The "Miami Beach Drive" (MBD) promenade is located east of Collins Ave. and just west (and parallel to) the Beachwalk from 24th Street to 29th Street in MidBeach.
The Miami Beach Drive (MBD) is part of the historical John Collins Waterfront District of Miami Beach, founded by John Collins, who built his first home in this area between 24th and 25th street. Along with Carl Fisher and the Lummus Brothers, Collinswas a founder and developer of Miami Beach. Although initially it was a vehicular drive, the City at some point converted this "drive" into a public "pedestrian only" walkway.
WHY IS THE MBNA INVOLVED WITH THE MIAMI BEACH DRIVE?
Miami Beach Drive is located within the boundaries of the MidBeach Neighborhood Association.
For several years, several Condo Associations that are MBNA Members, have been asking the City to maintain the MBD in order to make it safe and aesthetically pleasing. The City responded that it is the responsibility of property owners abutting MBD to maintain not only only the landscaping, but also the concrete path and other structural components.
The private properties abutting MBD have always known that they are responsible for maintaining only the "landscaping" installed by the City; (per Sec. 126-6. Landscaping Criteria below) but not the concrete sidewalk or brick pavers that lie within Miami Beach Drive; (see Case 06-16546 CA below.)
The MBNA requested the City to provide documentation regarding who is responsible for the different aspects of the maintenance of MBD. The City submitted documents (see link below) that MBNA does not consider to be valuable evidence.
MBNA Members are very concerned about the liability risks they would assume if it is determined that the abutting private properties are responsible for maintaining this public City owned walkway.
As photos below demonstrate, many sections of the Miami Beach Drive are currently not only an eyesore, with areas that often flood, but are also a life safety issue.
The MBNA feels that it is the City's responsibility to immediately initiate repairs on safety issues and allocate funding for the concrete repairs, drainage upgrades, and necessary aesthetic improvements to this valuable MidBeach promenade.
Several MBNA Working Group Meetings have taken place virtually with City Officials and Staff to address safety concerns and maintenance needs of Miami Beach Drive. These took place on October 7 2022, and January 4, 2023. Attendees from the City have included Kevin Pulido, Gabriella Gonzalez, Ariel Guitian, Thomas Curitore (Code Compliance).
On MARCH 13, 2023 a meeting was held on site at City-Hall
Four MBNA Executive Board Members (Anamarie, Oscar, Alicia and Esteban) and two condo reps met at City Hall with Commissioner Fernandez, Asst. City Manager, Asst. City Attorney, Public Works Director and Asst. Director, and other City Officials. During the meeting, MBNA reminded City Officials that for several years the MBNA has been petitioning the City to correct safety concerns (see photos below) and flooding within the this five block public right-of-way that is used by the public and City vehicles.
After some discussion, City Officials agreed that this area, (excluding the area behind Club Atlantis which was deeded to the City in 1981), is indeed owned by the City and therefore must be maintained by the City accordingly. City staff agreed to perform a walk-thru of the area soon to determine safety concerns so they can begin making those repairs ASAP. Commissioner Fernandez agreed to refer this item to Committee and hopes future plans for full renovations of MBD can be included in the upcoming Budget. The MBNA appreciates the efforts of Commissioner Fernandez on behalf of the MBNA members, especially those that abut Miami Beach Drive. Photos taken during Meeting:
On MARCH 24, 2023 MBNA Members met with City Officials on-site for a walk-thru of MBD.
