At the December 8, 2021 City Commission meeting, Commissioner David Richardson sponsored the referral of this item to the Finance and Economic Resilience Committee (FERC) for discussion.
Similar to most schools within Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach Senior High School (MBSH) and the streets in the vicinity experience traffic congestion during morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up periods. The critical period for most high schools in the County is the morning drop-off period. The afternoon pick-up period tends to produce less traffic congestion around the perimeter of a school due to its staggered nature and multiple extracurricular activities requiring many students to remain in school.
MBSH is bounded by Prairie Avenue to the west, Dade Boulevard to the south, the City’s Public Works Operation yard to the east, and Bayshore Park to the north. While Prairie Avenue is a local street under the City’s jurisdiction, Dade Boulevard is a collector roadway under the jurisdiction of Miami-Dade County.
Over the years, the City’s Transportation and Mobility Department has worked closely with the Committee for Quality of Education, MBSH administration, and residents of the area to discuss traffic concerns, review traffic conditions along both roadways during drop-off and pick-up periods, and explore solutions to mitigate the impacts to traffic and improve safety. As a result, the City has implemented various safety improvements to enhance safety and reduce congestion, including installation of a pedestrian crosswalk with rapid rectangular flashing beacons on Prairie Avenue north of 23 Street. In 2018, the City’s Transportation and Mobility Department completed the installation of school zone flashing beacons on Prairie Avenue to replace older static signs. Furthermore, the Department installed new pavement markings and signage along Prairie Avenue including re-striping school zone markings.
In addition to these improvements, the City applied and was awarded funding through the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Transportation Alternatives Grant Program to design and implement various pedestrian safety improvements in the vicinity of MBSH. The project scope includes pedestrian ramp upgrades, new crosswalks, new school zone beacons on Prairie Avenue and Dade Boulevard, signalization improvements, and other pedestrian accessibility improvements. The project is currently in the design development phase and scheduled for construction in Fiscal Year 2024.
On October 26, 2021, the City’s Committee for Quality Education passed a motion urging the Transportation and Mobility Department to develop a working plan prioritizing student safety during drop-off and pick-up at Miami Beach Senior High School. The motion was transmitted to the Mayor and City Commission on October 28, 2021 via LTC # 463-2021.