Tuesday December 11, 2007

Port tunnel commercial

Something called, rather ominously, “Citizens for a Safer Miami” has produced this commercial in an effort to get the Miami City Commission to pitch in it’s $50 million contribution, which is something around 5% of the overall project’s budget. What is CfaSM? Who knows — a google returns exactly one result: the Herald’s article.

Can I get an Eye on Miami breakdown on this? (Of which, btw, ‘This Charter Review Task Force is a farce.’)

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  1. Native Son    Tue Dec 11, 10:12 AM #  

    Big trucks are the least of downtown’s problems!



  2. l'elk!    Tue Dec 11, 03:01 PM #  

    i am personally more afraid of our residential drivers :)



  3. Curb Growth Please    Tue Dec 11, 07:48 PM #  

    Why not make some non pedestrian areas and encourage people to use the free metromover that already crosses that area. A skybridge to the Arena would surely be cheaper. Lots of other cities actually control pedestrian traffic instead of letting people walk in any direction they want. And removing sidewalks would allow more space for these trucks to get their job done, adding to our economy instead of looking to spend more.



  4. alesh    Tue Dec 11, 08:45 PM #  

    Very interesting!: three opinions, all apparently opposed to the tunnel.

    Paging the boys of TransitMiami to defend this thing…



  5. Gabriel J. Lopez-Bernal    Wed Dec 12, 11:19 PM #  

    Finals and Grad School Apps Alesh…We’re running a bit behind these days...



  6. Adam    Thu Dec 13, 12:14 AM #  

    I am into a tunnel, although I would rather support more mass transit funding. I don’t really think the problem with downtown is that there are too many trucks, but that it is too hard to get down there without driving, so there are too many freeways and arteries. It seems like it would be pretty easy to put a truck lane straight off the 395 to the port.

    Pedestrians are definitely not the problem.



  7. Gabriel J. Lopez-Bernal    Thu Dec 13, 06:38 AM #  

    Adam, Unfortunately it’s not an either or situation. If we don’t use this money for the tunnel, FDOT moves it to another road project somewhere else across the state. The funding for public transit is so minuscule that its embarrassing.



  8. No Tunnel    Tue Dec 25, 04:21 PM #  

    No Port Tunnel for Miami……….

    Fiery Calif. pileup kills at least 2
    Posted on Sat, Oct. 13, 2007
    By NOAKI SCHWARTZ
    Associated Press Writer

    Gus Ruelas / AP Photo
    The Interstate 5 freeway is closed in both directions at the Newhall Pass Saturday Oct. 13, 2007, as the truck route tunnel still smolders after a 15-truck pileup on the rain-slicked Golden State Freeway in northern Los Angeles County in Santa Clarita, Calif., late Friday.
    » More Photos
    • Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Jason Hurd says it was a horrific scene.
    • 5 trucks burn in Calif. freeway tunnel
    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. —
    A late-night crash in a Southern California freeway tunnel quickly turned into a fiery, chain-reaction pileup that mangled several trucks, killed at least two people and shut down the key north-south route as the wreckage burned into Saturday.
    The crash late the night before involved an estimated 15 big rigs and possibly one or more passenger cars and sent people fleeing for their lives from the flaming tunnel. At least five of the trucks burst into flames, and the fire spread to the others. Ten people were injured.
    “It looked like a bomb went off,” said Los Angeles County firefighter Scott Clark, one of about 300 firefighters who battled the blaze through the night.
    The bodies of two crash victims were found in the tunnel Saturday, said California Highway Patrol Officer David Porter. He couldn’t immediately say whether one of them was a trucker listed as missing.
    Firefighters could find more bodies as they explored the charred tunnel Saturday, said Los Angeles County Fire Department Inspector Ron Haralson.
    The pileup in the southbound truck tunnel of Interstate 5 began about 11 p.m. Friday when two big rigs collided on the rain-slickened highway about 30 miles north of downtown Los Angeles. As crashes continued throughout the tunnel, which is about an eighth of a mile long, five tractor-trailers burst into flames, and the fire quickly spread.
    Firefighters estimated that at least 15 trucks were involved. The cause of the initial crash was being investigated, but authorities said it was raining at the time.
    The charred skeletons of at least a half-dozen big rigs peeked out of the tunnel’s south end Saturday. At least one was carrying produce, and a smoldering load of cabbage lay on the pavement. A pile of scorched truck debris protruded from a tunnel wall.
    State transportation workers brought in heavy equipment and were helping firefighters haul away the blackened, twisted debris, Haralson said.
    As the fire spread Friday night, flames shot out of both ends of the tunnel, rising as high as 100 feet into the air, firefighters at the scene said.
    The intense heat caused concrete to crack and melt, sending chucks falling onto a road below throughout the night. Firefighters worried that the damage could cause parts of the tunnel to collapse, particularly if cars were allowed back onto a road that runs above it.
    Interstate 5 is a key West Coast route running from Mexico to Canada, as well as a major commuter link between Los Angeles and its northern suburbs. There are likely to be huge traffic jams in the area if it is still closed when people return to work Monday.
    By Saturday afternoon, all of the flames appeared to have been extinguished, and firefighters went inside.
    The canyon surrounding the tunnel remained filled with thick, acrid smoke, however, and until they examined the wreckage, firefighters said, they wouldn’t be able to tell whether any trucks had been hauling toxic chemicals.
    Shortly after the crash, 20 people managed to escape the fiery tunnel on foot, including the 10 injured. Eight were reported to have minor injuries and two had moderate injuries. All were treated at hospitals, mainly for burns and neck and back injuries.
    Although the tunnel is designed to carry truck traffic through a mountain pass area, Fire Inspector Jason Hurd said passenger cars may also use it, raising concerns that some might have been trapped inside.
    “We’re going to have to do a very methodical search,” Tripp said. “There could be, unfortunately, more people that were not able to escape.”
    Hurd couldn’t say when authorities might be able to reopen the section of freeway about 30 miles north of downtown Los Angeles.
    “It could be another day, it could be days, it could be weeks,” he said.
    The section of freeway was shut down twice before, by earthquakes in 1971 and 1994, when large overpasses over canyons collapsed. The worst of the quakes, the Northridge quake of 1994, also damaged another nearby highway, snarling traffic throughout the area. Interstate 5 doesn’t run directly to San Francisco but is still a major north-south route.



