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Miami-Dade County wins USDOT Mayors' Safer Streets Challenge Award

Miami-Dade County chosen from 245 communities to receive recognition

MIAMI (September 20, 2016)

United States Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx recognized Miami-Dade County’s Complete Streets approach with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Mayors' Challenge for Safer People, Safer Streets Award for Complete Streets (large city). In all, 18 awards were presented during the 2016 Safer People, Safer Streets Summit in Washington, DC on Friday, September 16, 2016.
 
Trying to tackle the high rate of pedestrian and cyclist deaths, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Miami-Dade Commissioner Dennis C. Moss, District 9 convened a 22-member committee, who along with input from the community, identified methods of improving road safety. The Local Action Team for Safer People, Safer Streets developed a Local Action Plan, complete with 50 recommendations to help reduce pedestrian and bicycle crashes while encouraging people to bike, walk and increase use of transit.

“Increasing safety and mobility through our Safer People, Safer Streets initiative is one of the many ways we continue to improve the quality of life in our community,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “I am confident that Safer People, Safer Streets will allow us to balance the transportation needs of our community's pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and transit users, and allow everyone to get where they need to go more safely and quickly.”

Pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities spiked nationally in 2015 and in Miami-Dade now represent approximately 36 percent of total roadway fatalities.

“I am proud of the national attention our Local Action Team’s efforts received,” Commissioner Dennis C. Moss said.  “I am also grateful to all of our partners whose passion led to the creation of this award-winning plan.”

“The success of our plan was rooted in the diversity of our Local Action Team,” said Paul Schwiep, Local Action Team member and Citizens’ Independent Transportation Trust member. “By engaging community leaders representing all interests, we had a candid discussion about the steps needed to reduce cyclist and pedestrian deaths.”

“As a surgeon, I see firsthand the drastic toll these unnecessary deaths take on our community,” Dr. Nicholas Namias, Chief of Trauma at Jackson Memorial said.  “If the implementation of this plan means saving one life, then it is completely worth it.”

“Miami-Dade residents deserve the right to travel safely by all transportation modes,” said Jack Kardys, Director of the Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department.  “Whether it’s on a bike path or a Complete Street, the Local Action Plan provides safe options to access all of the community’s resources and creates the livable and loveable place envisioned by the County’s Park and Open Space Master Plan.”

About the Miami-Dade Local Action Team for Safer People, Safer Streets
As a result of the 2015 United States Department of Transportation’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 22 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. For more information visit, http://www.miamidade.gov/neatstreets/safer-people-safer-streets.asp 

Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces incentivizes residents to explore their neighborhoods and adjacent communities, and connect with one another through bicycling. It promotes bike-commuting and combined public-transportation trips as a way to reach work, school, recreational areas and other destinations, safely and stress-free.