By Dana Goldman, Commissioner
(June 2, 2020) – COVID-19 has disrupted virtually every aspect of our lives, including our city streets. The stay-at-home order and travel restrictions have dramatically curtailed motorist activity and increased recreational walking, jogging and bicycling activities. Much has also been made about telecommuting and work-at-home programs that will keep more city dwellers in place. We are diverse, comprised in part of youth, elderly, visitors and recreational enthusiasts, all of whom are non-motorists. There is latent demand for alternative modes of transportation on our city streets. We must work with Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to enhance accessibility and safely protect our walkers and bicyclists.
We have a pedestrian bridge that successfully connects 172 Street to 174 Street through North Bay Road and provides mobility for families to and from Norman S. Edelcup SIB K-8. Now re-imagine how Collins Avenue can be engineered to offer safer passage for bicyclists and walkers and connectivity to Aventura. I recently advocated to FDOT for temporary lane closures and reduced speed on Collins Avenue. We must find ways to adapt to growing residents’ demands for walking and cycling.
In the long run, pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists can only peacefully co-exist with multimodal planning that includes a “road diet.” The road diet will reduce the number of lanes on Collins Avenue so we can widen our sidewalks and create more sustainable pedestrian, cycling and transit connectivity. The road diet can only be accomplished with vision, political will and FDOT’s consensus.