Opinion: It’s Time To Tear Down I-95 Through Downtown Miami

Every time we drive on or walk under the stretch of I-95 that runs through downtown Miami, we realize what a horrible roadway it is.

The highway’s overpasses and ramps tear through and divide some of Miami’s most dynamic neighborhoods, creating unnecessary blight. The positives of easier car access are far outweighed by the negatives created by these ramps, including visual and noise pollution.

As Miami continues to develop and become more walkable, it is becoming more evident that this highway will hinder, rather than advance, Miami’s future growth.

It has been almost 60 years since this stretch of highway was built. We are certain that if it was proposed today instead of the 1950s, it would meet fierce resistance and would never be built.

Our opinion: It’s time to tear down the entire stretch of I-95 south of I-395. Doing so would be an incredible triumph for the city, and we hope Miami’s leaders step up.

 

 

(photo: florida memory)

 

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Anonymous
3 years ago

Where is the other half of the article?
Tear I95 in Downtown Miami sounds good but what are you exactly proposing instead? A tunnel? An underpass? Flying cars?
I mean there has to be something, millions of people still need to get in and out of the city.

Market Urbanist
3 years ago

I would propose a grand boulevard, a la the Champs Elysees in Paris or Paseo del Prado in Madrid. It would begin west of Worldcenter and continue the 3 or so miles south to US1. Traffic is so bad along this section of the I95 during peak hours I suspect it wouldn’t add very much to commute times.

Of course, traffic studies would have to be done to determine this to be the case. This would require a tunnel under the Miami River to connect the North and South, which would likely make such a project cost prohibitive. Unless there were political will to pay for it.

George
3 years ago

Champs Elysees is a famous street, but it also has atrocious traffic. In fact, Paris has a tremendously bad and chronic traffic problem and is regularly named among the world’s most congested cities.

El Paseo del Prado is one of the oldest streets in Madrid. Madrid has several streets like it, such as el Paseo de la Castellana.

But you will notice that the M-30 is roughly 1.5 miles to the west of el Paseo del Prado. It is the busiest highway in Spain.

So in short, the solutions here are very limited and all of them very expensive, but it is a necessity that downtown Miami has a highway close to the core. Miami’s thoroughfares are tremendously clogged. Taking away the highway would clog them even more.

The only real solution I see is to put 95 underground, starting at 836 southward – going under the river – then having it pop back above ground just north of Flagler/SW 8th Street.

This a pipedream as there is neither the political will or money to do it. This would be a project comprable to Boston’s Big Dig, which ended up costing an obscene $22 billion dollars.

Miami Hurricane
3 years ago

Paseo de Reforma in Mexico City is another gorgeous example, but also a similar case where one can walk faster than taking a car from sun up to sun down during the week. Each time I took an uber I regretted not walking.

Miamian
3 years ago

Or you could just build whatever you want in Little Havana??? Expand there. It’s still Miami, you know?

Anonymous
3 years ago

ZIPLINES!

Anonymous
3 years ago

Miami is *not* walkable.

Let’s take away some car travel lanes, widen sidewalks, add bike lanes, and then we can talk.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Well I guess you are not out walking much.

Anonymous
3 years ago

You’d guess wrong.

Anonymous
3 years ago

I’d guess wrong, really, after you said “Miami is *not* walkable?”

How can you say the city is not “walkable” but at the same time you do a lot of walking in it? Go look up the word – Contradiction.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Miami isn’t walkable because half the time it is 90 degrees with 80 percent humidity. That is a handicap that is going to be very difficult to overcome.

Anonymous
3 years ago

So then move to Milwaukee. Post yourself on Youtube walking around in 15 degrees in your new home town.

Miami Hurricane
3 years ago

Shade, please.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Yeah make traffic even worse for commuters and emergency vehicles so that the occasional Spandex Boy on his bike can get some cardio in on his day off.

I should be allowed to put a squat rack in the bike lane and a bench press on the sidewalk. They should accommodate my exercise routine too.

Anonymous
3 years ago

I think 95 itself is fine it’s the downtown distributor that needs to be torn down

Anonymous
3 years ago

Lets not give the city of Miami any ideas, the office is run by apes and would never know how to go about this properly.

Cheech
3 years ago

This initiative would over burden Biscayne Blvd, require an impossible widening of N Miami Ave and NW 2nd Ave to accommodate north-south feeder traffic. It would also largely isolate Brickell from the north. Just look to London’s Borough Market for how an overpass can foster urban vitality.

Anonymous
3 years ago

You’re right Cheech… and remember, we already have some people who came up with the bright idea to close down one of the lanes on Biscayne Blvd.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Two south of the Arena would be ideal.