Three MBNA Executive Board Members (Alicia, Oscar and Esteban) and two condo reps, met on site and walked from 24th street thru 29th Street with Commissioner Fernandez, Joe Gomez (Public Works Director), Michael Atkins (Greenspace Division Director), Kevin Pulido, and several members of City Staff. Photos were taken of all the areas within MBD with significant dips, cracks, holes, etc. that are safety concerns and that need the City's immediate attention and repair. Numerous discussions took place regarding the vision for this valuable CMB public promenade. Photos taken during walk-thru:
REASONS WHY MBNA FEELS THAT MIAMI BEACH DRIVE IS A COMMUNITY RIGHT OF WAY THAT BELONGS TO THE CITY OF MIAMI BEACH:
Following are some important precedents and historical information that supports the fact that Miami Beach Drive (MBD) is a community right of way that belongs to the City and therefore, the City is responsible for maintaining a safe, user friendly, and aesthetically pleasing public promenade. 1. PROPERTY SURVEYS: Miami Beach Drive does not appear on the surveys of the properties located directly in-front of this walkway. The County records for the affected properties clearly exclude MBD as part of the subject property boundaries. 2. PUBLIC RIGHT OF WAY:Miami Beach Drive does not have a "folio number" so it is considered a "public right of way" that is owned by the City of Miami Beach. 3. DECISION MAKING: The City has always made unilateral decisions on the use of this public walkway. This includes policing, using as staging areas for construction projects, maintaining areas, using area as an access road by City vehicles, negotiating with Citi Bikes for station locations, etc. The abutting private properties have never been asked to provide input on any of these decisions made by the City. 4. AREA MAINTENANCE: The City does not have "maintenance agreements" with any of the properties abutting MBD. The City has a history of maintaining Miami Beach Drive, including installation of brick pavers, light posts, trash receptacles, etc. Additionally, violations have been issued by CMB Code Enforcement for incidents taking place on MBD. Utility and construction vehicles, including CMB vehicles, also traverse the area often; (see photos and video below.) These have created sections with dips and uneven levels between the concrete and the pavers that are hazardous to users, do not meet the City's ADA standards, and are a safety concern. 5. BEACHWALK CONSTRUCTION PERIOD: Miami Beach Drive was used by the City for over two years to access adjacent "staging areas" for the Beachwalk project, without any involvement by the private properties. During this time, heavy construction trucks caused the pavers to sink in many areas, creating tripping hazards. During these years, the City also diverted pedestrian traffic onto Miami Beach Drive. The diverted pedestrian and bicycle traffic resulted in increased wear and tear to the pavers and the concrete.
COURT DOCUMENTS FROM TWO LAWSUITSRESULTING FROM FALLS ON MIAMI BEACH DRIVE.
CONCLUSION It has now been established that Miami Beach Drive is a City owned public right-of-way from 24th thru 29th street; (excluding the stretch directly behind Club Atlantis which was deeded to the Condo Association in 1981. The Association is currently in the process of addressing this issue). Therefore, theMBNA is requesting the City of Miami Beach to immediately address the safety concerns, drainage issues, concrete repairs, and vehicular traffic control of this important mid beach asset. MBNA is also petitioning for the total renovation of this valuable promenade so that both residents and visitors are able to enjoy a safe and beautiful "MID- BEACH PROMENADE" in this area of our community. (See MBNA's Goals and Vision below). -March, 2023
CMB REQUEST STATUS FORMS from 2018, 2019 and 2022 demonstrating the City's communications with regard to maintenance issues on Miami Beach Drive.
PHOTOS of the current conditions of MIAMI BEACH DRIVE. As can be seen, there are many areas where the level surface is uneven with a difference above a quarter inch which is considered a "tripping hazard." (Photos taken on February 27, 2023.)
VIDEOS AND PHOTOS taken on February 15, 2023 of CMB service vehicles using Miami Beach Drive:
PHOTOS of flooding seen on Miami Beach Drive:
MBNA GOALS and VISION for MIAMI BEACH DRIVE
We will be requesting for the name to be changed to "MID BEACH PROMENADE" since this stretch is no longer a "drive" and it is located within the MidBeach boundaries.
We also request for the City to allocate funding to renovate this amenity and make it a safe, pedestrian friendly, and aesthetically pleasing public Promenade enjoyed by residents and visitors alike; (see some ideas below.)
Below are photos of the newly renovated "BRITTNEY PARK" on Indian Creek Drive between 63rd and 64th Streets. Some of these ideas and concepts can be incorporated in MBD: