Downtown pays for look at closing some Biscayne Boulevard lanes
Directors of Miami’s Downtown Development Authority voted unanimously Friday to back Biscayne Green Weekend – three days of activations to evaluate the outcome of closing part of Biscayne Boulevard to traffic and opening it to programming – and fund the event at $65,000.
The event would take place sometime this spring, but further details haven’t been hammered out yet.
From Jan. 6-26, 2017, the authority closed two traffic lanes and more than 100 parking spaces on Biscayne between Southeast Second and Northeast First streets. The project transformed surface parking lots into colorfully decorated spaces with picnic benches, a playground, a dog park and other amenities. Thirty-five events staged in the 20-day demonstration included art displays, live music performances, movies, happy hours, yoga, soccer, bike rides and play dates. The demonstration attracted 16,939 visits to the area.
Biscayne Green, a long-standing authority project, aims to create a grand promenade, as exists in many European capitals, on Biscayne Boulevard by closing some traffic lanes from Southeast First to Northeast Eighth streets. A lane elimination study is underway to gauge possible effects on traffic.
In addition to connecting the city with Biscayne Bay, the promenade would include sitting areas, green spaces, and “activations” including art exhibits and other attractions that would invite people out of their cars.
Even the Miami Parking Authority, facing an annual loss $1.5 million from the spaces that will be removed, has endorsed the plan. In June 2016, the parking board unanimously approved a new memorandum of understanding with the downtown authority.
“We talked to the DDA about our role,” said Art Noriega, parking authority CEO, at that time. “This anticipates a very good working relationship with the DDA.”