Item Coversheet

New Business and Commission Requests - R9  F




COMMISSION MEMORANDUM

TO:Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Commission 
FROM:Alina T. Hudak, City Manager 
DATE:March  27, 2023
 



SUBJECT:DISCUSS ACTIVE TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT AND MITIGATION EFFORTS.

RECOMMENDATION

The Administration recommends that City staff coordinate with Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW) and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to evaluate solutions that can be implemented to alleviate traffic congestion.

BACKGROUND/HISTORY

At the February 22, 2023, City Commission Meeting, the Mayor and City Commission directed the Administration to investigate the feasibility of removing the bulb outs on Chase Avenue, Prairie Avenue, Royal Palm Avenue, and Sheridan Avenue between 40th Street and 41st Street in an effort to combat the current traffic congestion that is experienced in this area during peak hours.

It is important to note that the Bayshore neighborhood experiences a higher than normal volume of vehicular traffic during peak hours, which is further exacerbated during special events. This results in a high volume of cut-through traffic on Chase Avenue, Prairie Avenue, Royal Palm Avenue, and Sheridan Avenue which all lead to the Julia Tuttle Causeway via 41st Street. This cut-through traffic, coupled with "blocking of the box," contributes to gridlock in residential areas and poses a safety concern for residents due to speeding by visitors or residents attempting to beat traffic, or individuals maneuvering into oncoming traffic to circumvent the traffic congestion.

ANALYSIS

Bulb Out Elimination Evaluation
City Staff has conducted an initial assessment of the potential consequences of removing bulb outs within the 41st Street corridor between 40th Street and 41st Street on Chase Avenue, Prairie Avenue, Royal Palm Avenue, and Sheridan Avenue. Each segment presents unique challenges, such as underground electrical enclosures, mast arms, pedestrian signals, electrical poles, advisory signs, regulatory signs, manholes, bike racks, trees, and vegetation, which would require relocation or removal.

The results indicate that the average road width of the segments is 50 feet, which would allow for a minimum of two 10 foot wide travel lanes in both directions if the bulb outs and parking are removed. However, removing bulb outs would have a significant impact on the availability of on-street parking in the neighborhood, with an impact rating of 8 spaces on Chase Avenue, 10 spaces on Prairie Avenue, 11 spaces on Royal Palm Avenue, and 22 spaces on Sheridan Avenue. That would equate to a potential loss of up to 51 parking spaces within this corridor.

Additionally, if the bulb out located at the southwest corner of the intersection of 41st Street and Royal Palm Avenue, as well as the southwest corner of 41st Street and Prairie Avenue, are removed, there may be an impact on the mast arm foundation at these sections of the intersection. The foundation of the concrete utility pole at the southwest portion of the 41st Street and Prairie Avenue intersection should be considered as well. To determine whether any of the changes to the bulb out will affect these structures, geotechnical analysis of the foundations would be necessary.

Moreover, removing bulb outs on Prairie Avenue between 40th Street and 41st Street would require removing bike lanes in addition to the parking spaces, posing a potential safety hazard to cyclists in the network. Removing bike lanes is highly discouraged, especially when the City has committed to expanding the Bicycle Master Plan. This bicycle facility is a vital network in providing North-South connectivity for cyclists. As the City is committed to promoting a more bike-friendly and pedestrian-friendly environment, removing this section of the network would limit progress in this regard.

Thoughtful consideration must be exercised on the potential impact on parking availability, cyclist welfare, and traffic congestion in this corridor. Although the initial feasibility assessment deemed it feasible based on geometry, city staff will be working closely with DTPW and FDOT to conduct a comprehensive traffic study to determine the impact of this potential solution on traffic congestion in the area.

SUPPORTING SURVEY DATA

According to the 2022 Miami Beach Resident Survey, 76.9% of residents use their personal vehicle as a primary mode of transportation for trips within Miami Beach (7% increase as compared to the 2019 survey); and 84.3% use their personal vehicle as a primary mode of transportation for the cross-causeway trips (5% increase as compared to the 2019 survey).

FINANCIAL INFORMATION

N/A
Amount(s)/Account(s):
N/A

CONCLUSION

The Administration is fully committed to addressing the critical issue of traffic congestion and recognize the adverse impact it has on our residential neighborhoods, especially during peak hours and special events. The City is actively engaging and partnering with DTPW and FDOT to identify and execute effective solutions to traffic management including a formal evaluation of the feasibility and impact of removing bulb outs. While we acknowledge the value of measures such as signal timing adjustments and increased Police presence, we recognize that these actions alone will not sufficiently address the fundamental capacity issue.

Applicable Area

Citywide
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.
Legislative Tracking
Transportation and Mobility
Sponsor
Commissioner Rosen Gonzalez

ATTACHMENTS:
Description
Attachment A - Bulb Out Evaluation Report
Attachment B - LTC NO. 085-2023