Mass transit, bicycle safety and construction woes were among the topics discussed at a public workshop to discuss Miami Beach’s transportation master plan.
As part of a continuing conversation about the plan, which city transportation officials are developing to outline the city’s transportation priorities for the next several years. About 50 people attended the workshop Tuesday night.
The main item
City officials expect to have a master plan finished in the fall with a list of future prioritized projects. The transportation department has, with direction from the City Commission, set three priority levels for transportation improvements:
▪ Transit, bicycle and freight
▪ Private vehicles
Officials are looking at priorities for different corridors. For example, the highest priorities for Washington Avenue is implementing transit and bicycle facilities. In more residential corridors, bike facilities could take a higher priority. Transportation Director José González said the city is developing a list of specific projects that fit into the priorities.
Ideas include creating protected bicycle lanes and dedicated bus lanes in different areas of the city, and implementing light rail in South Beach. González said the light rail project is about three to five years away, so within one to two years, the city wants to start rapid bus transit to connect downtown Miami to Miami Beach.
Residents liked the emphasis on mass transit and bicycles, saying the demand is there for rail connections and improved bike facilities.
The city is also factoring in a significant amount of construction already planned for different city and state roads during the next five years. Officials are still gathering data on modes of transportation used by tourists and nonresidents, who on a typical day make the city’s population of about 90,500 increase to 205,000.
The city will continue to discuss the master plan and seek input from the public during the next few months. The City Commission will consider formally endorsing the prioritization of modes of transportation in July. In September, a project list will be presented at a public workshop. The City Commission will consider the list in October.
They said it
“We really would like to be pushing people ... we’re a city of people, not a city of cars.” — Transportation Coordinator Josiel Ferrer, on how the city wants to prioritize pedestrian modes of transportation.