79th Street is Miami's worst urban street. There is nothing business or pedestrian friendly about this street. It should be converted to 2 lanes in each direction. The current 3/1 configuration is not good for pedestrians or businesses.

79th Street is Miami’s worst urban street. There is nothing business or pedestrian friendly about this street. It should be converted to 2 lanes in each direction. The current 3/1 configuration is not good for pedestrians or businesses.

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.

82nd Street should be converted to 1 lane in each direction.

82nd Street should be converted to 1 lane in each direction.

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.



18 Responses to 79th Street: Miami’s Worst Urban Street Will Be Resurfaced, No Substantial Improvements for Pedestrians

  1. NE Resident says:

    The photo is misleading. 79th Street is actually 4-6 lanes wide. It takes the speed of a track star to cross. It is one of the ugliest streets in Miami-Dade County. How about Terranova’s 79th Street Shopping Center? What a dog. Your photo makes 79th Street look narrow and cute. It is anything but.


  2. B says:

    I think one-way fine if you also narrow the lanes, add street parking and pedestrian crossings and bike lanes, more similar to Little Havana or parts of Miami Beach. Also, the ramps to I-95 are designed for one-way. The single counter flow lane is definitely a disaster.


  3. Upper East Sider says:

    FDOT and Miami-Dade County need to add some traffic calming. More lights? Cross walks? Medians? Landscaped bulbouts? Someone had the bold idea to buy all the dumpy lots and buildings and to create pocket parks. Most of the lots are too small to be used by businesses. Parks would be great. Unfortunately, government workers and politicians lack commonsense.


  4. NE Resident.
    I risked life and limp and got a better picture of 79th Street. We’re having a problem with the site so pictures are a bit distorted.

    You must work for FDOT. All FDOT streets in Little Havana and Miami Beach are atrocious. Nothing pedestrian or business friendly about them. I have yet to see FDOT design a half-decent street with safety as their priority.


  5. Alex says:

    More of a general question, I guess. But how does FDOT and other agency pick which intersections get a crosswalk? Is there some sort of formula or is it at random? To me, it seems random, as I’m always at the block that doesn’t have the crosswalk. Just curious…


  6. Ken says:

    Assertions here are untrue. There are multiple pedestrian improvements. While it is primarily a remill project, there are improvements to sidewalks, lighting, and mid-block crossings that are better than those on Biscayne.


  7. Really?! says:

    While I may not disagree with the need for changes to 82nd, that street is not even part of the scope of this project. It seems that scope and funding is seldom well understood by many with extreme opinions of how they know more than specialists in the field.


  8. Ken,
    The work that FDOT will perform on 79th is equivalent to putting lip stick on a big, fat, ugly, sweaty, hairy pig. Unless FDOT puts crosswalks at every intersection, and makes 79th Street two lanes in each direction 79th street will continue to be the worst designed street in all of Miami. The design speed is the fundamental problem here and FDOT does not seem to grasp the connection between design speed and safety for all users of the street.

    This project is an embarrassment. I promise to make a big a big stink about this. The FDOT better be prepared. It’s going to be a PR nightmare for FDOT. I’m pulling out on the stops on this one.


  9. Really?!

    The so-called “specialist in the field” which you speak about, have managed to make the Florida the deadliest state for pedestrians and bicyclist and yet they continue to design streets as if it were 1950.

    If anyone here is extreme it is the FDOT-they choose to design their roads to move cars as quickly as possible with little regard to life and safety. The facts speak for themselves.


  10. Ken says:


    How did the big stink go for the improvements to Biscayne ? It appeared to result in bad crosswalks and no medians as originally planned. My understanding is that push back by people who raised a stink about the full landscaped medians where people would have to park on one side of the street And enjoy the walk across a beautifully landscaped streets resulted in the current state which is little better than then current state of 79th. So rest assured that there will be people countering the stink if people who don’t live in the area.


  11. Ken,

    The fight for Biscayne isn’t over and the work on Biscayne was done way before there was a critical mass of residents and businesses that really cared about the Boulevard. Many of us will continue to make a stink until improvements are made. Complacency and acceptance is not in my vernacular.


  12. Gables says:

    I agree with Felipe on this one. If you actually ride a bike or walk in this county you realize the importance to street design, crosswalks, and safe bike lanes (by safe I do not mean a sharrow on a 6 lane divided highway). In addition to safety, it makes economic sense too. The more people who are able to use the street (as opposed to flying by at 45 mph) the more potential it has for successful redevelopment, which yield higher tax returns for the city and county. Both the safety and economic arguments for proper street design are proven in research and I can point readers in the right direction if they wish to read some studies.


  13. [...] its old traffic engineering sins, as officials recently vowed. But according to Felipe Azenha atTransit Miami,the Florida Department of Transportation has chosen not to seize this opportunity to make the city [...]


  14. Rocco says:

    I’ve lived in many great cities in this country. There are transportation ‘experts’ in all of them. But the worst, most dangerous, ugliest and nastiest road designs have been here in Miami, without a doubt. Especially 79th street, which I’ve long thought, is definitely Miami’s worst urban street. Retailers don’t stand a chance operating a store on this atrocity. It is utterly a place not worth caring about because of roaring traffic and little else. It could be reconfigured to be more productive with a few cans of paint. But the only words in FDOT’s vocabulary is “speed, level of service, death and crash”.


  15. B says:

    LOL! I never thought I would be mistaken for an FDOT employee, but anything is possible on the internet;)

    Businesses seem to be doing fine along the one-way stretch of Collins Ave. in NoBe and also Surfside. Surfside even has mid-block crossings in the main strip. East Little Havana has a similar setup with commercial 8th st and residential 7th st, (though fewer marked crossings).

    The main reason 79th street (BTW also 62nd) is so desolate is because it is a high crime neighborhood, not because the roads are one-way.

    I do agree, nontheless, that traffic calming and more pedestrian crossings are needed there, and that the one lane counter flow is a complete disaster. I just disagree that one-way roads are bad in and of them selves.


  16. Rocco says:

    It’s not one way …it’s 3 lanes eastbound and 1 lane westbound.


  17. One-way streets are terrible for businesss. The either have cars on them in the morning or evening, in order for most business to survive ,in low density areas, they need morning and evening traffic. The main reason that businesses along calle Ocho and surfside/nobe do survive is because of all the residential density. You are comparing apples with oranges B.


  18. B says:

    Agreed, I can see how density matters here. Presumably, 79th/81st will get more dense and eventually become more like Little Havana, as there are already some newer condos around there.

    Most morning/evening traffic is commuting, and most commuters are not stopping at random businesses along the way-they’re trying to get to work or back home. It probably doesn’t matter much if they’re on a one-way or two-way road. I still think the crime rate is by-and-large what kills businesses around 79th st.


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