Miami Today News is reporting that the FDOT’s two-year $16 million renovation effort of Biscayne Boulevard is coming to an end. The FDOT resurfaced the road, installed new drainage, and built new sidewalks and improved lighting and signage from NE 16 Street to NE 36th Street.

Enrique Tomayo, Senior Project Engineer for Tomayo Engineering had this to say about the reduced lane widths, wider green space between sidewalk and bigger sidewalks:

“That makes the corridor more pedestrian-friendly.”

What a joke. Other then the sidewalks I could not think of a more pedestrian-unfriendly design then the current design that FDOT selected.

This afternoon I rode my bicycle from NE 22nd Street up to NE 36th Street. In this 14-block stretch of roadway there are only 5 crosswalks. If the FDOT really wanted to make this high-density, commercial corridor pedestrian-friendly, they would have added a crosswalk at every intersection. A pedestrian should not have to walk four blocks just to get across the street.  If the FDOT actually expects pedestrians to walk four blocks just to cross the street they are living in la la land.

This entire project is an embarrassment. If the FDOT were truly concerned about economic development, pedestrians and cyclists they would have added on street parallel parking as well.  Not only do businesses on Biscayne Boulevard need accessible parking for their customers, but parallel parking also helps to calm traffic. When you calm traffic, you make the roadway more pedestrian and bicycle friendly.

It is clear that the FDOT has one mission- To move cars as quickly as possible without regard to the needs of businesses, pedestrians and bicyclists.

I think we should rename Biscayne Boulevard to Biscayne Highway. This road is looking less like a Boulevard and more like a Highway. Take a look for yourselves…

Biscayne Boulevard or Biscayne Highway? There is nothing pedestrian-friendly about this roadway.

When will the FDOT learn to properly build a roadway that is safe for everyone? This project hasn’t even been completed and we already have to fix it. The same shitty roadway design was produced in the MiMo District.  When the MiMo BID Executive Committee meet with the FDOT they were told they would have to wait another 20 years to re-stripe Biscayne Bouleveard because that is when the project is up for review again. How many people will be injured or die and how many businesses will suffer during that time due to poor roadway design? Absolutely pathetic. Everyone is at the mercy of the FDOT and there is nothing we can do.  Very sad.

 

21 Responses to The FDOT’s Disgraceful Biscayne Boulevard Project Winding Down-Back to the Drawing Board We Go….

  1. You haven’t seen anything yet. In West Palm Beach, there is a street called Okeechobee Blvd. It’s just a highway with traffic lights (which are a mile or two apart). There are four lanes of travel in each direction, the speed limit is 50, the traffic is moving at 60, and there is a bike lane present on each side, unprotected. There is at least one other street just like it, and both are managed by FDOT.

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  2. Craig Chester says:

    Brandt - I know exactly where you are talking about. What is funny is that, Okeeechobee Blvd in WPB is clearly not a pedestrian or business friendly roadway. In fact, most of downtown WPB was similarly pedestrian/business unfriendly as well. That was, until the late 1990′s, when the area underwent one of the most significant traffic-calming projects in the entire country. The results have been nothing short of spectacular, turning what was once a decaying, dangerous downtown area into a destination civc place, thriving and model for other projects around the country.

    Even Dixie Highway, an FDOT road, has some level of traffic calming elements as it pierces through downtown WPB. Why can’t they realize that a city is for people, it is not a traffic corridor.

    Read more: http://contextsensitivesolutions.org/content/case_studies/west-palm-beach-florida/

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  3. Josh says:

    Agree with you 100%, how can there be such limited crossing zones? Not to mention that not a single shade tree was planted — unfortunately locals fought to keep the royal palms and FDOT happily obliged… Has any one of these people actually walked in Florida from May to Sept? You don’t stand a chance with the heat bearing down.

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  4. Cody says:

    Josh- Agreed on the trees. I was surprised locals were so adamant about keeping the Royal Palms, when I was rooting for some shade trees, especially for our unforgiving sun in the Summer. At the very least, they could have at least planted some shade trees in between the Royal Palms.

