My neighbors and I have been trying for several months to get the County and the City to do something about the out-of-control speeding problem on our street, but sadly the County and City have been dragging their feet and nothing has been done to address this very serious issue. Meanwhile drivers continue to speed on this residential street, at times hitting speeds of nearly 50mph.

Last week, the “Cone Fairy” swopped into Belle Meade in the middle of the night, and placed three traffic cones on NE 76th Street in an attempt to calm traffic on my street. Apparently the Cone Fairy is also sick and tired of the lack of progress by the County and City and she has taken it upon herself to place cones in the middle of the street in order to calm traffic. It appears that a small minority of my neighbors are not pleased with the cones nor do they seem to think that speeding is enough of a concern to properly address this very important issue.

A couple of weeks ago the Belle Meade HOA decided to take a vote on what to do:

This is the direction they choose to take:

1.       Continue on-going process to have stamped asphalt (brick look) to all the crosswalks presently in Belle Meade.  This will add some aesthetics to the streetscape plus make the crosswalks more prominently visible to vehicle operators.

2.       Further pursue the installation of stop signs on 76th Street at NE 7th Court – both east and west bound – in an effort to slow traffic as it makes its way between 7thand 8th Avenues.  The County recently conducted a traffic study of this location to determine the eligibility for these signs and concluded that they were not warranted based on traffic flow.  Those in attendance last night requested that the HOA Board pursue the installation anyway through the political process based upon wanting to slow traffic.  The next step is to contact our County Commissioner, Edmonson, since traffic signage is under the county and get direction from her on how we should proceed.

3.       Initiate a public awareness/education program in Belle Meade to bring attention to the increased number of children in our neighborhood and the need to obey all the traffic regulations when driving through the neighborhood.

Yesterday my neighbor, Jenny Page sent the below email to Commissioner Edmonson and Commissioner Sarnoff in a desperate attempt to get the County and City to do something.

Dear Mr. Sarnoff,

I am a voter and we met one day at our house for a campaign visit.  We were delighted to meet you in person and believe you have done well by Miami and particularly in Belle Meade. I am writing to ask you if you could help make our neighborhood safer by installing 2 stop signs on the intersection where we live, at NE 76th Street and 7th Court.  I am attached a visual map illustrating the exact location and surrounding families.

This is one of the only intersections in Belle Meade without a stop sign and people are speeding like crazy – like 40-50mph sometimes – up and down 76th because of it.  As you probably know it is the street with the guard gate and so many cars are using this street.  There are other, quieter streets/intersections with stop signs so it seems odd that there would not be one here.

Our neighborhood has met about this but there is some discord about what to do, many expensive options came about like a traffic circle, raised sidewalks etc.

It seems to me that a simple stop sign would at least slow drivers down.  This option is inexpensive and causes little inconvenience.

We live right on the NE corner of this intersection and within the 2 blocks of 76th that are affected by the speeders are at least 5 dogs, and 12 children.  The constant speeding of cars puts all people walking, biking, playing in our neighborhood in jeopardy.

Please advise if this is a possibility and what our block could do to move this concern forward.

Jenny Page

 

 Dear Ms. Edmonson and Staff,

I am a voter and taxpayer residing on NE 76th Street in Belle Meade.  We send our kids to the lovely public Morningside K-8 Academy and love the fact that we can walk there.  Though on our street we experience excessive speeding which makes it more dangerous than it has to be.

I am writing to ask you if you could help make our neighborhood safer by installing 2 stop signs on the intersection where we live, at NE 76th Street and 7th Court.  I am attached a visual map illustrating the exact location and surrounding families with kids and grandkids.

This is one of the only intersections in Belle Meade without a stop sign and people are speeding like crazy – like 40-50mph sometimes – up and down 76th because of it.  This is the entrance/exit street for the neighborhood and so many cars are using this street.  There are other, quieter streets/intersections with stop signs so it seems odd that there would not be one here, where there is the most traffic.

Our neighborhood has met about this but there is some discord about what we can do, many expensive options came about like a traffic circle, raised sidewalks etc.

It seems to me that a simple stop sign would at least slow drivers down.  This option is inexpensive and causes little inconvenience and the tradeoff for a safer community is important.

We live right on the NE corner of this intersection and within the 2 blocks of 76th that are affected by the speeders are at least 5 dogs, and 12 children.  The constant speeding of cars puts all people walking, biking, playing in our neighborhood in jeopardy.

Please advise if this is a possibility and what our block could do to move this concern forward.

Many thanks for all your help with our Miami Community!

Jenny Page

 

We here are Transit Miami have been advocating for raised crosswalks, raised intersections or a speed tables. Although we don’t think a stop sign is the ideal solution to calm traffic in the long term, at this point we are willing to compromise with a stop sign if the County were to allow it.

Raised Crosswalk

Raised Crosswalk

Raised intersection

Raised intersection

Speed table. Not to be confused with speed bumps.

Speed table. Not to be confused with speed bumps.

