The newly released book titled The Smart Growth Manual is filled with best practice examples of good urbanism. Co-written by Transit Miami’s very own Mike Lydon with Andres Duany and Jeff Speck, The Smart Growth Manual is an indispensable guide on how to properly plan a modern city. The book is organized for speedy reference (much like a dictionary or encyclopedia) and is concise and to the point. Nonetheless it shows smart growth principles at each geographic scale (region, neighborhood, street, building). Each concept is discussed, reviewed and explained in about a half page and usually there is a diagram, map or picture that helps explain each concept. If you are looking for how we should be laying the foundation for smart growth development then I suggest you pick up this book.
Check out these pictures of bicycle shelters and on-street bicycle parking. These are the types of bicycle parking ideas that should have been implemented at the new shopping center on South Beach. If two on-street parking spaces are removed, there would be enough room to park about 30 bicycles. Considering the developer just over built parking due to city of Miami Beach minimum parking requirements, I can’t foresee a problem with removing a couple of on-street parking spots and throwing up a bicycle shelter. The existing inverted U racks the developer just purchased could then be placed under the bicycle shelter. Do we dare to try something different? If there is one development on South Beach that deserves covered bicycle parking it would be this one. Bicycle shelters also need to be considered for locations around Lincoln Road where bicycle parking is already undeserved.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
7:00-7:30 AM Toy and Donation Drop off & Refreshments
7:30 AM—All Rides begin
Ponce de Leon Middle School, Coral Gables
Admission fee to ride:
$15.00 or more donation or an unwrapped, new toy or gift for children infant to17 years old, worth at least $15.00. Gift Cards are especially appreciated for the teenagers.
Easy Pace Family Ride 12-16 MPH approximately 12-15 miles total—leaves at 7:45 AM
Medium Pace Ride heading north to Miami Beach, approximately 26 miles with and average speed of 18-20 Fast Pace Ride heading to Miami Beach, approximately 26 miles with an average speed of 20+ MPH
Please contact Mary Beth Garcia, Holiday Toy Ride Chair @ 305-389-5156 or firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
Click here for more information
The Miami Beach Bicycle Center organizes a monthly bicycle ride (2nd Saturday) with a Miami Beach Police escort. This is a great free event for the entire family.
601 5th street (Corner of 5th and Washington)
Miami Beach, FL 33139
Experience Level: Novice/Intermediate
Bring water and sunscreen.
Here’s your chance to speak to an FDOT representative about the recently released Dangerous by Design report that ranked the following four metropolitan areas within Florida as the most dangerous for pedestrians in the United States.
1. Orlando-Kissimmee, FL
2. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL
3. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL
4. Jacksonville, FL
The MPO Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee will hold their monthly meeting on Wednesday Dec. 16th on the 18th Floor (room 18-3) of the Government Center. This will be the first meeting since the Dangerous by Design report was released. Please come out and express your concerns to the FDOT representative that will be present. We need to work together with FDOT and encourage them to design complete streets that address the needs of all users and not only those of cars. We deserve better streets.
We have a little bit of good news to report; the pedestrian crosswalk signals at the South Miami Avenue and SE 13th Avenue intersection are working again after nearly a week since they stopped working.
Nevertheless things appeared to take a turn for the worse around lunch time today at this intersection. I went home for lunch to find the electrical contractors hard at work, but also found that all the traffic lights, in addition to the pedestrian crosswalk signals not working. Although the electrical contractors had placed 2 temporary stop signs on each side of South Miami Avenue, they did not place any temporary stop signs on SE 13th Avenue. The lack of a temporary 4 way stop created a hazardous situation for motorists and lunch time pedestrians. I observed as several pedestrians attempted to cross the street, only to sprint back to safety, as they realized they would not make it unharmed to the other side of the street. Drivers simply were not stopping because there wasn’t a mandatory stop sign for cars travelling on SE 13th Ave.
