Study due on narrowing Biscayne Boulevard traffic flow
Biscayne Green, a Downtown Development Authority plan to create a grand promenade on Biscayne Boulevard by closing some traffic lanes, just got a boost: a long-awaited letter of concurrency from the state to the city allowed a lane closure study – the next step in making Biscayne Green a reality – to begin last month.
That study will take about nine months, said Christina Crespi, authority deputy director. “It will tell us what the impact closing lanes will be, depending on how many lanes are closed at any one time,” she said. Transportation consultant T. Y. Lin is to do the study.
Biscayne Green would close several traffic lanes and eliminate some Biscayne Boulevard parking from Southeast First to Northeast Eighth streets and craft a pedestrian plaza like those in many European capitals.
The promenade would connect the city with Biscayne Bay and include sitting areas, green spaces, and “activations” including art exhibits and activities to invite people out of their cars.
The Florida Department of Transportation requires the lane elimination study, Patrice Gillespie Smith, authority senior manager for planning, design and transportation, said in April. Funds are set aside for the study.
“T Y Lin has a huge team, and they will study everything, as well as collect a lot of public input,” she said. “They’ll create a great model and help us present our case to FDOT.”
Even the Miami Parking Authority, facing an annual loss $1.5 million as parking spaces are removed, endorsed the plan. Last June, its board unanimously approved a new memorandum of understanding with the downtown authority. “We talked to the DDA about our role,” Art Noriega, parking authority CEO, said then. “This anticipates a very good working relationship with the DDA.”
He said both parties see opportunities. “The future of Biscayne Boulevard will be radically different.”
A focus will remain income stream, Mr. Noriega told the parking board. “Whatever we lose from the median, we make up a little elsewhere,” he said of a redesigned boulevard. “Our goal is to minimize revenue impact.”