“We really need something like this because Miami-Dade
County is one of the most dangerous places to bike and
walk in the U.S. We just don’t have quality infrastructure for people to get out safely,” she said.
Daly predicts the “economic impact of the Underline
will be impressive, with property values for ones that
are close to increase 25 percent. But our impact zone is
as much as a third of a mile away and even at that distance property values are expected to increase 5 percent.”
She said there is $3 billion in planned development
along the Underline, which includes transit-oriented
and transit-adjacent development.
“All of that has kicked into high gear as the Underline
has come along and property values are already rising,”
she said, noting that a design review committee is reviewing numerous developers’ plans. “We strongly believe if
we don’t do things right next to the Underline — which
is just 100 feet wide — we’ll be missing opportunities.”
If all goes well, Daly hopes the Underline will be built
out in six years, so she can push her yet-unborn grandchildren along the trail in strollers.
The Atlanta BeltLine
In Atlanta, Paul Morris, CEO of the Atlanta BeltLine Inc.
(ABI), said his organization has worked with neighborhoods since the inception of a plan that would repurpose
22 miles of an unused rail corridor into a walking and
cycling loop and streetcar line.
“The original initiative involved hundreds of meetings in
neighborhoods from 2003 to 2005, before the city council adopted the resolution that formed the redevelopment
act,” he said.
“We met with people in the 45 neighborhoods that are adjacent to the BeltLine on either side. Linear parks are built on
railroad lines that really were the dividing line for a lot of
these communities, and that was the case in Atlanta as well.
“A neighborhood coalition came together and was the
engine that prompted the city council to think big and
embrace this notion of reclaiming the rail corridors,
the industrial lands that were associated with them and
converting them into 1,300 acres of new parks, linear transportation networks, housing and economic development
in areas that were post-industrial.”
The economic impact of the Miami Underline will be impressive.
(Left) The future approach to Brickell Station will be a gathering
space for residents, showcasing the existing oolite outcrop.
(Above) The future “Brickell Gym” will activate the space between
the Metrorail columns and provide much-needed recreational
opportunities for Brickell residents.