NE 79th is unequivocally Miami’s worst urban street. The street is awkwardly configured with 3 lanes going west to east and 1 lane going east to west. Sometime in 2013 FDOT will begin a resurfacing project from I95 to the Biscayne Bay.
I’m plugged-in with what’s happening in my neighborhood and I happen to live 4 blocks away from 79th Street. About two months ago I found out that FDOT would be resurfacing NE 79th Street and apparently the FDOT has been conducting a series of meetings with “neighborhood stakeholders” in the last year. I am on the board of the MiMo Biscayne Association. Over the past two years we have met with FDOT officials on several occasions to discuss making safety improvements along Biscayne Boulevard. Not once during any of our meetings did FDOT mention that NE79th Street was due to be resurfaced. Where’s the community outreach? Why didn’t FDOT reach out to the MiMo Biscayne Association or Transit Miami?
With respect to Biscayne Boulevard, the MiMo Biscayne Association has been rebuffed by FDOT and they make every excuse not to make any safety improvement although I have documented over 15 crashes in less than a three-year period in which cars usually end up on the sidewalk. Basically, FDOT officials have said to us is “ Biscayne Boulevard was just recently resurfaced, so speak with us again in 20 years when we resurface again”. FDOT officials have also said “ safety is matter of perception”.
So let’s put outside FDOT’s lack of community outreach for now. I’ve heard that the current resurfacing project is only a “temporary solution”. WTF does “temporary solution” mean? Sounds exactly like the I395 “Bait and Switch” which FDOT just pulled with the “signature bridge” construction project. I’m very happy to see that Mayor Regalado and Commissioner Sarnoff have filed a lawsuit again FDOT.
My fear is that FDOT will pull the same “Bait and Switch”. They’ll do this resurfacing project with a promise to come back soon and we won’t hear from them again for another 20 years. Meanwhile, 79th Street will likely see a new train station along the FEC corridor in the next 7 years. There is a lot of new development happening in this area and pedestrian activity is increasing everyday, yet FDOT continues to design their roads as if it were 1960. They are clearly not planning for the future
My sources from within the city have informed me that FDOT has not conducted a traffic study or traffic count for 79th Street in 10 years. So I’m going assume that they haven’t conducted any pedestrians on cyclists counts either. Not that it matters since FDOT plays by their own set of rules and standards; they have little regard for anyone not in a vehicle.
FDOT’s current proposal is the equivalent of putting “lipstick on a pig”. Thanks to pressure from the North Palm Grove and Shorecrest neighborhood associations FDOT has agreed to add some lighting and 5 additional crosswalks in the scope of this project. But this is not good enough. FDOT can and should do a lot more.
The MiMo Biscayne Association’s has adopted a resolution regarding NE 79th Street. Transit Miami fully supports this resolution:
79th Street: Miami’s Worst Urban Street:
WHEREAS, the Florida Department of Transportation will begin
resurfacing 79TH Street beginning in August, 2014, and
WHEREAS, the FDOT Plan will do very little to improve safety for
pedestrians along this poorly design street, and
WHEREAS, 79TH Street from Biscayne Bay to I-95 has 3 lanes going west
to east and 1 lane going east to west, and
WHEREAS, little parking is available for the 79th Street small shop
owners aside from on-street spaces, and
WHEREAS, the eastbound lanes have a design speed of 45 MPH through
the heart of the city, and
WHEREAS, 79TH street is the focal point of the Upper Eastside
WHEREAS, the 79th Street merchants have joined with MiMo Boulevard
Association for support of their Urban Streets, and
WHEREAS, Both 79th Street and MiMo Boulevard merchants are
promoting the revitalization efforts taking place on those streets, and
WHEREAS, 79th Street and MiMo Boulevard are the two vital
commercial roadways that affect the economic redevelopment of the
Upper East Side,
THEREFORE, THE MIMO BISCAYNE ASSOCIATION AND THE 79TH STREET
BUSINESS ASSOCIATION CALL FOR THE FOLLOWING CHANGES AND
ADDITIONS TO THE PROPOSED FDOT ROADWAY PLAN:
1. CHANGE THE 3/1 EAST/WEST LANES ON 79TH TO 2/2 LANES
GOING EAST AND WEST.
