Item Coversheet



TO: Finance and Economic Resiliency Committee Members

Alina T. Hudak, City Manager

DATE: October 16, 2023




At the April 28, 2023 City Commission meeting, Commissioner Laura Dominguez referred a discussion (Item C4 O) to the Finance and Economic Resiliency Committee (“FERC” or “Committee”) to discuss beachwalk pedestrian safety. The discussion item was included on the July 28, 2023 FERC agenda but was not heard. At the September 22, 2023 FERC meeting, the item was deferred to October 2023.


The City’s beachwalk is a highly utilized shared-use path abutting the dune vegetation system that serves recreational, leisure, work and other trips throughout the City. The beachwalk is also one of the most active public trails within the state of Florida. However, its popularity, coupled with its constrained width contributes to frequent conflicts among pedestrians, bicyclists, and other users sometimes resulting in crashes, including some with serious injuries. An additional concern for residents as well as the City Administration is the intermixing of pedestrians and unauthorized motorized/electric devices, including electric stand-up scooters, electric bikes, and electric skateboards operating illegally on the beachwalk. Although Section 70-67 of the City Code prohibits motorized means of transportation on the beachwalk, among other pedestrian facilities throughout the City, the growing popularity of these electric devices poses a significant safety concern for pedestrians and an enforcement challenge for Police.


Pursuant to the recommendation of the Neighborhood and Quality of Life Committee (“NQLC”) at its March 4, 2020 meeting, various city departments, including Police, Communications, Facilities and Fleet Management, and Transportation and Mobility, collaborated to develop a holistic approach to address the pedestrian safety concern on the beachwalk through better signage and enhanced enforcement. This effort resulted in the installation of 142 new regulatory signs along the beachwalk and at all beachwalk entrance points to assist Police Officers and Park Rangers with enforcing applicable provisions of the City Code. In addition, the City installed 70 advisory signs along the beachwalk to advise users that the area is a pedestrian-friendly zone where permitted/non-motorized devices such as bicycles, skates, and skateboards must slow down and yield to pedestrians (Attachment A).


In March 2021, the Miami Beach Police Department initiated a daily beachwalk pedestrian safety detail entitled “Clear Path”. Since early 2022, Police and Park Rangers have conducted regular enforcement of the beachwalk, including enforcement of Section 70-67 of the City Code prohibiting motorized means of transportation on the beachwalk.


In May 2022, to further enhance pedestrian safety on the beachwalk, the Transportation and Mobility Department launched an initial pilot project consisting of segregating bicyclists and pedestrians between 15 Street and 24 Street (a typical 15’ wide section of the beachwalk) through striping and signage. The initial pilot required bi-directional bicycle traffic to travel along an 8’ wide path on the eastern side of the beachwalk. While the goal of the pilot program was to achieve the separation of pedestrians and bicyclists on the beachwalk, based on data analysis and field observations, City staff concluded that the initial pilot was not practical and created significant safety concerns due to the high amount of pedestrians and bicyclists traveling in opposing directions within the same confined space which resulted in user non-compliance. User feedback regarding the initial pilot configuration was overwhelmingly negative, particularly from cyclists who felt that mode segregation was more unsafe than the original beachwalk configuration. Users stated that the initial pilot project provided insufficient space to accommodate bicyclists traveling in both directions on only one side of the beachwalk.


In light of staff’s analysis, observations, and user feedback, the City discontinued the initial pilot configuration, and, in September 2022, launched a modified pilot within the same segment of the beachwalk from 15 Street to 24 Street. The modified pilot maintained the white painted solid line along the centerline of the beachwalk and painted new directional arrows and symbols in both directions guiding all users to keep right while walking and cycling (Attachment B). To supplement the pavement markings, City staff installed new contextual signage in accordance with the modified pilot configuration. While the modified configuration was not intended to achieve the original goal of mode separation along the beachwalk, City staff believed that it would provide a safer configuration for pedestrians and bicyclists as it follows the basic rules of a two-way street where all traffic traveling in the same direction keeps to the right side of the facility. This modified pilot program remains in effect to date.


