Miami-Dade County is committed to safer, more Complete Streets
How do you design and create more livable and walkable communities where everyone – including pedestrians, bicyclists and transit riders – has equal and safe access to local roads?
“This is a daunting task that requires collaboration between many agencies and extensive planning for short-term and long-term solutions,” said Alice N. Bravo, P.E., Director of the Miami-Dade Department of Transportation and Public Works.
“Back in 2015, then U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced a nationwide challenge to help reduce pedestrian and bicycle fatalities. We were among the first in the nation to participate in this challenge,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “The safety of all of our pedestrians, cyclists and our traveling public is of the utmost importance and a top transportation priority. My administration, with the support of our Board of County Commissioners, continues to invest in pedestrian and bicycle improvements.”
“One of our top goals is to become a car-optional community,” Bravo added. “It’s important for people to have transportation options, and for that, we must design and build transportation infrastructures that allow drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and transit users to equally and safely use our roadways.”
In 2015, DTPW engineers worked with transportation experts and local municipalities to develop the Complete Streets Design Guidelines for Miami-Dade County, which were adopted in 2017.
Early this year, Miami-Dade County initiated the creation of the Collaborative, a local action team made up of different area experts to provide technical support and promote the prompt implementation of Complete Streets initiatives.
The Department applied and received a grant from the Health Foundation of South Florida for $115,000 and has identified an additional $30,000 County match to support the Collaborative’s work.
“Through the Collaborative’s work, we hope local municipalities will find the support and guidance they need to quickly implement Complete Streets projects,” Bravo said. “We have seen the success of Complete Streets projects across the nation. We know these projects can positively impact our environment, our health, and our local economy.”
The Complete Streets Design Guidelines also go hand-in-hand with Miami-Dade County’s Vision Zero Plan 2018. This plan aims to identify and complete projects that can improve the safety of transportation networks and eliminate deaths and serious injuries on County roads.
Recent projects that have been implemented to improve pedestrian, cyclist and motorist safety on local roads include: reducing the speed limits on local roads to 25 miles per hour; making improvements to popular bicycle routes, such as Old Cutler Road; and introducing Leading Pedestrian Intervals (LPI) at 40 locations.
In addition, in 2017, DTPW worked with the City of Miami and the Miami Downtown Development Authority (DDA) to reconfigure SE/SW First Street, between Biscayne Boulevard and SW Second Avenue, into a Complete Streets project that now features a dedicated bicycle lane, an exclusive bus lane, additional tree canopy/planters, improved crosswalks, a reduced speed limit (from 30 mph to 25 mph), and new signage.
Miami-Dade County engineers design projects and review plans for development and municipal projects, keeping in mind how to best address pedestrian and bicycle safety.
Local municipalities interested in learning how they can implement Complete Streets projects in their communities can contact Municipal Manager Julian Guevara at [email protected]