Currently viewing the tag: "FDOT"

The Miami Hurricane is reporting that Marie Cushmore, a senior at the University of Miami was struck by a Ford Expedition while crossing U.S. 1 and Mariopsa Court last Wednesday around 9:30pm.

Unfortunately, this is not the first accident here. According to The Miami Hurricane this intersection has had a history of accidents involving UM student pedestrians. About five years ago, UM student Ashley Kelly was killed when she was hit by a SUV that ran a red light on U.S. 1 and Mariposa Court.

It gets worse. Since 1990, seven students have been struck crossing Ponce de Leon Boulevard and U.S. 1. Three of the incidents have resulted in death.

There has been talk of building a pedestrian overpass across U.S. 1 at Mariposa. I for one hope this never gets built.  Building a pedestrian overpass is not the solution as most people will not to use it and will continue to cross at grade level.  The solution is to calm traffic in this area. It is unrealistic to expect healthy students to safely cross 6 lanes of traffic while cars are moving in excess of 50 mph. Can you imagine how an elderly person or someone with a physical disability must feel trying to cross U.S 1? How many more pedestrians need to die before FDOT decides to calm traffic on U.S. 1?

Please send an email to Mr. Gus Pego District 6 secretary letting him know that you are not satisfied with the existing conditions on U.S. 1.

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August 24, 2010

The very same Brickell Avenue bus stop was taken out again last night.  This is at least the fourth time in two years that this has occurred. Our call for reducing the design speed of Brickell Avenue has fallen on deaf ears and FDOT has refused to make this area safer for pedestrians and motorists.

March 2010

We have spoken to our sources at the City of Miami and they have confirmed that FDOT has been made aware of the problem at this intersection. After reviewing crash data from the last three available years, FDOT research does not indicate any crash pattern or safety concerns related to lack of beacons or the design of the roadway. We beg to differ.

We can confidently say that there is a crash pattern here and there are undeniable safety concerns on this dangerous curve. How many more times are we going to erect the same bus stop, on the same dangerous curve, without addressing the design of the roadway? And if we are going to keep the same unacceptable roadway design, the very least we can do is move the bus stop to a safer location before someone is seriously injured.

Flashing beacons may help, but much more needs to be done here and for the rest of Brickell Avenue. It is imperative that we change the design speed of Brickell Avenue.

Please send an email to Mr. Gus Pego District 6 secretary letting him know that you are not satisfied with the existing conditions on Brickell Avenue.

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A couple of weeks ago I met with FDOT representatives regarding the Brickell Avenue resurfacing project which will break ground sometime in January 2011. The project is expected to take two years to complete.  The scope of the project is relatively large and includes a new drainage system with pump house, as well as the resurfacing of Brickell Avenue.  New crosswalks and sidewalk lighting will be part of the upgrade too.

We decided to conduct our meeting more like a field trip and agreed to meet on the NE corner of Brickell Avenue and Coral Way. We spent about twenty minutes here and observed traffic patterns, pedestrians jay walking, and cyclists riding on the sidewalk.  I pointed out that cyclists were riding on the sidewalk because the design speed of Brickell Avenue exceeds 40 mph discouraging inexperienced cyclists from riding on the road. FDOT representatives disagreed somewhat with my assessment.  I tried to explain that if we calmed traffic and reduced the design speed and speed limit on Brickell Avenue to 30 mph, and added sharrows, cyclists would feel more comfortable riding on the road.  My suggestions for calming traffic included:

  • Narrowing the travel lanes from 11ft to 10 ft
  • Consider the use of raised crosswalks
  • Consider roundabouts (I was told there was not enough ROW)
  • Removal of green arrows that direct motorists to turn right on red
  • Make it illegal to turn right on red
  • Additional crosswalks (SE 14th Terrace SE 11th Street)

I was told that adding crosswalk wasn’t possible since FDOT has to follow strict guidelines that don’t allow traffic signals to be any closer than 300-400 yards from one another.  We need more crosswalks; period. Pedestrians should not be forced to cross 4 lanes of traffic without a proper crosswalk; nor should we be forced to walk 2-3 blocks to find a crosswalk. Crosswalk should not be placed every 2-3 blocks, but rather on every block. Lack of crosswalks forces people to jaywalk.

