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.”