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 right turn green arrow allows and encourages motorists to make a right turn without having to slow or stop. Needless to say, this is not pedestrian friendly. We need to calm traffic on Brickell, not move it more quickly.

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.

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8 Responses to The FDOT Ignores Broken Crosswalk Signals on Brickell Avenue for 33 Days

  1. Craig says:

    Thanks Felipe. Keep it up. Is there some neighborhood group or organization that is lobbying the FDOT regularly?

    It is shameful that with Florida cities consistently leading the national rankings as most dangerous for pedestrians that the FDOT has this attitude. For decades they have made roads that were efficient at killing pedestrians and cyclists. Now is the time to retrofit their creations, especially in an urban area. It’s ridiculous that we have to take our own lives in our hands to cross a street in the city center! Some of these intersections are laughable in their design in a residential and commercial neighborhood.


  2. Craig says:

    It’s not just the FDOT that’s guilty though. The surrounding streets in Brickell have badly faded or non-existent crosswalks as well. I sent the below e-mail to the appropriate city contacts and they did reply to me very quickly. My original note is below and the ensuing replies. I would like to thank those that replied to me in such a timely manner. Hopefully, the work is completed soon.


    Good morning, Mr. Chester:

    Please be advised that Miami-Dade County Public Works Department has a drainage project along South Miami Avenue between SW/SE 13 Street and SW/SE 8 Street where Mary Brickell Village is located. The drainage project will last until May of this year. Once this project is completed, a roadway improvement project is proposed for the same location, which includes the resurfacing, signage, and pavement marking of South Miami Avenue between SW/SE 13 Street and SW/SE 8 Street, as well as the reconfiguration of the intersection of South Miami Avenue and SW/SE 12 Street.

    Should you have any questions or require any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact Ms. Doraida Rodriguez, P.E., Area Engineer, at (305) 375-2030.

    Thank you,

    Joan Shen, Ph.D., P.E., PTOE, Assistant Chief
    Traffic Engineering Division
    Miami-Dade County Public Works Department
    111 NW 1st Street, Suite 1510, Miami, FL 33128
    Phone: 305-375-2030, Fax: 305-372-6064
    “Delivering Excellence Every Day”

    —-Original Message—-
    From: Navarro, Julio (PWD)
    Sent: Friday, January 07, 2011 9:51 AM
    To: Shen, Joan (PWD)
    Cc: Cañizares, Juan (PWD); Rajkumar, Vishnu (PWD); Pena, Manuel (PWD); Williams, Robert (PWD); Martinez, Marie (PWD)
    Subject: FW: FW: Line Painting in Brickell Neighborhood on Miami Av.

    Dr. Shen,

    Could you please send somebody to inspect this complaint regarding what appears to be a significant area of possible crosswalk restriping and let me know of the outcome?

    Thank you,

    Julio J. Navarro
    Construction Manager III
    Traffic Signals and Signs Division
    Miami-Dade County, Public Works Department
    7100 NW 36 Street
    Miami, Florida 33166
    (305) 592-3580 Ext. 230

    “Delivering Excellence Every Day”

    —-Original Message—-
    From: cpchester@gmail.com [mailto:cpchester@gmail.com]
    Sent: Thursday, January 06, 2011 3:57 PM
    To: Navarro, Julio (PWD); Williams, Robert (PWD); Grant, Rickey Lee (PWD); Bethel, Bernard (PWD)
    Subject: Re: FW: Line Painting in Brickell Neighborhood on Miami Av.

    Thank you for your response. It is appreciated.


    On 1/6/11, Navarro, Julio (PWD) wrote:
    > Mr. Craig Chester
    > Pursuant to your email below, Public Works staff will inspect and
    > evaluate the referenced location(s), based on your concerns. Pending the
    > outcome of the inspection findings, a work order to our Field
    > Technicians to resolve the matter maybe issued. The work will be
    > performed as current available manpower and work backlogs permit,
    > tentatively during the second week of March or sooner if possible.
    > Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. Please advise if
    > we can be of further assistance
    > Julio J. Navarro
    > Construction Manager III
    > Traffic Signals and Signs Division
    > Miami-Dade County, Public Works Department
    > 7100 NW 36 Street
    > Miami, Florida 33166
    > (305) 592-3580 Ext. 230
    > jnavaro@miamidade.gov
    “Delivering Excellence Every Day”

    From: Williams, Robert (PWD)
    Sent: Thursday, January 06, 2011 11:11 AM
    To: Navarro, Julio (PWD)
    Cc: Grant, Rickey Lee (PWD)
    Subject: FW: Line Painting in Brickell Neighborhood on Miami Av.


    Please make sure the originator gets a response soon.


    —-Original Message—-
    From: cpchester@gmail.com [mailto:cpchester@gmail.com]
    Sent: Monday, January 03, 2011 10:59 AM To: Williams, Robert (PWD)
    Subject: Line Painting in Brickell Neighborhood

    > ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: “cpchester@gmail.com”
    Date: Mon, 3 Jan 2011 10:58:21 -0500
    Subject: Line Painting in Brickell Neighborhood
    To: rcg@miamidade.gov

    Hi Rickey,

    I am a resident of the Brickell area. The line painting for crosswalks in the area of Mary Brickell Village are in a sorry, virtually non-existent state. As you know, this is an area packed with pedestrians, particularly in the evening hours. It would seem obvious the need to have fresh, clearly painted crosswalk striping in this area as it is one of the few busy public, pedestrian night time areas in the entire county. It is especially atrocious on the S. Miami Ave. section of roadway. Are there any plans to repaint anytime soon?

    Craig Chester


  3. kevin says:

    Is there anything the DDA can do to ameliorate this constant problem? Pedestrians are consistently neglected in Downtown, Omni and Brickell.


  4. Craig says:

    I was just walking on Brickell and with the recent construction, another crosswalk has been closed. There is now no actual, legitimate crossing from 8th street all the way to 13th street. An area so far you could actually take a bus from one stop to another and not pass a crosswalk.

    Watching people cross with strollers is especially scary. The green turn arrows are like invitations to speed through a crosswalk.



  5. Felipe Azenha says:

    You are right, I just took a walk down Bricekll. FDOT has left pedetrians with no option to cross Brickell Avenue safely from 8th street all the way to13th street. They have closed the 10th street crosswalk to pedestrians and have not provided a detour or temporary crosswalkd for pedestrians. Cars are still allowed to cross Brickell Ave at 10th street, but people aren’t. I’ll post more about this shortly. Thanks for the heads-up.


  6. Craig says:

    Thank you for quoting my comment in the last post, Felipe


  7. M says:

    Thanks for telling us about 311. I had no idea it existed. I have been struggling with a broken crosswalk signal at Alton and 12th for weeks. The button to activate the signal is broken and the intersection is uneven making it tricky to cross.

    I just called 311 and the very nice lady told me it would be fixed within 30 days. I’m happy to have the information.


  8. Felipe Azenha says:

    Let us know if it gets fixed. 30 days is way too long. Thanks.


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