By Christopher J. Russo, Former City Manager
(June 29, 2016) – A few things for our ‘to do’ list! The desirability of our City continues to grow while all the improvements and related construction continues. I would like to use this opportunity to let our residents know about things you can do to make your stay or daily life more enjoyable.
If you have never been, DO stop in our Visitors Center in the lobby of the Government Center. Whether a visitor or resident, there is something for all: information about city events or places of interest, SIB souvenirs, gifts, high quality apparel, beach gear, or an umbrella.
If you drive a car to the beach, DO park in one of the public parking spaces, and not in retail shopping centers. All retail properties are private and will have your car towed from their spots. There is an abundance of pubic parking for the beach, and more will be available soon. Don’t end a beautiful day in Sunny Isles Beach with the inconvenience and expense of having to retrieve your car from the towing company, legally working for the owners of the retail property.
At the beach, the first thing you should DO, is consider safety while deciding on your spot. If using an umbrella, pick a location on the beach that is not too close to the water’s edge. This enables our life- guards to maintain a clear view of you, your family, friends, and everyone else who may be in the water. This is critical to their ability to react timely in an emergency. No hotel, condo or individual, nor the City, owns any part of the beach; it is a completely public beach for all to enjoy. Your safety is our greatest concern and being aware of the placement of umbrellas can make a significant difference in identifying someone in distress.
Please DO be careful when walking or bicycling thru the City; especially on State Road A1A known as Collins Avenue. Because of the long and narrow shape of the city most new amenities under construction, including parks, streetscape beautification, landscaping, sidewalks, and utility undergrounding, require placement of either temporary pavement or steel plates while work is in progress. Stay alert of these temporary changes in both the roadway and sidewalk surface materials when walking, jogging, or riding, while these projects are still under construction.
One of the benefits to living or vacationing in Sunny Isles Beach is that a person can actually DO it without needing a vehicle. The City is amenity laden, enabling patrons to get around on foot, or to use the complimentary city shuttle. In fact, many people DO just that and have eliminated the car from their daily use.
Remember, as you navigate on foot, motorists must yield to pedestrians when they are in the crosswalks or crossing streets. The pedestrian, under Florida Law, has the right of way unless they are clearly jaywalking or violating the law. Please, DO be safety minded as you navigate on foot on the sidewalks or crossing the roadways of the City.
During the summer months, while school is out for our children, DO make sure you take advantage of the many programs offered through our Cultural and Community Services Dept. From athletics, to camp, to special activity programs, there is much to offer for the children to keep them active, engaged and occupied during the summer break.
I hope these “TO DO” tips make either a stay or living in our City more enjoyable. The City remains an attractive oasis or, as many say, “paradise” which is still a work in progress as we recently only celebrated our 19th anniversary.