Autos To Take Back Seat In Downtown Miami Transportation Plan


In a year or so a new transportation master plan should help speed more mobility in downtown Miami for the decades ahead. Automobiles take a back seat in the plan’s aims, with pedestrians at the forefront.

A $170,000 study upon which to base the plan won unanimous Transportation Planning Organization approval with aims far broader than the most recent plan for the area, which was drawn in 2003 in vastly different times for a vastly different downtown.

As the documents seeking a planning consultant for the study note, downtown has “experienced a tremendous amount of growth, especially in terms of residents,” and is far different than when the last plan was drawn in a downtown that essentially emptied out of people by 6 p.m. daily and lacked the residential towers that now seem to be everywhere.

The plan is to be created at the request of county Commissioner Eileen Higgins, who represents the downtown area. Once a consultant is selected, the study for the plan is expected to take 11 months.

The work order from the planning organization calls for “a people-first approach” to downtown mobility.

A key element is to evaluate best practices in emerging and future technology that is now being used “in pedestrian- and transit-oriented downtown areas.”

The consultant is to research “micromobility, integrated mobility hubs, event management, repurposing of roadways for exclusive bus lanes, water taxi systems, active mobility networks, and pedestrian/cycling mobility and safety.”

The document points to an urban core so changed from when the last study was done 20 years ago that downtown now has become heavily residential, and many residents don’t own cars, choosing instead to use transit, walk or cycle. At the same time, it points to the new mobility options that have emerged in those two decades. That change produced a downtown, the document says, that demands “multiple means of transportation and must accommodate multimodal transportation safely and efficiently.”

While the outline orders study of water taxis, micromobility, walkability, pedestrian and bicycle safety and bicycle networks, transit stations, connections to the Underline, the Commodore Trail and other newer entrants to urban transportation, it is virtually silent on any future for automobile transportation downtown.

Source:  Miami Today