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Miami Beach extends and expands Slow Streets initiative

“I am thrilled with this pilot initiative,” said Commissioner Mark Samuelian, who sponsored the program.”It’s the result of a community-driven process. We have collaborated closely with the neighborhood. We have done multiple events to engage the community to get feedback. It has been a successful pilot so far, and we look forward to continuing to learn and enhance as we proceed.”

“The city wants to deliver on its Transportation Master Plan,” said Mr. Samuelian, “which prioritizes pedestrians and cyclists. We need to make sure these alternative modes are safe and attractive, and this project is front and center in doing that.” 

The transportation plan, Mr. Samuelian added, focuses on these modes for a few key reasons. Cycling and walking, he said, is more eco-friendly than driving, and many members of younger generations prefer these methods and would like the option of not owning a car. Additionally, he said, from an infrastructure standpoint the city has a limited capacity for cars occupying the streets. 

January 12, 2021 | Miami Today | Miami Beach extends and expands Slow Streets initiative

Miami Beach’s Flamingo Park fastest to Slow Streets

Last week this Miami Beach neighborhood became the first in Miami-Dade to adopt “Slow Streets,” a program geared to make residential streets safer by discouraging non-local traffic and educating the community about slow driving speeds. 

The pilot, city Commissioner Mark Samuelian said, has been approved by the county and will run for 30 days before being evaluated. If feedback is positive, he continued, other neighborhoods and cities could pick up the initiative. 

During the pandemic, Mr. Samuelian said, transportation needs evolved and many residents found themselves engaging in more outdoor activities such as running, cycling and walking. This program, he said, is an effort to meet this changing demand and foster outdoor activity in a safer space.

Essentially, he said, residential streets in this neighborhood are now targeted with signs at their entrance discouraging “through traffic,” mandating slow speeds and encouraging biking and walking. The aim, he said, is to get non-residents looking to cut through neighborhoods to get to a destination to avoid these streets.

The program, Mr. Samuelian said, is just one step in a larger plan to make Miami Beach more accessible for pedestrians and cyclists. Other initiatives, he said, include adding protected bike lanes on Washington Avenue and the ongoing effort to consider pedestrianizing Ocean Drive. 

“My vision for Ocean Drive,” he said, “is one that puts people and pedestrians first. I view Slow Streets as another important step in this journey.”

October 27, 2020 | Miami Today | Miami Beach’s Flamingo Park fastest to Slow Streets