2. CREATE AN 8’ PARKING LANES ON BOTH SIDEs OF 79TH STREET (Off-SET PARKING)
3. PROVIDE MINIMUM SAFETY STANDARDS BY PLACING
CROSSWALKS AT EACH INTERSECTIONS OF 79TH STREET AS WELL
AS MID-WAY BETWEEN THE INTERSECTIONS AT 7TH AND 10TH
4. REDUCE THE DESIGN SPEED OF 79TH Street to 30 mph.
The FDOT will be presenting their plans to North Palm Grove Neighborhood Association on Wednesday March 27 at 7:00 PM at Legion Park. This meeting is open to the public. Whether you live in the area or not, please consider attending this meeting. It’s important that Miamians take a stand against FDOT. Miami’s worst street can very easily become one of Miami’s best signature streets. FDOT will make every excuse in the book why they cannot make the improvements that are being recommended. It all boils down to BS excuses. If we can put a man on the moon, we can figure out a way to make our streets business and pedestrian friendly. Lack of will and vision from FDOT prevents any of this from happening.
Feel free to send an email to District 6 Secretary Gus Pego and let him know that FDOT’s current plan for 79th Street is not acceptable to anyone but FDOT.
(Community Commentary) It’s time for the
Lipton Sony Ericsson Open Nasdaq Key Biscayne Grand Prix Miami Masters Tennis Tournament! If you live, work, ride, beach, etc anywhere near the entrance to Rickenbacker Causeway… we recommend bicycling or mass transit. Or, at least, podcasts. With Miami-Dade County Bear Cut Bridge renovations already underway, event organizers are urging drivers to be extra careful. They reached out to TM directly and asked us to share the following with you: In short, organizers suggest you GET THERE EARLY. They don’t want anyone missing their Tennis. Also,
- Expect new traffic patterns to and from the Crandon Park Tennis Center.
- Bear Cut Bridge will continue to have two lanes traveling in each direction, just as in past years, however the outermost westbound lane of the bridge will be open to pedestrian and cyclist traffic only. As a result, westbound drivers headed toward Miami may be required to change lanes before crossing the bridge. The eastbound traffic pattern toward Key Biscayne will remain unchanged.
- Eastbound pedestrians and cyclists will be guided across Crandon Boulevard by a uniformed police officer. Drivers are urged to share the road with additional care.
- Consider taking the bus! Route B/ 102 will make regular stops at the Tournament’s main entrance, as well as the Brickell Metrorail Station, Brickell Financial District, Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami Seaquarium, the City of Key Biscayne, and Cape Florida State Park.
- Patrons who park in the Tournament’s General Parking lot, located on Arthur Lamb Road across the street from the Miami Seaquarium, will board free shuttles to the main entrance. Shuttles will run continuously throughout the day and up to an hour after the last evening match has been completed.
Florida traffic information is available by calling 511 or visiting www.fl511.com.
You can read more about these traffic modifications in our earlier blog post here. However, wherever you go, be safe. If you witness something that you think should be here, please try and get a photo plus any related information and contact us here.
The following post comes to us from TransitMiami reader Emily Eisennhauer. Emily is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Global & Sociocultural Studies at Florida International University. She is working on her dissertation titled “The Construction of Socio-Ecological Vulnerability to Climate Change in South Florida”, which is examining how governance networks and residents are thinking about Miami’s future under the threat of climate change, particularly sea level rise. Emily writes her own self-titled blog on the sociology of sustainability and climate change in Southeast Florida, where the following was originally posted.
