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Finally, Some Good News About Alton Road

A New Trolley Service and Ahead-of-Schedule Construction Makes Alton Slightly More Bearable


You really don’t know what you’ve got until it’s halfway demolished.

So now that they’ve un-paved paradise and put in some water pumps, you kinda miss Alton Road and it’s little flooding problem, don’t you?  That’ll teach you to complain when it’s 75 in February.

But good news abounds for anyone – local or tourist- who wants to get north-to-south in Miami Beach: It seems the Alton Road construction project is slated to finish half a year ahead of schedule, by December 31 of this year.

Or maybe that had been the plan all along, and Mayor Phil Levine knows the secret to political success is low expectations. Either way, it seems there is light at the end of the palm-lined tunnel.



The construction has been both economy-crippling and life-destroying for anyone trying to live or work on the western side of South Beach. High-rise dwellers along West Ave. have had their commutes off the beach increased by 15-20 minutes in some cases (the 10 of them who actually have jobs AND leave the beach, anyway). The street has been turned into the southbound arterial in this section of the Beach, so all the cars that used to use Alton to get off the island now drive through these folks’ front yards.

The one upside is that MBPD has suspended it’s blatantly-illegal crosswalk scam, once again allowing Miamians to drive without having to concern ourselves with pedestrians.

Businesses have been crushed along Alton as well, with the lack of parking and threat of traffic driving customers away en masse. Longstanding favorite Bernie’s LA Café closed its doors back in July, and Lime has resorted to delivering food to cars while they sit unmoving with what they’ve labeled “Barricade-side service.”



The City, to its credit, is doing its part to help keep restaurants not called Pollo Tropical open during construction.  A free Alton/West Trolley is now running from 5th street north up Alton to Lincoln Road, then back down south on West Ave., making 21 stops about every ten minutes.

This means that A) You will 100% get stuck behind it when you are running late for a movie and B) People will now have a way of getting to the businesses along Alton without having to sit in that traffic. Or, at least have to drive in it.
And, in a very un-Miami Beach move, the city is offering free parking for four hours at the 5th and Alton Garage (where Publix and Best Buy are) with a Trolley voucher. So no need to worry about Tremont Towing pillaging your car if you wanna park on 5th and take the trolley up.

And, if you believe what the Florida Department of Transportation tells us, once the new pump stations are successfully installed Alton Road will be rid of its pesky flooding problem, and we can go back to driving like maniacs. That is, of course, until the rising ocean covers this entire place in water. But that’s a good 20 years away at least.



Related Categories: Miami: Local News,

About the Author: Matt Meltzer is a featured columnist at Miami Beach 411.

See more articles by Matt Meltzer.

See more articles by Matt Meltzer

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