Biscayne Green: Increasing the Walkability of Miami

All of us who live in Miami, and even those who frequent this paradise, might have noticed that Miami is not the most pedestrian-friendly city out there. There are areas in the city in which taking a leisurely stroll is actually relaxing, and others where promenading turns out to be a hectic and far from pleasing experience. Given this reality, the Miami Downtown Development Authority recently proposed a project for Biscayne Boulevard, titled Biscayne Green.

The development proposes a complete transformation of a six-block stretch of Biscayne Boulevard, from SE 1st Street to NE 5th Street, encompassing the area in front of 50 Biscayne, 1000 Museum, and the Marquis. As it currently stands, this stretch of urban development, although great for drivers, is far from pedestrian friendly. One has to cross eight heavily-trafficked lanes if interested in merely crossing the street, as the median strip is actually divided into two surface parking lots.

The result of this project would completely transform this area, as the parking lots would be converted into six blocks of green space. If promenading, the walk would be through six blocks of festive parks, dotted with fountains, plenty of outdoor seating, playgrounds, volleyball nets, dining areas, and the ‘Biscayne Green Marketplace’. Or if one is interested in biking, there will be a two-way bike lane on one side of the boulevard. Additionally, the streets would slim down from six lanes during rush hour to four lanes at all other times, as the curbside lanes become street parking. Although this does not account for all the lost parking space, the DDA also has in mind to create an underground parking lot. All the changes that would come about due to Biscayne Green can be seen in the video rendering below:

This development is hopefully the first step of many in the process of making Miami a more walkable city. As reported by Smart Growth America, in a recent ranking, Miami was listed as the 23rd most walkable city amidst the 30 largest metropolises found in the U.S. Despite this lowly ranking, in the same report, when it comes to the same cities concerning their walkability in the future, Miami is ranked 4th out of the 30. I have high hopes that after the success of this project, we might see similar expansions being made in other areas of Miami.

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