A couple of weeks ago I met with FDOT representatives regarding the Brickell Avenue resurfacing project which will break ground sometime in January 2011. The project is expected to take two years to complete. The scope of the project is relatively large and includes a new drainage system with pump house, as well as the resurfacing of Brickell Avenue. New crosswalks and sidewalk lighting will be part of the upgrade too.
We decided to conduct our meeting more like a field trip and agreed to meet on the NE corner of Brickell Avenue and Coral Way. We spent about twenty minutes here and observed traffic patterns, pedestrians jay walking, and cyclists riding on the sidewalk. I pointed out that cyclists were riding on the sidewalk because the design speed of Brickell Avenue exceeds 40 mph discouraging inexperienced cyclists from riding on the road. FDOT representatives disagreed somewhat with my assessment. I tried to explain that if we calmed traffic and reduced the design speed and speed limit on Brickell Avenue to 30 mph, and added sharrows, cyclists would feel more comfortable riding on the road. My suggestions for calming traffic included:
- Narrowing the travel lanes from 11ft to 10 ft
- Consider the use of raised crosswalks
- Consider roundabouts (I was told there was not enough ROW)
- Removal of green arrows that direct motorists to turn right on red
- Make it illegal to turn right on red
- Additional crosswalks (SE 14th Terrace SE 11th Street)
I was told that adding crosswalk wasn’t possible since FDOT has to follow strict guidelines that don’t allow traffic signals to be any closer than 300-400 yards from one another. We need more crosswalks; period. Pedestrians should not be forced to cross 4 lanes of traffic without a proper crosswalk; nor should we be forced to walk 2-3 blocks to find a crosswalk. Crosswalk should not be placed every 2-3 blocks, but rather on every block. Lack of crosswalks forces people to jaywalk.
FDOT has until 2011 to implement sharrows. Currently there are no plans for them; however, the FDOT representatives did inform me that sharrows could possibly be included. There is one caveat; sharrows can only be used on streets which have a speed limit below 35 mph. The area from SE 15th Street to SE 5th would qualify since the speed limit is 35 mph. The area from SE 15th Street to SW 25th Street would not, since it has a 40 mph speed limit. I suggested the speed limit be reduced to 30 mph from SE 15th Street to SE 5th and also reduce the speed limit from SE 15th Street to SW 25th Street to 35 mph, thereby making all of Brickell Avenue sharrow worthy.
There is a lot more that FDOT should be doing, we only had 45 minutes and walked only about 5 blocks during our field trip. The FDOT representatives told me that I should work with the Miami DDA, local elected officials, and the Brickell Avenue Homeowners Association to make Brickell safer for pedestrians. Personally, I think FDOT needs to take the lead here. The lack of progressive urbanism on FDOT’s part is inexcusable and their autocentric focus needs to end.
I will be meeting with the Bickell Avenue Homeowners association, the DDA, Green Mobility Network, and hopefully Commissioner Sarnoff in the coming weeks. We here at Transit Miami are not taking this project lightly and we need everyone’s help here. Please send an email to Gus Pego District 6 secretary and let him know you want and deserve a better Brickell Avenue.
- Miami Herald reports on Brickell Avenue resurfacing; FDOT refuses to do the right thing.
- FDOT Resurfacing Project Coming to Brickell; Transit Miami Eye is Watching
- FDOT Continues to Play Pedestrian Russian Roulette on Brickell Avenue
- Pedestrian Hit Near Brickell Avenue, Mayor Regalado and Commisioner Gimenez Support Ped-Friendly Streets; FDOT Still Says No
- Brickell Has Spoken. Will FDOT Listen and Do the Right Thing?
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