City Expresses Concerns About Mid Beach Road Project


Susan Askew
Susan Askew

City Expresses Concerns About Mid Beach Road Project:

FDOT plans for 4700-5800 collins ave drew resident complaints

The City of Miami Beach is weighing in on the concerns expressed by area residents over a road safety project planned by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) for the 4700-5800 blocks of Collins Avenue.
At a public hearing last month, FDOT discussed its plans to modify the access to and from the frontage road and allow u-turns from the roadway rather than the frontage road, a change they say will reduce the number of accidents. As part of the plan, they intend to reduce the number of traffic signals from ten to five. Residents say the real problem is speed and reducing the number of signals will exacerbate the problem.
This week, City Manager Jimmy Morales sent a Letter to Commission in which he indicated, “City staff has major concerns with FDOT’s proposed reduction of signalized intersections, including the impact to safe pedestrian crossings and lack of pedestrian connectivity along the corridor as well as the potential for higher speeds along the corridor due to fewer signalized intersections.” Morales said the City has corroborated its concerns with the Mid-Beach Neighborhood Association.
He said staff from the Miami Beach Transportation Department met with FDOT staff in February “to discuss the community concerns and the City’s vision for the Collins Avenue corridor as recommended in the City’s Adopted Transportation Master Plan [and] FDOT agreed to review the possibility of not reducing crosswalks (i.e. retaining the existing 10 crosswalks)”.
Retaining the crosswalks would not change the proposed modifications to the frontage road, according to Morales.
“In addition to requesting that, at a minimum, all existing crosswalks be retained, the City has requested that FDOT 1) narrow the width of the travel lanes on Collins Avenue from 11 feet to 10 feet in order to help reduce vehicular speeds (currently 35 miles per hour posted speed); 2) incorporate dedicated transit lanes along the project corridor; and 3) explore the possibility of including bicycle lanes along the project corridor.”
The estimated $17.4 million project is currently at 60% design stage and is scheduled for construction in 2023.
Morales concluded, “City staff will continue to work with FDOT and advocate that the City’s and the community’s concerns be addressed through the design development process.”

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