MIAMI BEACH CITY MANAGER NEGLECTS TRAFFIC SAFETY
17 October 2015
By David Arthur Walters MIAMI MIRROR
City Manager Jimmy Morales, Esq. has obviously failed to provide adequate safety measures during the rush to development in the city perpetuated by de facto strong Mayor Philip Levine and his bevy of contractors and developers.
Many people have complained about traffic delays and the risks presented to pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers at improperly barricaded and marked intersections where police officers were not present or were present chatting with one another including their supervisor.
Most of the barricades are provided by Bob’s Barricades, which advertises itself as the largest provider of barricades in the country. In 2005 the $164 million judgment against it for forcing a teen into onto an improperly marked lane of travel was recognized by the National Law Journal as the eleventh of the Top One Hundred Verdicts judgments for negligence that year. (McKinney v. Bob’s Barricades). Arthur W. Tifford, the plaintiff’s attorney, was criticized for persuading his client to accept a $5 million settlement before the jury returned with that verdict. He said collection of the large amount was doubtful and the process was long, whereas cash was immediately needed. Mr. Tifford ran afoul of the disciplinary arm of the Supreme Court during his career, and was disbarred by his own petition over a cash shortage shortly before he unexpectedly died this year.
Miami Beach is infamous for the desultory enforcement of traffic laws, and the rush to construction and increased traffic throughout the city has made the lack even more evident. The Miami Beach Police Department lays the blame on a persistent shortage of about 30 officers, but that explanation does not wash when they are seen in back parking lots and in the streets chatting while drivers regularly violate the laws. Motor Unit officers are few and far between, and they tend to lay the blame on a lack of training and experience of other officers rather than their outright negligence.
Drivers turning left are always a great hazard to pedestrians. Vehicles turning left off 5th Street have been seen going up on two wheels as pedestrians run for their lives. Walk signals are inconsistent from intersection to intersection, and sometimes do not work at all, confusing pedestrians.
Evidently intoxicated young drivers are sometimes seen rapidly accelerating on Washington Avenue to show off how powerful they think they are behind the wheel. That is not to mention slower moving traffic. A left turning taxi recently knocked a Crunch fitness member flat when he left the gym at 13th street and Washington Avenue, seriously injuring him. The company turned out to be uninsured. A moped driver was killed down the street at the Five Guys intersection by a cab.
The city provides bicycle lanes where cars and delivery trucks are often parked. And the trucks park on the curbs outside of the times allowed. City officials excuse this as, “Oh, well, you know stuff has to be delivered, and we don’t have enough parking,” et cetera.
UPS trucks have been seen parking across the street where the man was run over on Washington. The drivers were dining at Pepper’s, an excellent Mexican eatery; apparently there was no room for their trucks across the street at the Post Office. Pedestrians had to walk out into traffic to get around the truck blocking the pedestrian lane.
The neglect of traffic safety is just one of several indications that the city is being badly managed under the mayor’s current administration. If we are to have a strong mayor, weak manager city, then both must go.
From Las Olas Café File – Chronic violations despite multiple complaints to city manager