  9. Big Brother    Wed Dec 26, 01:27 PM #  

    I have yet to hear a REASON to build a tunnel out there. We just built a giant bridge over there, less than 20 years ago, and it seems to be working just fine.

    Losing federal money for a project that we do not need is not a crime, it is just fiscal responsibility. Let that money get spent where it is NEEDED, even if it is not needed in Miami.



  10. alesh    Wed Dec 26, 02:08 PM #  

    Brother~

    There is only one reason for the tunnel: When all the developments downtown are filled (they will be, one day) the traffic on US-1 will be bad enough without scores of 18-wheelers maneuvering the city streets, when all they want is to get on I-95.

    I note that all the downtown residents seem to be indifferent or opposed to the project, but will they still feel that way when the traffic peaks in three years?

    By then it will of course be too late — these things take LOTS of time to put together.



  11. Big Brother    Wed Dec 26, 04:16 PM #  

    Thanks for the info, alesh.

    So, the tunnel is not just to go the route of the bridge, but is supposed to link directly to I-95? I would think that seems like too much effort for a few scores of trucks. Whose idea was this, the truckers? None of the reports give the idea maker, similar to the bullet train to Orlando idea, it seems to be a “there is a shot at some federal funds, let’s do it” type of project. Unlike Boston (the Big Dig), we are under the water line, so the chance of a flooding tunnel versus making a throughway, a couple more streets one way, or even just letting the truckers do what they do today, sounds like alot of money to make a trip 5 minutes shorter in the middle of the city.

    The busway on US1 in Kendall gives the buses and cops a free run, an 18 wheeler lane for that short distance could do the same for far less cost and less concern of a crisis like described in the article above. We could even charge a toll for the big rigs to pay for the convenience.



  12. alesh    Thu Dec 27, 07:37 AM #  

    See here: they’ve been talking about the tunnel since the 1980’s, and seriously pushing/planning for a few years. It connects to I-395 on Watson island (tho the video link no longer works), so is a straight shot from the port to the highway, bypassing regular streets altogether.

    Is it necessary/worth it? I have no idea, except that there seems to be a logic in keeping shipping traffic and regular street traffic separate.

    A dedicated lane is impossible, because the route through downtown involves too many turns and short stretches, and almost the main problem is the horrible little ramp onto 395 WB, of which would have to be contended with.

    But yes, it’s a lot of money, and I’d say the chances are <50% of it really happening, which maybe is just as well. We shall see.