The Miami Herald wrote a troubling editorial. The Florida Department of Transportation maintains a pedestrian-hostile environment, Brickell Avenue, and then, due to insufficient pedestrian activity, claims FDOT regulations disallow slower design speeds and most other pedestrian safety improvements. It doesn't matter that thousands of condominiums and apartments tower overhead. You can find photographs and an article by clicking HERE.
The agency charged with designing, constructing, and maintaining State of Florida roadways -- the nation's most perilous for pedestrians -- enforces out-of-date policies when it comes to road context. The disconnect results in a grim, mounting death toll--including an elderly woman on Brickell Avenue last month--warranting legislative intervention, if FDOT won't update its regulations on its own. It's time for FDOT to assume a leadership position and provide for "complete streets," safe and comfortable for motorists and non-motorists--and appropriate for the context.
Click here for the Miami Herald editorial.
UPDATE 12/17/10: The Brickell Avenue controversy is heading towards resolution. FDOT conducted additional studies and agreed to lower the speed limits to 35 mph (still not low enough for some) and to add Bike Share lane markings. You can get more details by clicking HERE.
UPDATE 1/5/11: An op-ed in the Miami Herald is criticizing plans for only four new crosswalks on Brickell Avenue, three at existing intersections, out of 25 proposed locations. Click HERE for the Miami Herald op-ed.