Residents of the Silver Bluff neighborhood in the City of Miami have split into two camps.
The point of contention regards residential street closures placed last week by city workers to prevent heavy traffic from cutting through the area. The issue made it all the way to court over the weekend because Miami-Dade County wanted to remove them.
“I should be able to enjoy my property, my house, and not be scared to go out, you know, and have company with little kids running out in the middle of the street,” said Beba Mann, one Silver Bluff resident.
Other residents oppose the barriers, also citing safety as the reason.
“Yesterday we had an issue with an ambulance. And they couldn’t get through. They had to wheel the guy in a wheelchair to the ambulance, said Vanessa Hyden, who also lives in the area.
There are four closures, which after Sunday's ruling, will be allowed to remain with the condition the concrete barriers be swapped out for plastic ones.
The closures are at:
- SW 17th avenue and 23rd street
- SW 16th avenue and 22nd street
- SW 16th court and 22nd street
- and SW 14th avenue and 22nd street
That area falls under Commissioner Joe Carollo’s district. He says he supports the barriers, referencing other municipalities that have been allowed to put them up, such as Coral Gables. He defended the barricades during a news conference Monday afternoon that got heated.
“We’re glad the court ordered the City of Miami to immediately remove these unsafe concrete barriers that were creating a hazard in the roadway and to replace them with alternative, safer barriers, and ruled that the city must seek the county’s approval on any permanent structures or changes to city roads," Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava released said in a statement. "I am committed to working with all our cities and residents to make improvements to improve our roads and traffic flow, but we need to follow the process laid out in the county code to ensure we are meeting important county standards and guidelines to keep all residents safe.”