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Downtown residents look to put the brakes on Miami’s 2019 Formula One Grand Prix

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Opponents of the proposed street race have cited both environmental and noise concerns

Formula One cars racing off the starting grid on the streets of Monaco.
Getty Images

A plan to bring a round of the Formula One world championship to the streets of downtown Miami as early as 2019 is facing pushback from both residents and environmental advocates.

According to Forbes, multiple groups have opposed the event’s proposed 2.6-mile circuit that would snake along Biscayne Boulevard, cross over to Dodge Island and back via Port Boulevard, and loop around AmericanAirlines Arena.

At the heart of the issue is the circuit’s path through Parcel B, the three-acre strip of county-owned land just east of the stadium. Used for years as overflow parking, the waterfront lot only recently started to become the kind of public park that city officials had long promised.

This isn’t the first time a race organization and environmentalists squared off over Parcel B. F1’s electric-powered sister series Formula E had controversially used the land as a staging area for its 2015 “E Prix” street race—a move that critics argued nullified the series’ green tech credentials. Formula E dropped Miami from its calendar the following season.

Unlike the whisper-quiet Formula E cars, the more formidable Formula One machines have also raised objections on the grounds of noise. On Wednesday, an attorney representing 11 downtown residents delivered a cease-and-desist letter to City Hall, reported the Miami Herald.

It alleges that the Grand Prix, along with other “mega events” including the Ultra Music Festival and Rolling Loud Festival, violate the city’s own noise ordinance and negatively affect the health of nearby residents and their property values.

The cease-and-desist letter could be the precursor to lawsuits against the city. Miami city commissioner Joe Carollo recently said he expects residents to pursue legal action. “We’re going to end up being sued and I’m going to tell you that they’re probably going to win suits,” he told racing publication Autosport.