Biscayne Boulevard, which carries 30,000 vehicles per day and is the site of an average of 340 reported crashes per year, may be the prime showcase of deadly road design in Miami-Dade County, but there are many more examples of mini-highways barreling through neighborhoods crammed with cars going 45-50 mph. Take Bayshore Drive — or better yet, don’t — or Alton Road or Collins Avenue or 79th Street or 163rd Street or the Rickenbacker Causeway or Bird Road or Eighth Street or Coral Way or Kendall Drive where cars move at menacing speeds incompatible with the surroundings and put everyone at risk, including drivers.
“Numerous roads are crazy fast, crazy wide, with a crazy number of lanes that were built to reduce congestion,” said Victor Dover, an urban planner and designer at Dover, Kohl and Partners in Coral Gables. “But outside of rush-hour peak times you have all this open, bald asphalt that encourages speed. And speed is everything. Speed is the chief culprit. If you’re hit by a car going 20 mph, there’s a 5 percent chance of fatality. That chance rockets up to 50 percent at 30 mph and 80 percent at 40 mph.
“The only way to make these roads safer is to drop the design speed.”