As for the stamped brick crosswalks, it is a complete waste of money and will not calm traffic. I really hope the city does not agree to waste more money on silly infective urban planning in Belle Meade. Urban planning by majority rule clearly has not worked thus far: i.e. the Belle Meade fence. (see video below)

Stamped brick crosswalks will not calm traffic.

Stamped brick crosswalks will not calm traffic.

This  leads me to ask a question- Why isn’t the City of Miami Planning Department involved in any of these decisions? This department has some wonderful professionals. Instead the city’s Capital Improvement Projects Department and the County Public Works Department is involved in all of these decisions.

Something needs to give and City and County need to stop dragging their feet asap before a child is killed in my neighborhood.

If something isn’t done asap I have a feeling that the Cone Fairy will be back with a vengeance.  After all she is just looking out for children, parents with strollers, cyclists and pets. It’s really a shame that some of my neighbors can’t appreciate the  good intentions of the Cone Fairy.

 

 

15 Responses to County and City Fail to Calm Traffic in Belle Meade

  1. CB says:

    Over on the Palm Grove side of 76th Street the city put up a temporary electric sign (construction type) warning people not to speed. Drivers like to floor it to make the light at Biscayne & 76th.

    Also, (North) Palm Grove has it’s HOA meeting tonight at Legion Park at 7pm, you are welcome to come by and discuss this issue with us.

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  2. Thanks for the invite CB.
    Those electric signs won’t do a thing to calm traffic.

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  3. adam says:

    why do you think that the textured crosswalks won’t do anything? It lets the drivers know that they aren’t driving on a “regular” (high speed) street and highlights the pedestrian crossings better than paint.

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  4. CB says:

    Good news, i was informed at the meeting that the west side of 76th had a traffic study done a few weeks back and qualifies for traffic calming measures (speed bumps, etc). In the process of setting up a meeting with the city to see our options.

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  5. Hi Adam,
    Unless the crosswalk is raised it won’t change the design speed of the street.

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  6. robin says:

    I’ve noticed people not only parking at crosswalk intersections in Belle Meade, but people parking against traffic on the opposite side of the street when then come into the community to utilize the park. It’s very dangerous.

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  7. Czarnoff says:

    Sarnoff is only worried about traffic in his own neighborhood, hence the infamous Sarnoff Circle in front of his house.

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  8. adam says:

    decreasing building setbacks or planting trees along the street won’t change the design speed either, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t calm traffic. People drive more slowly when there are textured streets, marked crosswalks, and buildings right up to sidewalk. It’s not the best option, but it’s better than nothing.

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  9. Agreed to a certain extent Adam.

    At this point doing nothing is not an option, but throwing money at a problem that will not resolve the issue isn’t the answer either. The county and city have to embrace the concept of complete streets and traffic calming. No better place to start then on my street.

    The “better than nothing” logic got us the notorious Belle Meade fence. We all know how well that went down. We threw money at the problem and we will see no reduction in crime. Better than nothing seems like a losing proposition for everyone.

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  10. adam says:

    but there is tremendous downside to the fence, as you have noted previously—it was actually worse than nothing. There is not really any negatives to having a textured crosswalk, other than the cost, and it is probably one of the least expensive options available, after changing speed limits and adding stop signs. There are a bunch of streets that suffer from speeding in my neighborhood (El Portal) that would benefit greatly from improvements like those, but take a look at 87th St. between NE 2nd Ave. and the FEC tracks: it used to have “speedway” traffic on it, but the addition of textured crosswalks, more street trees, and interesting landscaping really slow things down and make it very nice to walk/ride along.

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  11. You’re right Adam, there aren’t any negatives that I can think of with textured crosswalks, but I think our tax dollars can be used for much more effective traffic calming that will actually deliver results. Zebra crosswalks are probably just as effective as stamped crosswalks for a fraction of the cost. The area that you speak of-87th St. between NE 2nd Ave. and the FEC tracks- those aren’t stamped crosswalks. Those are cobbled intersections. They are far more effective than the stamped crosswalks. That street is also narrow, there are medians, landscaping, a traffic circle and stops sign. All of these traffic calming features make for a great complete street! El Portal has done a great job with their streets and should be congratulated. It’s one of my favorite neighborhoods to ride through!

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  12. Retired DINK says:

    You need to start paying attention to the fact that other than a few desperate housewives, no one shares your point of view. To top it off, you lie about not knowing who has been responsible for placing cones yet you brag about it on your blog. You’re the biggest piece of entertainment we’ve had in a long time in Belle Meade because your narcissistic stupidity and rambling blogs are better than any reality show. However the sad truth is that you are too foolish and stubborn to see that you live in a great community that has always been calm until you started calling us haters and stupid. If you don’t agree with something and the majority does, then why can’t you accept the vote and move on? Us DINKS and retires have nothing but time on our hands to outvote you.

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  13. Mike Arias says:

    In reference to the current safety issues currently occuring in this neighborhood with speeders you may wish to consider the following proposals which I as a public safety roadway safety advocate have previously submitted to Miami Dade public works for their consideration fro various intersections located in west Dade district # 10 and for use throughout Miami Dade County as well wherever applicable.