The existing modified beachwalk safety pilot program from 15 Street to 24 Street has received generally positive feedback from users including support from the Mid-Beach Neighborhood Association (“MBNA”). As a result of the current modified pilot’s effectiveness, and as part of the ongoing Fiscal Year (“FY”) 2024 budget process, the City Administration is recommending an operating budget enhancement in the amount of $200,000 to implement the static signage and pavement marking improvements throughout the 7-mile long beachwalk on a permanent basis.


Solar-Powered Electronic Speed Feedback Devices

At the request of Commissioner Laura Dominguez, Transportation and Mobility Department staff researched the feasibility of solar-powered electronic speed feedback devices (Attachment C) for potential installation at key locations throughout the beachwalk. The devices would serve to alert bicyclists to slow down while cycling on the beachwalk. Based on City staff’s observations and coordination with the Police Department and Park Rangers, the following locations have been identified as areas where conflicts between pedestrians and bicyclists are regularly occurring due to high activity or speeding:


  •  South Pointe Park
  •  5 Street
  •  10 Street
  •  14 Court
  •  17 Street
  •  Lincoln Road
  •  21 Street
  •  27 Street
  •  53 Street
  •  64 Street
  •  73 Street
  •  75 Street
  • 77 Street
  •  79 Street


City staff will conduct on-site assessments and evaluate each of the above locations to determine the most suitable locations for the potential installation of solar-powered electronic speed feedback devices.


Enforcement of No Motorized Rides

In furtherance of ongoing City initiatives on the beachwalk, the Police Department continues to have a proactive daily officer presence throughout the beachwalk utilizing overlapping departmental resources. Since May 2022, the Police Department has staffed a daily beachwalk overtime detail consisting of a dedicated officer to proactively address public safety concerns and violations. In addition to the dedicated officer on overtime, the Police Department has also conducted Tactical Response to Area Concerns (“TRAC”) initiatives, which encompass sections of the beachwalk within the affected TRACs. These TRAC details involve multiple police resources from Patrol Operations, Redevelopment Agency (“RDA”), and Homeless Resource Officers (“HRO”) depending on the area and focus of the initiative.



The cost to furnish and install one (1) solar-powered electronic speed feedback device is approximately $20,000. Assuming that a device is installed at each of the fourteen (14) conflict locations identified, facing alternate directions, the approximate cost would be $280,000. However, further analysis will be needed to determine how many devices would be appropriate and the most suitable locations for effectiveness. Funding for these improvements has not been identified, budgeted, or appropriated.


The City Administration recommended a $200,000 operating budget enhancement as part of the proposed FY 2024 budget to implement the static signage and pavement marking improvements throughout the 7-mile long beachwalk on a permanent basis; however, the proposed budget enhancement does not include funding for the purchase and installation of electronic speed feedback devices along the beachwalk. Should the FERC recommend, and the City Commission give direction to move forward with the installation of solar-powered electronic speed feedback devices along the beachwalk, additional funding will need to be identified through a future budget amendment.


The current modified beachwalk safety pilot program from 15 Street to 24 Street, consisting of a white-painted solid line along the centerline of the beachwalk with directional arrows and symbols/signs in both directions guiding all users to keep to their right while traveling on the beachwalk, has received generally positive feedback from users. As such, the City Administration recommended a FY 2024 operating budget enhancement to implement the safety improvements throughout the 7-mile long beachwalk on a permanent basis. Installation of solar-powered electronic speed feedback devices at strategic locations throughout the beachwalk could supplement the static signage and pavement marking improvements and further promote safety for beachwalk users. At this time, however, the approved FY 2024 budget enhancement does not include funding for the purchase and installation of electronic devices along the beachwalk.

Applicable Area

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 - Improve the walking and biking experience.
Attachment A - Existing Beachwalk Regulatory and Advisory SignMemo
Attachment B – Existing Modified Beachwalk Safety Pilot Sign (GO SLOW / KEEP RIGHT)Memo
Attachment C – Solar-Powered Electronic Speed Feedback DevicesMemo
Referral Item C4 O, April 28, 2023Memo