Miami Beach kicks off a new “cleaner streets” pilot program this week starting in North Beach. Responding to the 2019 Resident Survey which indicated cleanliness of neighborhood streets is a top priority and in need of improvement, the City is rolling out a pilot known as the Alternate Side Parking (ASP) initiative. What that means, very simply, is one side of a street for a short period of time on a designated block will be deemed a no parking zone so sweeper trucks can have access to curbs and gutters.
Heads up: Anyone who doesn't move their cars will be fined and/or towed.
Jay Fink, Assistant Director of Public Works, told RE:MiamiBeach while this is a new initiative, it isn’t a new idea. “It’s been talked about for 20 years,” he said, “but in the City of Miami Beach when it comes to moving cars, parking restrictions, inconveniences for anyone for any reason… no one had the appetite to take this on.”
When the results of the Resident Survey were known, Fink said, the administration viewed it as an “opportunity” to improve. Sanitation workers can do a better job if they’re not having to work around cars. Currently, he said, they use leave blowers to get material out from underneath parked cars, a noisy endeavor with a negative impact on the environment and quality of life. The photo above shows two City of Miami Beach sanitation works with leaf blowers followed by a sweeper truck. Without the parked cars, the operation becomes more effective and efficient.
Fink is aware of the risk. “It may go horribly wrong but our feeling is there’s so much to gain, it’s worth the risk,” he said.
Two pilot areas were identified, one in North Beach from 67th and 73rd Streets between Collins Avenue and Indian Creek Drive which starts the pilot tomorrow. The second is the Flamingo Park area of South Beach which will begin July 29.
Fink said the areas were carefully chosen. The City wanted to avoid the “very residentials areas” in North Beach “that have severe parking challenges.” Instead, the area of focus includes nearby parking garages and surface lots that residents can use if they are unable to find on-street parking during a street cleaning period.
The initiative is purposefully limited to one side of the street at one time. “You don’t have to move your car very far, just across the street,” Fink said. The time, “only three hours of the day” was set to begin at 9 when most people who commute to work by car would have left home. “By noon time, people can return to their usual parking spaces,” he said.
In South Beach, Fink said there are challenges around school drop offs and pickups which the City wanted to avoid so it chose Flamingo Park due to its more residential nature. Again, the availability of alternative parking in garages and lots was important.
“I don’t think it’s going to cause too much of a hardship to park, but that’s one of the biggest negatives in this getting out of the gate,” Fink said. Beginning in summer when parking demands are at their lowest was another consideration.
“What we’re hoping for is success,” he said, but he also expects it to be a learning opportunity which may require tweaks to the program. Cleaner streets, less noise and dust, and a better quality of life for Miami Beach residents are worth the try to him.
The City said it is heavily promoting the program to ensure residents get the message about when to move cars including street signage designating which street will be cleaned and when, direct mail, social media, and flyers posted in nearby public places.
Fink said the Parking Department has already posted signs in North Beach where “there is no shortage of signs.” Next week signs will begin going up in the Flamingo Park area.
For more details, see the two flyers posted below.
Photo: City of Miami Beach
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