Gimenez wipes his nose with mega-mall's traffic concerns studies...

HIGHLIGHTs:

  • Even Broward County is cautious of the traffic issues this mall could bring...
  • County commissioners are set to take a final vote on the projects on Thursday, May 17.


    The largest mall in America plans to open just south of the Broward County line, but developers behind the project insist highways to the north face no "significant" traffic problems from American Dream Miami.
    "Our traffic study shows that there are no significant impacts to Broward County roads," said Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, a lawyer and lobbyist for Triple Five, the Canadian developer behind Minnesota's Mall of America that now wants to build a larger version in Northwest Miami-Dade. It's expected to draw about 75,000 vehicle trips a day to a 175-acre wedge of undeveloped land where I-75 meets the Florida Turnpike.
    Broward claims the analysis is flawed and underestimates the number of vehicles that will be making their way each day through Broward roads to American Dream Miami, one mile south of the Miami-Dade line. This week the Broward County Commission authorized a lawsuit against Miami-Dade if developers Triple Five and the Graham Companies don't pledge to help ease gridlock to the north.
    "This mega-mega mall that's going to attract so many visitors — obviously a lot of them are going to come through southwest Broward," said Broward Commissioner Steve Geller. "You've got to be pretty naive to think there won't be any traffic impacts in Broward."
    The dispute highlights the central role American Dream's own traffic assumptions play in Miami-Dade's process for approving the project, a $4 billion retail theme park so mammoth it plans to have an indoor ski slope and a submarine lake.
    On 300 acres to the south would be Graham's unnamed commercial and residential project.
    Both require changes to Miami-Dade's master growth plan, and the administration of Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez is recommending approval. County commissioners are set to take a final vote on the projects on Thursday, May 17.
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