    As the Omni and Edgewater neighborhoods continue to densify and more pedestrians and bicyclists fill the streets, it’s only a matter of time before FDOT has to go back in and redesign Biscayne. This time, appropriately. These are some of the densest neighborhoods in the South, and this is what FDOT gives us? Come on!

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  5. Mike Moskos says:

    The less shade, the less shoppers. Businesses may think available parking is their most valuable asset, but once you’re in a car, you can go anywhere, (read: straight to the big box with the low prices and socialized expenses). A district reaches utopia when businesses feel obliged to put water dishes out for the many dogs.

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  6. Craig Chester says:

    Another thing - “corridor” and “pedestrian-friendly” do not belong in the same sentence. A traffic corridor is an interstate highway. Pedestrian-friendly is an enjoyable space where business and people can thrive. You can not have both.

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  7. Felipe Azenha says:

    It would not cost FDOT much to go in and re-strip the roadway. That’s all it would take to add parallel parking and narrow the travel lanes to 10 feet. This in and of itself would dramatically improve safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and even drivers. A very simple, inexpensive and effective solution to calm traffic. The FDOT has already told the MiMo Executive Committee that it is possible to narrow lanes and add parallel parking, but they won’t re-strip because it will look bad??? They would only narrow traffic lanes and add parallel parking if they resurfaced. Resurfacing will cost an arm and a leg. They’ll do whatever they can not to fix their boondoggle of a project.

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  8. B says:

    I have to wonder if the plans for the current “upgrades” of Biscayne were drawn up 30 years ago, and FDOT is just now getting to them… Over half of the bus stops are not near a cross walk, so you get a lot of transit riders jaywalking (better yet…jay-running) to catch the bus. Hmmm…this can’t be “pedestrian friendly!”

    Personally, I’d like to see Biscayne/NE2nd made into one-way roads with 2-3 lanes in each direction. NE2nd southbound would feed seemlessy into the downtown 1-way grid system. Biscayne itself is wider, so it could also support a light rail and cycling facilities.

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  9. Fran Rollason says:

    My understanding is that locals wanted shade trees and people in Morningside are the ones that insisted on Royal Palms. Re: Biscayne Highway — the fact is FDOT reconstruction was based on their specs for a highway. It’s a sad day for the actual residents who live in close proximity and wish to walk and support the businesses on Biscayne Boulevard.

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  10. Alyce says:

    Missed this post when it first was made. I was thinking the same thing as I saw this section being completed on my daily commute…a suicide lane instead of a median, no swale, no crosswalks, no shade. Awful environment for pedestrians. The DDA bike/ped plan will have to be amended to fix this brand new roadway.

    Fran,
    Not all people in Morningside wanted palm trees, just one who shouts very loud.

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  11. Upper Eastsider says:

    Elvis Cruz shouts very loud and happens to live in Morningside.

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  12. ray says:

    Excuse me? THIS IS MIAMI 21 IN ACTION! In fact, when critics of it, claimed Biscayne’s plans and Miami 21′s were the same and both not pedestrian friendly and not bike friendly, it was the head then of TRANSIT MIAMI who defended Miami 21. Nothing changed in that zoning code from that draft to the law now - WIDER SIDEWALKS, NARROWER LANES, MEDIUM STRIPS. Guess we need who Houdini to tell us how those features add up to bike friendly and pedestrian friendly, but TRANSIT MIAMI supported this plan. So, why exactly are you complaining now that you see the plan, exactly as laid out in Miami 21? Remember, the FDOT stated, accurately then, that they worked with DPZ and gave the city these features of Miami’s (perverted) version of “new urbanism”.

