Miami Beach’s pilot program aimed at encouraging walkers, cyclists and drivers to share roads in Flamingo Park has been expanded and expanded following a positive public response, city officials say.
Slow streets the pilot, which was supposed to start in October and last for a month, is now moving into a third month with no signs of interruption, according to transport director Jose Gonzalez.
The program, as Miami Today reported in October, is designed to mitigate traffic and highlight the slow driving speed of 20 km / h, to make residential streets safer and more convenient for cyclists and pedestrians. Although it originally covered only the Flamingo Park neighborhood, Mr. Gonzalez said it has been expanded to include the length of Pennsylvania Avenue in the north leading to Lincoln Road.
“I am delighted with this pilot initiative,” said Commissioner Mark Samuelian, who sponsored the program. “It is the result of a community-led process. We worked closely with the neighborhood. We did more events to engage the community to get feedback. He has been a successful pilot so far and we look forward to continuing to learn and improve in the future. “
The next step, Mr Gonzalez said, is to release updated Slow Streets signs with a Miami Beach sign in the neighborhood, indicating a speed limit of 20 mph and encouraging road sharing. The signs, he said, will replace construction signs currently addressing traffic, which are not as informative or aesthetic as they might be.
According to Mr. Gonzalez, the pilot program is evaluated based on factors such as traffic data, public safety statistics and community satisfaction surveys. The first survey, he said, garnered 70% of support from the neighborhood, and Assistant Director of Transportation Josiel Ferrer-Diaz added that one group of residents took on driving or walking different segments of pilots each day to help maintain signage.
“These were hallways where cars had maybe 60% or 70% of the traffic,” Mr. Gonzalez said. “We now have 60% and 70% traffic by bicycle or pedestrian, as opposed to vehicles.” Safety data, he said, will take longer to detect trends, but no more accidents have occurred in the area than usual.
“The city wants to fulfill its General Transport Plan,” said Mr. Samuelian, “which favors pedestrians and cyclists. We have to make sure that these alternative ways of working are safe and attractive, and this project is the main one and the main one in that. “
Other recent projects like hiking Ocean Drive and adding sheltered bike paths on Washington Avenue, he said, have also helped this goal.
The transportation plan, Mr. Samuelian added, is focused on these modes for several key reasons. Cycling and walking, he said, is more environmentally friendly than riding, and many members of the younger generation prefer these methods and would like the option of not owning a car. In addition, he said, from an infrastructural point of view, the city has limited capacity for cars occupying the streets.
According to Mr. Gonzalez, several neighborhoods have requested participation in the pilot and, although another extension has not been bypassed, the immediate focus is on improving signaling in the current area.