The word on the livable street is that FDOT will begin a major resurfacing project on Brickell Avenue early next year.  Brickell Avenue will be resurfaced from SE 25th Road to SE 5th Street (approximately 1.5 miles).

This is an excellent opportunity for FDOT to shows its commitment to livable streets. Brickell Avenue is one of the most densely populated and pedestrianized areas in all of Florida; it is a destination, not a thoroughfare, therefore it needs to be designed in such a way that speeding is discouraged.

The current design plans for this project call for the same 11 foot travel lanes, no bicycle facilities, and improved crosswalks. This project will come under close scrutiny of Transit Miami (we have high expectations).  If you have any suggestions for FDOT, please use the comments section. We really need everyone’s help on this one. Together we can make Brickell Avenue a safe place for people to walk, bike and drive.

32 Responses to FDOT Resurfacing Project Coming to Brickell; Transit Miami Eye is Watching

  1. Wordsmithy says:

    I just love that word: “Pedestrianized” instead of ‘walked upon’ or ‘trod’.
    Awesome….

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  2. Mark says:

    How about making those travel lanes smaller, slowing down traffic so pedestrians feel safer and making room for bicycle lanes!!

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  3. steven says:

    I would suggest that travel lanes be made narrower, to innately slow down cars. Use the extra lane space to put in bicycle lanes. Brickell has a huge bicycling population, and with the popular Rickenbacker Causeway at the end of the avenue, it would be a natural route for bicyclists coming from Downtown and upper Brickell.

    They should install more crosswalks, as there aren’t nearly enough, and people always walk through the median. Every crosswalk and intersection should have proper crossing signals that work. Pedestrians should be a priority in this project. Lastly, if they don’t want people to cross through the garden space in the median, they should put a small knee-high fence around the median to dissuade people from jay-walking (see: Park Avenue in New York).

    Other things are minor details, like adding benches at all bus stops, widen the sidewalks, fix the millions of cracks in the sidewalks, install bike parking throughout, and take out the bus ad signs that block the sidewalk. But, I’m not sure if that’s under FDOT’s jurisdiction. In essence, NYC’s Park Avenue is essentially what Brickell Avenue should strive to be. It responses well to cars, pedestrians, and bicyclists.

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  4. Tom says:

    This is certainly an interesting opportunity for improvement. Has BPAC reviewed plans and commented?

    I think that the easterly side sidewalk is the location of historic Bike Route 1 in Miami-Dade County, though you would never know it. Would be nice to at least symbolically revive that designation with signage. It is supposed to connect with the Commodore Trail to the south, which is scheduled for improvement as well.

    Seems like too much of the bike infrastructure is scheduled but never quite happens in this town (i.e., M-Path gap closure, Commodore Trail, Miami River Greenway, etc…).

    Thanks for keeping an eye on this.

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  5. Felipe Azenha says:

    Steve,
    I could not have said it better myself. You are right on. Knee high fencing around the median is money; great idea. Elevated crosswalks should be considered too.
    Keep the ideas coming folks!

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  6. M says:

    Steve you took the words right out of my mouth, except I think you might have said it better.

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  7. mr jones says:

    Transit Miami needs to open up a Fort Lauderdale Bureau!

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  8. […] an important Citiwire story about the benefits of mixed-use development for city tax revenues. And Transit Miami is watchdogging a Florida DOT project that should make a commercial corridor more walkable and […]

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  9. Take action before July 27th to help make the River of Grass bicycle greenway connecting the Gulf and Atlantic possible…

    http://community.railstotrails.org/blogs/trailblog/archive/2010/07/01/help-the-river-of-grass-greenway-in-south-florida.aspx

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  10. John says:

    bicycle lanes please

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  11. answers says:

    This is Phase 2 and is not a complete reconstruction project. The scope is to rehab, resurface, most of all improve drainage from flooding, install decorative crosswalks at all intersections, increase lighting with decorative lights, repair any sidewalks. The curb and travel lanes will remain-

    One item everyone could help is to insist that sharrows be used, 30mph posted speed, enlarge the sidewalks to the curb edge with trees located in planters to expand the sidewalk. Bike lanes are planned on Miami Ave and currently on SW 2nd Ave.