Blarke Ingels will hold a lecture on the architectural works of BIG in Miami Beach that is free and open to the public — space is limited so please RSVP to email: RSVP_SI@edelman.com
March 26, 2013 @ 6:30pm (doors open at 5:30pm)
1040 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach
Bjarke Ingles founded BIG to develop designs that are programmatically and technically innovative as they are cost and resource conscious. Recently named one of the lead designers for the Smithsonian Masterplan, Bjarke was also named Wall Street Journal’s Innovator of the Year. He is among Fast Company’s Topo 100 Most Creative People in Design and has received the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale, as well as two National AIA Awards. In addition to overseeing his New York-based practice, he has taught at Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and Rice Universities. Bjarke is an honorary professor at the Royal Columbia and Rice Universities and is an honorary professor at the Royal Academy of Arts in Copenhagen. He is a frequent public speaker at venues such as TED, WIRED, Google’s Zeitgeist, and the World Economic Forum.
Last week I decided to place two orange traffic cones on my street in an attempt to calm traffic on NE 76 Street. For several years my neighbors, many of whom have small children, have pleaded with the County and City to do something about the speeding cars on NE 76th Street in Belle Meade. The traffic cones have worked remarkably well and my immediate neighbors seem to agree that cars have been moving noticeably slower since the traffic cones went up.
Sadly, there are too many haters in this world and one of my neighbors happens to be a hater. This afternoon an anonymous neighbor foiled my Belle Meade complete streets conspiracy. A few minutes ago a police officer knocked on my door and asked me to remove the traffic cones. He was extremely polite, cordial and even sympathetic to my traffic calming strategy. The cones have been removed and my neighbors and I are back to square one: my street has become a residential racetrack once again.
The City has tried enforcement; it has not worked. The City erected electronic signs asking motorists to slow down; it has not worked. This should come as a surprise to no one but the City and County. As long 76th Street is designed to encourage speeding, drivers will continue to accelerate down my residential street at 45+mph an hour. The only thing that will discourage drivers from speeding is if the road is designed to do so. Enforcement, electronic signs, educational campaigns, none of these strategies will work until the street is properly designed to discourage speeding.
My neighbors have also requested from the County that they erect stop signs at the NE 76th Street and NE 7th Court intersection in and attempt to slow down drivers. Last month the County conducted a traffic study and results of the study showed that there isn’t enough traffic to merit a 4-way stop sign at this intersection.
Last week I meet with County officials and they told me that the only traffic calming option available for this street is to build a $100,000 traffic circle. I asked about installing a speed table and was told that my block was not long enough to accommodate a speed table.
After my meeting with the County last week I spoke with my Transit Miami colleagues and our recommendation is a raised intersection *or raised crosswalks * at the NE 76th Street and NE 7th Court intersection. We believe this is the best option for Belle Meade and it would send a message to drivers that pedestrians are the priority in this residential neighborhood. It is also a much more economical solution. A raised intersections costs about $13,000 and a raised crosswalk costs about $4,000/crosswalk .We would also like to recommend that the speed limit be reduced to 20mph instead of the current 30mph speed limit. Belle Meade should strive to become Miami’s first Traffic-Calmed Neighborhood. People, not cars should be our first priority. I think a good argument can be made that if our streets are kid and people-friendly it would add value to our neighborhood by making it a much more desirable community to reside.
*It should be noted that raised intersections and raised crosswalks were not discussed with County officials.
It’s that time again! If you don’t already, it’s time to give biking to work a try. . . . It could very well change your life!
And, hey, you can even ride with a Mayor or two, or maybe even seven . . .
Friday, March 22 @ 8:30am
University Metrorail Station
5400 Ponce de Leon Blvd.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Gimenez will be joined by the six municipal Mayors who have partnered on the countywide Bike305 cycling initiative. They are encouraging residents to give up their car commute and pedal their bicycle to work.
Two tricycles, recently tuned up for the seniors at Bay Oaks – Miami’s historic retirement residence – gone. Broad daylight. The tricycles were locked and hidden from view behind a gate on the private property of the non-profit old folks’ home, just this week; just before any of the residents got to ride them.
Who does this?
Most of us have had a bike, car or other means of transportation taken from us.
