Just the other day I was crossing Brickell Avenue and SE 8th St on my bike with a green crosswalk light when a large SUV pulled up within inches and honked his horn. I was startled of course, not only is the sight of a massive 4,000 pound hunk of metal a bit intimidating and a loud horn deafening, but I was looking at a green crosswalk light which indicated to me that the street was safe to cross.
I quickly turned around, and pointed at the crosswalk light, but the driver yelling at me through the car probably thought I was pointing at a bird. He thought he was in the right, and I was just in his way.
Unfortunately, this situation plays out over and over and over again, every day, of every week, throughout the entire year in Brickell. An explosion of residents has translated into more pedestrians on unsuitable city streets competing with South Florida drivers who are not accustomed to pedestrians.
While the condo boom saw tremendous pedestrian oriented development in the area, the streets have not changed to accommodate the tremendous influx of city dwellers and pedestrians in the last few years. With over 22,000 new condos and a handful of large new office buildings and hotels, Brickell Avenue is arguably Miami’s hottest urban center. Just the other day, the Miami Herald ran a story titled: ”Downtown Miami: The hot urban alternative to South Beach.”
If Brickell really hopes to attract the tourist dollars, it is important that Brickell Avenue get a face lift geared at making safer and more comfortable streets. Brickell Avenue is an important piece of this equation. On more than one occasion, I have seen tourists scrambling across Brickell Avenue - last year one was actually struck by a vehicle and killed. Brickell Avenue is uncomfortable and dangerous - an embarrassing combination for an aspiring “world class” neighborhood.
The truth is Brickell Avenue is ill suited to accommodate the rising numbers of pedestrians and tourists crossing the streets - and things are only going to get worse as the remaining condos are occupied, 1,000,000 sq ft of new office space are opened, and hundreds of new hotel rooms open their doors. Furthermore, when the economy does pick up, Brickell is likely to be one of the first places where construction will restart.
That is why I see the upcoming Brickell Avenue reconstruction by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) as a golden opportunity to transform Brickell into a friendly, pedestrian friendly, and safe urban street — as well as a tourist destination. An opportunity to continue the progress made by city officials, developers, and urbanites in the last few years. To transform Brickell into what it should be, a destination, not just a street used by cars to cut through the city.
With this in mind, for my first article as a contributing writer on Transit Miami, I leave you with a short video filmed yesterday at the intersection in front of my house on SE 10th St and Brickell Ave, one intersection south of where I was almost hit by the SUV. I went at around 1:20 pm and stayed for about 15 min.
One can quickly see some of the obvious problems facing Brickell Avenue within this short clip. Cars that do not respect pedestrians, a missing crosswalk, long wait times, no enforcement, and an increasing number of pedestrians competing for time and space against fast moving automobiles.
This video is just one example of the kinds of things that happen every day, up and down Brickell Avenue. You will not see any sensational accident or near collision, rather, you will see a consistent pressure on pedestrians by incoming vehicles, as well as ill suited streets. At the very least, you will see why Brickell Avenue needs highly visible and marked crosswalks on both sides of every intersection, something normal in any walkable urban environment.
As a new addition to the Transit Miami team, over the coming days and weeks, I hope to show why Brickell Avenue in its current form is dangerous to pedestrians, and why its current use is counter intuitive to the long terms goals of the neighborhood, its residents, and area businesses. Together we can hopefully convince FDOT to do the right thing and ensure a more friendly, safe, enjoyable, and successful street suitable for the world renown Brickell neighborhood it represents.
With Brickell changing by the day, let us design a Brickell Avenue that looks into the future, not the past.
- Miami Herald reports on Brickell Avenue resurfacing; FDOT refuses to do the right thing.
