All Aboard Florida Building ‘Wall’ Separating Overtown From Park West

These photos (taken in March) show construction of All Aboard Florida’s elevated train tracks in Overtown, which some are calling a wall separating the neighborhood from Park West.

By elevating the tracks, the company is eliminating the need for street closures. Overtown activists had protested a plan to close a street, and the elevated tracks were offered as a concession.

Metrorail also runs nearby and is built with piers instead of walls (but it has just two tracks).

 

The walls were already graffiti covered, even during construction:

It begins just after I-395, where the Signature Bridge is planned:

In other cities, the space under elevated rail tracks is used for shops and eateries, and the cladding material can be much more elegant (Berlin S-Bahn)

 

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Anonymous
3 years ago

“All Aboard Florida Building ‘Wall’ Separating Overtown From Park West”

Call it for what it really is, to separate the ghetto from the nice.

Anonymous
3 years ago

That was the first thing I thought as well.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Racist comment?

defamed2
3 years ago

The freight tracks are lined with one side of the wall, so there is no way to make active use of that space. Pillars would be great, but the space underneath ends up becoming crappy parking lots or impromptu homeless shelters in Miami. I think that if they landscape the sides where there is no freight tracks with shade trees and sidewalks it will not be that bad. This part of town has been very barren and left out regardless since time immemorial.

Anonymous
3 years ago

There are pillars being used also, just to the south of the “wall” there is probably 300′ of track elevated up…. a portion of the tracks are resting on wall. Go see for yourselves. I am interested to know if there is a plan to make that area into something nice. That is the “connection” between park west and over town everyone on here is talking about, there should be a plan similar to the underline for that area. TNM just missed a few more photos slightly to the south…. skews everyone’s judgement.

Anonymous
3 years ago

It’s much closer to 1,000 feet (maybe even more)… see this image: http://i.imgur.com/Sg8ESDA.png

Miami Hurricane
3 years ago

Eventually, all those electronics, luggage, currency, cafe, and souveneir shops in downtown around Flagler will need a new place. You can pretend that they will just disappear, but they’ll open up under the same or new management somewhere near mass transit. Their aesthetics will never be a fourth of an Apple Store.

ALSO I’m sure CVS or Walgreens do not mind opening their 1500th Miami location under train tracks. I’m too lazy to research right now if they have an agreement yet within the vicinity of All Aboard Florida, but I’d put the over-under at 80% that in four years you will have at least one within 2 blocks.

Marc305
3 years ago

This brings a whole new meaning to being “on the wrong side of the tracks.” I can understand why many people here are upset about this wall, but there are 2 sides to everything, let’s not forget what happened under the elevated I-95 bridges in Miami. There is usually a large homeless population living underneath on the sidewalks and the area behind the fences are littered with trash. Not just in Overtown but also next to Flagler on the River. It may not be the “Politically Correct” thing to do but this is one way to prevent that from happening.

suomynona
3 years ago

So you’re against the I-395 bridge, right? Because those same homeless will be there and the place will be a trash dump, yea?

marc
3 years ago

So what? You couldn’t step foot on FEC property to cross over to the other side and had to cross at the streets like it will continue to be. What if the FEC property were developed? You couldn’t see through a building could you? This “wall” business is ridiculous.

suomynona
3 years ago

Is it really? Isn’t that part of the reason the “signature bridge” is being built, to get rid of *some* of the support mounds under it that separate downtown and to “activate” the area underneath and surrounding it?

Same exact principles apply here.

Either you think both the train wall and the 395 wall are silly, or you think both are great. You cannot like one but not the other.

marc
3 years ago

I-395 is 1.4 miles long while the train slope is 3 blocks which is literally .3 miles. .3 miles hardly equates to some kind of Berlin type wall some on here are making out it to be.

marc
3 years ago

…and these 3 blocks or .3 miles isn’t even going to be a contiguous wall as the through streets are open between each block.

Anonymous
3 years ago

It’s about 1200 feet. I think it’s more than 3 blocks, but if it isn’t these are long blocks.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Using the space underneath for shops and restaurants like in Berlin would have been visionary… Not sure if possible though

Marc305
3 years ago

Am I missing something? Why would you place businesses underneath train tracks? The noise level that you would feel every time a train would go by would be unbearable.

Anonymous
3 years ago

At that point the trains are moving like five miles per hour, there is a a large bend in the town racks at the Jen top of the wall before the station.

Gables
3 years ago

We are spending a lot of money to replace the I-395 bridge so that it does not separate neighborhoods, yet All Aboard Florida is doing the same thing in building their tracks. The city should have required them to use piers, rather than a wall. Or if the wall was the only option, the city should have required an “active use” like the example from Berlin above. This second option would better cohere with the Miami 21 code.

I worry about what will happen on the western side of this wall. I don’t know if it will help Overtown residents. Given the history of this neighborhood, that should have been considered.

suomynona
3 years ago

Bingo.

Anonymous
3 years ago

That will kill any hope of redevelopment in Overtown.
BtW, Are you referring to the 1821 Miami Code?

marc
3 years ago

Redevelopment is already happening there as well as a new soccer stadium.

Local
3 years ago

Would you prefer them to build the entire station at street level??? I’m sure that wouldn’t be a barrier at all. Open your eyes.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Guys, let’s be real here. If that space was open instead of a wall, it would be occupied by homeless all the time. It’s just the reality. No restaurant or cafe would dare want to open in that location without significant contemporaneous redevelopment (i.e., World Center or Miami Central itself).

suomynona
3 years ago

So if I’m understanding your comment, you’re saying the “signature bridge” on 395 is going to be an $800 million homeless shelter.

