For the past two years I have lived in the Upper Eastside of Miami and since moving here I have documented numerous crashes that have occurred along Biscayne Boulevard in the MiMo Historic District. (NE 50th-NE 76 Street)

Just this past weekend another light post was struck on Biscayne Boulevard just north NE 54th Street. No word if there were any injuries.

Eleventh crash in the past two years in MiMo.

Three weeks ago a pedestrian was critically injured at a bus stop on Northeast 64th Street and Biscayne Boulevard.  It was a hit and run, but the driver was caught several blocks away.

The only thing the FDOT has done in a failed attempt to make Biscayne Boulevard safer is add these silly speed loop-back signs that do almost nothing to make the MiMo Historic District safer for pedestrians.

If a car moving at 47 mph strikes a pedestrian he/she/they will most likely die.

The FDOT has also added a mid-block crosswalk on Biscayne Boulevard between NE 72 Terrace and NE 72 Street. It’s great that we have “1 new crosswalk” in the area, but this really isn’t progress. I fail to understand why we don’t have a crosswalk at every intersection. Pedestrians should not have to walk 6 blocks just to get across the street.

Biscayne Boulevard has a design speed of 40+mph without any protection (i.e. on-street parking) between the speeding drivers and pedestrians. Until the design speed of Biscayne Boulevard is addressed crashes will continue to occur. It’s just a matter of time before someone is killed.  The City of Miami and the FDOT continue to turn a blind eye to the dangerous design of Biscayne Boulevard and as a result at least 11 crashes have resulted in less than 2 years in a twenty-five-block stretch along Biscayne Boulevard.

All that separates pedestrians from 3 tons of steel moving in excess of 40 mph is a 6” curb and a few feet. THIS IS NOT SAFE. IT IS A RECIPE FOR DISASTER.

Check out how Biscayne Boulevard should look. Can you imagine a business and pedestrian-friendly MiMo with on-street parking?  Wouldn’t it be nice if cars moved slower through the historic district?  This is all possible- a team from the University of Miami developed three alternative streetscape designs for Biscayne Boulevard. Which alternative do you prefer?

Please send an email to the FDOT District 6 Secretary Gus Pego and Commissioner Sarnoff and ask them to make Biscayne Boulevard safer for pedestrians. Click here to send an email to both gentlemen.

 

25 Responses to 11th Biscayne Boulevard Crash in MiMo During the Past Two Years. The FDOT is Silent.

  1. Brandt A. says:

    “The only thing the FDOT has done in a failed attempt to make Biscayne Boulevard safer is add these silly speed loop-back signs that do almost nothing to make the MiMo Historic District safer for pedestrians.”

    This is not true. Those signs were actually installed relatively recently – the lanes from 87th street all the way down to 54th street have been reduced in width, resulting in a wimpy speed limit reduction from 40 to 35, and from 54th street to 36th, the street has been reduced from three lanes to two per direction. But I do agree that it isn’t enough. I think the speed limit should be 30 mph, the medians that were put in during the last resurfacing shouldn’t have gone in, and that space should have been used somehow for on-street parking.

    The lane width reductions have brought down the speeds a bit, but it has increased the amount of drivers weaving through traffic – I assume that these drivers were used to the previous configuration that allowed higher speeds. With this new configuration, I feel just a bit more comfortable about riding on Biscayne in this area and taking the lane, but it’s still a bit edgy. At least Federal Highway/2nd Ave will always be another option.

       0 likes

  2. Hi Brandt,
    I don’t recall there ever being three lanes in each direction on Biscayne Boulevard and I’ve been in Miami since 2000. There used to be some on-street parking, but that was removed and the center suicide lane was added.

    We need to focus on the design speed and not speed limit. The design speed should probably not exceed 30 mph. I very rarely ride my bicycle on Biscayne Blvd. I either ride on the sidewalk or take NE 4th court- Biscayne is way too dangerous as it is.

