In two separate instances this week two large light poles were hit along Biscayne Boulevard in the Upper East Side.  One of the accidents is located on Biscayne Boulevard and 60th Street; the other was on Biscayne and 55th Street.

Biscayne Boulevard and NE 60th Street. This light pole has been here for at least 1 week.

Two light poles in 1 week have been hit on Biscayne Boulevard. There is clearly an issue with the design speed.

The design speed of Biscayne Boulevard throughout the Upper East Side is about 45 mph.  Although the speed limit is 35 mph, it has become glaringly obvious that we have a speeding problem along this COMMERCIAL Boulevard.  I have lived in this neighborhood for a little less than a year and I am aware of at least 7 accidents that have involved motor vehicles taking out light poles/bus shelters/store fronts. I have documented most of them here.

Before someone mentions enforcement as the solution, please allow me to preemptively say that we need to design our roadways in order to achieve the speed we desire people to drive. In the case of Biscayne Boulevard, the design speed should not exceed 35 mph.  The FDOT must stop practicing wishful thinking and begin designing roadways that discourage speeding and do not require enforcement. Properly designed streets enforce themselves. Biscayne Boulevard is essentially a highway that cuts through commercial and residential neighborhoods; there are also several schools in this area. There is no good reason for a 45 mph design speed.

Adding insult to injury it has taken more then a week for our government to take action and pick up the light pole. Why is that? Since there is yellow tape surrounding the damaged light pole, government must be aware that there was an accident. Where’s the workflow?  Do the police not inform the County Public Works Department, the FDOT and the city of Miami that this pole needs to be picked up from the sidewalk? Last time a light pole was knocked down it took nearly two weeks to remove the debris.  What a joke.

How many more accidents need to occur before the FDOT acknowledges that the design speed of Biscayne Boulevard is too high? Maybe they are waiting for a few more deaths before they do something about Biscayne Boulevard.

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7 Responses to Crashes Continue to Plague Biscayne Boulevard

  1. I totally agree that Biscayne has some designed speed problems. However, I disagree with you slightly when you say that Biscayne is like a highway in that area, because, as a pedestrian and cyclist, you REALLY start getting the highway feeling at NE 123rd St, since that’s where the street goes from 2 lanes to 3 lanes in each direction (speed limit 40) and then at 163rd street it goes from three lanes to four lanes (speed limit 45). At this point it’s common to see cars traveling at 60 MPH with no shame, even in the presence of a police cruiser, which is also moving at the same speed. I’ve been long advocating for protected bike panes from 123rd north, because I often see cyclists riding on Biscayne with cars passing them at this speed, and I fear for them.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    This has nothing to do with speeding. These light posts are on the sidewalk, not the median between the northbound and southbound lanes. For someone to not only be driving full speed on the sidewalk but to also miss the huge, obvious light poles, they must either be inebriated or on drugs. In an area close to where drug deals happen daily, it doesn’t surprise me that drivers would do be oblivious. We obviously need more of a police presence on the boulevard to clean up the area of drug dealers and make it a respected community, instead of being known as an area where shady things happen.

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  3. Tony Garcia says:

    Brandt, I think it gets WORSE at 123, but I still see people going 50 and faster North of 195.
    Re: Bike land north of NE 123 – there is plenty of space for on-street bike lanes, but with the amount of space available, a grade separated or physically separated cycle track would attract more riders to the corridor.

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  4. Gables says:

    It’s in the Herald. Maybe more attention will yield some results to fix this problem.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/06/27/2286735/bloggers-say-accidents-along-biscayne.html

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  5. Tony: physically separated bike lanes is exactly what I mentioned in my comment:
    “I’ve been long advocating for protected bike panes from 123rd north”.

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  6. B says:

    The west side of US1, north of 135th to the Aventura mall area, would make an excellent place for a grade-separate trail. In fact, I often see cyclists on the sidewalk there but few pedestrians (mostly getting on/off the bus). But I wonder if there are any issues you’d run into with the FEC.

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  7. Brandt says:

    I actually submitted that idea on the county website back when they were taking transportation ideas from the community. If that were to become a reality, that would be a godsend.

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