In all fairness, major work is taking place at this intersection. However, the process that was undertaken to make these improvements could have been done in a manner that did not put pedestrians in harm’s way. I fully understand and appreciate that work needs to be done at this intersection, but question how we are going about it and whether we are setting up the necessary temporary provisions to ensure the public’s safety. This is not a small job. The sidewalk on the NW corner of South Miami Avenue and SE 13th Avenue has been completely torn up.
When doing major work like this, the CPWD needs to think about the impact that their work will have on the welfare of pedestrians. This is especially true in areas with heavy foot traffic and where schools are present. Going forward the CPWD needs to be more mindful as to how they schedule their projects. Starting a project and taking three days off is no way to run a big job like this. This type of work needs to be completed as quickly as possible, in order to minimize the risks to the public. Regardless of the length of any project, appropriate temporary provisions need to be made to ensure the public’s safety.
To quickly recap, work began last Thursday, that same day the pedestrian crosswalk signals stopped working. The electrical contractors were on the job site on Friday, but then proceeded to take Saturday, Sunday and Monday off. They were back on the job Tuesday. Today (Wednesday) they got the pedestrian crosswalks signals working again. Work still remains to be completed, as the sidewalk is still under construction.
It seems like things are getting worse, not better, for those of us that live and work around Brickell. The traffic lights on Brickell Avenue and SE 14th Street were broken yet again today. Yesterday morning Public Service Aides were at this intersection directing traffic during morning rush hour, but today they were no where to be seen. Needless to say, traffic was a disaster. This seems to be a reoccurring problem since these very same traffic lights were broken on Friday as well and have yet to be fixed properly. For some reason the only time these traffic lights don’t work is during morning rush hour.
The problem with these traffic lights is that they remain green and never turn red for those traveling on Brickell Avenue. This forces the cars on SE 14th Street to run a red light when they deem appropriate, since it never turns green for them. Screwed are the pedestrians that get caught in the middle trying to sprint across the street to make it to the other side of the street safely.
Also worth mentioning is that there were electrical contractors working on this intersection last week.
Even though the County Public Works Department had all weekend to repair all the pedestrian crosswalk signals at the SE 13th Street and South Miami Avenue intersection, they remain broken. This will be the second day in a row that the CPWD has neglected to provide a safe route to school for our children. It’s been four days since I first dialed 311 to report the problem. Although my report was flagged as an emergency, it has become painfully obvious that the CPWD does not seem to think that a safe route to school is all that important. Very sad.
Darlington Media Group and the Darlington Cycling Campaign produced a short video about overcoming social stigmas in order to encourage women to ride bicycles in the UK. A few months ago Scientific American reported that that best lead indicator for bikeability are women riders. As you may know, we here at Transit Miami are big fans of women on bicycles. So check this video out ladies. All the trendsetting women are on bicycles nowadays. We hope to see you out there on your new bicycle soon!
Over the past couple of weeks I have noticed electrical work being done on traffic lights and pedestrian crosswalk signals around the Brickell Area. Unfortunately, the contractors don’t seem to think that the pedestrian crosswalk signals are all that important. Last week the pedestrian crosswalk signals on Brickell Ave. and SE 14th Street did not work for almost an entire week. Two days ago they started working again.
Today around 12:30pm I noticed contractors doing some work on the traffic lights on SE13th Street and South Miami Avenue. On my way back from work, at around 5:30pm, I noticed that all the pedestrian crosswalk signals at this intersection were not working.
At around 6:00pm I called 311 and reported the problem. The operator was very helpful and he told me that it could take up to 30 days to fix the problem, but that he would flag it as an emergency.
My fingers are crossed that the pedestrian crosswalk signals are working by tomorrow morning. It just so happens that an elementary school sits about half a block away from this intersection. I see a lot of parents with children crossing this already dangerous and poorly designed intersection every weekday morning. I think that if we can keep our traffic lights working we can keep our pedestrian crosswalk signals working too.
