It’s been 24 hours since I dialed 311 to report that all the pedestrian crosswalk signals at the SE 13th Street and South Miami Avenue intersection were not working.  This morning, I took the time to witness several parents trying to cross the street here with their young children on the way to South Side Elementary School.  It was not an easy task for them or any of the other countless pedestrians that attempted to traverse at this very busy intersection during rush hour. Everyone had to wait and try to time exactly when it was safe to dart across.

Father and son waited at least 4 minutes to cross this street today.

Father and son waited at least 4 minutes to cross this street today.

As soon as they started to cross, the light turned green for this car.

As soon as father and son darted across the intersection, the light turned green for this car.

I was optimistic that the problem was going to be fixed today.  At 8:10am the electrical contractors were already on the scene as you can see below.

8:15am

8:15am

At around 12:30pm I headed home for lunch and for my daily 15 minute siesta. I was surprised to see that the pedestrian signals were still not working, but I had high hopes that the problem would be fixed today.  The electrical contractors were still busy at work as you can see below.

12:30pm

12:30pm

I left work this afternoon around 5:30pm feeling pretty good that the crosswalks signals would be working, but to my chagrin they were not.

5:30pm

5:30pm

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8 Responses to Update: The 311 Experiment

  1. Steve M. says:

    How many electrical contractors does it take to replace a light bulb?

  2. Kesley says:

    Hahaha, figures

  3. kyle says:

    what retards!!

  4. Mike Moskos says:

    Well, obviously it was more than replacing the bulbs.

    I’m pretty impressed that the city got someone out there that fast (or at all) to fix what in the grand scheme of traffic things (pedestrian signals) is pretty minor. Now that we know they do respond, we can all be on the lookout for other malfunctions so they can be corrected.

  5. Felipe Azenha says:

    Hi Mike,

    I agree the problem is more complicated than fixing light bulbs.

    That being said, the crosswalk signals were working on Thursday morning. I first spotted the electrical contractors on Thursday around 12:30pm doing work at this intersection. On Thursday evening the crosswalks were not working. I’m assuming that whatever work is being done at this intersection by the electrical contractors caused the pedestrian crosswalk signals to stop working.

    I don’t think my call to 311 brought the contractors out there on Friday. I believe they showed up to continue whatever maintenance work is being required of them.

    Your point about “in the grand scheme of traffic things (pedestrian signals) is pretty minor,” is where the problem lies. A higher priority needs to be given to pedestrians; especially at this intersection, where an elementary school is only ½ block away. (I personally think we could use a crossing guard here, but that is a separate discussion). Had this been a broken traffic light it would have been fixed within hours of being reported.

    Our society (and particularly FDOT and the CPWD) seems to give precedence to the automobile, and treats our pedestrians as second class citizens. This mindset is what has given Florida the notorious title of “Most deadly state for pedestrians and bicyclists”. It is also the same mentality that has provided almost no bike lanes or decent crosswalks and sidewalks in our city.

    On my totem pole the pedestrian sits above the automobile. The electrical contractors should never have left the job site until all the pedestrian crosswalk signals were working again.

  6. Chris says:

    I believe a broken traffic signal deserves a higher priority than a crosswalk sign.

    The traffic signal benefits both automobiles and pedestrians. In fact without it, I doubt a pedestrian can easily make it across the street. Do drivers look at the crosswalk signs?

    I am not saying that automobiles have a higher priority, however, in the grand scheme of things, a traffic signal directs more traffic than a crosswalk sign (which only direct pedestrians).

  7. Brad K. says:

    Great to focus efforts on pedestrian problems - those of us who walk in Downtown know that we risk our lives several times a day just to walk several blocks to go about our daily business.

    While the bicycle intiatives recently taken are important, there has not been enough focus or effort by our governent officials on pedesrian issues, even though there are thousands more pedestrians than bicyclists. Probably because fixing a crosswalk or protecting children crossing the streets is not as sexy and doesn’t give as much oppotunity for photo ops as bicycle lanes.

    Pedestrian safety issues should be an important priority for the entire downtown area, but no one seems to be looking into it!

  8. Felipe Azenha says:

    Point well taken Chris. But I still think that the pedestrian crosswalk signals that sit in front of a school should be given a higher level of priority. The work on this intersection could have begun in two weeks, the kids will be on break then.

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