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Mayor Gimenez to build Complete Streets demonstration project after county-wide civic leaders forum with transportation innovator Gabe Klein

MIAMI (January 19, 2016)

On the heels of the Safer Streets Forum with 75 elected officials and key transportation leaders, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez announced the County would build a Complete Streets demonstration project to highlight the benefits of designing streets for all modes of transportation and all users.  

“Forward looking communities are those that plan for everyone, whether you are getting around on two feet, two wheels or more wheels,” said Mayor Gimenez. “To enhance walking and biking opportunities in Miami-Dade, I am committed to implementing a Complete Streets demonstration project this year. From this effort, I am confident we will learn how to move more people through our streets and increase mobility for all.”   

In an effort to tackle the critical problem of bicyclist and pedestrian safety in Miami-Dade, public officials gathered last week at University of Miami Medical School for a presentation and panel discussion led by Gabe Klein, author of Start-Up City and former transportation director for both Chicago and Washington, D.C.  Klein’s visit was underwritten by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and The Miami Foundation and coordinated with the Miami-Dade Local Action Team for Safer People, Safer Streets (LAT).  

“Reshaping Greater Miami’s streets into multimodal corridors is a major step toward improving local transit,” said Javier Alberto Soto, president and CEO of The Miami Foundation.  “It’s exciting to see Mayor Gimenez and Miami-Dade County use national best practices to create much-needed solutions here in our community.”

“In addition to the clear safety benefits, this project signals a recognition by Mayor Gimenez and the county that a more transit-friendly Miami, where people can easily walk and bike, can reap greater benefits— from improving civic life and helping to keep and attract talent to fostering economic development,” said Matt Haggman, Knight Foundation program director for Miami. “It has wide reaching implications for Miami’s future success.” 

Klein stressed the need to increase safety on our streets by recognizing the 1,240,000 people killed by cars worldwide last year. Throughout the room, 471 candles were lit to represent the individuals who lost their lives walking or biking on County roads between 2009 and 2014.  After Klein’s presentation, a group of public officials participated in a panel about the LAT’s Action Plan.  The panel included: Mayor Gimenez, joined Miami Dade County Commission Vice-Chair Esteban Bovo, Jr., District 13; Florida Department of Transportation District 6 Secretary Gus Pego; Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales; Miami Gardens Police Chief Antonio Brooklen; University of Miami’s Public Health Department Chairman Jose Szapocznik; and Miami-Dade Metropolitan Planning Organization’s new Executive Director, Aileen Boucle.

About The Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more information, visit: knightfoundation.org.

About The Miami Foundation

Established in 1967, The Miami Foundation uses civic leadership, community investment, and philanthropy to improve the quality of life for everyone who calls Greater Miami home. We’ve partnered with individuals, families and corporations who have created more than 1,000 personalized, philanthropic funds.  Thanks to them, we’ve awarded over $200 million in grants and currently manage more than $280 million in assets to build a better Miami. Learn more about the Foundation and the Our Miami Report, which informs our work, at miamifoundation.org and ourmiami.org.

About the Local Action Team for Safer People, Safer Streets

As a result of the 2015 USDOT’s Mayors Challenge for Safer People, Safer Streets, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez joined Commissioner Dennis C. Moss, District 9 and Chairman of Neat Streets Miami in convening a taskforce of 21 community leaders charged with developing an action plan of high level legislative, educational, engineering and enforcement recommendations to improve the safety of Miami-Dade’s streets. The Health Foundation of South Florida is supporting these efforts by funding engineering, planning and outreach technical assistance. For more information visit, www.completestreets.miami.

Local Action Team for Safer People, Safer Streets Members:

Brian Breslin, ReFresh Miami

Alice Bravo, Miami-Dade Transit

Claudius Carnegie, Ph.D, FIU, Citizens Transportation Advisory Committee, Neat Streets Miami

Benjamin de la Peña, Knight Foundation

Tabitha Fazino, Miami-Dade Public School Board

Cesar Garcia Pons, Perkins + Will

Mayor Oliver Gilbert, City of Miami Gardens/Miami-Dade MPO

Alina Hudak, Miami Dade County Mayor’s Office

Ramiro Inguanzo, City of Bal Harbour

Jack Kardys, Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces

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 DDA

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 pf South Florida