By George “Bud” Scholl, Mayor
(Friday, January 27, 2017) – As I have written in the past, studies have proven that most of the traffic on Collins is a result of commuters driving through the City to other destinations. As South Florida’s population has increased, daily traffic has overflowed from I-95 to Biscayne Boulevard to Collins Avenue.
As our City has grown, we have many more residents and visitors who walk our streets on a daily basis. Even though state law dictates that pedestrians always have the right of way, when crossing Collins Avenue we often find ourselves at odds with turning vehicles. There is not much we can do about the amount of cars on the road, however we have developed some ideas for making our streets safer for pedestrians and moving traffic more efficiently.
Our first pedestrian bridge was set in place across westbound 163rd Street. The two towers providing access to the bridge are nearing completion. We have discussed placing pedestrian bridges on Collins Avenue with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), the state agency who controls our major roads. FDOT is supportive of the concept of pedestrian bridges for safety and traffic mitigation. Our first Collins pedestrian bridge initiative is being slated for 174th Street, the busiest pedestrian intersection in our City. This pedestrian overpass connecting the west side of Collins to Samson Park will not only ensure our residents and guests will be able to cross Collins in complete safety, it will also enable us to work with FDOT to modify the traffic patterns at this busy intersection for more efficiency.
These projects take a lot of planning and approvals from a host of governmental agencies. Our City staff is hard at work getting this project moving. This location will be our first initiative to enhance public safety and mitigate traffic using pedestrian bridges over Collins. Keep an eye out for this important development in our City.