Last month, a unanimous vote by the Miami Beach City Commission approved a new transportation plan. Within this plan is an overview of existing conditions, a plan for future improvements, new guidelines for future transportation procedures, and an outline of projects based on this insight.

As part of executing the approved plan, the City of Miami Beach created a list of goals and priorities. Some of the priorities they identified include a focus on pedestrian safety, improving transit service and infrastructure, developing a safe bicycle network, creating more off-street parking facilities, increasing efficiency of freight mobility and developing policies for the future.

Before a new plan could be created, existing conditions and data needed to be evaluated. Did you know that 56.5% of Miami Beach residents take a car to work, while only 12% use the public bus system and only 5% ride their bicycles? This information might come as a bit of a surprise, considering the state of Florida experiences sunny days nearly 75% of the year, making walking or riding a bicycle a more feasible option here than in cities in other states.

Modeshare Analysis for North Beach

Modeshare Analysis for North Beach

More specifically, North Beach is home to some of the most pedestrian friendly commercial districts in the City, which is not made obvious when looking at the modeshare analysis for the area. What is your preferred method of transportation for getting to work? For a closer look at the figures in the Executive Summary, click here.

Another aspect of the transportation plan includes a Street Design Guide, which will serve as a guideline for future city planning and development. Meant as a starting point for all engineers and city staff, these instructions will be followed to ensure that all future buildings in Miami Beach allow for the ease of use of all transportation modes. The hope is that by following these guidelines, more comfortable and livable neighborhoods and streets will be created in Miami Beach.

Something unique this guide offers is actual design concepts and details that retain a focus on walking, biking and public transportation, as opposed to car use. Many aspects of this guide will be put into place as Miami Beach aims to transition from a mainly car-based transportation city to a more multi-faceted transportation based city. These design concepts include improvements for street planning, to allow for all type of transportation use, and increasing the number of routes offered to pedestrians and cyclists in order to relieve traffic congestion and promote physical activity.

71st and Normandy Dr Exclusive Transit and Protected Bicycle Lanes

71st and Normandy Dr Exclusive Transit and Protected Bicycle Lanes

72nd St Protected Bicycle Lane from Collins to Dickens

72nd St Protected Bicycle Lane from Collins to Dickens

73rd St Protected Bicycle Lane from Collins to Dickens

73rd St Protected Bicycle Lane from Collins to Dickens

 

A new and exciting element is the introduction of a light rail/streetcar that will connect South Beach to downtown Miami through the MacArthur Causeway. The light rail/streetcar will continue on 5th St and run from 1st St to Dade Blvd along Collins Ave and Washington Ave. Future phases will have additional extensions going north along Collins Ave.

“Our light rail/modern streetcar project will be developed in close coordination with our transportation partners in the region, and will ultimately link to the Beach Corridor Transit Connection Project along MacArthur Causeway,” added City Manager Jimmy L. Morales. “We are also working closely with our Resiliency and Sustainability team to ensure the implementation respects our unique, historical environment.” With construction expected as early as 2017, many public and private sources of funding are currently being explored.

The City is holding open houses to provide the community an opportunity to learn more about this light rail/streetcar project and its latest developments:

Monday, June 6, 2016 from 4-8pm

City of Miami Beach City Hall

1700 Convention Center Dr

 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016 from 4-8pm

Miami Beach Police Department Community Center

1100 Washington Ave

 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016 from 4-7pm

Miami Beach Medical Group Community Room

1200 Alton Rd

For further details on this project, click here.

 

Light Rail Streetcar along the Macarthur Causeway

Light Rail Streetcar along the Macarthur Causeway

Light Rail Streetcar along 5th Street and along Collins Ave to Dade Blvd

Light Rail Streetcar along 5th Street and along Collins Ave to Dade Blvd

Light Rail Streetcar along Washington Ave from 1st Street to Dade Blvd

Light Rail Streetcar along Washington Ave from 1st Street to Dade Blvd

Pedestrian well-being is also definitely at the forefront of this new transportation plan. The plan has a large focus on safety with plans including include wider sidewalks and curb extensions, curb ramps, more sidewalk amenities such as awnings, lighting and trashcans, and enhanced crosswalks.

What aspects of a transportation plan are important to you? To read the full Miami Beach Transportation plan, visit www.miamibeachfl.gov/transportation

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Article Written by: Stephanie Caro May 25th, 2016

Posted In: Front Page News

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