Gene
3 years ago

……and replace it with…….come on, I’m waiting.
What? This is a non-starter without options to handle the folks who need to get downtown.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Heck Gene, in addition to what you said, we can only imagine how much this would cost to take it down also!

Anonymous
3 years ago

So, just to be clear, you want to eliminate the principal north/south vehicle connector across the Miami River. Right….

Anonymous
3 years ago

I-95 can perfectly end when it meets the 395 (which will replaced with a new signature bridge) and replaced with a wider avenue like 9 de Julio in Buenos Aires.

Anonymous
2 years ago

Sounds good

Darrell
3 years ago

Leave it alone..it’s a beautiful piece of highway and to be able to see how beautiful downtown Miami is.. Best looking Downtown in Florida..and yes better looking than Lauderdale, Tampa ,and J-VILLE… Orlando you didn’t make my list of tall buildings downtown..?

Anonymous
3 years ago

I agree with you wholeheartedly Darrell.

Anonymous
3 years ago

There’s enough room to grow between i95 and the coast.

A lot of major cities have highways running through them. Look at Chicago, very similar with the Rivers running through the middle of the cities, the lake/ocean to the east, and major highways a couple miles to the west.

What we need to do is really build on the land up until that highway. Make it a dense city!

Anonymous
3 years ago

At its closest, I-90 is over a mile from the lake in Chicago. I-95 is less than a half-mile from the Bay in Miami.

Andrewn2
3 years ago

Chicago has Lakeshore drive going alongside the lake which for all intents and purposes serves as a highway. It goes from 5600 north down to somewhere on the far southside. Only on the parts next to Grant park and millennial park have stop lights.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Miami has Biscayne Blvd which is analogous to Lake Shore Dr.

Lake Shore (a surface-level boulevard) is nothing like I-95.

Andrewn2
3 years ago

Lakeshore drive I’ve becomes limited access immediately north and immediately south of downtown Chicago. There are on ramps and off ramps to the arterial streets which go under lakeshore. There are bike and walking paths under lakeshore for safety reasons. You cannot walk across lakeshore drive except by the parks and even that can be treacherous. It is quite different from Biscayne blvd.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Lakeshore Drive has various paths under the road to cross. There’s one right on Chicago Avenue in the River North area as well as others a few streets North/South

Anonymous
3 years ago

And there is snowy snow snow!

Anonymous
3 years ago

Now we are dealing with the consequences or the 1950’s and 60’s poor urban planing, that killed the american cities to satisfy the Baby Boomers Suburban Dream.

Ya
3 years ago

Baby boomers were children then. It was the so-called Greatest Generation that built the highways.

John
3 years ago

This is truth spoken! The Baby Boomers get blamed for a lot when it’s the 2 previous generations that put all the terrible crap in motion.

Mimi
3 years ago

By Millenials. lol

Anonymous
3 years ago

Integration killed the cities.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Yeah, and invading europeans killed off the first people of this land, the so-called “Indians.”

Anonymous
3 years ago

Who were killing each other for centuries, as people usually have since the beginning of time. You talk like Indians were homogeneous, which they were not.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Yeah, Indians killing each other gave the invading europeans the right to kill them also. That’s some logic. Tell me one instance where the original man of this land, the so-called Indians, invaded europe and slaughtered europeans whole-sell?

Anonymous
3 years ago

Well their close relatives, the Mongols and Huns wreaked havoc on China and Eastern Europe. Also, Proto-Norse Mound Builders inhabited America earlier, and were killed off, from fighting and/or plague, which archaeological evidence supports based on comparable Viking settlements, and how Indians had a lot of the technology. Also, Indians had some Caucasian features, likely from mixing, and contrasts with Aztecs, Mayans, etc., with more Australoid sub-features from evident South Pacific interaction.

Still, you missed the point. But then again, you never had a point with your ad hominem argument to the OP saying “integration killed the cities,” who’s a troll anyway.

Anonymous
3 years ago

“Also, Indians had some Caucasian features, likely from mixing, and contrasts with Aztecs, Mayans, etc., with more Australoid sub-features from evident South Pacific interaction.”

I like how you europeans twist yourselves into a pretzel trying to make the original inhabitants of this land into some kind of “pseudo-morphed” entity that originated from all type of genome. But your long diatribe ain’t gonna cut it with me.

Now answer the question.

Tell me one instance where the original man of this land, the so-called Indians, invaded europe and slaughtered europeans whole-sell?

Anonymous
3 years ago

“I like how you europeans twist yourselves into a pretzel trying to make the original inhabitants of this land into some kind of “pseudo-morphed” entity that originated from all type of genome. But your long diatribe ain’t gonna cut it with me.

Now answer the question.

Tell me one instance where the original man of this land, the so-called Indians, invaded europe and slaughtered europeans whole-sell?”

