass transit will continue to use Miami-Dade's horrible bus system. The odds that you will ever be able to get from MIA to south beach without ever steeping out of a transit station are so astronomical. 

drakemallard topcommenter

 We have no more stupid people in this country. Everybody has a "learning disorder". Or he's "minimally exceptional".


Miami Beach made a mistake by encouraging tourist growth and condominium growth at the same time.  A massive conflict of livability interests.  The flooding should empty out the condominium and residential housing market.  Tourist's can be move around by electric swamp buggy's.  Check your LTC statements on flooding in Miami Beach.  Detroit here we come. 


 We have now wasted 9 years since this was first discussed. Public transport across Miami is bad, disorganized and new vital routes take years to be created, we should have an express service to  Midtown from SOBE for example.The airport bus which is such an obvious route was only created in the last couple of years! Even our SOBE local bus is useless if you are trying to go somewhere fast. It is spectacularly unreliable, sometimes taking up to 40 minutes to show upand the way the route is laid out is not convenient for a lot of the residents since it is so far on the edges that walking 5-6 blocks to then wait  a possible additional 30-40 is just not feasible. I call the free golf carts to take me around and tip them a few bucks instead and only do the SOBE Local if I have a lot of time to waste or am just zipping up and down Washington. One added issue with our local buses is the INCREDIBLE rudeness of 90% od the drivers and the truly atrocious way they drive these buses, it is often like riding a bucking horse. Thankfully I have a bicycle, although I would love to see a light rail system, I have my doubts this incompetent county can get it right.

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