It’s horrible. Violating. Nightmare and rage-inducing.
I’d like to believe there is a special place is Hell for such individuals, but the optimism is fleeting.
And then my friend told me about the BikeSpike.
How we used to (try to) prevent bike theft:
- Register your bike’s serial #. Keep insurance, any proof of purchase, up to date pictures.
- Paranoia. Only park in secured, enclosed Bike Corrals, bike valet or else use your local bikeshare program.
- Find your bike locked with a flat? Don’t leave her behind! It could be a trick!
- Just ride a really crappy bike! Or ugly one. But, but… why??
- Sign every Petition asking eBay and Craigslist to require serial # posting with ads. (I did.)
now really, really soon, there’ll be app for all that: The BikeSpike. It’s definitely the future of bicycle theft prevention. Let’s help get there faster.
“Spike your Bike with the world’s smallest GPS chipset with built-in antenna, an on-board accelerometer, and a connection to a global cellular network.”
Basically, the BikeSpike is the ‘Find My iPhone’ for your bike that we’ve all been waiting for. More than just allowing you and your local PD to track down your stolen wheels….
- You’re at work. Someone knocks your bike over – at your house. You get a text message.
- Your favorite city bike planner needs you to list all the places you ride so he can defend your safe-ish routes. You can share your data.
- You want to keep track of your training stats and compete with friends on your team who supposedly hit 35 going up the Bear Cut Bridge this morning. Um, yeah. BikeSpike tells the truth.
- In the event of a collision, the BikeSpike knows you’re down before the driver can even get away. Calls 911 plus your mom/significant other/roommate or whomever you designate.
- On a happier note, your many fans can follow your progress in a race, and thus can catch you at all the good cheering points. It fits all aero in a spiffy custom carbon-fiber bottle cage.
Wives, moms and boyfriends: The only way to make sure you get one for your beloved bicyclist is here. Early Bird price is temporarily $149. Why not get one for your favorite TM writers?
And if you’ve lost all hope, just remember: Sometimes, the good guys win!
- Bike Advocates Rule
- Craigslist Victory + High Speed Chase in the Pacific Northwest
- Lost & Found, Take 5.
- Local Hero, theMiamiBikeScene.
- Bike Love, the movie.
Keep your two (& three) wheels safe!
I live on wide collector residential street in a small neighborhood in the Upper East Side of Miami. Belle Meade is considered to be a “gated community” made up of about 450 homes. Many years ago the residents of Belle Meade decided to erect barricades and fencing along 6th Court in an attempt to curb crime. The barricading of the streets has resulted in only one ingress and egress for the community; if you driving you can only access Belle Meade through NE 76th Street.
In other words, NE 72nd Terrace, 73rd, 74th, 75th, and 77th Streets are pedestrian access only. The effects of barricading these streets are felt throughout the community. NE 76th has become the collector road for the neighborhood and people just can’t resist speeding through this residential street. Last week one of my neighbors came barreling through at nearly 50 mph. (Silver Land Rover, you know who you are)
My neighbors have complained about the situation for years, but no long-term fixes have been made. The City of Miami has tried enforcement and they have also erected temporary electric signs to warn motorists to drive carefully. Not surprisingly, neither of these two tactics have discouraged people from speeding. Last month the County Public Works Department conducted a traffic study and they found that there was not enough traffic to warrant a four way stop sign at NE 76th Street and NE 7th Court intersection.
Since no long-term solution has been found yet, I have decided to take it upon myself to calm the traffic on my street with orange cones. You would be surprised at how effective these traffic cones are. The introduction of traffic cones has noticeably calmed traffic on my street.
Yesterday my neighbors, whom live in Palm Grove, invited me to attend a meeting with several County officials to discuss speeding on their street. They also happen to live on NE 76th Street, but they reside on the west side of Biscayne Boulevard. The fact that Belle Meade has barricaded its streets also affects the traffic patterns on the west side of Biscayne Boulevard as well. Palm Grove residents have to deal with increased traffic and people speeding on what has become a residential collector street for them as well.
