About 200 protest plans to build road through North Miami park

Florida International University says the project is needed to improve safety

By Tim Swift - Local10.com Digital Editor

NORTH MIAMI, Fla. - More than 200 people came out Saturday to protest plans to pave over part of a park at Florida International University's Biscayne Bay campus.

Following the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FIU proposed to open 135th Street as a second entrance to its north campus for security reasons, but that would mean plowing through the preserve and residents aren't pleased.

The 13-acre Arch Creek East preserve is known for its bike trail and nature walk that pours to FIU's Biscayne Bay campus -- dedicated by the city to preserve its habitat.

North Miami Councilman Scott Galvin said his group delivered a petition with more than 2,000 signatures opposing the road project to Gov. Rick Scott.

Maydel Santana, spokeswoman for FIU, said the project is needed to protect the safety of its students. She said although North Miami has designated a piece of property near the planned road as a preserve, the area is not a state or federally protected environmental area.

"Reopening the existing road at 135th Street will address this urgent safety concern facing thousands of students in and around the FIU campus," Santana said.

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