Opinion

Staff Editorial 2/21: Don’t bypass the overpass

Since 1990, three University of Miami students have died as a result of being hit by a car crossing  U.S. 1. That is three too many.

That statistic does not include the five students who have been severely injured since 1989 or other individuals who are not affiliated with the university.

Miami is full of problematic drivers. People constantly run red lights intentionally, and speed and text while on the road. Of course, this results in serious consequences that don’t seem to get any better.

Since 2003, there has been a solution in the works to try and solve this problem: Building an overpass across U.S. 1. However, several obstacles have elongated this process including allocating the funds necessary and getting the proper individuals on board.

The owners of the University Centre parking lot have rejected more than $1.8 million for a handful of parking spaces stating it may potentially hurt the businesses located in the shopping center. But a few spaces don’t seem like that big of a threat, especially when the parking lot is hardly ever filled to capacity.

Money is obviously not making these owners budge, so we must rely on the county to make a decision, and fast. There is no reason why people have to be putting their lives at risk while crossing a busy street – especially if they’re crossing the street legally using the pedestrian crosswalk.

The funds have already been secured, and there is no reason we should have to wait any longer. After 10 years, enough is enough.

The overpass would be built straight to the University Centre shopping plaza, which obviously curtails to UM students. Not only is it advertised in the name of the center, but various businesses provide discounts to students with a valid Cane ID. Therefore, building an overpass would most likely help these businesses, not hurt them.

As of now, the county has been exploring its options, including pursuing eminent domain for the handful of parking spaces. That option could take a few years in court battles. Another would be to build a walkway that connects to an overpass leading pedestrians to the university-owned Gables One Tower. An additional option would be to improve the safety of the existing intersection and not build an overpass, which wouldn’t solve the problem.

Before the funding expires, a decision must be made. Lives are at risk and that is unjust when alternative solutions are possible and readily available.

Let’s save lives. Give the overpass a green light.

 

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.

February 20, 2013

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane


2 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Staff Editorial 2/21: Don’t bypass the overpass”

  1. Robert says:

    This is another classic case of the stubborn, shortsighted neighbors that we have to deal with at UM. The University has existed long before any of the surrounding neighborhoods and businesses were even established. UM is the heart and soul of Coral Gables, and the community has a certain degree of obligation to accommodate practical forms of adjustments, such as those concerning the safety of students. Gables residents even limit the use of streetlights at night, further endangering students walking or biking along the periphery of campus. How can the University Centre call itself the “University Centre” if it has no regard for the safety of the students and the rest of the UNIVERSITY community? How many dead students are needed to convince these people??????

  2. Brutus says:

    Dear Miami Hurricane Editorial Board,
    We don’t know if it isn’t an issue of money that prevents the owner from selling that section of his property. The county needs to keep making offers until they find what the owner values his property at. Using eminent domain is inherently immoral and is nothing but a euphemism for land theft. Then again, it’s nothing new either. Our country has been built upon a government taking land from people and giving them “just compensation” all in the name of “public use”.

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.