The City’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan includes a goal to become less car-centric and decrease congestion on our roadways. To this end, the adopted 2016 Miami Beach Transportation Master Plan adopted by the City Commission established a new prioritization strategy which places pedestrians first; transit, bicycles and freight second; and personal automobiles third. Multimodal projects in the adopted Transportation Master Plan are intended to move Miami Beach toward this mode share vision by increasing pedestrian, bicycle, and transit travel.
The vision of a “South Beach Promenade” connecting Lincoln Road, Española Way, and Ocean Drive dates back to an initial walking tour conducted in 2019 with Commissioner Ricky Arriola, key stakeholders and residents, as well as City staff from the Planning, Transportation and Mobility, Public Works, and Police departments to identify the various needs and components of the project. Based on the initial comments from the various City departments and stakeholders, the Transportation and Mobility Department developed a scope of services to create a signature pedestrian promenade and bring this vision to fruition.
On July 2021, the City engaged Calvin, Giordano and Associates (CGA) to prepare a feasibility study with the goal of exploring options for public rights-of-way improvements, both short and long-term, to develop a pedestrian connection between Lincoln Road, Española Way, and Ocean Drive. The South Beach Promenade Connectivity Feasibility Study (Traffic Study) is assessing existing transportation conditions and making recommendations for multimodal transportation improvements to create livability by providing walkable sidewalks, improved and connected bike facilities, pavement treatments, artistic components, lighting, character landscaping, streetscape/hardscape improvements, branded wayfinding signage, and the use of street furnishings. The Traffic Study is also developing a short-term tactical urbanism plan for the South Beach Promenade including a potential “pop-up” plaza on Española Way between Washington Avenue and Collins Avenue (i.e. Española Way East), a potential long-term road diet, and one-way conversion of Drexel Avenue.
The South Beach Promenade Feasibility Study includes the following corridors:
· Drexel Avenue between Lincoln Road and Española Way;
· Española Way between Drexel Avenue and Collins Avenue;
· Collins Avenue between Española Way and 14th Place (alleyway); and
· 14th Place between Collins Avenue and Ocean Drive.
Transportation and Mobility Department staff and CGA have held various coordination meetings with internal departments including Planning, Parking, Police, Fire, Capital Improvement Projects, Tourism and Culture, Economic Development, and Public Works. Furthermore, the project team has met with the Zyscovich team while conducting the Art Deco Cultural District (ADCD) Vision Plan study to discuss the project approach and ensure a cohesive vision for the area.
The South Beach Promenade preliminary concepts were presented to the Finance and Economic Resilience Committee (FERC) at its February 25, 2022, meeting. At the meeting, the FERC directed staff to prioritize the conceptual design of the Española Way East segment and present draft concepts for that segment. Additionally, the FERC directed City staff to arrange briefings with FERC members to discuss other project elements, impacts to on-street parking, and key decisions.
In March 2022, staff met with each FERC member to present the draft concepts for Española Way East. While all FERC members provided positive feedback, the members recommended that the City share the concepts with key area stakeholders for input and return to FERC prior to hosting a public meeting.
At the September 30, 2022, FERC meeting, the City provided an update on the recommended South Beach Promenade tactical urbanism improvements, including the additional requests from area stakeholders which, if implemented, would exceed the current project budget of $200,000. At the meeting, the FERC recommended that the City 1) proceed with the design and construction of the recommended short-term tactical urbanism improvements for Española Way East, Española Way West, and 14th Place alleyway using the currently available budget of $200,000; 2) defer the Drexel Avenue improvements due to budgetary constraints; and 3) return to FERC in January 2023 with an update.
On December 9, 2022, City staff met with representatives from Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW) to discuss the proposed tactical urbanism improvements to Española Way East, Española Way West, and 14th Place. During the meeting, DTPW staff provided comments and recommendations on the proposal. City staff is currently working on incorporating DTPW’s comments in the design plans.
On March 7, 2023, City staff coordinated a public meeting to discuss the findings and recommendations of the Traffic Study. The City’s consultant presented the proposed tactical urbanism improvements that will provide a level of connectivity along Espanola Way West. Meeting attendees provided positive feedback and generally expressed support for the tactical urbanism recommendations.