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"Leads to lots of points of interest. Just not the university."
University Drive north of Bird Road is useful for getting directly to the Youth Center and the Coral Gables Library, and getting anywhere in the Gables directly is indeed a useful thing. One place that this University Drive will not get you is the University (of Miami). It will get you to University Park, which, as you may have guessed, is also nowhere near the University. You can use Bird Road to get to the University Drive that goes to the University, but, of course, it is not connected to the University Drive that leads to University Park.
Coral Gables does this sort of thing on purpose.
"Connects all the dots in Coral Gables"
"Red Road through SW Miami: commuter trap"
"Unheralded scenic route."
"Home of Books and Books"
There is a large municipal garage across the street from Books and Books, and a few small shops on the same street, including a pricey chocolate shop, a stationary place, and yet another furniture store.
"Funky meets upscale in the heart of Coconut Grove."
Shops include a surf shop and a "life is good" shop. Restaurants include a Johnny Rocket's burger joint, a new york pizza take-out (that serves enormous slices of pizza) and a more upscale bar and restaurant called "Teepee" that's next to a fancy high-rise hotel. A branch of the Miami-dade county library is at end of the street closest to Biscayne Bay. The road borders Peacock Park, which often features musicians and a drum circle.
"By the bay in Coconut Grove"
"Giralda next to Miracle Mile - Restaurant Row"
"Shops and restaurants, but not pedestrian friendly"
It is a major thoroughfare for traffic moving to and from the downtown area from the more inland parts of the city. The heavy traffic (and its associated noise, pollution, and dangerous crosswalks) prevents this otherwise lovely street from challenging its upscale sister to the west, Miracle Mile, as a tourist destination for a leisurely stroll.