Florida is not a pedestrian-friendly place. According to Transportation for America’s most recent Dangerous by Design report, Sunshine State cities took home first, second, third, and fourth place in the rankings of the nation’s most dangerous metros for walking.
What’s it like to be a mother trying to raise young children in one of these cities? Pretty terrifying, it sounds like. Transit Miami recently ran this letter from a mother of two young children living in the Coconut Grove neighborhood:
We live in a quaint neighborhood right smack dab in the middle of US1 and Tigertail Ave. When you are here roaming the residential streets of the North Grove you don’t even feel as if you are surrounded by the bustle of an urban city. Living here we are very blessed to have Marjory Stoneman Douglas Mini Park in our backdoor. The park is a Miami Dade public park (playground really) that is frequented by many. There are kids EVERYWHERE in this hood.
Enter 22nd Ave connecting US1 and Tigertail Ave. You would think this small strip of street was part of the Indy 500. Crossing 22nd Ave to enter the park has become a very scary game of red rover red rover. There is a ancient stop for pedestrian in crosswalk sign that NO ONE sees or much less pays any attention.
In the 8 months that we have been living here, we have been to the park nearly everyday, sometimes twice a day. On two occasions, yes TWICE, have I had a car actually stop to let me cross with the kids. The real fat kicker: BOTH of these times that we were waved across, here comes maniac driver PUNCHING the gas to quickly go around the stopped car letting us cross! Hello SCREAMS, FREAK OUT, FREEZE IN SHOES WHICH WAY DO I PULL THE WAGON, SLAM ON BREAKS, KIDS CRYING, WE ALMOST DIED moment.
Just last week someone stopped to let a nanny and baby by and that act of goodness ended in a 3 car accident! God forbid a child actually escape the arms of a caretaker and run right out into this death trap. It is something very scary that we encounter daily. Please City of Miami a speed hump or two is all we ask for. If you could throw in a flashing yellow cross light that would be icing but come on, this is a neighborhood, these are our kids, and probably up to 30 kids that reside here walk to that park daily. The 22nd Ave crosswalk is somebody’s nightmare waiting to happen. I pray to God every single day that it’s not mine.
Transit Miami looked into the matter and found out that the road is owned by the City of Miami but subject to Miami-Dade County supervision. Let’s hope those folks are listening.
Elsewhere on the Network today: Mobilizing the Region shares a new study that compared pedestrian fatality rates in north and south Jersey and finds some glaring disparities. The Virginia Bicycling Federation explains how the commonwealth’s push for a three-foot passing law devolved into a two-foot passing law. And Rails to Trails reports that it is working with a team of bike and pedestrian advocates and California Governor Jerry Brown to determine the healthiest ways to distribute federal transportation funds under the new transportation bill.