Right, because the “original inhabitants” came out of the ground and everything was just lovely until those European barbarians came and ruined everything.

What’s your point, apart from virtue signaling we don’t have a right to this land because we “stole” it? We conquered it because we were stronger, and that’s just the way things work. If we didn’t, somebody else would have, whether China or the Ottoman Empire, and do the same, maybe even worse looking at their former subjects.

Mimi
3 years ago

Ain’t that the same logic as black/black crime gives whites the excuse of “who cares black lives don’t matter”?

Anonymous
3 years ago

No, unless you’re one of those kooks who believe AIDS and crack were created by the government to cull the black population.

Market Urbanist
3 years ago

Amen! I’ve been advocating for this for years. We wouldn’t even need a Big Dig like Boston or Seattle to replace it, but rather a grand boulevard running from the I-395 to US1.

As bad as traffic is on the I-95 and feeder ramps during peak hours, I’d argue this would have minimal impact on commute times, but add tremendous value to property values and quality of life.

Anonymous
3 years ago

The Big Dig also included extending I-90 to BOS to alleviate traffic along the Central Arterial, where aesthetics were a secondary concern. The same with Seattle, except the Alaskan Way Viaduct is falling apart, which doesn’t bode well for earthquake concerns.

If Miami wants to alleviate traffic, the Miami River tunnel, Metrorail expansion, and a streetcar system would be better and actually work. The only freeway which should be replaced with a “Grand Boulevard” is the Downtown Distributor, which was already planned for over a decade.

Adam
3 years ago

Start by building our rapid transit north northeast to the beach and west. Then replace I-395 and the awful downtown connector mess with boulevards and buildings.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Those two dirty words in Florida: RAPID TRANSIT.

Miami1
3 years ago

Tear it up!!! Could not agree more…or bury it and build a tunnel under the river…

Anonymous
3 years ago

I agree in concept however this particular stretch in my opinion is not that terrible underneath, or at least does not have to be terrible, because you have that height as opposed to the section of highway along 14th that becomes the I-395 which is much lower and more oppressive and dirty feeling. When I visit the city of miami, being under that particular highway is not that bad.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Um, you have a point.

Anonymous
3 years ago

It is nice to dream but how would people get downtown?

Anonymous
3 years ago

On more traffic clogged surface streets.

Anonymous
3 years ago

This site is a shill for developers.

Sure, make commuting unbearable for downtown workers so that rich foreign condo investors/money launderers can have more picturesque views from their overpriced concrete boxes for the 3 months a year they’re here. And the kiddies over at the local community college’s fartitecture class are panting with excitement over this lame idea.

Mimi
3 years ago

This!

Anonymous
3 years ago

I actually think the stretch just north of I395 and south of I195 needs to be buried and then the land on top can be sold to developers.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Wynwood and Allapattah have bigger aesthetic issues than a freeway.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Unless there is a realistic and proven alternative mode of transport in place, nothing should be torn down, period.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Nope

Anonymous
3 years ago

Not realistic idea ….. how are you going to do with the traffic and how will be the traffic to do what you propose ??????

Nonsense
3 years ago

What did I just read??? Seriously the worst idea ever unless you have unlimited funds and the ability to reconstruct this insanely busy highway overnight. Whoever wrote this is out of touch with reality. And as for Miami being walkable, this is the funniest thing I’ve heard. Unless one day Miami decides to chill out and be less humid. Anyways, I’ll just pretend I never read this nonsense.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Still to reporting the “news”…

Anonymous
3 years ago

Stick*

Mimi
3 years ago

Yeah, let’s just look pretty and forget practicality… This is not the brightest idea because it lacks a real proposition.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Would probably not happen in my lifetime and I’m 27, but yes it does need to happen.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Agree.. maybe when cars fly.

Anonymous
3 years ago

It *could* happen in your lifetime, whether it should is another question.

Marc306
3 years ago

If anything should and realistically could go, it should be 395. They’re already planning to tear it down, but rather than replacing it with better urbanism, it’s going to be another highway, I mean “signature bridge”.

Anonymous
3 years ago

Disagree. 395 serves a real purpose, tens of thousands of vehicles going to South Beach a a day.

Miami
3 years ago

first they should worry about cleaning up downtown THEN worry about 95. Miami’s downtown area is a DUMP!!!

Anonymous
3 years ago

Well, I wouldn’t say a dump, but it certainly needs improvement. That’s why MWC and Miami Central will be the catalyst projects that start the transformation of downtown.

Anonymous
3 years ago

WHO FOOTS THE BILL AND AT WHAT COST?
WHAT’S YOUR PROPOSAL?

Anonymous
3 years ago

Reduce to 3 lanes, 2 for n/s, 1 reversible. No local entrances or exits between US1 and SR112.