There’s good news on the way for those of us who frequent Downtown Miami. The Miami Herald reports that commissioners are set to take a preliminary vote that could get the ball rolling to turn Downtown Miami into a Pedestrian Priority Zone. The designation would usher in wider sidewalks, lower speed limits, and create a most welcome shade-creating “tree-lined canopy,” along with other changes meant to make the area more walkable.
The move comes in conjunction with a national trend towards greater urbanization, a direction Miami has also pursued. Over 200,000 people are in Downtown on any given day, a number set to grow with the new wave of development currently underway. Centro, a new residential tower, is quickly going up with no plans to build a parking garage, banking on Downtown’s evolution into an urban center, and providing ride-sharing a public transit options to its residents instead.
While a few kinks in in the proposal still need to be ironed out, such as what to do with Downtown’s homeless, and the exact limits of the zone, it will be refreshing to see downtown go the way of other major cities and introduce a walkable city center for residents and visitors to enjoy alike.