    Phase 1 was the landscaping.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    no coverage of the broken-down metromover but a post on the paving of brickell… ‘transit miami’ needs a name change. maybe bikelaneseverywhere.com

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  13. agree says:

    I agree- it has become griping about govt. How about news of high speed rail, airport link updates and photos, the car rental transit center just opened. This is the most exciting news for transit in 20 years.

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  14. M says:

    I do agree with Anonymous and Agree that this blog has become a little bicycle-centric, but we all keep reading it don’t we? Also, there has been no new posts in almost a week. I guess these last comments must have rubbed some authors the wrong way. ;)

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  15. Raymond Povio says:

    Great article!! I came across your blog while searching for Auto Shipping Network. They are a great auto transport company. BTW your site looks great and has alot of useful info. Keep up the good work guys

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  16. Felipe Azenha says:

    Sorry for the lack of posts, but Transit Miami authors have full-time jobs and are involved in many other projects. As much as we would like to, we cannot dedicate our time entirely to Transit Miami.

    Please direct the griping comments to me and not Transit Miami; as I am the one that usually does the bitching here. Do I complain too much? Probably, but usually it has some merit. That being said, we here at Transit Miami are trying to make our city better. We don’t sit back and tell our local politicians what a wonderful job they are doing. Things could be much better; actually things need to improve dramatically here in the Magic City. But when good things are done, credit is given when due.

    Transit Miami has accomplished a lot of good things for our community and will continue to do so. The Rickenbacker Causeway is slated to see improvements and now the Brickell resurfacing project has come under the Transit Miami radar. If we can’t get Brickell Avenue right for pedestrians and cyclists, the outlook for other areas in Miami looks bleak.

    As for the comment about a name change to bikelaneseverywhere.com, we have never advocated for bike lanes everywhere and never will. As for the meteromover accident, yeah it sucks that people got hurt and thankfully no one was seriously injured. Could it have been fixed more quickly? Probably. But there wasn’t much of a story here. The metromover has had a fairly good history of safety. If you believe there is story here, please submit it.

    As always, we accept community commentary. We love to post articles from our readers. Please submit articles under community commentary.

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  17. Great post. This is an excellent opportunity for improvement in the area. I think they should make the travel lanes narrower to further deter motorists from speeding. It will also provide ample space for bicycle lanes to ensure safety of the bicycling population. What exactly do they mean by improved crosswalks? They should add more so pedestrians don’t have to walk through the median. Anyway, great job guys and keep up the good work!

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  18. Anonymous says:

    the metromover story is relevant because it is illustrates the poor operations ans service of our transit system that this site is supposed (?) to be concerned about… if the transit system is unreliable, difficult to use, and even unsafe, how can that be considered a reasonable alternative for transport? isn’t that worthy of coverage as least as much as the latest example of mis-painted bike lanes?

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  19. Jonathan says:

    I live on Brickell, drive on it, bike on it, walk along it and cross it frequently on foot.

    Brickell is in fact a thoroughfare, not merely a destination. It is a thoroughfare because there is no good substitute for it. Moreover, it is wrong to ignore the needs of the many citizens who drive on Brickell. It is a tax-supported public road. Transiting drivers have as much stake in its usability as anyone else does, and do not deserve to be punished for the benefit of other groups.

    My suggestions are as follows:

    1) Narrow the median strip, relocate the trees as necessary, and remove or severely shorten the bushes that are currently planted near breaks in the median. The median looks nice but serves little purpose other than as a base for the trees and as a dog-walking zone. The trees are important but could be accommodated in a narrower median. the dog owners should go elsewhere. The bushes make it difficult for cyclists who are crossing from one sidewalk to the other to see oncoming traffic, and for motorists to see them.

    2) Take the space gained by narrowing the median and use it to put a bike lane on each side of Brickell. Use highly-reflective paint to delineate these bike lanes.