Anonymous
3 years ago

No. That’s a much larger space and in a better location than this area of wall.

marc
3 years ago

Actually even if the FEC row were open underneath the tracks they’d have the right to keep homeless off the premises as its private property.

mike
3 years ago

The “Wall” is about a BLOCK & HALF!!!

marc
3 years ago

It’s 3 blocks, but yeah things are getting blown out of proportion with comparisons to I-95 and the Berlin Wall.

Local
3 years ago

Everyone just ignore the fact that they’re spending hundreds of millions to ELEVATE THE ENTIRE STATION, in an effort to maintain connectivity below. How else are you supposed to get a train 40ft in the air? They kept all cross streets open at the ramp.

Anonymous
3 years ago

They are tearing down apartment complexes to the west of this wall already and putting up new ones along 3rd Ave. This isn’t walling off all of Overtown, just 3 blocks of the most desolate part of one quarter.

Oscar
3 years ago

I understand being mindful considering the history of blighting historically black neighborhoods with infrastructure construction but, to those making the “visual” argument, how is this any different than if a wall of condos had gone up on that site? I-95 and I-395 are each built on piers and divide the neighborhoods so I don’t see that as a solution either. Now, the argument that local leaders should have required pedestrian-scale development, like the Berlin example, to activate the streets on both sides of this “wall” is completely valid. From my understanding of how these platforms are built unfortunately, adding these built-ins retroactively is all but impossible.

Anonymous
3 years ago

The railroad is a border vacuum anyway. It makes no difference if it’s piers, considering I-95 is and has always acted like a wall.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Has anybody in our local government ever heard about urbanism?
Why they don’t hire a group of descent urbanist architects to solve, both, the I-395 bridge and the tracks problem.

Anonymous
3 years ago

I mean if this is the route we’re taking somebody please hire somebody to do a mural or something.

Anonymous
3 years ago

NO! Knowing Miami, it’ll be some ugly britto piece of shit. The stone looks great.

Gene
3 years ago

Shame on the editor of this piece and shame on The Next Miami. This article is a one sided indictment of the railroad and the whole design plan. There’s no room for any reader to make their own opinion – just an already done guilty verdict.
Stores underneath ? Doesn’t work.
It’s a solution to the problem of at grade crossings. That’s it.
Overtown will continue to develop at a fast clip and community leaders should be on the warpath about that Signature Bridge money grab and the wasted opportunity for a decent way to move people between the Beach and Downtown/Overtown.
Spring is here and we already have lots of hot air- no need for any more, especially slanted wind like this post.

Ghetto Wall
3 years ago

Ghetto on the west. Rich people on the east. Brightline? All Aboard Florida. FEC. SoftBank. Typical.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Still seems like a decent amount of distance between the wall and the street, would be nice if some sort of jogging path that connects to new Signature Bridge park was created, kills two birds with one stone

Anonymous
3 years ago

A similar system is used along METRA tracks in Chicago

Anonymous
3 years ago

Frankly I’m surprised at the reaction this article received on the site. I thought many would have negative reactions to the wall but I appear to be proved wrong.

suomynona
3 years ago

I can only surmise that since it mainly affects poor people, that most don’t care. “The price of progress” and some such nonsense.

Anonymous
3 years ago

This really is a shame. This is going to significantly stagnate the process of cleaning up Overtown and integrating it with the rest of downtown. Just in the other side of those tracks is the nice modern Beacon tower and the new Lyric Theater apartments. There’s a lot going on in Overtown lately and its drastically changing and becoming safer. Just the other day I went to Gibson park and saw all kinds of people there, not just people who lived in Overtown but people from further out.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Also, people talking about homeless people living under the pillars, this is already happening with the new I-395 renovations which is going to have space under the highway. An easy solution is to add fencing which can be removed once the area becomes safer in the future, rather than building a permanent concrete structure.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Thank God. Keep the trash away from the water plz

bitg
3 years ago

where one wall falls, another one rises

Anonymous
3 years ago

My thoughts exactly. 20 years from now we will be spending $3 billion to replace this wall with a super bridge that re-connects the neighborhood.

bitg
3 years ago

lmao spot on

marc
3 years ago

So three blocks of “wall” with open through streets is causing some kind of impenetrable wall between the neighborhoods of Park West and Overtown?

Anonymous
3 years ago

Yes. It’s a wall.

Polo
3 years ago

The Berlin Wall (Overtown Wall) is to separate the up and coming upscale Park West from the poor neighborhood of Overtown. Poor Overtown, first I95 construction destroyed it, and now the rail wall is going to finish it.

marc
3 years ago

No it’s not. If anything is going to finish it it’s Park West and gentrification. You guys are hysterical.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Berlin is a real city you can’t compare it with a tourist trap like Miami

Anonymous
3 years ago

Sad.Very sad. This will only set back the re-development of Overtown and cut it off from the rest of the city, similar to what I-395 did previously. Overtown and concerned activists need to get involved in correcting this atrocity.

Anonymous
3 years ago

This wall is offensive. How much money did they save instead of using concrete pillars?

Whether or not you could cross the area is irrelevant. This creates a visual barrier. How on earth did the City sign off on this?

Heads should roll.

Anonymous
3 years ago

If you look at the Heritage trail that was announced yesterday you would see that zone 1 is designated for Overtown. It is an open space planned with Overtown blending into park west and all the way to Biscayne. I’m ok with the wall and this is coming from someone who lives in Overtown. I definitely would have put it to better use such as extra retail built-in or possibly a storage area for maintenance.

suomynona
3 years ago

You go right ahead and believe in that “heritage trail” all you want.