FDOT has until 2011 to implement sharrows. Currently there are no plans for them; however, the FDOT representatives did inform me that sharrows could possibly be included.  There is one caveat; sharrows can only be used on streets which have a speed limit below 35 mph. The area from SE 15th Street to SE 5th would qualify since the speed limit is 35 mph.  The area from SE 15th Street to SW 25th Street would not, since it has a 40 mph speed limit. I suggested the speed limit be reduced to 30 mph from SE 15th Street to SE 5th and also reduce the speed limit from SE 15th Street to SW 25th Street to 35 mph, thereby making all of Brickell Avenue sharrow worthy.

There is a lot more that FDOT should be doing, we only had 45 minutes and walked only about 5 blocks during our field trip. The FDOT representatives told me that I should work with the Miami DDA, local elected officials, and the Brickell Avenue Homeowners Association to make Brickell safer for pedestrians. Personally, I think FDOT needs to take the lead here. The lack of progressive urbanism on FDOT’s part is inexcusable and their autocentric focus needs to end.

I will be meeting with the Bickell Avenue Homeowners association, the DDA, Green Mobility Network, and hopefully Commissioner Sarnoff in the coming weeks.  We here at Transit Miami are not taking this project lightly and we need everyone’s help here. Please send an email to Gus Pego District 6 secretary and let him know you want and deserve a better Brickell Avenue.

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The word on the livable street is that FDOT will begin a major resurfacing project on Brickell Avenue early next year.  Brickell Avenue will be resurfaced from SE 25th Road to SE 5th Street (approximately 1.5 miles).

This is an excellent opportunity for FDOT to shows its commitment to livable streets. Brickell Avenue is one of the most densely populated and pedestrianized areas in all of Florida; it is a destination, not a thoroughfare, therefore it needs to be designed in such a way that speeding is discouraged.

The current design plans for this project call for the same 11 foot travel lanes, no bicycle facilities, and improved crosswalks. This project will come under close scrutiny of Transit Miami (we have high expectations).  If you have any suggestions for FDOT, please use the comments section. We really need everyone’s help on this one. Together we can make Brickell Avenue a safe place for people to walk, bike and drive.

Well folks, yours truly, is moving from Brickell to Belle Mead. I’ve just purchased a home with my wife and we should be moving into the neighborhood in a couple of weeks.  So don’t be surprised to hear a lot more about issues affecting the Upper East Side on this blog.

I’ll start by saying this, “Biscayne Boulevard is a disaster”! There ain’t no two ways about it. The recent FDOT resurfacing project, for the most part, was designed solely to move cars faster. Pedestrians and cyclists were not given much consideration while designing this roadway. I consider myself an experienced cyclist, but even I will tell you to avoid riding your bike on Biscayne Boulevard. And if you are a pedestrian then forget about it, crosswalks are few and far in between and of poor quality. Biscayne Boulevard is extremely wide, making it difficult for anyone that is not in tip-top shape to cross the street.

Travel lanes are extremely wide, which encourages cars to speed. The speed limit is 35mph, but the design speed of the roadway is closer to 45-50mph. Needless to say, not pedestrian or cyclist friendly either.

That being said, we have a chance to ask FDOT to design a roadway at a more human scale.

FDOT is conducting a Pedestrian Mobility and Safety Study along Biscayne Boulevard at the request of area residents. The limits of the project extend from NE 77th Street to NE 87th Street.

Possible upgrade include the restriping of crosswalks for greater visibility, enhancing signals and adding traffic control devices to make it safer for pedestrians to cross the road.