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  13. ray says:

    ps - sorry, where they haven’t used up the lane width for wider sidewalks, they narrow lane width for medium strips, either way, making it more difficult for byciclists.
    And, since the writer then for transitmiami, also consulted for DPZ (but didn’t disclose this fact), and the daughter of the head of Bay Oaks, whose father owns lots of Biscayne development land and represents other commercial developers of Biscyne), was appointed by Diaz to run the city’s bike plan, and Critical Mass naively bought into their inside lobbying for Miami 21, the residents got what anyone looking then at the facts should have known would have been reality now. As far as trees, activist Elvis and Sarnoff axes FDOT’s plans to mix Royal Palms and shade trees, eliminating the shade trees (Sarnoff and Elvis saying people in the high rise areas don’t walk anyway).

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  14. Felipe Azenha says:

    Miami 21 has absolutley nothing to do with FDOT’s street scape design for Biscyane Blvd. Get your facts straight. The FDOT designs their roads to their own standards, unaccountable to no one but themselves.

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  15. Tony Garcia says:

    @Ray: Ha! Shows how much you know about planning. The folks who design and build the street are not bound by the Miami 21 zoning code. Miami 21 regulates building frontage that FACES THE STREET (which is half of the battle). Really, get a clue.

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  16. EC says:

    Ray you are a total fucking moron. Another legacy of the anti-Miami 21 NIMBY idiots, conflating things that are not related, and confusing fact from fiction.

    Amazing how people blather on about conspiracy theories when the facts don’t support their arguments.

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  17. Matthew Schott says:

    Judging from the picture. This pavement is so new that it would cost very little to mill of the stripping, mill out the pavement in the two foot section of the middle lane, remix and relay on-site and/or bring it back to the plant and reuse it. Then, reduce both lanes to size by adding in the new stripping for a bike lane(parking would be more). BUT IT IS EASY considering you will have to live with it for the next twenty years and even then they may not rework it for another twenty after that, given budgeting.
    It looks like crap if the older surface is environmentally degraded, but it apparently is not. NOW is the time to fix it and still have it looking good. Question….were was everyone when it was being done in the first place. You have the right to see the plans and designs. No one complained then, why now? No one complained apparently when the temporary paint was on. From experience, the contractor can not lay the thermoplastic until 60 days after the bituminous mixture is layed. This is the time period when the projects design should have been reevaluated by your jurisdictional committees. You guys will have to pay for this as the DOT will not until you cause enough stink with the politicians at their level. Call a company named Florida Blacktop up in Pompano and have them evaluate it for you. You can email me as well if you have further questions as to the road. REMEMBER, IT IS YOUR ROADWAY!!! There are no standards that say they can not do the stripping(including more walks around the bussing zones)over if you want it(as long as it is within their standards). It just looks ugly on them if they do. Here is the standards and specifications link for roads and highways….
    http://www.dot.state.fl.us/SpecificationsOffice/Implemented/SpecBooks/2010Bk.shtm

    Regards…Your friendly road, highway, and site development supervisor

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  18. Matthew Schott says:

    Apparently, after reading more posts, this has been a long term battle with some higher influence. Why don’t you all try to meet in the middle? How many accidents have occured to date on the new design? How many before that? This is where you will begin the fight!
    BEAUTY SHOULD NEVER REPLACE SAFETY!!!!!!!!

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  19. Matthew Schott says:

    Also, remember that your local ordinances can change what you all want(is this a state owned road or a city owned road?). Takes time and many people (businesses) on board (even to the point of re-electing when that comes due), but….
    Was this ever brought to the local Board of Appeals? Before it was finalized?

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  20. Matthew Schott says:

    After reading a ton of other articles, I think some new blood is needed. Someone failed some of you. It seems not every voice was listened to, if even heard.

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  21. Matthew Schott says:

    And by the way…why is the FDOT designing an urban corridor? The specifications they are involved in usually relate to highways. Too many engineers think that they have to follow FDOT specs(its nice that they do in the way the road is CONSTRUCTED! But the design???). Whoever “designed” the road should never be allowed to design another in this type of setting. And the speed…I think I read it is at 50….people are going to end up dead…NO DOUBT!

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