The County officials were really nice and they genuinely wanted to find a solution to my neighbors’ speeding problem on their street. I believe the County was receptive to installing a speed table on NE 76th Street in Palm Grove in order to calm traffic.
I invited the County officials to Belle Meade to see what could be done for my street. Although it was almost 6:30pm they were happy to accommodate me and agreed to check out my street. We walked along NE 76th Street and the County’s recommendation was to erect a $100,000 traffic circle at the intersection of NE 76th and NE 7th Court. I suggested a speed table, but was told that the block was too short to accommodate a speed table. No other alternatives were given to me and in all fairness this was really the first conversation I’ve had with the County regarding traffic calming on my street. My hope is that they are open to other traffic calming solutions.
After my meeting with the County yesterday evening, I spoke with my Transit Miami colleagues and our recommendation is a raised intersection or raised crosswalks at the NE 76th Street and NE 7th Court intersection. We believe this is the best option for Belle Meade and it would send a message to drivers that pedestrians are the priority in this residential neighborhood. It is also a much more economical solution. A raised intersections costs about $13,000 and a raised crosswalk costs about $4,000/crosswalk .We would also like to recommend that the speed limit be reduced to 20mph instead of the current 30mph speed limit.
Hopefully the County will agree with our recommendations.
FDOT is planning a two-year Alton Road construction project. Alton Road will be closed at several intersections and all traffic re-routed to a parallel street (West Ave). The project is scheduled to start this April. The project includes plans for reconstructing the road, installing new drainage, installing new lighting, signs, and pavement markings, and constructing concrete islands.
Given the duration and scale of the project, and the inevitable impact on the surrounding residential neighborhoods, residents have been asking FDOT for details on the implementation. As a result, FDOT has scheduled two public information meetings to provide the public with more information.
To me, there are many questions that still need answers. Will there be a bike lane on Alton Road? Will there be larger sidewalks and shade trees planted? Will it be easier and safer to cross Alton Road? When I attempt to cross Alton Road on 13th Street, the “count-down” next to my walking sign is on as soon as I step on the crosswalk. I have exactly 26 seconds to shuffle across – good thing I’m not an old lady with a cane. Cars, on the other hand, get 3 full minutes before the stop light turns green for pedestrians. Just another instance of how pedestrians in Miami are made to feel like second class citizens.
The project has a lot of potential to make Alton Road safer and a more desirable place for pedestrians and bikers. In its current state, I stay away from Alton Road as much as possible as it is nothing but a highway in the middle of the city, noisy, stinky, trafficky, and dangerous. Let’s see what FDOT has in store for us.
Middle Beach Meeting
6pm Tuesday March 19th
Miami Beach Golf Club
2301 Alton Road
Miami Beach FL 33140
South Beach Meeting
6pm Thursday March 21st
Police Athletic LEague
999 11th Street
Miami Beach FL 33139
We received this letter last week which was addressed to City Commissioner Sarnoff, County Commissioner Barreiro and FDOT District 6 Secretary Gus Pego. You can also send an email to them by clicking here.
Dear Commissioners Sarnoff and Barreiro and Mr. Pego,
I am writing to you this morning regarding a matter that is very troubling to me and one that I hope you will consider as part of your agenda: PEDESTRIANS IN THE URBAN CORE. As you are well aware, Miami is trying to become an urban city where people live, work and play– like Chicago or New York. In so doing, it needs to be an urban center that is thoughtfully planned so people can walk safely any time of the day or night. We should be able to walk our dogs, go to the market, or take a stroll to dinner. When you live in an urban core, like Brickell, where my family lives, you cannot be expected to take your car out for every little errand or just to go a few blocks. However, being that walking in the Brickell area is so difficult and dangerous to navigate, I feel like I must do so–compounding the traffic problem and the pedestrian problem. I am sure you agree that we need to make our urban center a place where all can feel safe to walk the streets. However, this is not the case at this point in time. Since I moved to Brickell I have been dismayed at the lack of attention and care given to pedestrians by drivers, construction workers, and city planners.