A public information meeting is being held on Thursday, July 15, 2010 from 6-8 p.m at Legion Memorial Park, located at NE 7 Ave, Miami, FL for more information contact Gus Pego, District 6 Secretary”.

Hope to see you there!

Thanks to Collin Worth, Bicycle Coordinator for the City of Miami, for sending this video to  Transit Miami. The Safe Routes to School Pedestrian & Bike PSAs are part of the Safe Routes to School Awareness Campaign that the University of Miami and CBS have done with the Florida Department of Transportation - District Six.

UM/CBS will have this contract running until the end of August.  The PSAs also have Spanish and Haitian Creole versions that are running on Mega TV and Island TV, respectively as part of the SRTS Media campaign.

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The FDOT District Six Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Office is proud to announce that live traffic video tours are now available on www.sunguide.org.

More than 100 Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras are streaming live onto the website from all around the major district roadways in Miami-Dade County, including Interstates 75, 95, 195, 395, State Road 826 (Palmetto Expressway) and U.S. 1.  The feeds are grouped into ten ‘video tours’ according to their location and roadway.  They broadcast approximately ten camera feeds each that change approximately every twenty seconds to provide users with a snapshot of real-time traffic conditions along their selected portion of the highway.

Users can access the video tours 24 hours per day, 7 days per week to preview roadway conditions before getting on the highway.  However, for more detailed traffic reports, users are still encouraged to log on to www.fl511.com.

This enhancement is part of the Department’s effort to provide users with accurate and reliable traveler information.  Providing real-time information, such as live traffic videos, empower motorists to make informed decisions along their travels, helping them avoid delays that contribute to roadway congestion.

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It’s only taken FDOT 7 months, but they finally tried to fix the Coral Way bike lanes.  As some of you may recall, back in October, I performed a detailed evaluation of the new bike lanes and made suggestion for improvement.

Thanks to pressure from of our readers FDOT agreed to improve the bike lanes. According to Transit Miami sources, FDOT is done with the repair work. Unfortunately I do not have good news to report.  FDOT gave it the old college try, and as a result, the bike lanes do not get the Transit Miami seal of approval. Essentially all FDOT did was remove the white lines that incorrectly terminated the bike lanes at every intersection.

Coral Way bike lanes before repairs

Coral Way bike lanes after FDOT repairs

Personally, I’m kinda tired of FDOT’s antics.  They should have gotten it right the first time and if they needed to fix it, they should have done it correctly. These reindeer games need to come to an end.

Perhaps FDOT could get in touch with the County Public Works Department. The PWD just painted some great bike lanes on SW 2nd Avenue. I’m sure PWD would be glad to educate FDOT on bicycle lane design.  The bike lanes on SW 2nd Avenue are clearly defined with two white lines that demarcate it nicely. Peg-a-tracking is placed in potential conflict areas such as intersections and driveways. PWD produced a textbook example of what a REAL bike lane should look like. The bike lane design PWD selected is entirely suitable for this particular street.  Well done PWD! Now if we can just get FDOT on board. Please help us; we need your help PWD!

New bike lanes on SW 2nd Avenue. Please observe the peg-a-traking through the intersections and the double white line that clearly demarcates the bike lane.

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Today’s quote of the day comes from FDOT spokeswoman Barbara Kelleher.  She spoke to the Miami Herald about a recent report issued by the Daily Beast which designated I-95 in Florida as the most deadly highway in the nation.

It’s no longer possible to add lanes.  We don’t have the money to buy all those homes and all that right-of-way in order to add lanes to what’s already there.”

Kelleher goes on to say:

“What can be done, has been done already: Installing express lanes in Miami-Dade — and eventually in Broward — to separate long-haul drivers from short-range commuters, and using signals at on-ramps so motorists don’t crowd onto the expressway at once.”

