Doral to experiment with reversible lanes to tackle traffic

Reversible lanes on Interstate 595 in the area of Davie.
Reversible lanes on Interstate 595 in the area of Davie. EL NUEVO HERALD FILE

The Miami-Dade County Commission last week unanimously approved a resolution that will implement a pilot program utilizing reversible lanes and/or one-way roads in Doral.

Reversible lanes are roads in which traffic can travel in either direction, depending on displayed overhead signal (a green arrow or a red ‘X’). They are used to improve traffic flow during rush hours.

Doral, a city almost defined by its consistent bumper-to-bumper traffic, is eager to implement the pilot program, which will aim at alleviating snarling traffic.

The Metropolitan Planning Organization — the regional government agency that will be funding and conducting the feasibility study — will work with the city to identify the best place to conduct the pilot program, and for the next 90 days will study that area.

Doral is suggesting Northwest 25th Street (west of 87th Avenue), mainly because of the heavy traffic volume. Also, it doesn’t have raised medians with trees or grass.

By early June, the results of the traffic study will be presented to county commissioners. With those results, the county will decide which streets will participate in the pilot program.

The Metropolitan Planning Organization will meet with Doral Mayor Luigi Boria on Monday to discuss transit and traffic.

“Doral continues to be one of the most congested areas within Miami-Dade County and we are seeking innovative programs to bring relief,” said Joan Shen, Doral’s director of public works. “Based on the volume that we know of, in the morning, our hope is that we will have more eastward lanes to increase flow. In the afternoon, more lanes will run westward.”

On average, Doral has more than 100,000 drivers coming through the city on a weekday, and more than 106,000 cars exiting the city every weekday, city spokesman Evan Owen said.

Other cities that have utilized reversible lanes are Jacksonville, Washington, D.C., Denver and San Francisco.

Reversible lanes have been used minimally and locally at Sun Life Stadium when fans rush in and then out. They were also used during the rebuilding of bridges linking the mainland with Key Biscayne. Highway express lanes have also linked up to reversible express lanes on Interstate 595 in Broward.

Monique O. Madan: 305-376-2108, @MoniqueOMadan