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Streetscape Project is Moving Forward

2/16/09

The Coral Gables City Commission has unanimously approved $200,000 in municipal funds to be released for further development of new streetscape plans for Giralda Avenue and Miracle Mile which have been recommended by the Business Improvement District of Coral Gables (“BID.”) The funds were made available through Miami-Dade County’s Building Better Communities General Obligation Bond Program which helps fund capital improvement projects.

The proposed streetscape for Giralda Avenue includes a shared street where pedestrians, bicyclists and low-speed vehicles share a common space. Design standards will be established for sidewalk cafes, pavilions and gazebos on Giralda, creating an ideal outdoor dining environment for the street that has become known as Downtown Coral Gables’ “Restaurant Row.” The proposed plan for Miracle Mile will strike a better balance between pedestrian and vehicular traffic by converting the current angled parking to parallel parking to support pedestrian circulation, the creation of natural gathering places and utilization of sidewalk space for cafes, public art and kiosks.

Downtown parking is another major issue being addressed as part of the streetscape project. While approximately 71 metered parking spaces would ultimately be lost on Miracle Mile by the conversion to parallel parking, there is currently a surplus of more than 900 parking spaces in downtown garages during peak hours. The first phase of the construction on the project, which could begin as early as spring 2010, would focus on improving paseos and connections between Miracle Mile and downtown parking garages in order to encourage visitors to utilize garage parking. A Centralized Valet System is already in place on Miracle Mile that allows visitors to leave their car at any one of four valet stations and pick it up from the location of their choice.

The subject of converting Miracle Mile parking from angled to parallel is still under review, and the item will be heard on February 10 at 2 p.m. as part of the regular city commission proceedings. The meeting will take place in the commission chambers at Coral Gables City Hall.

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