    As I get older my tolerance for risk decreases. I don’t even really like to walk along Biscayne Boulevard in some sections, as sidewalks are sometimes very narrow and cars pass within a couple of feet of me. Not a pleasant experience.

       0 likes

  3. Brandt A. says:

    It was indeed a while ago, but I remember that segment between 54th and 36th streets was three lanes in each direction, since I used to pass through there every day.

       0 likes

  4. Mike Moskos says:

    Biscayne fits strongtowns.org’s definition of a “stroad”, a combo road and street that does neither well.

    I recognize that cities need some high speed thoroughfares to quickly move cars that aren’t limited access interstates. But, here’s what I propose: such “roads” would have no sidewalks, no bikeways, no trees, and no direct access to businesses (you’d be able to turn only at lights and take back roads to get to them). Ideally, they’d have a 36″ concrete wall running parallel to the road. The remainder would be “streets” with 30 mpg speed limits, sidewalks, bikeways, trees, and some on street parking.

    Trying to mix roads with streets is a disaster.

       1 likes

  5. Guy says:

    Legally there are unmarked crosswalks at every intersection.

       0 likes

  6. B says:

    None of the UM alternatives are optimal, especially as far as cyclists. The sharrows don’t really work in high traffic corridors. But you could do something like option 1 and put a cycle track instead of the wider sidewalk.

    I have often thought it would be good to have Biscayne and NE 2nd be parallel 1-way roads with 3 lanes each way, street parking, and bike lanes, up to NE 79th/82nd. It would be similar to the setup in North Beach. It makes it easier to cross, especially at the “unmarked” crosswalks. Any thoughts on if this is viable?

       0 likes

  7. B says:

    @Guy The unmarked crosswalks are rally only usable in low traffic, 2-lane roads, or in some cases low speed 1-way roads with 2-3 lanes. Legally (and practically!), when using an unmarked crosswalk you have to yeild to all vehicle traffic, which simply doesn’t give you a safe opportunity to cross a “stroad” like Biscayne.

       0 likes

  8. Felipe Azenha says:

    B,
    If the design speed of the road does not exceed 30mph, then sharrows would work. Biscayne should be kept as a two way road. Businesses along Biscyane Blvd need to have evening and morning traffic in order to survive.

       0 likes

  9. B says:

    Thinking about it again I can see one major flaw for a one-way Biscayne/NE2nd: there is a railroad inbetween them with limited crossings!

    The thing with sharrows in heavy traffic areas, even with low design speeds, is only the most experienced and bravest cyclists are willing to take the lane, and if ride all the way to the right, there simply is no way for a motorist to pass and allow 3 feet of space in heavy traffic (e.g., no space to safely merge into the left lane). This is especially true if you narrow the lanes to 30 mph design speed. The lanes in most 25-30 mph design roads are barely wide enough for larger profile cars, let alone a transit bus and a bike. Granted, the motorist shouldn’t be passing at all if they can’t do so with 3 ft clearance. He should in this situation just be patient and wait either for the cyclist to get to his destination or an opening in the left lane. But the fact is many drivers are going to try to pass anyway, and thus, most cyclists are not going to feel secure on the road there, which defeats the purpose of having the sharrows in the first place. We really need bike lanes or a separated cycle track on a busy, commercial road like Biscayne or Washington.

    Lower the design speed, yes, but also leave some space dedicated specifically to cyclists.

       0 likes

  10. Felipe Azenha says:

    B,
    The biggest flaw of a one-way street is it will bankrupt many businesses that operate along that street. It’s not all about moving vehicles (bicycles included). Complete streets play a central role in economic developement too. Ideally, Biscayne Boulevard would have a 25mph design speed-but that’s never going to happen. We can only dream…

       0 likes

  11. Kyle says:

    These are the same road design flaws evident in all of FDOT’s streets throughout the city. They’re all designed for cars to go too fast and with few crosswalks.

