On February 9 a FDOT contractor damaged underground conduit and cable while performing work at the Brickell Avenue and SE 13th Street intersection. Mr. Robert Williams, from the County Public Works Department, Traffic Signals and Signs Division confirmed this in an email to Transit Miami.
My investigation indicates that the original underground conduit and cable damage occurred on 2/9/11 when a trencher being operated by FDOT’s prime contractor, Russell Engineering, accidentally dug through several critical signal cables. FDOT’s signal contractor responded the same day, spliced the cables, and returned the vehicle and ped signals to proper operation. However, it began raining soon thereafter and the signal went back into flash, indicating that the signal cables had been seriously damaged by the original encounter at unknown locations underground. The signal contractor then returned to the scene and ran temporary cables overhead to at least get the vehicular signals operational”.
It has become glaringly obvious that FDOT does not consider pedestrians a priority. They were quick to repair the damaged vehicle signals, but then turned a blind eye to the broken pedestrian crosswalk signals. This is a MAJOR intersection in the heart of the Brickell Financial District. Thousands of people use this intersection every week. I am certain the FDOT will be quick to point their finger at Russell Engineering, but the buck has to stop somewhere and it must stop with the FDOT. The FDOT should be solely held accountable as they are overseeing this project. Once again, they have failed to recognize that work is being performed in an urban environment that is densely populated. This is not the suburbs; the FDOT cannot simply ignore the needs of pedestrians for over a month. Their cavalier attitude and apathy towards pedestrians is negligent at best. I am surprised no one was seriously injured at this intersection this past month due to their willful blindness. The FDOT does not cease to amaze me with their callous indifference to all things non-motorized.
The FDOT’s mind-set is a slap in the face to everyone that walks on Brickell. To make matters worse, motorists are allowed to make a right turn on red at this intersection. Adding to the pedestrian-unfriendly character of this intersection, a right turn green arrow allows and encourages motorists to make right turns without having to slow or stop. Pedestrians were left to guess when they could cross this intersection safely. In addition, I have yet to see any “Yield to Pedestrian” enforcement around the Brickell area. These conditions, to say the least, create an environment of chaos for pedestrians, parents with strollers, the handicap, and bicyclists.
The pedestrian signals were finally repaired last night (3/14) around 9:00pm; 33 days after they were accidently disabled. Unfortunately, my call to 311 on February 24th was ignored by FDOT too. The repair came only after I wrote about this unfortunate situation when it was reported on Transit Miami. Again, why must we shame the FDOT to do the right thing? An obvious lack of initiative by the FDOT is evident when it comes to cultivating a pedestrian friendly environment in our urban core.
I would like to apologize to Mr. Robert Williams, from the County Public Works Department Traffic Signals & Signs Division. I incorrectly assumed the County PWD was responsible for maintaining the crosswalk signals in this situation. Ordinarily they are responsible for maintaining all traffic signals within the County. However, in this circumstance, since FDOT is performing work on Brickell Avenue it becomes their responsibility to maintain all traffic signals in the work zone.
- Pedestrian Crosswalk Signals on Brickell Avenue Broken. Four Weeks and Counting…
- Brickell Pedestrian Crosswalk Signals Still Not Working
- FDOT Making Brickell Safety Improvements for Cars, not Pedestrians
- The FDOT Resurfacing Project on Brickell Avenue Dangerous for Pedestrians
- Another Pedestrian Hit on Brickell Avenue
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