As a 17-year Miami resident who lives on Brickell Key, I have seen how much this city has grown. With growth has come good and bad. Right now, I am writing about the bad.
It has been said many times that Miami is supposed to be a “world class city.” But the quality of life is dropping for Brickell-area residents, especially those on Brickell Key. There are horrendous traffic jams at Southeast Eighth Street and Brickell Avenue. These are now happening at all hours of the day. On some evenings it has taken me 50 minutes to get from Brickell Key to the I-95 on ramp at Southwest Eighth Street.
Brickell Avenue is currently under construction, which has had horrible effect on traffic. After Brickell CitiCentre is completed, traffic will get worse. Southwest Seventh and Eighth streets are not wide enough for the traffic that will pass and stop at this new development. These are main arteries between Brickell and the interstate. Look at South Miami Avenue between Southwest Ninth and 10th streets. At night, cars are double-parked in front of Mary Brickell Village. In addition, a line of cars for the valet parking narrows this main thoroughfare down to a one-lane obstacle course, which includes people crossing South Miami Avenue between stopped and parked cars, instead of at pedestrian crosswalks.
Poor street design has always impeded the flow of traffic in Miami, exacerbated by traffic lights that are not synchronized. Now conditions are worse because northbound drivers no longer can make a left turn from Brickell Avenue onto Southeast Sixth Street. A short-term solution to this problem is to use law officers to direct traffic at key intersections. Place them at Brickell Avenue and Southeast Eighth Street, Brickell Bay Drive and Southeast Eighth Street and Southeast Third Avenue and Second Street.
The next step would be to synchronized the traffic lights on westbound Southeast Seventh Street and southbound Brickell Avenue between the Brickell Avenue Bridge and Southeast Eighth Street. Once this is done, the lights’ timing it should be checked each month.
In the Brickell area, we see police officers posted to catch speeders and other bad drivers. It is irritating to see officers sitting in their cars with air conditioning and flashing lights at construction sites. The city needs to have some of these officers working a traffic patrol during heavy driving hours, at least until the construction is finished. The free trolleys been a good start in solving traffic congestion. By instituting other improvements I have suggested, the quality of life will increase, while reducing residents’ road rage.
Ken Tannenbaum, Miami