    In lieu of the traditional stop signs which are night they may or are not be very visible depnding on the lighting sources available in the neighborhood for motorists to visualize there are stop signs available with LED flashing lights which makes them very conspicous in the daytime or at night time / solar powered that would automatically activate via radar of the oncoming for an adequate time interval.

    In addition to the proposed stop signs with high conspicous flashing red colored lights speed reduction devices often refered to as progressive rumble sticks which are currently in use before entering the toll plazas on the Florida turnpike and exit ramps on the 836 eastbound at NW 45 ave as well that can be installed before the stop sign 300 ft in advance in series of 100 ft intervals to progessively assist to reduce the speed of the oncoming vehicles thereby reducing the potential for speeders before the intersection and also reduce the potential risks for them to also run thru the stop signs at the intersection as well which is a very common occurence and frequent traffic infraction often having fatal consequences for motorists and or local residents ( pedestrians and / or bicyclists) as well.

    In addition, adding the wording Stop Ahead on the pavement of the roadway 300 ft before the intersection in 100 ft intervals will also aid the motorists to read the signage imprinted on the roadway in large size letters.

    These alternate proposals are much less expensive to install and maintain versus a proposed traffic circle in a neighborhood which depending on the space allocation available the diameter of the circle may later create turning issues for commercial type of vehicles that routinely need to provide essential services in the neighborhood such as garbage pickup, contruction, landscaping, and emergency vehicles.

    I certainly hope that, the current public safety concerns currently exisitng in the neighborhood will be satisfactorily resolved by the local elected and roadway entity officials in a timely manner before a preventable tragedy occurs at this location.

    For the record the traffic circles, calming devices or roundabouts are in my estimation of a safety concern for pedestrians and bicyclists in the residential neighborhoods since the majority of the motorists are speeding to enter the circles to beat potential oncoming vehicles.

    Once again speed reduction devices in my estimation need to be installed on the pavement of the roadway 300 ft / 100 ft intervals before the traffic circles is a prudent safety measure in order to insure 24 / 7 that, motorists will substantially reduce their travel speeds as they are approaching and / or entering the traffic circles which is to everyones public safety vested interests.

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  14. The last thing Belle Meade or any other residential neighborhood needs is infective LED flashing lights. They are expensive to install and maintain and don’t calm traffic.

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  15. Mike Arias says:

    Hello Felipe,

    Although you are certainly to your opinions and views I would suggest that in the future before you critique someones suggestion or proposal that you first become familiar with the proposed product.

    For the record the proposed Stop signs with the built in flashing LED lights are highly visible for motorists to visualize in either day or night time operating conditions which have been in use in several cities on the west coast of Florida for a number of years with very satisfactory results.

    They have been installed in numerous hazardous intersections and have significantly contributed to reducing the number of lateral types of collisions which were previously occuring at these 4 way stop intersection locations as well as the injuries and fatalities.

    The cost to purchase the proposed stop signs with the warning lights are much less than to install than a traffic signal device at an intersection to control traffic which no one wants installed in the corner of their residential neighborhood.

    To the best of my knowledge there is simply nothing currently available on the market that is failsafe ( other than the operator of the vehicle) to prevent a reckless driver from speeding and either running thru a stop sign or a red light as well at an intersection.

    In addition, the costs for any type of a traffic control devices are insignificant when compared to the life cycle of these components as well as the costs that will be incurred by the roadway entity agency responsible whenever a lawsuit is filed against them ( that will then cost millions of dollars to settle utilizing taxpayer funds) as a result of someone either being seriously or killed on a public roadway with a documented history.

    The other point that I would like to make is that, the installation of any type of a stop sign (whether it is standard model or the ones proposed with the flashing LED lights)they will certainly not prevent a motorists from speeding on a public roadway thru a residential area only the operator of the vehicle can control this process.

    However, with the addition of the proposed progressive speed reduction devices installed on the pavement of the public roadways currently in use on the Florida turnpike and other locations as well ( which you failed to mention in your critique) they will certainly serve to deter potential speeders.

    It is unfortunate that, the local officials from the various roadway entities are not progressive to help prevent a tragedy from occuring on the public roadways but rather are regressive and or opt to operate in a post reactive method after the fact in liue of before a tragedy occurs at a location on a public roadway.

    They often opt to ignore potential safety issues that are currently occuring on the public roadways (hoping that, they are either going to go away or magically disappear, or believe that it is going to resolve itself on its own accord which is simply not ever going to realistically happen therefore every prudent safety measure in my estimation needs to be taken by them to insure the public safety of everyone traveling on the public roadways.

    Anytime that you would like to take a half day tour as a sample of numerous potential safety hazards currently exisitng on various public roadways throughout Miami Dade County let me know and perhaps we can then schedule it.

    After the half day tour is over you will be very surprised and will also be in shock which will hopefully provide you with a better insight understanding as to the carnage currently occuring to motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists as well on all of the local public roadways throughout Miami Dade and the State of Florida as well which the majority of the tragedies 60 % can be prevented thru better safer designed roadways and additional use of safety roadway equipment.

       0 likes

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