State engineers agreed Tuesday to lower speed limits on busy Brickell Avenue and to add more marked crosswalks to construction that's due to begin in early January. It's a big victory for the blog Transit Miami and the South Florida Bike Coalition, which for four months have been asking District 6 of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to make the street safer for walkers who live and work in the growing financial district. The groups organized effectively among residents, property owners and public officials, eventually signaling they were ready to take the fight to Tallahassee if necessary.
At a public meeting a week ago, FDOT announced it was doing further traffic studies to see if lower speeds were justified. The following day, at a meeting of the Miami-Dade Metropolitan Planning Organization, District 6 Secretary Gus Pego was challenged to defend his engineers' adherence to 40 mph posted speeds in the residential part of the 1.6-mile project area. Now, FDOT says it will post 35 mph between SE 15th Road and the mouth of the Rickenbacker Causeway -- the same limit as the upper stretch of Brickell.
There's a good report about this all in today's Miami Herald.