Government, Village Life

More Traffic Calming Coming

“Join the City of Miami, District 2 Commissioner Damian Pardo and the Department of Resilience and Public Works (RPW) for a meeting to discuss plans for a Traffic Calming Study in West Coconut Grove.” That was the message of a flyer announcing a community meeting at Armbrister Park at 6:30 p.m., Wed., March 27.

Commissioner Pardo, District 2 Coconut Grove Liaison Javier Gonzalez, and City staff and consultants were there to present the study’s findings. A group of residents were there to ask questions and provide feedback. Most in the audience came to talk about traffic calming in the West Grove. Soon, however, it became clear that the study area was not just the West Grove. It’s almost evenly divided between the West Grove/Little Bahamas and the Center Grove. It begins at U.S. 1 on the west and ends at 27th Ave. on the east. Henceforth, says Gonzalez, the project will be referred to as the Little Bahamas and Center Grove traffic calming study.

That wasn’t the only glitch. Many participants pointed out that by making Grand Ave. the southern boundary, the study left out a significant part of the West Grove. The presenters said they would welcome comments about traffic calming for the entire West Grove. Participants said that traffic calming improvements in the South Grove, still in progress, have been made only in the wealthy area south of Loquat Ave. That’s not completely accurate. Although the area between Grand and Loquat Ave., the presumptive border between the West Grove and the South Grove, has not been the subject of a traffic study, several traffic calming devices have been installed there in recent years and traffic counts have been conducted. There’s also a plan for traffic calming on historic Charles Ave.

At the meeting, the consultants pointed out that data for the study was collected from 24-hour spot sensors (automatic traffic recorders, or ATRs—click on the image to enlarge it) placed at strategic locations and intersections throughout the area to measure traffic, speeding, and vehicle characteristics. The initial findings showed that the majority (88%) of crashes involved property damage, not bodily injury. The study also claimed there were no fatalities, although one participant pointed out that there was a fatality involving a car and go-cart collision on the corner of Douglas Rd. and Grand Ave. a year or two ago.

Some in the audience remarked on the need for sidewalks in the West Grove so children could walk safely to school. The presenters replied that adding sidewalks in the Grove will be a long and arduous effort due to the legalities surrounding property owners’ easements. Improving safe mobility is further complicated because the Grove’s streets are under the jurisdiction of three different government entities—the City, the County, and the State. Nevertheless, the final report will recommend a variety of traffic-calming devices for the area.

The next step is to review input from the community, fine-tune the data results, and make final recommendations based on those findings. There will be other opportunities for review and feedback. Commissioner Pardo stated that once the study is completed, he will find the budget dollars to fund the needed improvements.

“Even if people missed the meeting, we are encouraging everybody to write us if they have any concerns or questions,” says Javier Gonzalez. “Sometimes people have issues with streets that belong to the County, and we have no control over those streets. But we want to be the first line of defense.”

To view the Little Bahamas & Center Grove Traffic Calming Study presented at the March 27 meeting, click here.
 
To view a summary of the 2021 South Grove Traffic Calming Study, click here.

To view a recent update on the South Grove Traffic Calming Project and the installation of traffic calming devices, still in progress, click here.

Contact Javier Gonzalez by phone/text at (305) 582-5085 and by email at [email protected].

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