Every time the Brickell Avenue drawbridge goes up, traffic lights along Brickell Avenue are programmed to stay red, to prevent cars from piling up along intersections.  This occurs for a few block along Brickell Avenue, as one approaches the bridge.  This is a reasonable solution to a known problem - drivers tend to pile up at drawbridges while waiting for approx 10-15 minutes.

Nevertheless, in what can only be called sloppy oversight and lack of interest in the pedestrian realm by FDOT, pedestrian crosswalks, blocks away, also stay red and fail to turn green.  This means that when the drawbridge is up, crosswalk lights as far away as 3-4 blocks away from the bridge stay red, indicating to pedestrians that they cannot cross Brickell Avenue or go north / south along intersecting streets.

This of course makes no sense and creates a lot of confusion amongst pedestrians. Why should pedestrians be prevented from crossing Brickell Avenue because the bridge is up 4 blocks away?  Why are pedestrians prevented from crossing SW 8th St when the bridge is up?   This obvious problem has probably been going on for years.

Check out the video below I took a couple weeks ago along SW 8th Street and Brickell Avenue that highlights this problem.  The intersection on the video is 4 blocks away from the drawbridge, yet crosswalks stay red to cross Brickell Avenue or to cross SW 8th Street.  As a result, we see dangerous conditions for pedestrians.

Why?  Who knows…  One thing is for sure, this needs to change ASAP.


By the way, as can be seen on the video, drivers are left wondering why the traffic light fails to turn green and therefore run the red light.  One word of advice to FDOT, put some kind of indicator at traffic lights to let drivers know that the lights are staying red for a prolonged period of time because the drawbridge is up.

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7 Responses to Brickell Drawbridge and Red Pedestrian Crosswalk Lights

  1. Felipe Azenha says:

    Amazing! There are so many design problems on Brickell, I don’t even know where to begin. Complete lack of enforcement makes the area lawless too. Pedestrians are treated like second class citizens and cars are given the priority. FDOT should be ashamed of their workmanship here.

    Where is the enforcement? In this ten minute video we witnessed at least 5-10 traffic infractions. The City of Miami could fill their $100million budget gap in a month if they began issuing tickets around Brickell.


  2. John Hopkins says:

    Very useful video, Adam! I bet that’s fixable, too, with a few minutes of a programmer’s time. Also glad to see someone document the widespread driver practice of stopping in the crosswalk instead of behind it.


  3. Adam Mizrahi says:

    Thanks John. While there are many problems on Brickell, this one is just plain silly and easily fixable - as you said. Nevertheless, it does show just how little thought is put into the pedestrian realm by FDOT officials and how mistakes such as these create huge safety problems.

    Regarding the crosswalk and driver issue — this is something that must be addressed in the next redesign of the street.


  4. on brickell often says:

    the cops are all at the Intercon hotel eating.


  5. Grayson Peddie says:

    Could you provide a transcript for the video? I am hearing impaired and I sometimes have trouble understanding what you’re saying.


  6. swampthing says:

    reader wrote: “…this is something that must be addressed in the next REDESIGN of the street.”

    I guess fdot will be REDESIGNING our roads till they get it right. In other words expect “endless road work”.


  7. Stonly says:

    whatupbridge.com may be a good solution for this problem. Pedestrians can now check if a near by bridge is up.


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