    3) Widen the sidewalk on the East side of Brickell by paving over the grassy margins between the current sidewalk and the street. The wide sidewalk is a large part of the reason for Brickell’s success as a safe residential neighborhood, because the width of the sidewalk makes walking safe and pleasant and therefore people are out and about at all hours. The grassy margins look nice, but there is plenty of other grass nearby and a wider sidewalk would be even better.

    4) Substitute a pedestrian overpass for the current ineffectual crosswalk at the church. There may not be enough space for an overpass, however.

    5) Whatever else is done, avoid the temptation to use cobblestone pavers as are currently used on Brickell’s crosswalks. The pavers look nice but increase maintenance requirements, and become a nuisance or even hazard for bicyclists as the cobbled surfaces become increasingly uneven with time.

    6) Retain the current 40 mph speed limit or lower it to 35 mph and put up “share the road” signs. Avoid the temptation to narrow traffic lanes, add more crosswalks or otherwise further slow the flow of traffic.

    Brickell can better serve all of its users with a few careful reallocations of its current surface area.

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  20. Kyle Johns says:

    The Metromover should be expanded to the Orange Bowl from Government Center.

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  21. Kyle Johns says:

    Completely random, but does anyone know if it’s legal to hail a taxi on the streets in Miami? Ie: Brickell Avenue or on Washington Avenue?

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  22. Kathryn says:

    Yes! More writing on TransitMiami.com!
    I also apologize for not writing more; it’s hard to keep up posting quality content while trying to make a real living elsewhere.

    TransitMiami.com has absolutely become bicycle-centric and Brickell-centric in a way because we write what we know, experience and see or can confidently comment on.

    If you have something to say, please email your own draft articles to the editor at movemiami@gmail.com. It will posted as Community Commentary but it will show up right here. And if you are really serious, that is the first step to becoming an author, too.

    I speak now on behalf of everyone at TransitMiami.com; we are ready for more writers.

    Thanks for reading!

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  23. Bicycles Everywhere says:

    I do not know if it is worth it to have bicycle lanes everywhere in a region where the average temperature during the day is 90 degrees for 7 months of the year. Do people really want to bike to work/lunch in August with 80% humidity?

    I am not opposed to bike lanes in areas like Key Biscayne/Rickenbacker because they serve a recreational purpose. It does not seem to me that putting bike lanes in a downtown setting is worth the added risk to driver and pedestrian + cost to taxpayer.

    It seems to me that 99.9999% of those using bike lanes in the region use them for recreational purposes. If that is the case and we need to have some sort of bicycle infrastructure, would it not make more sense to have the lanes forming ‘routes’ on secondary streets where danger can be mitigated and places like Rickenbacker?

       1 likes

  24. Kathryn says:

    @Bicycles Everwhere: Ack! Where to begin?

    Whether or not you choose to walk or bicycle is up to you, apparently. Not everyone who works downtown has that option. Like you, however, I do. I still choose to bicycle when I have meetings downtown. Residents in Brickell still choose to bicycle to the grocery store or the beach, Coconut Grove or the metrorail. I believe that planners have an obligation to consider all of these people.

    That said, no one I know wants bike lanes everywhere. In the case of Brickell, what makes the most sense is simply reducing the speed to a reasonable limit for a residential area/business destination. With the corridor officially evolved into a safer public space, planners may consider shared-use lane markings (sharrows), or not. There are bike lanes on S. Miami Ave.

    I do not use bike lanes for recreational purposes. In fact, I don’t actually know anyone who uses S. Miami Avenue’s lanes for recreation. People use them to get to recreational destinations, like the Key, the Grove or other area parks. I’ve never heard of anyone just riding up and down them for fun -

    It is great if you only bike for fun, but thousands of people in the City of Miami alone use bicycles as transportation, either alone or in conjunction with mass transit. The numbers are only increasing and it is incumbent on planners to recognize that and plan accordingly - for everyone’s safety on the roads.

