Against the backdrop of what has been a tragic month on South Florida roadways, City of Miami residents and businesses can take solace that the upcoming Coral Way resurfacing project will now include numerous pedestrian safety improvements. Thanks to the work of District 4 City Commissioner Francis Suarez and the Transit Miami team, the residents of the Coral Way corridor will soon enjoy improved pedestrian and bicycle facilities, as well as a lower 35 mph speed limit as part of the Florida Department of Transportation’s upcoming 2.5 mile Coral Way resurfacing project.
The changes to the project come after FDOT officials originally presented designs for the corridor in November 2011 which were panned by advocates and elected officials for lacking pedestrian improvements; the plans maintained the meager crosswalk spacing and high speed design that typifies the corridor today.
Following the initial public meeting, Transit Miami was asked by District 4 staff to compile a list of pedestrian improvements that could be incorporated into the design. As a road resurfacing project, we were mindful that there was a limit to the improvements that could be made without drastically increasing the cost of the project. As such we identified a series of low cost, high impact interventions that could be incorporated into the project, which included:
- Additional north/south crosswalks across Coral Way at every side street intersection – 13 total
- Higher quality pedestrian crossings at major intersections (4 total)
- Lower speed limit throughout
These recommendations were forwarded to Secretary Gus Pego by Commissioner Francis Suarez’s Chief-of-Staff, Mike Llorente, along with a note from that said, “The basic message – that the contemplated project fails to capitalize on the opportunity to make Coral Way more pedestrian friendly – is echoed by City Commissioner Suarez and several area residents who attended the community meeting on Wednesday. As you know, the contemplated project does not include any additional pedestrian crosswalks. As a result, pedestrians will continue to have access to only one crosswalk every five blocks, or .5 miles. The lack of crosswalks makes this area very difficult to navigate on foot.” (A phenomenon Transit Miami went on to document in a video post.)
After intense lobbying by the Commissioner and his staff, FDOT agreed to perform additional pedestrian counts and a speed study to gauge whether demand warranted additional crosswalks and a lower speed limit. Not surprisingly they documented a corridor whose pedestrian activity is growing despite the lack of adequate pedestrian facilities.
The analysis led District 6 staff to include five additional crosswalks across Coral Way; 4 with flashing beacons, and one new full intersection. In addition, the City will be able to financially contribute to enhanced crosswalks at major intersections, to include raised pavers and timed crosswalk signals. These measures will be accompanied by a reduction in the speed limit to 35 mph (throughout), and the inclusion of bicycle “sharrows” along the entire corridor from 13 Avenue to 37 Avenue. While not all of the recommendations were followed, FDOT agreed to a majority of what Transit Miami recommended.
Though still governed by their ‘data driven design’ mantra, FDOT’s changes to this project should be seen as encouraging news for green mobility advocates because they reflect an increase in pedestrian activity, even as measured by FDOT engineers. District 6 Secretary Gus Pego and Project Manager Ramon Sierra were clear that additional crosswalks could be requested in the near future as the corridor continues to develop more pedestrian activity. We’ve been documenting the rise of Coral Way for six years now, and now more than ever the corridor can boast that it has a vibrant future ahead.
Kudos to Commissioner Suarez and his staff for going to bat for complete streets, and major kudos to FDOT for reevaluating their project and working together with elected officials and advocates to make these improvements. We hope that this project is an indication of how we might move forward, together to make our streets safer for all.
Subscribe via Email
Find us on Facebook
- Mike Moskos on Event: Donald Shoup-The Godfather of Eliminating Required Parking
- Matthew Toro on ‘Mixed’ Land-Use in Miami-Dade
- Adam Old on ‘Mixed’ Land-Use in Miami-Dade
- Mike arias on County Announces New Vision for Pedestrians and Cyclists: Vision Zero 305
- Matthew Toro on Commercial Land-Use in Miami-Dade
- ivo on County Announces New Vision for Pedestrians and Cyclists: Vision Zero 305
CategoriesAccident Architecture bicycles bike lanes Bike Miami Days biking Biscayne Boulevard Brickell bus Climate Change Coconut Grove complete streets Downtown Miami FDOT High Speed Rail Metrorail Miami Miami-Dade County Miami-Dade Transit Miami 21 Miami Beach Museum Park News Parking Parks Pedestrian Pedestrians Pic o' the Day Planning Real Estate Development Rickenbacker Causeway Sprawl Streetcar Traffic Transit Transitography Transit Oriented Development Transportation Tri-Rail Uncategorized Urban Design Urban Development Boundary Urban Growth Urban Planning Walkability
- Mapping Where People Don't Live April 18, 2014A map released this week and shared on numerous websites shades the 4,871,270 U.S. Census Blocks with zero population. That includes rugged backcountry and suburban super malls.
- How Cities Miss the 'World Class' Mark April 18, 2014A recent article on the Stanford Social Innovation Review blog argues that instead of chasing gleaming skyscrapers, planners in developing cities should build a new model of the "world class" city.
- Chicago Planning Flyover Fix for North Side El Lines April 18, 2014Fairly sizable funding contingencies still have to be resolved, but the so-called Red-Purple Bypass Project could increase rush hour capacity at a critical North Side junction by 30 percent.
- Study Maps the Spatial Patterns of U.S. Environmental Injustice April 18, 2014A new study by researchers from the University of Minnesota presents a sweeping portrait of trends in exposure to nitrogen dioxide across the United States.
- Seattle Adopts New Bicycle Master Plan April 18, 2014Resolution 31515, which officially approved the Bicycle Master Plan, is called a “transformational new way of thinking about bicycle projects within Seattle.” Time, and funding, will tell if the plan lives up to its promise.
- Freeway Cap, Penn’s Landing Waterfront Details Emerging in Philadelphia April 18, 2014Project planners estimate that a $200 million investment in an 11-acre cap park over I-95 that will reconnect the city with the Delaware River could return $1 billion in private investment.
- Coal Power Plants Dealt Blow by Appeals Court Ruling April 18, 2014The nation's first standards requiring power plants to reduce hazardous emissions, including the neurotoxin mercury, a coal-burning by-product, was upheld by a federal appeals court in a major win for public health, the EPA, and President Obama.
- Is it a Suburban Exodus Yet? April 18, 2014A new report finds that suburban areas are losing residents to urban areas like New York City and Washington D.C., even well past the point when people would have traditionally made the choice to return to the suburbs.
- Friday Funny: Goats Love a High Rise April 18, 2014Part funny, part amusing, and part just plain cool, goat towers are vertical structures with winding ramps that goats love to climb. They are also are “an idea whose time has come” according to a recent article in Modern Farmer.
- 10 Common Characteristics of Successful Markets April 18, 2014Markets are important commercial and cultural spaces throughout South America, in small villages and big cities. The market landscape in South America is diverse, but thriving markets share a number of common characteristics across the continent.
- Mapping Where People Don't Live April 18, 2014