Item Coversheet



TO: Finance and Economic Resiliency Committee Members

Alina T. Hudak, City Manager

DATE: April 21, 2023



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.


Attached is a presentation by CGA, that describes the study concepts, estimated costs, and the phased short-term tactical urbanism implementation approach.


Española Way East Short-Term Tactical Urbanism (Currently in Design)

The preferred alternative for this one-block segment from Washington Avenue to Collins Avenue consists of a woonerf (i.e. a shared but predominantly pedestrianized street). Española Way would be closed to vehicular traffic (except emergency vehicles) at Washington Avenue while allowing general vehicular traffic to exit the Collins Court alleyway and travel eastbound only to access Collins Avenue. The concept also proposes a meandering route to enhance the pedestrian experience. From an aesthetic perspective, the proposed concept utilizes pavement art and some street furniture to protect and enhance the experience for pedestrians and potential business patrons. The estimated cost of these improvements is approximately $120,000.  However, these costs do not include lighting/electrical or parking relocation, and are subject to change as the project is further refined. 


Española Way West and 14th Place Alleyway Short-Term Tactical Urbanism (Currently in Design)

The Transportation and Mobility Department team has met with key area stakeholders, including Española Way property owners, the Ocean Drive Association, the Lincoln Road Business Improvement District, and the Washington Avenue Business Improvement District, to obtain input on the proposed concepts focusing on the Española Way East portion.  The Administration is pleased to report that the feedback from the stakeholders has been very positive.  In addition to the Española Way East segment, stakeholders are particularly interested in opportunities to enhance the pedestrian experience along the 14th Place alleyway and at Plaza de España located at the intersection of Española Way and Drexel Avenue.    Stakeholders fully support the short-term concepts and the project team’s approach to continue to evaluate long-term options and ways to minimize the impacts to on-street parking along Drexel Avenue.   


Based on the stakeholder input, overhead entrance features, wayfinding signage, and asphalt pavement art are being proposed to anchor the promenade at the west end of Española Way at Drexel Avenue (Plaza de España). In addition, tactical urbanism improvements are being proposed along the 14th Place alleyway to provide safe and comfortable pedestrian continuity to Ocean Drive and Lummus Park.  The western portion of the alleyway is currently pedestrianized from Collins Avenue to Ocean Court alleyway.  However, the eastern portion of the alleyway (from Ocean Court to Ocean Drive) currently serves as a vehicular detour for the pedestrian plaza pilot on Ocean Drive which presents a unique challenge. The estimated cost of these improvements is $70,000.


Drexel Avenue Short-Term Tactical Urbanism (Currently in Feasibility Phase)

The Drexel Avenue segment of the project corridor presents the greatest opportunity for improvements.  Currently, Drexel Avenue between Española Way and Lincoln Road is a two-way, two-lane facility with on-street parallel parking on both sides of the street.  Due to the low level of traffic volumes, initial designs include a conversion of Drexel Avenue to a one-way vehicular facility with a bike lane and pedestrian area on the east side of the street.  Other alternatives to this design would keep all existing on-street parking or limit parking to one side of the street.


The proposed alternatives include considerations for relocation and/or removal of approximately 32 on-street parking spaces along the east side of Drexel Avenue. Given the high demand for on-street parking in this area, the potential removal or relocation of existing parking implies that current demand would need to be satisfied through alternative parking options. A preliminary parking utilization survey was recently conducted along Drexel Avenue, which demonstrated that the existing on-street spaces were frequently occupied by Parking Zone 2 residents. City staff has reached out to the management of a private parking garage located at 1601 Drexel Avenue to identify both the availability and cost of providing alternative parking options for residents if the parking relocation option was selected. Based on preliminary discussions with garage management staff, the cost of 32 parking spaces at this garage would be approximately $150 per space per month or approximately $58,000 annually.  Further discussions with the ownership of the private parking garage is required to solidify any parking mitigation plan.


Key Short and Long-Term Design Considerations

·         On-Street Parking – A determination needs to be made on whether all or part of the existing on-street parking along Drexel Avenue will be removed to allow for increased pedestrian and/or bike paths, or for seating areas.     

·         Fire Standards – Current national fire safety standards require a minimum of 20 feet of unobstructed roadway space along the corridor. This will limit the areas allowed for alternative uses.

·         Traffic Flow – Several sections of the study corridor that are currently two-way vehicular facilities could be reduced to single lane/one-way or pedestrian-only facilities. This traffic modification would require approval from DTPW and Public Works.

·         Interface with Lincoln Road Project and ADCD Vision Plan – The South Beach Promenade project should be coordinated with the designs proposed as part of both plans where possible.

·         Cost – The current budget allocation of $200,000 for this project is limited to the development and implementation of short-term tactical urbanism improvements previously approved by FERC. Funding has not been identified for additional short-term improvements as well as for the design and construction of a long-term capital improvement project (estimated at approximately $30 million).


Current Status and Next Steps

The City’s consultant transmitted design plans to the City last month. City staff has submitted the design plans to DTPW for review and approval.


It is important to note that DTPW’s review and approval of the proposed tactical urbanism improvements is required prior to implementation and DTPW’s review process may take months to complete. Upon receiving approval from DTPW, it is estimated that the implementation phase will take approximately two (2) months for permitting and nine (9) months for procurement and construction. In addition, the project team will schedule a second community meeting to obtain input on the draft tactical urbanism plan and subsequently present the final draft plan to the City Commission for approval.  


The recommended long-term improvements will be part of a future capital improvement project. The estimated design and construction costs will be refined as part of the ongoing feasibility study and brought to FERC for review prior to a second community meeting and consideration by the City Commission.


Pursuant to the recommendation from FERC at its September 30, 2022, meeting, the Transportation and Mobility Department is currently awaiting DTPW review and approval for the proposed short-term tactical urbanism concepts for Española Way East, Española Way West, and 14th Place alleyway.  The design incorporates input received from FERC members as well as key area stakeholders regarding keeping the street open to alley traffic and emergency vehicles, while prioritizing pedestrian safety and comfort and activating the street for people.  


Over the next few months, the Administration will continue to focus on completing the design plans, engaging the community, and securing DTPW approval of the proposed short-term tactical urbanism improvements to move forward into permitting and potentially construction in 2023. On a parallel path, the City will continue to develop the long-term recommendations and cost estimates for a future (currently unfunded) capital improvement project. In order to become a funded capital improvement project, the project must be considered as part of a future annual budget process.

Applicable Area

South 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 Yes 

Strategic Connection

Mobility - Improve the walking and biking experience.
Attachment A - Public Meeting PresentationOther
Referral Item - C4 Q April 29, 2021Memo