Last week I posted an article showing unacceptable conditions for pedestrians around Brickell. Twenty-four hours later the conditions improved slightly.

It took a week, but eventually this sidewalk was temporarily repaired after we wrote about it…

Voilà! Things seem to only get done in this town through the shaming process…

Why does it take a blog to get things done in this city? Shouldn’t the City, County and the FDOT do these types of things on their own volition?

We don’t have leadership in Miami when it comes to complete streets or public transit for that matter.  Not at the City, County, or State (the FDOT District 6) level. Unlike visionary Mayors Michael Bloomberg, Antonio Villaraigosa, and Rahm Emanuel not one of our elected officials is taking charge to make our streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists or think of alternative plans for our neglected ½ penny transit tax.  The leadership that we have is entirely reactive- hardly anything seems to get done until we begin shaming government to do its job or someone is killed or critically injured. (i.e. Brickell Avenue, Coral Way, South Miami Avenue, Rickenbacker Causeway, Biscayne Boulevard- Transit Miami has been at the forefront of advocacy for improvements. Sadly it seems like we are the leaders and our politicians simply react).

Those of us that write for Transit Miami have full time jobs and we write for this blog because we are unsatisfied with the current status quo of complacency that is so pervasive in South Florida and we know things could be much better-we won’t tolerate mediocrity. We don’t have the time or the resources (we don’t get paid) to shame our elected officials to design every street so that they are suitable for people to walk and bike.

We shouldn’t have to make these demands-government should unconsciously make streets safer for everyone. Instead County elected officials are wasting their time creating an online registry for dangerous dogs. Meanwhile Miami Dade County averages about 75 pedestrian fatalities and 10 cycling fatalities a year.  An additional 1500 pedestrians and another 500 cyclists are injured every year.

I’m throwing down the gauntlet; I challenge any elected official to champion a complete streets campaign. Our community is begging for safer streets and better public transit, yet our elected officials don’t grasp either concept-they simply turn a blind eye. Leadership is clearly lacking in Miami Dade County. Miami will never become a “World Class City” until both of these issues are adequately addressed.



16 Responses to Miami’s Lack of Leadership

  1. Juan Navarro says:

    Part of the problem is that most Miami-ans are solipsistic and/or myopic when it comes to the needs of the city and that translate to leaders who are the same.


  2. Rima says:

    Unfortunately, it seems to me there is a lack of political will. And the governmnent employees clearly only commute by car, unlike Seattle’s Mayor Mike McGinn who bikes to work. I guess you will have to run for office yourself to effect change. You have my vote :)


  3. Andres says:

    75 pedestrian fatalities a year is a disturbing statistic… Florida is home to the top 4 worst metro areas for pedestrian deaths:


  4. Kevin says:

    Amen! There is no politician in this county that is truly inspiring, innovative. We have all the bones in place to be one of America’s best cities, with awesome walkable neighborhoods and great transit, but Miamian politicians are not creative.

    Imagine how great Miami could be if we had a Michael Bloomberg as our mayor? Instead, we have Regalado. Even Manny Diaz was somewhat of a visionary pushing for greater things, Regalado is such a lame duck.


  5. Alex Baquero-Lima says:

    ^Oh God, please not Michael Bloomberg. I agree with your post but Michael Bloomberg is a terrible mayor.


  6. Craig Chester says:

    Alex - Bloomberg has been one of the most progressive and acomplished mayors in US history in regards to implementing complete streets for all road users.


  7. Fernando says:

    I applaud your work and efforts Transit Miami staff. While it’s not your job, i do believe that you should indicate names of all elected officials of the districts mentioned above. The best way to improve things is with our vote and when it’s time for elections we should help these people get FIRED. They are lazy and a disgrace. Hope you publish their names!


  8. Nathanael says:

    Craig and Alex — the credit for NY’s complete streets really has to go to Janette Sadik-Kahn, the Commissioner of the NYC DOT.

    (You can tell because “complete streets” issues which are the responsibility of other city deparments… just don’t get done.) But yes, Bloomberg certainly gets credit for appointing her, even if he hasn’t managed to get the other departments to fix their ways.

    Villaraigosa in Los Angeles is another mayor with a vision who is pushing for greater things. There are probably several others nationwide But I guess you don’t have one in Miami.


  9. David says:

    A published and well distributed list of any local politicians that have worked on or support safer streets would be useful before going to vote. Maybe if we can demonstrate in the voting booth how important this issue is we can catch the attention of incumbent or aspiring public servants.

    While living in Seattle it was not uncommon to see candidates touting pro pedestrian or bicycling stances as they knew people voted on these issues.


  10. BK says:

    Pretty sure I’ve heard City Mayor and at least 3 City Commissioners expressed through legislation the need for safer streets and working to get FDOT to give local control to the City.
    Just saying.


  11. JJJ says:

    Get someone with a wheelchair and a camera. Those sidewalk conditions arent just a hassle, theyre illegal. Lawsuits get cities moving faster than blog posts.


  12. Felipe Azenha says:

    I’ve been searching for a good ADA attorney. Recommend an ADA attorney and we’ll come out with guns smoking. I have a friend in a wheelchair and we are ready to start taking aim at all these despicable projects.


  13. Kevin says:

    I like the way JJJ thinks.


  14. Mike says:

    Very impressive. Someone from the city of Miami watches your blog and makes changes. I wonder how long and how many phone calls I would have to wait to get something done in this city!!


  15. Government should make streets safer for everyone. Everybody should be take care.
    This is our property nobody donate us…..


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