I also think that the city could do a much better job of promoting the 311. Unless you are a Transit Miami reader you probably don’t know about it. Perhaps the city could start a public service announcement campaign by putting the 311 phone number somewhere above crosswalk buttons throughout Downtown and Brickell? This can be done very cheaply with something as simple as a sticker.
Friend of Tranist Miami Kenneth Bereski was injured on Wednesday night after a green Mini Cooper convertible with dark side stripes intentionally hit him. Here’s how the incident occurred according to Ken:
It started when the guy tried to use the bike lane as a right turn lane on 16th and Alton. After honking at me to move and me pointing out that it was a bike lane, when the light turned green and I didn’t immediately move he got upset. Words were exchanged, ending with him accelerating to hit me. I swerved into another lane between cars. He followed partially, just enough to hit me and send my bike flying. He then swerved back into the turn lane to run straight through a red light to escape. The actual hit and run occurred on Alton Road and 17th street by the movie theater”
Although Ken is doing OK, he’s got an emergency room bill to pay, is unable to work, and his bike which he relies on for transportation is totaled. If caught, the driver will face battery with a motor vehicle.
If you have any information on possible suspects, please let us know. Ken said he would be able to identify the driver. This crime deserves a punishment.
Yesterday I posted a blog regarding the lack of crosswalks in Downtown. I took it upon myself during lunchtime today to count the number of pedestrians that crossed the street on SE 3rd Avenue and SE 1st St. were a crosswalk currently does not exist. If there was ever any doubt whether a crosswalk is needed, today’s results overwhelmingly favor pedestrian demand for a crosswalk. Within a 5 minute time span, 60 pedestrians crossed the street where there isn’t a crosswalk! If a pedestrian were to get hit here, some would blame the jaywalker. I wouldn’t, I’d hold those that designed this intersection responsible.
101 NW First St
Our friend Rydel over at Miami Bike Scene is organizing a very special Critical Mass ride this month. This ride will be dedicated to the memory of Rodolfo Rojo, a 17 y/o who was killed by a speeding car on October 30th, 2009. Rodolfo was planning on attending his first Critical Mass (Halloween) on the date the tragedy took place. Unfortunately this young man’s life was cut short by a careless driver. Please join us on this memorial ride where we’ll be stopping by the scene of the accident, a ghost bike will be placed for Rodolfo at this location. My sincere condolences to his mother Claudia Fernandez and siblings who will be joining us on the ride.
The ride will head north on Biscayne Blvd towards Miami Shores & surrounding areas. The group will pass through Downtown, Edgewater, Design District, Little Haiti, Upper East Side and Miami Shores. 20 miles total.
Invite all your friends with bicycles. This is a night ride so please bring lights for safety!
FDOT just recently repaved a section of Biscayne Boulevard in Downtown. I’m not sure why, but several major intersections were left without a pedestrian crosswalk. I really can’t think of a reason as to why FDOT did not take this opportunity to include 4 crosswalks at every intersection. There is enough density and pedestrian activity to justify 4 crosswalks at every intersection. Aside from helping pedestrians cross three lanes of fast moving traffic, crosswalks serve as traffic calming devices as well.
To make matters even worse, the intersection on Biscayne Blvd and NE 4th street had an existing crosswalk and crosswalk signal, but not anymore, FDOT decided to remove them. Check out the old crosswalk and signal right here: View Larger Map
Here are just a few examples of intersections without crosswalks:
These pictures were taken yesterday in front of the 200 South Biscayne Boulevard building. Cars have always parked here illegally to pickup passengers. So in order to accommodate the cars, approximately 4 feet of sidewalk has been taken away from pedestrians. Pedestrians are now only left with about 4 feet of sidewalk.
Sorry, but I want the sidewalk back. One of the most used Metro Mover stations is less than a block away. There is enough density in this area to justify an 8 foot sidewalk.
How was this approved?
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