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Miami-Dade Launches Safer People, Safer Streets Action Team

Experts Tasked With Addressing Pedestrian and Bicycle Crashes  

MIAMI (September 18, 2015)

Responding to a troubling pedestrian and bicycle crash rate, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez and Miami-Dade County Commissioner Dennis C. Moss, District 9, on Tuesday kicked off the Miami-Dade Local Action Team for Safer People, Safer Street. This taskforce of 19 community leaders is charged with developing an action plan of high level legislative, educational, engineering and enforcement recommendations to improve the safety of Miami-Dade’s streets. As a participant in the U.S. Department of Transportation Mayor’s Challenge for Safer People, Safer Streets, the County has brought together representatives from various fields to reduce bicycle and pedestrian fatalities and injuries.

“Clearly, the status quo isn’t preventing these avoidable pedestrian and bicyclist deaths and injuries,” said Mayor Gimenez.  “I am proud to bring in outside experts to challenge and change the norm to help us stop this epidemic in its tracks.”  

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study on bicycle mortality, which stated that at the rate of .57/100,000 people (or approximately one death per 50,000 residents), Florida was the worst state for bicycle deaths - more than doubling the national average of .23/ 100,000.  Miami-Dade’s bicycle fatality rate in 2013 was .4/100,000 residents and its pedestrian fatality rate was 2.7/100,000 residents, which was the highest among Florida’s urban counties.

“For years, we have worked with municipalities and the Florida Department of Transportation to improve the safety of our roads. Now we are engaging new partners to identify innovative solutions,” said Commissioner Moss. “Creating a safe environment for bicyclists and pedestrians will increase mobility options for all residents, visitors and employees.” With the vision of “A more livable Miami-Dade through the realization of healthier, safer streets accommodating all modes” - this initiative is supported by the Health Foundation of South Florida (HFSF) which strives to create healthier communities through such strategies as increasing physical activity opportunities. HFSF has invested in several Miami-Dade pedestrian and bicycle programs.

“We understand that safer streets mean more opportunities to be physically active,” said Peter Wood, Vice President of Programs and Community investments. “HFSF is investing in this program to create safer, healthier communities.”  

The Local Action Team will research existing practices; identify national best practices to be adopted in Miami-Dade; hold a public meeting to solicit input, and expects to release its findings in March 2016.

Local Action Team Members:

  • Brian Breslin, ReFresh Miami
  • Alice Bravo, Miami-Dade Transit
  • Claudius Carnegie, Ph.D, Florida International University, Citizens Transportation Advisory Committee, Neat Streets Miami
  • Benjamin de la Peña, Knight Foundation
  • Tabitha Fazino, Miami-Dade County Public School Board
  • Cesar Garcia Pons, Perkins + Will
  • Mayor Oliver G. Gilbert III, City of Miami Gardens
  • Alina Hudak, Miami Dade County Mayor’s Office, Public Works & Waste Management
  • Ramiro Inguanzo, City of Bal Harbour
  • Jack Kardys, Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation & Open Spaces Department
  • Kevin Kirwin, City of Miami Parks & Recreation
  • Jimmy Morales, City of Miami Beach
  • Nicholas Namias, MD, Jackson Memorial
  • Gus Pego, FDOT - District 6
  • Juan Perez, Miami-Dade Police Department
  • Alyce Robertson, Miami Downtown Development Authority
  • Paul Schweip, Citizens' Independent Transportation Trust
  • Eli Stiers, Aronovitz Law
  • Mayor Philip Stoddard, City of South Miami
  • Debbie Swain, Milian, Swain & Associates
  • Peter Wood, Health Foundation of South Florida

About Health Foundation of South Florida

Health Foundation of South Florida, a nonprofit grantmaking organization, is dedicated to improving health in Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties. By advancing health solutions, the Foundation makes a measurable and sustainable impact in ensuring access to affordable, quality health services for all residents. Since 1993, the Foundation awarded more than $106 million in grants and program support. For more information, please call 305-374-7200 or see their website, http://www.hfsf.org/

About the USDOT Mayors’ Challenge

The Mayors’ Challenge for Safer People and Safer Streets is a call to action by U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Secretary Foxx for mayors and local elected officials of any political jurisdiction whether town, city, county, tribal lands, territory, or State to take significant action to improve safety for bicycle riders and pedestrians of all ages and abilities over the next year. The challenge is based on the 2010 USDOT Policy Statement on Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodation to incorporate safe and convenient walking and bicycling facilities into transportation projects. USDOT recognizes the many benefits walking and bicycling provide — including health, safety, environmental, transportation, and quality of life. Nearly 200 cities across the nation have accepted the Challenge.  Visit www.transportation.gov/mayors-challenge.