Item Coversheet

New Business and Commission Requests - R9  G


TO:Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Commission 
FROM:Jimmy L. Morales, City Manager 
DATE:June  7, 2017



The purpose of this item is to provide the Mayor and City Commission with an update on the status of the temporary closure of Rue Vendome between 71st Street and Normandy Drive.




The permanent closure of Rue Vendome was developed by the North Beach Blue Ribbon Committee and later approved as part of the North Beach Master Plan.  Pursuant to a traffic study prepared by the City's Transportation Department, the permanent closure of Rue Vendome between 71st Street and Normandy Drive has been approved by both the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works.


At its March 1, 2017 meeting, the City Commission passed a motion approving the permanent closure, preceded by a three (3)-month “soft closure” of Rue Vendome between 71st Street and Normandy Drive.  The Commission directed the Administration to conduct a survey of the area at the City’s expense, to make the survey available to business owners that want to pursue a sidewalk café permit, and suggested that the Administration notify the residents and businesses in the area prior to implementation of the soft closure.  Additionally, at the March 1st meeting, the City Commission directed the Administration to report on the status of the soft closure in 90 days.


The initial project, targeted as a temporary three (3)-month pilot program, includes the closure of Rue Vendome between 71st Street and Normandy Drive; placement of street furniture and planters with landscape planting; enhanced lighting; and a painted stencil design on the pavement.  Removal of nine (9) parking spaces, including one (1) disabled parking space, would be required to facilitate this effort.


The Transportation Department has engaged Street Plans Collaborative to prepare a design concept for the temporary artistic pavement design and to guide the implementation process in a community-oriented, hands-on event.  Once the design concept is completed in early June, it will be submitted to FDOT to support a permit application.  FDOT’s permit approval process can take up to 30 days.  Based on this timeline, staff anticipates installation of the pilot project to occur in mid-July.


In preparation for this first-time, community hands-on event, City staff from various departments met to identify a detailed action plan.  The Administration will purchase all materials and equipment to minimize costs and expedite the installation.  Greenspace Management Division has identified options for planters and has confirmed responsibility for maintenance.  The Parking Department will replace the single displaced disabled parking space in the vicinity.  Staff is investigating options for seating, umbrellas, and lighting.


To further expedite the installation and minimize costs, the Communications Department will support community outreach events and provide notification, via social media and other e-blasts, starting in late June, after meetings are held with businesses along the street. 


A community meeting was held on April 5, 2017 to provide an update of proposed activities and to receive comments on the preferred design concept. The Economic Development Division will continue holding meetings with stakeholders to elicit support and encourage community engagement.


A Letter To Commission with the proposed design concept (that would have been reviewed with the community) for the soft closure will be distributed in late June/early July, prior to the projected mid-July installation.

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