Monday, September 20th
Transit Alliance, alongside local advocates and neighborhood associations, sent a letter to Miami Beach's elected officials on the importance of Streets for Social Distancing.
Dear Mayor Gelber and Esteemed Commissioners,
Thank you for your leadership during this extremely difficult time for our community.
As advocates that have had the privilege of collaborating with each of you during the past year, we are acutely aware of how challenging it can be to navigate an unprecedented crisis.
We are also keenly aware of the immense economic and health impacts our community is facing. Our team led the design and development of Axis South Florida to connect residents and businesses to much-needed relief programs, and is organizing a fundraiser to support food assistance.
On the mobility front – the right policies are important to our essential workers, preventing community spread, and setting us up for a stronger recovery. You can learn more on our campaign page.
With the closure of public parks and car traffic at an all-time low, residents have been taking to the streets to walk, run and bike. Throughout the nation, cities are repurposing their streets to accommodate for safer social distancing – we have attached some examples. In Oakland, 10% of all city streets (74 miles) will be closed for pedestrians and cyclists by May 3rd.
There have been worrisome levels of crowding on the sidewalks – including hotspots such as the Venetian Causeway. This is occurring while car lanes are largely empty and unoccupied – a video is attached.
The full and partial closures of streets can help alleviate overcrowding on sidewalks across the city by dedicating additional space to pedestrians and cyclists.
Streets for social distancing may be safer than parks, and certainly safer than beaches – because streets, unlike parks and beaches – are not designed for people to gather.
I have CC’d and BCC’d residents who share our concerns.
From our team, we are immensely grateful for all of the hard work you and your staff undertake every day to keep us safe, and healthy, and we look forward to working with you as we navigate these unprecedented times.