Recent Comments


The Newspaper for the Future of Miami
Connect with us:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Linkedin
Front Page » Transportation » State OKs cutting Biscayne Boulevard lanes

State OKs cutting Biscayne Boulevard lanes

Written by on March 18, 2015
State OKs cutting Biscayne Boulevard lanes

A plan to re-do Biscayne Boulevard being advanced by Miami’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has the tacit approval of the Florida Department of Transportation, though the former, not the latter, will continue to lead the project.

“As state transportation partners, we find the DDA’s vision to be pedestrian friendly, aesthetically pleasing and in line with the department’s Complete Streets vision,” said Gus Pego, secretary for the state road department’s District Six, which encompasses Miami-Dade and Monroe counties, via email.

Complete Streets, initiated in 2003, “encourages street connectivity and aims to create a comprehensive, integrated network for all modes” of transportation, including walking and bicycling, according to the transportation agency’s web-site. It also says roads should be safe for people of every age and level of mobility.

Newly christened Biscayne Green, the downtown author-ity’s project would narrow a stretch of Biscayne Boulevard from Northeast Eighth Street south to Biscayne Boulevard Way, reduce driving lanes from eight to four or six, and shave parking spaces from 388 to 187 to create room for medians with grass, trees and walkways. It would replace a shared bicycle lane with a dedicated one and widen sidewalks. The cost for the medians was estimated at $24 million.

“From an engineering perspective, we raised some concerns regarding the impact of the proposed lane reductions on one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares,” Mr. Pego added, but overall the state agency, which goes by the initialism FDOT, doesn’t have major objections.

“FDOT is committed to working with our partners – the City of Miami, the Downtown Development Authority and the county – on evaluating this concept and moving a potential project forward. We will work in partnership with the DDA, the city and the county so that any improvement would address the mobility concerns within the central business district that we are hearing today.”

The downtown authority is in the process of building a three-dimensional model that it could use to build its case for the project, said Eric Riel Jr., authority team leader of planning, design and transportation, last month.

There are still obstacles: the downtown group must work with the Miami Parking Authority to trim the parking spaces and reconfigure what’s left.

The plan calls for some parking to be available at off-peak times only.

The authority must also enlist the help of Miami-Dade County to redesign the intersections, develop a phasing plan, then submit construction documents to all relevant agencies. It is also the authority’s task to identify funding for it all.

“We are looking to the DDA and/or the city to be the lead” on the project, Mr. Pego said, and also to address any issues that may arise from the loss of some parking spaces along Biscayne Boulevard.

13 Responses to State OKs cutting Biscayne Boulevard lanes

  1. Ben Grimm

    March 19, 2015 at 10:18 am

    The state has always pushed dumb ideas. Why stop now? For those of you who travel to and from northern parts you should prepare yourselves for traffic to increase on 2nd Avenue, Miami Avenue and even 7th Avenue. There will be no relaxing drives home anymore. And there will be no mass transit alternative that you will look forward to using either. For those of you living along every north-south route you should be prepared to meet with angry motorists… after a brief period of increased pedestrian accidents. Consider yourselves warned.

  2. Peter R. Ehrlich, Jr.

    March 19, 2015 at 11:12 am

    In the meantime, Miami-Dade County and the City of Miami can offer a new Downtown park and open space opportunity to residents and tourists who live, work and visit Downtown. The County and the City should force the Formula E race promoters to remove the newly dumped concrete from Parcel B. The race promoters killed grass and trees on this 4 acre waterfront site and then they dumped concrete.
    Now is the time to remove the concrete and add grass and trees.

  3. Michael

    March 20, 2015 at 10:15 am

    About time the state started building infrastructure for people and not cars.

    • Ben Grimm

      April 9, 2015 at 8:56 am

      Now the PEOPLE can watch CARS all the time since they’ll both be gridlocked more often.

  4. Miguel

    March 20, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    Do the DDA and FDOT not realize that between NW 5th Street and SW 2nd Street there are 5 office buildings, 2 hotels, 3 condominiums, a large commercial center, a community college, an Arena, and a Port all with direct traffice needs for Biscayne Blvd. (i.e., no other roadway available)? Also, do they not realize that one of those office buildings may one day be the tallest commercial tower in Miami? And do they not realize that Bayside may one day be an even more prominent commercial center (see Skyrise fiasco)? How do they propose to move all these people around?

    Even New York’s 5th Avenue, a thoroughfare with a much higher volume of pedestrian traffic, has 5 lanes! This proposal is simply absurd. There are much better ways to make Biscayne Blvd. pedestrian friendly which do not involve removing critical traffic infrastructure (e.g., lower speed limits and stronger enforcement, dedicated bike shoulder, prominent crosswalks).

    And if our officials want to encourage pedestrian activity in Biscayne Blvd. they shouldn’t close Bayfront Park for weeks at a time (see Ultra)!

  5. Noel Cleland

    March 21, 2015 at 8:43 am

    As with most big cities, it’s not the number are car lanes that make the downtown area enjoyable. I support the concept of making Miami more user-friendly to those that don’t want to sit in their car looking for a parking place.

  6. Marissa

    March 22, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    As a new resident of the Brickell neighborhood, I welcome the effort to make this part of the city more pedestrian friendly. Unfortunately, public transportation to and from and around Miami is woefully inadequate, making cars a necessary evil. Reducing parking spaces while dramatically increasing residential space in this neighborhood is lunacy.

    Also, commercial and commuter traffic in this neighborhood will get worse (and it is already pretty bad!),

    Do the city planners live in Miami????

    • Ben Grimm

      April 9, 2015 at 9:00 am

      None of this is being discussed by transportation planning agencies. This is all done between private citizens and area politicians with no regard to consequences for the area as a whole.

  7. Anthony

    March 24, 2015 at 10:00 am

    Well, I am all for making streets more bike and pedestrian friendly and such, but losing parking spaces is going to make things worse. I take public transportation, and ride my bike when I can, but I am self employed, and when I have to go to a customer site, all this parking removal makes it difficult to get to worksites. I was looking for parking the other day in brick ell, and it took me 45 minutes to find a parking spot for a 30 minute job. It is frustrating. We should be adding more parking, not less.

    • marc

      March 25, 2015 at 10:07 am

      Parking is not an issue in this design. The parking will go underground under the medians.

      • Ben Grimm

        April 9, 2015 at 9:03 am

        No. It won’t. Bayfront Park and the adjacent boulevard was once mangrove swamp. Underground parking will be expensive to build and prone to flooding.

  8. gregory

    March 24, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    I’m all for parks but in logic names the population of that area is increasing, don’t cut lanes especially when the area still lacks the baylink and coastal link.

  9. Alex Murray

    March 26, 2015 at 7:11 am

    I love the idea of the Biscayne Green, although I don’t think it goes far enough. For the Bayside to “one day be an even more prominent commercial center” Miami needs schemes like this implemented soon.

    New York has pedestrianize half of Times square along with 25 other “plazas” making the area much more friendly for the average human. Miami is being left behind. Incidentally it improved traffic flow in the Times square area.

    I would scrap the surface parking and the underground parking. It would save a lot of money. There are enough surface lots in between 5th and 8th that if the market demands more parking spaces someone will build a multi-story car park on these lots.