Ummm….how about public transit?  Is that not an option? I’m glad FDOT does not have the money to purchase all the homes and all the right-of-way necessary to expand 1-95.  They would be delaying the inevitable- we would be in the same predicament 20 years from now. Then what? Buy more homes and more right-of-way?

I’d like to remind FDOT that the “T” in FDOT stands for Transportation. Transportation is not limited to motor vehicles and highway expansion. Rail, bicycling and walking are considered transportation too!

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A recent article in the Miami New Times compares the Port of Miami Tunnel project to the Big Dig in Boston.  For those of you that are not familiar with the Big Dig, it was the most expensive highway project in the U.S.  In 1985 the cost of the project was estimated to be $4 billion; the Big Dig project ended up costing $22 billion when it was finally completed in 2005. The Port of Miami Tunnel project is estimated to cost $1 billion dollars.  It quietly broke ground last week and is expected to be completed by 2014.

These two projects differ greatly.  The most recent issue of Next American City covered the positive impacts of the Big Dig and how this huge infrastructure project had a positive impact on Boston and transformed the city by reconnecting areas which were previously bisected by elevated trains and highways. Peter Vanderwarker, author of The Big Dig: Reshaping an American City had this to say about the Big Dig:

You’ve liberated 100 acres of land in the middle of one of the most historic cities in the United States. You’ve removed cars and pollution from to surface.”

Boston now is a different city.

The old road was noisy, dirty smelly and ugly. [Its removal} has transformed neighborhoods.  In the North End, businesses are flourishing and because of improved access, South Boston is now a very attractive place-sort of like Brooklyn of Boston.”

As is the case here in Miami, many Bostonians were skeptical if the Big Dig was worth the large investment. Today many of the skeptics in Boston may now agree that the Big Dig has made Boston a better city.

I am admittedly skeptical of the Miami Port Tunnel project and the only thing that I believe the Big Dig and the Port of Miami Tunnel project will share in common is cost overruns.  So I think it is unfair to compare the two; the scope of each project is very different. The Big Dig transformed Boston into a more livable city. This massive project reclaimed once dilapidated areas and created 27 acres of parkland. The Miami Port Tunnel on the other hand is just that; a tunnel.

I don’t believe the Miami Port Tunnel will have the same transformative effect on downtown as many in Miami claim. Yeah, we will remove a few trucks from downtown, but what else will this billion dollar project deliver? Quicker access to the port for trucks? Removal of trucks from downtown? We can remove the trucks from downtown by creating an inland port that could be connected by the existing rail line for a fraction of the price.

Is the investment really worth it?

According to the Department of Transportation, in 1992 32,000 vehicles entered the port every day. Today, that number has declined to 19,000, and only 16 percent of that traffic is trucks. Apparently the Port of Miami is losing business to Port Everglades which happens to be much larger and access to Port Everglades is much easier for truckers according to the Miami New Times.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe the Port of Miami can handle post-panamex ships either. I believe Port Everglades may already have this capability, or will in the near future. In order for the Port of Miami to handle post-panamex ships the port would need to be dredged in order to accommodate the new larger ships which are coming online.

For the most part, it sounds like Port Everglades already holds a competitive advantage over the Port of Miami; a tunnel will not help close the gap. The Port of Miami will never handle the capacity of cargo that Port Everglades can, nor should it strive to.

Much like Alaska’s Bridge to Nowhere, we here in Miami have a billion dollar Tunnel to Nowhere.

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Dear Friends and Partners,

The Florida Department of Transportation would like to invite you to participate in our important Regional Workshop, June 2, 2010, about how we can make transportation decisions for a better more sustainable Florida, for our future.

2060 Florida Transportation Plan (FTP)

Regional Workshop

When: Wednesday, June 2, 2010 from 2:30pm to 5:00pm

Where: Miami-Dade College, The Chapman Center, 300 N.E. 2nd Avenue, Building 3, 2nd Floor, Room 3210

We hope you’ll join us.

