or How to solve the SameAM dilemma
Coconut Grove is in need of a wakeup call. The neighborhood which I hold dear to my heart has seen better times, and I think now is the perfect time to figure out how to revitalize it. I’d like to use this blog as a forum for discussing how to reinvigorate The Grove.
So much arguing is going back and forth about the fact that Center Coconut Grove is being disadvantaged by having to stop serving alcohol at 3am vs 5am everywhere else in the city. MADD, the local cyclists, and Commissioner Sarnoff are all adamantly opposed to moving the rules back to their original and citywide times citing that the extra drinking hours would endanger kids, cyclists, and the whole world. Aside from the fact this rule is negatively impacting the local watering holes, I believe there is a simple solution to be had that would accomodate all.
So if MADD and these other activist groups want to cut back on drunk driving, why not cut back on driving altogether. Lets make it easy for people to get to and from the grove without having to drive. Right now in the grove its an incredible pain in the ass to catch a cab unless you’re outside the Mayfair hotel or the Ritz, or luckout and get a cabbie driving past you. So I propose we establish 2 more taxi stands (2 cab spaces each) in the center grove area. I’d put one right on commodore by Main HWY and the other right in front of Johnny Rockets or Jaguar on Grand. I’d also post taxi info on the new information poles/maps that I’d put throughout the grove (more on this later).
So now that we’ve made getting a cab easier, I think we should incentivize people to use them. Cabs in Miami are relatively expensive (not like London, but not cheap either). So I propose the BID offer a $5 cab voucher to all bar/restaurant patrons who appear drunk. They can give the patron a coupon that the cabbies can redeem for cash at the end of the week, and it counts towards the patron’s cab fare. These coupons only count on fares in and out of the grove.
Incentivizing + improving accessibility to transportation will hopefully appease the groups afraid of higher crime/drunk driving. Once these provisions are put in place, I’d give every venue the same opportunity to stay open late. Though I might consider putting bars on a 3 month probationary period where they have to close earlier while they get their sea legs so to speak. That would need to be a discussion for the local BID.