To prevent crime in a tiny Miami neighborhood, the city spent about $70,000 on a security fence.
With swinging doors.
Calling the project "government waste in all its glory," advocacy blog Transit Miami created a humorous video (watch above) showing how ineffective the fence is at "protecting" the community of Belle Meade: any potential burglars can simply walk through a swinging door or walk around the edge of the fence to enter the neighborhood.
Reacting to an increase in home and car burglaries in the neighborhood two years ago, the Belle Meade community came together and drafted a design and a $15,000 financial plan for a fence to keep burglars out, the Miami Herald reports.
However, when brought before the Miami City Commission, Assistant County Attorney Jorge Martinez-Esteve pointed out that as a permanent structure, the fence must give pedestrians a way to freely move through or it would need approval at the county level, according to meeting minutes.
Hence, the swinging doors. The commission unanimously agreed to build the fence as proposed by Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, who suggested using about $70,000 from a Quality of Life/Homeland Security Bond to fund the project instead of using private donations collected by the neighborhood, Transit Miami reports.
"What it has done is made my beautiful neighborhood look more like a prison," Transit Miami's Felipe Azenha wrote on Miami Urbanist this summer, adding photos of gaping holes in the fence. "What a waste of money."
The fence isn't the first of Sarnoff's controversial contributions to the safety of Miami's Upper Ease Side. The commissioner was also responsible for creating a sad looking "pocket park" a few blocks northwest of Belle Meade, the construction of which made it illegal for registered sex offenders to live in the area.