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Safer People, Safer Streets Local Action Plan
Miami-Dade County has embraced the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) Mayor's Challenge for creating Safer Streets, Safer People. Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces (MDPROS) and Neat Streets Miami staff is organizing the Local Action Team (LAT), which is comprised of a wide variety of stakeholders including elected officials and community leaders in fields which have a stake in creating a safer community, such as recreation, healthcare, transportation, schools, law enforcement, philanthropy, civic, local and state government, and local thought leaders.
In January 2015, USDOT Secretary Anthony Foxx challenged local government leaders to raise the bar for bicyclist and pedestrian safety by joining a year-long ''Mayors' Challenge for Safer People and Safer Streets'' effort. In March, USDOT and communities from across the nation, including Miami-Dade County, launched the Challenge during the Mayors' Summit for Safer People, Safer Streets at the USDOT headquarters in Washington, D.C. Mayors and other elected officials participate by leading a call to action and forming a Local Action Team (LAT) to advance safety and accessibility goals by taking on one or more Challenge activities. The Challenge is based on the 2010 USDOT Policy Statement on Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodation. Over 200 cities have signed on to the USDOT Mayor's Challenge.
Vision, Goal, and Outcome
The Safer People, Safer Streets vision is to provide a more livable Miami-Dade through the realization of healthier, safer streets accommodating all modes of transportation. The goal of the LAT report is to create an action plan that reduces pedestrian and bicycle crashes and encourages more biking, walking and transit use by achieving Safer People and Safer Streets in Miami-Dade. The outcome desired is a measurable reduction in bicycle and pedestrian crashes countywide.
Plan goals include:
- Adopting a ''Vision Zero'' policy that sets the goal of zero pedestrian and bicycle deaths.
- Making texting while driving a primary offense to help increase enforcement.
- Realizing the County's Greenway Master plan of building 500 miles of connected bike trails.
- Facilitating a culture shift within transportation planning that places a higher value on pedestrian and bicycling needs.
- Creating a Safety Innovation program to implement new safety strategies using technology.
- Developing ''Complete Streets'' guidelines to help engineers and planners put moving people above moving cars.
- Launching a Miami-specific education and enforcement campaign cautioning drivers to consider all users of the road.
Mayor's Challenge Activities
There are seven Mayor's Challenge Activities established by the USDOT:
Take a Complete Streets Approach
Complete streets make it safe and convenient for people of all ages and abilities to reach their destination whether by car, train, bike, or foot. A Complete Streets approach starts with a policy commitment to prioritize and integrate all road users into every transportation project.
Identify and address barriers to make streets safe and convenient for all road users, including people of all ages and abilities and those using assistive mobility devices. The ability for older adults, young children, and people with disabilities to travel safely is critical to freedom of mobility and quality of life. People may have challenges with eyesight, reaction times, cognitive ability and muscle dexterity that make travel difficult.
Gather and Track Biking and Walking Data
The lack of systematic data collection related to walking and bicycling transportation, such as count data, travel survey data, and injury data, creates challenges for improving non-motorized transportation networks and safety. Communities that routinely collect walking and biking data are better positioned to track trends and prioritize investments.
Use Context Sensitive Street Designs, Design Right
Transportation agencies are encouraged, when possible, to go beyond designing walking and bicycling facilities to the minimum standards. It is more effective to plan for increased usage than to retrofit an older facility. Planning projects for the long-term should anticipate likely future demand for bicycling and walking facilities and not preclude the provision of future improvements.
Take Advantage of Maintenance Opportunities
Take advantage of opportunities to create and complete pedestrian and bike networks through maintenance. Expanding and improving roads and facilities to build biking and walking networks as part of regular and routine resurfacing and other maintenance programs can be a low cost alternative to building new roads or widening existing roads.
Improve Walking and Biking Safety Laws and Regulations
Traffic laws such as reduced speed, failure to yield, passing, and helmet laws can be effective in improving safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and others.
Educate and Enforce Proper Road Use Behaviors By All
Highly-visible and well-publicized targeted enforcement tied with educational campaigns has shown to be effective in reducing crashes.
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