Item Coversheet



TO: Finance and Economic Resiliency Committee Members

Alina T. Hudak, City Manager

DATE: February 17, 2023



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.  Dade Boulevard is a collector roadway under the jurisdiction of Miami-Dade County.


Over the years, the City’s Transportation and Mobility Department staff has worked closely with the Committee for Quality of Education (QEC), MBSH administration, and residents of the area to discuss traffic concerns, review traffic conditions along adjacent 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.


In 2019, Transportation and Mobility Department staff conducted observations during morning drop-off period and discovered that some parents were dropping-off students along eastbound Dade Boulevard forcing students to cross Dade Boulevard at unsignalized mid-block locations (i.e. jaywalking).  As a result, the City commissioned a study to explore the feasibility of creating a dedicated pick-up/drop-off lane adjacent to Dade Boulevard to discourage the illegal drop-offs.  The study was completed in 2020 and recommended the implementation of a one-way westbound pick-up/drop-off lane between the existing bus lane in front of the school and Dade Boulevard (see attachment).  The study was forwarded to Miami-Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS) and Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW) for programming of the recommended improvements. However, MDCPS expressed some safety concerns with the pick-up/drop-off lane as proposed by the City and advised that it did not have funding identified for the implementation of the improvements. In the immediate term, MDCPS decided to move forward with the installation of a fence along the back of the north sidewalk in front of the school to deter students jaywalking across Dade Boulevard. Given MDCPS’ safety concerns and lack of funding, the City’s proposed pick-up/drop-off lane concept was not supported and did not move forward at that time.


On October 26, 2021, the QEC passed a motion urging the Transportation and Mobility Department to develop a working plan prioritizing student safety during drop-off and pick-up at MBSH.  The motion was transmitted to the Mayor and City Commission on October 28, 2021 via LTC # 463-2021.  


At the December 8, 2021 City Commission meeting, Commissioner David Richardson sponsored the referral of this item to the Finance and Economic Resiliency Committee (“FERC” or the “Committee”) for discussion.


At the March 30, 2022 FERC meeting, the Administration presented the pick-up/drop-off lane concept as recommended by the City.  At the meeting, the Committee supported the City’s proposed concept and recommended that City staff meet with DTPW and MDCPS to propose that each agency, including the City, fund one-third of the total cost of the pick-up/drop-off lane in order to fully fund the proposed improvement. Pursuant to FERC’s recommendation, the City’s Transportation and Mobility Department staff met with both DTPW and MDCPS staff, however, MDCPS continued to express safety concerns with the proposed pick-up/drop-off lane and advocated for the installation of a fence as an immediate solution.


On November 15, 2022, QEC discussed this item and passed a motion supporting the City’s recommended alternative. Given the Committee’s motion, in December 2022, the City’s Transportation and Mobility staff met again with DTPW and MDCPS staff to discuss potential modifications to the City’s proposed pick-up/drop-off lane concept in an effort to address the County’s safety concerns. Both DTPW and MDCPS have expressed a desire to collaborate with the City through the design development process.


Current Status and Next Steps

To advance the pick-up/drop-off lane concept through the design development phase, the Transportation and Mobility Department has reached out to a prequalified traffic engineering consultant and received a draft scope of services and fee proposal to develop engineering design drawings for the implementation of the proposed pick-up/drop-off lane. The design will address the safety and traffic concerns raised by MDCPS and DTPW. The consultant’s draft design fee proposal has not yet been negotiated and is preliminarily estimated at approximately $160,000. The scope is based on a seven (7) month duration for completion of final design plans, including DTPW and MDCPS review and permit approval.  Ultimately, approval from both MDCPS and DTPW will be required to move forward with the implementation of the proposed pick-up/drop-off lane, if determined to be feasible.


To enhance pedestrian safety in the immediate term, MDCPS completed the installation of a fence along the school frontage and DTPW completed the restriping of the existing crosswalks at the intersections of Dade Boulevard/Washington Avenue and Dade Boulevard/Prairie Avenue.




The preliminary estimated cost for the design phase is approximately $160,000; however, the draft scope and fee proposal has not yet been negotiated. Funding for the design phase has been identified within the Transportation & Mobility Department’s FY 2023 operating budget through adjustment of project budgets in the professional services account. 


The planning level construction cost estimate is approximately $600,000, pending further refinement during design development. Funding for construction would require appropriation of funds through the capital budget process.


Given the documented student and pedestrian safety concerns associated with MBSH drop-off and pick-up operations, the Transportation and Mobility Department completed a safety study which recommended the implementation of a dedicated pick-up/drop-off lane in front of MBSH between the existing bus lane and Dade Boulevard. MDCPS initially expressed some safety concerns with the City’s recommended alternative. To address the concerns, the Transportation and Mobility Department would need to engage a traffic engineering consultant to develop final engineering design plans for the proposed pick-up/drop-off lane. 


If authorized by the City Commission, the Transportation and Mobility Department will work with MDCPS and DTPW through the design development process with the goal of securing approval of the proposed pick-up/drop-off lane. Once the design is complete and approved by these entities, an opinion of probable cost for construction would be developed as well as an equitable funding plan in collaboration with MDCPS and DTPW.   

Applicable Area

Middle Beach
Is this a "Residents Right to Know" item, pursuant to City Code Section 2-14? Does this item utilize G.O. Bond Funds?
Yes No 

Strategic Connection

Mobility - Address traffic congestion.
Attachment A - Preferred Alternative for Drop-off on Dade BoulevardOther
Attachment B - Referral Item C4 AE December 8, 2021Memo