    So, last point: bike lanes and related infrastructure improve the safety of roads for all users. That means on streets with bike infrastructure, there are less fatal car accidents as well as improved conditions for people on bikes or on foot.

    From my open letter to FDOT published here and on my blog a few months ago: “But again, bicycle lanes make the road safer for EVERYONE. They discourage cyclists from using the sidewalk (reducing cyclist/pedestrian conflicts) and they even reduce motorist collisions. Please see the 2006 UT-Austin study demonstrating increased safety for motorists where bicycle lanes are present: http://www.utexas.edu/news/2006/09/18/engineering/

    We appreciate your input; please, think about the safety of others, too. Thank you.

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  25. Anonymous says:

    You don’t say how to accomplish “reducing speed to a reasonable limit.”
    Changing the speed limit will not cause traffic to travel more slowly… and adding bike lanes or ‘sharrows’ won’t either. To really slow traffic, Brickell needs on-street parking and signals at every intersection. Never mind that there isn’t enough room for bike lanes or street parking in the existing right of way. The problem is really what to do with a 4-lane street with the geometry of a suburban arterial which is not what Brickell should be.

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  26. Kathryn Moore says:

    Thanks, Anon. Allow me to clarify.
    I advocate for reduced speed limits, the implementation of shared-use markings (sharrows) and the addition of new crosswalks. I disagree with any assertion that people used to speeding above 40 won’t slow down in 30mph zones with shared use markings. Will they still speed? Of course - but it at a far lower speed. I don’t think there is a need for on street parking along the residential corridor that currently has the 40mph speed limit but, as you mention, there isn’t room for it, anyway.
    Arterials are about moving traffic through quickly. I think Brickell is a destination, not a thoroughfare. It’s street geography should reflect its high pedestrian/residential activity. What are your suggestions?

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  27. Dieter Rosabal says:

    I just don’t understand how miami keeps developing and constructing new roads and they forget to add bike lanes. It seems not to be a money issue because there is no way that a bike lane can cost so much compared to regular motor vehicle roads. The bicycling community needs to get their hands involved very seriously, it has become very hard to ride bike from community to community as we have to use regular public roads where cars don’t respect us and there is the risk of fatal accidents. Bike lanes will only bring safer rides to more people and hopefully more people will get involved into cycling. Like this, we will have a greener city with less pollution and less traffic jams. I don’t know where are we gonna go like this without the thoughts of new transit implementations; as a sport and as a healthier activity. Hopefully soon we will see a change, there are thousands of us out there! lets make it happen.

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  28. Mary says:

    I agree with Jonathan. Aesthetics are nice, but safety is better, especially when one can narrow, but not eliminate the median to create bike lanes. That also will reduce the bike/pedestrian conflict on the sidewalk, and the bike/auto tension when sharing space. The fancy pavers seem mostly like a way to spend the transit tax money without doing much of anything for anyone.
    So, as someone who lives, drives, bikes and walks on Brickell:
    1. most important, add bike lanes
    2. if possible use space from reducing the median for all or at least some of the needed width.
    3. make the crosswalks work, with the ability of pedestrians to stop the flow of traffic in at least two places between 26th & 15th and at 10th.

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  29. Jon says:

    I do not think Brickell ave needs to be touched.

    I live and walk to work along it everyday. It has large sidewalks, and is a beautiful area.

    I think there are more important areas of Miami that needs attention.

    The pavement is just fine, why repaving is needed?

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  30. filippo says:

    i can’t disagree more with the 30mph, its ridicolous and creates more traffic not less! there is more cars in any given moment on the street not less… 30mph in a 4 lines street !!! absurd…

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  31. M says:

    I was driving northbound on Brickell last night and I noticed a 30mph sign. Is that permanent?

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  32. Felipe Azenha says:

    Filippo,
    This is about a 1.5 mile stretch of road which is densely populated with a lot of pedestrians. I think motorists can spare an additional 15 seconds. It will make our streets exponentially safer.

    M,
    The 30 mph signs are temporary. They will be replaced with 35 mph signs once the FDOT finishes their crap project

       0 likes

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