Jul 5, 2023 - News

It's still dangerous to walk and bike in Miami

An SUV turns onto Collins Avenue while a group of pedestrians crosses nearby. Photo: Tim Graham/Getty Images

Missing sidewalks, aggressive drivers and poorly designed roads: Miami can be a scary place to live if you don't have a car.

Why it matters: Pedestrian and cyclist fatalities in Miami-Dade County are almost double the national average when adjusted for population, according to Transit Alliance Miami.

  • In 2022, there were 105 pedestrian and cyclist fatalities in Miami-Dade, the nonprofit tells Axios. So far this year, there have been 32.

Zoom in: About 95% of the county's bike lanes are unprotected.

  • The group observed several patterns in Miami's high-pedestrian crash zones, including sidewalks either missing or without buffers, faded crosswalks and speed limits above 40 mph, which make accidents more deadly.

Zoom out: Florida has historically ranked among the worst states in the U.S. for pedestrian fatalities.

  • In 2021, the Sunshine State had the third-highest pedestrian fatality rate in the country, with four fatalities per 100,000 residents, per the Governors Highway Safety Association.
  • The national average was 2.3.

What they're saying: Cathy Dos Santos, associate director of Transit Alliance Miami, tells Axios that the parts of Miami-Dade with the greatest number of crashes are mainly designed for cars.

  • "They need changes like lower speed limits, protected bike lanes, wider sidewalks and curb extensions to walk and bike them safely," she said in a statement. "Simply put, bad street design is costing Miamians' lives."

What we're watching: Miami-Dade is working to make its streets safer as part of its Vision Zero pledge to end traffic fatalities by 2040.

  • The county is currently designing 23 projects varying from high-visibility crosswalks, protected bike lanes, curb extensions and new traffic signals.
  • Construction is projected to begin later this year.
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