RCAP Database | South Miami Case Study of SP-26

Initiative: South Miami Intermodal Transportation Plan (SMITP)

Municipality: 
County: 
Contact Name: 
Shari Kamali
Contact Email: 
SKamali@southmiamifl.gov
Coastal/Inland: 
Coastal

It is a great study and we are working to implement all the proposed projects.

- Shari Kamali, Assistant City Manager

Quick Facts & Statistics

Data from the 2012 National Household Travel Survey indicate that within the Miami urbanized area, approximately 25 percent of all vehicular trips are one mile or less in length and nearly half of all trips are three miles or less. This indicates that one-quarter of trips are within walking range for most people and almost half of all trips are within bicycling range for most people. Roadway congestion seems to grow despite a continual investment in roadway capacity infrastructure. The demand for alternative methods to move around the City is increasing.

Description

The City of South Miami desires to enhance the existing transportation system and mobility choices available to residents, workers, and visitors to the City. Despite its many positive attributes, challenges exist within the transportation system, making it difficult for the City to maintain the Pleasant Living ideal. The beginnings of a greenway network are in place; however, connectivity improvements need to be identified to solve challenges presented by significant gaps in the greenway network.

Description (Continued)

The Miami-Dade Metrorail passes through the City with the South Miami station located just north of Sunset Drive; yet, pedestrian access to the station is severely limited by the US 1/South Dixie Highway barrier that runs through the City. Sidewalks are found on many streets within South Miami, although the infrequency of well-designed crosswalks leads to accessibility and safety challenges. A grid network of streets is in place in most parts of the City, but there is a traffic calming challenge associated with ensuring that motorists travel at a respectful speed in and around South Miami. The City is attempting to re-integrate these functions through complete streets principles, which seek to provide a comfortable transportation system for all modes and users of all ages and abilities. An integral component of this effort is to establish and approve the South Miami Intermodal Transportation Plan (SMITP), which identifies an interconnected network of mobility and safety improvements based on smart growth and complete streets principles. The SMITP is a community-based transportation plan that provides for convenient and efficient use of motorized and non-motorized transportation and addresses issues such as vehicular circulation, parking, pedestrian/bicyclist movements, and public transportation, resulting in short- and long-term strategies for implementation of the resultant plan.

The primary outcomes of the SMITP, once implemented, are to:

  • Provide people with sustainable, safe, and effective alternatives to personal motorized vehicles;
  • Reduce vehicle trips;
  • Reduce vehicular congestion; and
  • Increase transit ridership.

Implementation Process

The idea of an Intermodal Transportation Plan for the City of South Miami was generated by the City of South Miami Green Task Force. Below is the Timeline of Significant Events that led to the creation of the SMITP:

  • September 6, 2011: A resolution recognizing the importance of bicycling in transportation and recreation for the betterment of the residents and for the environment was approved by Commission
  • April 10, 2012: Draft Greenways proposal was prepared by Green Task Force
  • September 24, 2012: Green Task Force requested to develop greenway systems for walkability and showed Draft Greenways Plan. The Commission approved $100,000 from PTP funds to create an Intermodal Transportation Plan
  • January 17 2013: MPO grant application submittal for the SMITP with Letter of Support from Green Task Force
  • April 12, 2013: RFQ #PW-S2013-10 released for the SMITP
  • May 2013: MPO grant awarded $21,000 for SMITP
  • June 18, 2013: Commission approved resolution authorizing the City Manager to negotiate a professional service agreement for the SMITP
  • December 18, 2013: SMITP Contract signed
  • February 20, 2014: Interagency Coordination Meeting #1
  • March 3, 2014: Green Task Force Workshop
  • March 8, 2014: Bike Path Inspection
  • March 20, 2014: Public Charrette
  • July 15, 2014: Presentation to Green Task Force
  • July 17, 2014: Interagency Coordination Meeting #2
  • August 12, 2014: Presentation to Green Task Force
  • September 2014: Draft SMITP Master Plan Report
  • October 22, 2014: Revised draft SMITP resubmitted for administrative review
  • December 4, 2014: Revised draft SMITP Report submittal
  • January 24, 2015: Final SMITP Report submittal

Implementation Timeline

The Plan was completed in January 2015, which includes an implementation section listing “Priority One Scenario”, “Priority Two Scenario” and “Priority Three Scenario” projects with the goal of implementing “Priority One Scenario” projects within the first fiscal year. Implementation of the SMITP will likely occur over time through a variety of different projects, funded through a broad range of sources, and built by several different agencies including the City and its transportation partners at FDOT and Miami-Dade County. The implementation plan respects the limits of affordability and provides a strategy that the City could potentially follow to maximize the user benefit while keeping costs within reason of available funding sources.

It should be noted that many of the recommendations might be implemented through resurfacing, maintenance, or other transportation projects that would occur anyway and, therefore, would incur only an incremental cost associated with the additional intermodal transportation infrastructure. 

Implementation Funding

The future availability of grant funding could impact the timing and priority order of the projects listed in the SMITP. The priority list assumes the City has approximately $100,000 to implement the “early-win” projects within the first fiscal year in advance of receiving any outside grant funding or assistance from transportation partner agencies. In addition, the City, along with public and private sector stakeholders, should seek grant funding to implement key components of the SMITP. 

Community Benefits

The SMITP enhances the everyday quality of life for South Miami residents. Shifting demographic trends show more people are choosing to live in walkable urban areas and desire access to a variety of transportation modes. This gives an increasing number of people the option not to choose automobiles for everyday travel. This Plan also encourages a shift in the City’s modal split increasing the use of transit, biking, and walking. By diversifying modes of transportation, like transit and rail, more people can move through a corridor by means other than solely using motor vehicles. Another critical benefit is the incorporation of green features. These design elements can improve the visual impact of the roadway, assist in stormwater management, combat pollution from emissions, reduce exposed pavement, and lead to a decrease in the City’s heat island effect.

 

The SMITP will benefit the City of South Miami in the following ways:

  • Improve safety by designing and accommodating for all travel modes, including bicyclists, pedestrians, drivers, transit users, children, seniors, and persons with disabilities thus reducing accidents.
  • Increase the overall capacity of the transportation network while offering options to avoid traffic
  • Create more walking and bicycling opportunities which improves public health and wellbeing
  • Provide social equity to those who choose to not own or drive a car
  • Encourage children and elder adults to be more physically active
  • Create increased social, civic, and economic activity on streets
  • Provide incentives for economic revitalization by reducing transportation costs and travel time while increasing property values and job growth
  • Reduce the demand on existing infrastructure by incorporating stormwater management into street designs
  • Improve the return on infrastructure investments by integrating sidewalks, bike lanes, transit amenities, and safe crossings into the initial design of a project sparing the expense of later retrofits
  • Improve the quality of place by creating vibrant livable centers through increased walking and bicycling, and by promoting suitable denser development patterns where appropriate
  • Provide environmental benefits from reduced congestion through the use of alternative transportation options and increased stormwater management