Traffic on Collins Avenue

Making Our Roads Safer for Pedestrians and Bicyclists

By Dana Goldman, Commissioner

(Thursday, April 1, 2021) – Among the tragedies that have rocked our community this past year, two stand out. The motorist collisions with a bicyclist on Collins Avenue and a pedestrian on Sunny Isles Boulevard, both fatal and both involving minors who live here, have shaken our residents to the very core. Words cannot adequately express our sorrow for the families of these two boys. The vulnerabilities on our busy roads and the dangers to our pedestrians and bicyclists have been laid bare.

It’s been often stated that we are a car-centric culture. Motorists first, with pedestrians and bicyclists way behind and all too often competing for the same space. Collins Avenue and Sunny Isles Boulevard are designed and maintained to get the most vehicles through in the shortest span of time. They exist and function like highways. Yet at the same time, as we have developed in 20+ years, we have an ever-increasing number of pedestrians and bicyclists in our city.

We all want a more walkable city. We all want our families, children, guests, and visitors in our resort community to be able to get around our streets, sidewalks, and crosswalks safely. Increased traffic enforcement and education is the platform for immediate and measurable progress. Then identifying warranted improvements with Miami-Dade County and FDOT for implementation, including signage, lighting and crosswalk functionality are in queue. We must reduce the speed limit where we can and improve our intersections, sidewalks and bicycle pathways. There must ultimately be a fundamental change of mind about how we view Collins Avenue and Sunny Isles Boulevard.