- Brickell Avenue Bus Stop Gets Taken Out Again
- Another Pedestrian Hit on Brickell Avenue
- Brickell Avenue bus stop taken out for fourth time in two years
- Transit Miami and FDOT take a field trip on Brickell Avenue
CategoriesAccident Airport bicycles bike lanes Bike Miami Days biking Biscayne Boulevard Brickell bus Climate Change Coconut Grove complete streets Congestion Density Downtown FDOT High Speed Rail MDT Metrorail Miami Miami-Dade County Miami-Dade Transit Miami 21 Miami Beach Museum Park News NIMBY Parking Parks Pedestrian Pedestrians Pic o' the Day Public Transit Rickenbacker Causeway Sprawl Streetcar Traffic Transit Transitography Transit Oriented Development Transportation Tri-Rail Uncategorized Urban Design Urban Planning
South Florida Transportation
- Emerge Miami
- Florida Bicycle Association
- Florida Department of Transportation
- Florida Greenbook Roadway Design Manual
- Green Mobility Network
- Miami Bike Report
- Miami-Dade BPAC
- Miami-Dade Expressway Authority
- Miami-Dade Transit
- Slow Bike Miami
- Spokes 'n' Folks
- State of Florida Bike/Ped Laws
- TACOLCY Bicycle Club
- The M-Path to Enlightenment
- The Miami Bike Scene
- Transit to MIA
- Tri-Rail (South Florida Regional Transportation Authority)
Transit Blogs and Resources
- Metro Library and Archive Transportation Headlines
- JACKSONVILLE TRANSIT
- Spacing Wire • understanding the urban landscape
- City Transit Advocates
- public transit
- Midwest High Speed Rail
- The Transport Politic
- Welcome to the FastLane: The Official Blog of the U.S. Secretary
- Human Transit
- Design New Haven
- The Overhead Wire
- Off the Kuff
- Transit In Utah
- Portland Transport
- CoolTown Studios
- Greater Greater Washington
- Buildings and Food
- CTA Tattler
- Trains For America
Planning and Design Resources
- Felipe Azenha on Officials, Advocates Vent at SafeStreetsMiami Forum
- B on Officials, Advocates Vent at SafeStreetsMiami Forum
- Tony Garcia on Officials, Advocates Vent at SafeStreetsMiami Forum
- Frank Rollason on Officials, Advocates Vent at SafeStreetsMiami Forum
- Roger Van Klaas on Officials, Advocates Vent at SafeStreetsMiami Forum
- Dave on Officials, Advocates Vent at SafeStreetsMiami Forum
- Friday Funny: The "Shut Up" Gun March 9, 2012Ever wanted to silence aggressive cell phone talkers or that intractable opponent speaking out against your brilliant redevelopment plan? Well researchers in Japan have developed just the product for you, reports Mark Hachman. read more […]
- Roadblocks Along the Road to Recovery in Japan March 9, 2012Christopher Hawthorne reports from Japan on the many obstacles preventing areas destroyed by the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami from proceeding with rebuilding, as the recovery effort stalls in the cleanup stage. read more […]
- Senate Poised to Pass Transportation Bill March 9, 2012Jason Jordan reports on the good news from Capitol Hill, as the Senate has agreed on a path forward to end the amendment process and pass its 2-year, $109 billion surface transportation authorization bill next week. read more […]
- The Force Behind a Push to Reshape DC March 9, 2012Lydia DePillis profiles Washington D.C.'s planning director, Harriet Tregoning, and her efforts to reshape the city along smart growth principles. read more […]
- Skyscrapers Overnight: China's Obsession With Turbo-Prefab March 9, 2012Jonathan Kaiman takes a look at a new hotel in China's Hunan Province that's pushing the envelope of how quickly high-rise buildings can be constructed – and raising eyebrows, and safety concerns, in the process. read more […]
- What Can We Do With Crowdsourced Maps? March 9, 2012Shriya Malhotra explores the potential for participatory mapping to manage the complexities of cities in the 21st century. read more […]
- Is It Time to Hit the Pause Button on Tactical Urbanism? March 9, 2012Mimi Zeiger pens a contrarian's take on the growing popularity of DIY urbanism, noting the danger in what she deems a conservative urban-planning position. read more […]
- American Cities Beefing up Exports March 9, 2012Matt Bevilacqua reports on the new wind in manufacturing's sails. read more […]
- Tools For Measuring Health Impacts Being Prescribed More Often March 9, 2012Eric Jaffe reports on the growing use of "health impact assessments" (HIA), which are used in a similar fashion to environmental reviews, to determine the public health side effects of major projects. read more […]
- Destruction and Renewal in Japan March 9, 2012A series of stunning photo comparisons in The Washington Post and The New York Times document the magnitude of destruction unleashed by the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, and the steps achieved to date towards recovery. read more […]
- Friday Funny: The "Shut Up" Gun March 9, 2012
- Greenway Bike Festival February 22, 2012This fully-supported ride promotes the Biscayne-Everglades Greenway, which will loop through the historic city of Homestead. There'll be routes of 62 miles, 42 miles, and 25 miles -- with darned good food at the finish. You can register at Active.com. You'll certainly want to be at Losner Park for the demonstration parachute jump by the Army's […]
- Many call for safer streets February 19, 2012Board member Suzanne Kores captured the scene at yesterday's rally on the Rickenbacker Causeway for greater street safety. Tom Evental made available this stirring video. The voice you hear at the beginning is our co-founder Hank Sanchez-Resnik, who played a big role with allied groups in organizing the event. We appreciate the chance to share this wit […]
- Climb the bridge for safer streets February 17, 2012All road users are invited to the tall bridge on the Rickenbacker Causeway this Saturday at 9 a.m. to call for safer streets and recognize cyclist Aaron Cohen, who died Thursday of a hit-and-run driver's injuries. The bicycling community put this event together, working in parallel efforts from varying points of view. We have one message, though: Everyo […]
- Greenway Bike Festival February 22, 2012