    Another problem in the Upper Eastside is density. The UES needs greater density to have more people walking around to create a greater mass. As it stands, it’s a suburban-ish area around the car. It’s going to take multi-story residences, retail and offices to change this neighborhood.

       1 likes

  12. prem says:

    alternatives i would prefer not mentioned in the post.
    Turn the right-most lane on either side of biscayne in to a HOV only lane, with a lower speed limit than the left lane. Buses and cars with 3 or more people in it, 30mph, and a bike sharrow.
    Or narrow the lanes even more and put bike lanes. It is too late to turn back the clock on accelerating development along biscayne boulevard but we can certainly curb the traffic, and if doing so affects the businesses, well perhaps as others mentioned it fails as a street and a road.

       1 likes

  13. Felipe Azenha says:

    Kyle,
    Yes, the Upper Eastside needs more density. Unfortunately, there is a 35 foot height restriction to build in the Historic District that needs to overturned immediately. Developers should be allowed to develop to 5 stories as originally stipulated by Miami 21.

       0 likes

  14. [...] response to our post last week we were copied on several emails from Transit Miami Readers to FDOT District 6 Secretary and [...]

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  15. Good ideas, Prem.

       0 likes

  16. B says:

    Complete streets is a lofty ideal, but remember the vast majority of cyclists would not feel comfortable taking the lane even at 25 mph design speed. Untill there is a quantum leap in motorist behavior towards cyclists, the vast majority of cyclists and casual would-be cyclists would not feel secure on a busy corridor like Biscayne, without some dedicated facilities. They’ll ride on the sidewalk or just drive. Sharrows look good for politicians, but they don’t actually do much for the average cyclist.

       1 likes

  17. prem says:

    maybe it’s not just cars but also the vast majority of cyclists that need to change their attitudes.
    i’m sure both would help

       0 likes

  18. Felipe Azenha says:

    B,
    I’ll agree with you that the County and the FDOT are using sharrows just to say they have done “something”. But if a road has a real design speed of 25mph than I have no objection to the sharrow. I think you would be surprised at how many casual cyclists would feel comfortable riding on a street with a 25 mph design speed. The problem is the FDOT and County are putting sharrows on roads with design speeds of 40+mph. I consider myself an experienced cyclists and would not ride on some of these roads which the FDOT and County are encouraging us to ride on. It’s like leading cattle to slaughter. Shame on the County and the FDOT.

       1 likes

  19. Mike Moskos says:

    Would it be possible to build a bike way on the FEC railroad track land? Or would it not work because of the expecting increase in trains in the next few years? Do the laws allow bikes so close to trains without an expensive fence?

       0 likes

  20. C says:

    There was another crash this morning at about 7:45 am at 60th and biscayne. It looked liked it was just one car that ran up onto the sidewalk for some reason. It was pretty badly damaged.

       0 likes

  21. Felipe Azenha says:

    Thanks for the update C. That will make it at least the 12th crash in the past two years. I’ll post something by Monday morning. If you can snap a couple of pictures I’d appreciate it. Thanks.

       0 likes

  22. C says:

    Didn’t have time to take a picture this morning but here’s the site this afternoon:

    http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8294/7854089990_0f11150b46_h.jpg

    Feel free to use it.

       0 likes

  23. C says:

    Also not sure if one of those wrecks you are counting is the tundra vs palm tree one on june 15th but that I did get a photo of:

    http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8298/7854156572_730c066240_c.jpg

       0 likes

  24. Felipe Azenha says:

    Thanks for the picture of the Tundra. I had not counted that one. Make that at least crashes in the past two years. Thanks B!

       0 likes

  25. [...] District. That brings the total crashes to three in the past ten days and 14 in the past two years. Ten days ago I reported about a crash that occurred near NE 54th Street and several MiMo residents sent emails to the FDOT District 6 [...]

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