MIAMI – The Miami-Dade Department of Transportation and Public Works aims to make one more intersection in the county safer for pedestrians.
In a virtual hearing held on Wednesday, county officials discussed an ongoing project in South Miami. They plan to implement a diagonal crosswalk at SW 57 Avenue and SW 72 Street.
After spending time there, you understand why.
As people drive to their next destination, others stand and wait to walk to theirs.
“You got to watch all the lights and when the walking man comes back up,” said Joanne Bradley. “Can I go now? And then to the next step and the next step.”
Bradley waited minutes to walk to the opposite corner, crossing both streets.
She’s one of many counting minutes to do the same.
With lots of foot traffic near businesses, county officials said it’s one of the reasons they want to add a diagonal crosswalk.
And one local business owner welcomes the idea.
“More safe for customers, people, and neighbors,” Joiani Martin added.
Waiting for the walking signal to light up all four crosswalks at once can take time. We kept track. And more than six minutes passed before pedestrians received the go-ahead.
Most don’t wait and dodge traffic.
“Safer streets are more walkable and bikeable streets, not just built for cars but also for pedestrians,” said Miami-Dade County Vice-Chairman Oliver Gilbert.
He calls it a mindset. One put into action on a stretch of Ives Dairy Road after our stories highlighted residents calling for action to slow the speeding to reduce accidents.
“We can do things with road design to slow down traffic,” said Gilbert. “We can do that with signalization and medians. We can do that with a lot of different things.”
Since our story last month, he’s worked alongside the county to assess and implement new strategies on Ives Dairy. There are more than a dozen ideas on the table.
Ives Dairy might be a small stretch of road, but it spotlights the county’s bigger mission.
“Whether people can feel safe in their house or on the roads is a big step for all of us,” Gilbert added.
Commissioner Gilbert calls traffic safety a team sport. Everyone has a role to play, from the county to the police, along with community feedback.
But above all, it starts with just being better neighbors.
In Wednesday night’s virtual hearing, officials say the project will be completed at the intersection near the end of 2023.