Additional Traffic Calming Needed ahead of Park Opening
Over the past few weeks, Miami-Dade County Public Works has begun to upgrade the streetscape on South Miami Avenue through the heart of Brickell, specifically from Broadway to SW 8th St. As reported earlier on TransitMiami, these upgrades include ‘zebra’ crosswalks, additional signage and lane striping.
Recently, a bicycle lane and ‘sharrows’ were added to South Miami Avenue on this segment, as well as ‘sharrows’ on Brickell Plaza and through Mary Brickell Village. Additionally, the chaotic and confusing intersection at SW 12th St. and S. Miami Avenue has been slightly reconfigured with bollards to prevent ‘soft left’ turns.
As the new Triangle Park nears it’s completion, a need for additional traffic calming in the area is painfully obvious to allow residents a safe way to access the park. Presently, with a green light at the intersection of SW 13th Street and S. Miami Avenue, it is possible for a motorist to continue unimpeded from the Broadway roundabout all the way to SW 10th street. Such a long stretch with no stop signs allows motorists to gain unsafe rates of speed through Brickell. There are no traffic calming mechanisms (raised crosswalks, stop signs, sidewalk bulb-outs, etc.) to alert drivers that they are entering an area with dense pedestrian traffic and speeds of 45mph+ are dangerous and unacceptable.
Just a block down S. Miami Ave from the park, in Mary Brickell Village, no mid-block crosswalk exists to connect the two sides of the street. Understandably, pedestrians frequently weave through parked (and moving) cars to cross the street. The need for a safely marked midblock crossing is so obvious it’s almost comical that it does not exist.
I attended the groundbreaking ceremony for Brickell’s new ‘Flatiron Park’ in October. During Commissioner Sarnoff’s speech, cars were flying down S. Miami Avenue at ridiculous speeds, completely inappropriate for a pedestrian-oriented neighborhood. No motorists were yielding to pedestrians. Mothers with strollers, people walking their pets, individuals in wheelchairs were all having difficulty crossing the street. Watching SUV’s hurl themselves at the intersection outside Baru Urbano and aggressively brake just in time for the crosswalk was unnerving. Unfortunately, this is an everyday occurrence.
This hazardous situation could be mitigated with a stop sign at SW 11th street, pictured below. As reported earlier on TransitMiami, the manager of Rosinella has personally witnessed an average of 5 accidents a year at this intersection.
This only scratches the surface of the improvements to make the area truly ‘pedestrian-friendly’. A walk down SE 1st Avenue by the busy MetroRail and bus stations will show you that. (No pavement marking, no crosswalks, no stop signs – only speeding vehicles) Currently, there is a plan for a complete streetscape overhaul of South Miami Ave. that is scheduled for 2014.
How many more accidents and close calls will we see before then?
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