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Sunrise Doesn't Get It
Thursday, 24 February 2011 09:10

City of Sunrise's vision involves creating a "downtown" around the Sawgrass Mills Mall. Tao was the first completed development from that vision. The basic building blocks of any downtown are its sidewalks. It's what connects lots, houses, businesses, neighborhoods, and, ultimately, people. Sidewalks put the "walk" in walkable.  But for many of Tao's residents, walkable means jumping through grass in the undeveloped lot to get to Bahama Breeze, walking along curbs and trying to avoid getting hit by cars when crossing a 5-lane road with no medians, pedestrian crossing signs or a properly labeled crosswalk.

For the past 2 years, I have been writing Sunrise city commissioners and Mark Lubolski of the Community Development Department about the lack of sidewalks, safe crossings and safety devices, and, for the most part, my requests have fallen on dead ears.

To add insult to injury, the newly built Blue Cross Blue Shield office building (right next to Ashley Furniture Homestore across from the JC Penney Outlet) also lacks proper sidewalks, as well as a crosswalk across Sawgrass Mills Circle, a 5-lane road. This new building replaces the long time shuttered New River Pizza restaurant. The new building has been built closer to Ashley Furniture, thus creating two distinct entrances and parking lots. There is no issue entering the new office if you happen to park in its respective parking lot. But what if you parked at Ashley Furniture store with your family, kids and a stroller? Upon coming out of the store you notice the new Blue Cross Blue Shield building and decide to stop by to check in on your inssurance and claims. But guess what? You can't enter the building since there is no sidewalk. You would have to jump through the newly placed flowers and sprinklers to enter the building. What if it's a disabled person in a wheelchair trying to enter the new building? What if you parked in front of JC Penney and want to cross to the new building? There is no marked pedestrian crossing or signs alerting drivers to slow down. You can't safely get to Blue Cross Blue Shield office unless you decide to get into your car and drive it 25 feet into the other parking lot. But that defeats the purpose of the downtown and the entire "walkable neighborhood" vision. So why doesn't Sunrise get it?

Jump to the Florida Blue article.

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