The Florida Department of Transportation plans to rebuild a small section of Brickell Avenue to improve safety for cars in 2012.  True to their autocentric focus, they are actually making conditions for those of us that walk on Brickell Avenue more dangerous. These so called “improvements” will include longer left-turn lanes and elimination of left turns at Southeast Sixth Street. Other “improvements” highlighted in a Miami Herald article include:

• Closing the median opening at Southeast Sixth Street, preventing left turns at this “high crash spot”

• Increasing the lengths of the left-turn lanes on Brickell Avenue for northbound traffic at Fifth and Seventh Streets

• Increasing the lengths of the left-turn lanes on Brickell Avenue for southbound traffic at Seventh and Eighth Streets

• Converting the northbound outside lane at Eighth Street from an exclusive right-turn only lane to a through and right-turn lane

• Installing new signs and traffic signals, and optimizing signal timing

The FDOT fails to recognize that by closing the median opening at Southeast Sixth Street they are reducing intersection density.  Reducing intersection density does not calm traffic; in fact it has the opposite effect.  It will only encourage more speeding on Brickell Avenue.  This is the last thing we need.

The closure of the median at Southeast Sixth Street also eliminates the opportunity for an additional crosswalk.  We need more crosswalks on Brickell Avenue. So far FDOT has committed to adding 2 or 3 additonal crosswalks on Brickell, this isn’t nearly enough. We have identified nearly two dozen locations that badly need crosswalks on Brickell Avenue.

According to an FDOT study there were least 82 accidents on this segment in 2008, including 62 sideswipes and rear-end collisions. Twenty were caused by northbound cars making left turns without yielding to southbound traffic.  Lost in this study is the fact that a pedestrian was killed in this very same area several years ago. This statistic is not highlighted in the FDOT study and nothing is being done by FDOT to calm traffic and improve pedestrian safety here or anywhere else on Brickell. Safety conditions for pedestrians in this area are obviously not a FDOT priority.

Meanwhile, our local elected officials have promised more safety improvements for Brickell Avenue.  We here at Transit Miami have high expectations from FDOT and our elected officials.  Please do not disappoint us. We don’t consider this a safety improvement. Nice try.

You can find the preliminary, non-finalized FDOT drawings for this project here.

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8 Responses to FDOT Making Brickell Safety Improvements for Cars, not Pedestrians

  1. Craig says:

    Why does the FDOT hate pedestrians? What more can we do?!

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  2. kevin says:

    FDOT can’t seem to design for urban roads properly. They have such a rural mentality. Brickell and the whole city core is very dense with lots of pedestrians. Why dont they get it? I shouldn’t risk dying when I’m walking to Publix or the park, come on FDOT design for pedestrians not for cars!

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  3. They (FDOT) hate us for our freedom.
    Pedestrians have an autonomy they relinquish when operating a motor vehicle.

    http://swampstyle.blogspot.com/2011/03/road-racket.html

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  4. MS says:

    Why are you such wuzzes? I lived in Brickell for five years and to be honest, neither are cars going that fast through it, nor is it unsafe. There are tons of wide sidewalks and cars usually don’t go over 40. The problem is when you equate going at 20mph with being safe. There are as many unsafe 20mph drivers as there are 40mph drivers. Stop complaining, move to Hialeah

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  5. Anonymous says:

    MS – Dont be so ignorant! Your chances of dying when hit at 40 mph are much greater than at 20mph. If you like high speeds maybe YOU should move to Hialeah….

       0 likes

  6. Craig says:

    MS – You don’t understand anything about urban planning. Have you ever left Miami and walked around an actual pedestrian friendly area?

       0 likes

  7. [...] Some clarification on the law is provided by a Florida Department of Transportation Online Pedestrian Safety Guide that states: A driver is obliged to yield the right of way to a pedestrian lawfully crossing in a crosswalk. Safe yielding requires stopping if the crossing pedestrian is in the driver’s lane, the lane into which the driver is turning, or an adjoining lane. A condition for crossing “lawfully” is that the pedestrian began crossing when it was legal to do so.  A crosswalk is legally present on each leg of an intersection except where crossing is prohibited by signs. Crosswalks are left unmarked at most unsignalized intersections. [Yes, that means an intersection has a crosswalk even when FDOT won't give you one in paint.]  [...]

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  8. [...] ones, with pedestrian refuge islands? I think they’d be happy to have them in Miami’s Brickell neighborhood. That would be real progress for Florida pedestrians. Would FDOT get behind [...]

       0 likes

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