David Korros, AICP

District 6 Planning and Environment Office

Florida Department of Transportation

1000 N.W. 111th Avenue

Miami, FL 33172

Phone: (305) 470-5840 Fax: (305) 470-6737

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In the April 3rd-9th 2010 issue of the Economist, the conservative British periodical ran a special report on Rebalancing the American Economy. In the article titled “Time to Rebalance” the Economist had this to say:

America’s economic geography will change too. Cheap petrol and ample credit encouraged millions of American to flock to southern states and to distant suburbs (“exurbs”) in search of big houses with lots of land.  Now the housing bust has tied them to homes they cannot sell. Population growth in the suburbs has slowed. For the present this rise of knowledge-intensive global industries favors centers rich in infrastructure and specialized skills. Some are traditional urban cores such as New York and some are suburban edge cities that offer jobs along with affordable houses and short commutes.”

Just to clarify, by “rich in infrastructure”, the Economist means diversified infrastructure and that includes public transit. FDOT District 6 may interpret “rich in infrastructure”, to mean “expensive” such as the nearly $5 billion dollars we are spending on 3 megaprojects in South Florida; none of which really includes public transit.

If South Florida is serious about becoming a knowledge-intensive region, we need to build proper infrastructure to attract a populace with specialized skills, which also happens to be educated. Educated people are usually more mobile, and therefore can be more selective when choosing a city to call home. Most will choose a city that provides a good quality of life for their families and that includes cities that have good public transit, short commutes, and compact development.

On another note, Miami 21 was officially implemented today. Implementation of Miami 21 is the first step in the right direction.

A local event related to the Florida Transportation Plan 2060 is upcoming .  For more information on the Florida Transportation Plan 2060 go to: http://2060ftp.org/.

If you cannot attend the workshop be sure to submit your comments here!

http://www.2060ftp.org/index.php/involved/what_is_your_vision_for_florida/21/

Miami Regional Workshop

  • Date:
    June 2, 2010 — 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm
  • Location:

Miami-Dade College, The Chapman Center
300 N.E. 2nd Avenue
Room 3210, 2nd Floor, Building 3
Miami, FL 33132

For more information please contact: David Korros by phone at 305-470-5840 or by email at david.korros@dot.state.fl.us

The Miami Herald is reporting that FDOT has begun a resurfacing project on Bird Road. According to the article:

Workers will repave and restripe the road; widen the bridge and road shoulder; build a new sidewalk on the north side of Bird Road as well as upgrade sidewalks and curb ramps.

Crews will also make drainage improvements to alleviate water buildup in the swale area. Landscaping will improved. Lighting will be improved and new traffic and pedestrian signs and signals installed.

A pedestrian bridge will be built. Workers will remove existing guardrail and installing new guardrail at various locations.

There is no mention of new bicycle facilities. I have contacted Transit Miami sources within the City of Miami and the County and they are unaware of any bicycle infrastructure improvements.  The $2.5 million improvement project on Bird Road will occur between Red Road and Southwest 38th Avenue. Coral Gables High School happens to be on this stretch of roadway. Connecting a high school with bicycling infrastructure would be the smart thing to do; it encourages students to bike to school. Also, there is a bridge that crosses a canal on this stretch of roadway.  Bridges are often the most dangerous areas for cyclists; they must converge on bridges to cross any body of water.  I’m glad to see a pedestrian bridge will be incorporated in the design plans, but the transition should also be seamless for cyclists too.

For the record, FDOT has recently completed 2 resurfacing projects which are second-rate (MacArthur Causeway, Coral Way). FDOT seems very hesitant to accommodate cyclists on Sunset Drive and now it appears that cyclists were not considered in the Bird Road project at all.  This is not a pretty track record.  Please contact Transit Miami ally Coral Gables Commissioner Ralph Cabrera and FDOT District 6 Secretary Gus Pego and ask them why provisions for bicyclists were not made to this very important route.

The Transit Miami eye is watching every FDOT project closely.

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