We’d like to thank Miami Springs Councilwoman Maria Mitchell for championing the effort to connect Miami Springs to the MetroRail with a pedestrian bridge. At Monday’s Council Meeting, it was announced that the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) had included the pedestrian bridge in the FDOT Tentative Work Program.
According to an email from FDOT to Councilwoman Mitchell, the FDOT has assigned $300,000 for design funding in 2021. Construction is funded in 2023 with $2 Million in combined Federal funding.
Why is this pedestrian bridge important?
Hundreds if not thousands of people have crossed from Hialeah into Miami Springs via the FEC railroad bridge. You can see people walking and even riding their bikes to cross back and forth from Hialeah to Miami Springs. That of course creates a dangerous situation. (I must admit that I have crossed the river on the railroad track bridge during my teen years. It’s the easiest way to get from the MetroRail station to Miami Springs.)
A proper bridge will allow anyone, including those with physical limitations to safely cross from Miami Springs to the Hialeah MetroRail Station.
A Pedestrian Bridge will make it far more convenient for residents to access the MetroRail either by walking the entire way, biking to the Pedestrian Station and taking the bike with you on the rail, or by being dropped off from a car, bus, ride-share, etc.
Some residents may be worried that this will allow a criminal element to walk into Miami Springs commit some crimes and easily get out. That’s true. But, the reality is that exists today. It’s a known fact that some criminals do enter Miami Springs from the NW corner of the City either via Medley or from the train tracks. However, adding this Pedestrian link doesn’t change the criminal’s ability to enter/exit the city.
Something the city may want to consider within these plans is parking for vehicles. I’m sure there are many Miami Springs residents who drive to the Metro Rail station and park at the station’s garage. I’m sure these residents would appreciate a significant time savings if they could park their car here in Miami Springs and just walk over the bridge to the station.
Furthermore, I bet there’s an even greater population that doesn’t use the rail because they don’t want to drive to Hialeah. But if they had the convenience of parking near the pedestrian bridge, they might just take that option. If the goal is to reduce the driving and increase the amount of usage of the MetroRail, then a convenient parking spot in Miami Springs would go a long way.
On the other hand, some residents may not want to see a parking lot near the pedestrian bridge.
Nevertheless, people park at Sunset Park all the time. They also park along the bank of the river/canal to fish. We are certain that the pedestrian bridge will draw some commuters to park near the bridge to crossover and use the MetroRail. The City should consider the “Unintended Consequences” of parking right now. They should not assume that drivers will continue to navigate through an intersection in Medley, plus two additional busy intersections along Okeechobee Road if they all of a sudden have a convenient option of skipping all that back and forth and just parking in Miami Springs.
What do you think? Do you like the idea of a pedestrian bridge connecting Miami Springs to the MetroRail? Do you think we should have parking near the pedestrian bridge to leave your car in Miami Springs while you head to Downtown, the Grove, or Dadeland?