Walking from Brickell to Downtown. The other day I was walking to downtown from Brickell where we live. A group of us crossed the bridge, then were challenged to cross the street using two cross walks where cars dart at you around the curve where Brickell becomes Biscayne. We need better signals for pedestrians there. A cross walk is not enough; we need bright lights that signal when a pedestrian needs to cross (like is found in front of the FRESH MARKET in Coconut Grove on S Bayshore Drive). Even though we have the walk signal, cars still feel they can turn right on red without stopping. I have observed people run across that cross walk because cars were coming at them so quickly. Then as you continue to walk on 2nd ave and (a) there is no side walk because of construction of the Whole Foods–we actually had to walk on the street between downtown distributor and SE 2nd Street, and (b) there is no cross walk at the intersection of 2nd ave and SE 2nd Street!!! You literally run for it so you don’t get hit by a car. Enough is enough! This is one example of many. I invite you to walk along Brickell Ave and see how challenging it is to walk in a straight line (like you do in NY or Chicago) and feel safe, without having to navigate barricades and other obstacles in what is really an obstacle course.Transitmiami.com has done a wonderful job of highlighting what they called the Brickell “deathwalk” : http://www.transitmiami.com/
With the taxes we pay to live in the Brickell area, we must have the pedestrian walkways we deserve and have paid for–ones that you would want your grandmother or children to walk down. We need representatives like you to stand up for us and think creatively about ways we can emulate cities like Chicago, where I previously lived and always felt safe as a pedestrian. As the Brickell area becomes more populated with CitiCenter and other developments, this will become more and more of a moral imperative. People are getting hurt and people’s lives are at stake here. As citizens and taxpayers, we should be able to walk the streets–elderly, children, groups, etc– without fear of tripping on obstacles or being hit by a car. This is a very serious matter or moral proportions that deserves your immediate attention.I will be forwarding this email to Felipe Azenha of Transit Miami.com and will also bring up the issue at the board meeting of Icon Brickell.I appreciate your attention to this matter and look forward to hearing about the ways you can alleviate this dangerous problem.
View the prize-wining installation of the 2012 DawnTown design/build competition at HistoryMiami.
Thursday, March 21, 2013 @ 6:30pm
101 West Flagler Street
For the past five years, DawnTown’s annual design ideas competition has attracted designers from around the world to present new and creative possibilities for Miami. This year’s winning design, Up-Downtown, is an international collaboration between Jacob Brillhart (Miami, Fl, USA) and Manuel Clavel-Rojo (Murcia, Spain).
Up-Downtown interactively presents the rapid rise of downtown Miami over an extended period of time.
HistoryMiami Members: Free
RSVP by March 18: 305 375 5356 | RSVP@historymiami.org
Friend of TransitMiami.com and the Purple Line | U+Transit pop-up installation, Leah Weston, put together a fantastic map that puts Miami’s rail transit into national and international perspective. Have a look!
As Weston says, “the image speaks for itself”.
Go ahead and click on it. The enlarged version is much better.
The FDOT has plans to resurface 79th Street in 2014, yet it looks like very little will be done to improve safety for pedestrians along this poorly designed street. 79th Street from Biscayne Bay to I95 has 3 lanes going west to east and 1 lane going east to west. The eastbound lanes have a design speed of 45mph+ through the heart of the city. This is unconscionable and downright irresponsible of the FDOT.
The FDOT is touting that they will “Install five new mid-block pedestrian crossings at various locations, including near the Little River Branch Library”. Really? This is the best they can do? How about crosswalks at every intersection? Crosswalks at every intersection should be the FDOT’s minimum safety standard. More importantly, this road needs to be converted back into two lanes in each direction with one street parking; 82nd Street should also be converted back into a two-way. Additionally, either bike lanes or sharrows need to be added to the scope of this project.
Please attend this meeting on March 6th. Unfortunately, I will not be unable to attend. Transit Miami will be following this project very closely and making plenty of noise about it.
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