From the perspective of an FIU Student,
SW 8th Street in front of FIU is clogged with traffic, and a major hindrance to Sweetwater rising because its eight lanes of traffic (which were constructed around single-car, single passenger trips) make it impossible to construct pedestrian-friendly and transit-oriented development.
And since SW 8th Street needs to carry east-west traffic AND Sweetwater-FIU traffic, the roadway needs to be eight lanes across just to accommodate today's traffic needs. The problem is that some cars need to cross four lanes of traffic (or more) in less than a block, in order to change roads. Result = Accidents, people cutting across lanes, traffic, etc., a nightmare for first time drivers.
And with the FIU Bridge Collapse still fresh on our minds, the time has come for us to realize that building roads upon roads has deadly consequences and if we're
TO START, LET'S REHABILITATE SW 8TH STREET FROM SW 107TH AVENUE TO SW 117TH AVENUE AND TRANSFORM IT FROM A MONSTER HIGHWAY INTO A MULTI-MODAL BOULEVARD
To do so, the eight lane highway will be converted into a four lane boulevard, to make for a more pleasant, pedestrian and transit friendly commute through "University City." Capping it all off, two bus lanes will be added in the median, to improve access to Panther Station and create a University City transitway.
SUGGESTED ARRANGEMENT: 2 eastbound lanes, 2 westbound lanes, 1 eastbound bus lane, 1 westbound bus lane; from SW 107th Avenue to SW 117th Avenue.
Critics will say that removing lanes from SW 8th Street will only make traffic worse. How can we balance this out?
Understanding that there will be plenty of trips to be made by car, we need to realize that east-west traffic should not have to interfere with local traffic, just to commute through the city of Sweetwater.
To accomplish that, an east-west tunnel should be built below the revamped SW 8th Street to allow east-west traffic to speed below the revamped boulevard without interfering with local traffic.
TUNNEL: 3 eastbound lanes (upper deck), 3 westbound lanes (lower deck); carrying Tamiami Trail (US-41) traffic
Also, the tunnel can accommodate SW 8th Street traffic if the revamped boulevard needs to close for construction, eliminating the need for extensive detours.
There are already transportation projects being proposed for FIU. How will this proposal supplement existing projects?
With a Panther Station metrobus terminal and a possible east-west Metrorail extension being proposed, this City of Tomorrow proposal will supplement these projects by advocating for a Metrorail Station directly above the revamped SW 8th Street, and inter-city bus terminal (adjacent to PG 4), which would be connected by elevated walkways and the rebuilt pedestrian bridge. By doing so, this proposal will persuade Miami-Dade Transit to expand Metrorail to western Miami-Dade County, motivating Metrobus to expand and/or upgrade its service from Panther Station. In addition, this will promote RedCoach, Greyhound, and Amtrak Thruway buses to serve western Miami-Dade County, increasing FIU's connectivity with other cities and towns throughout the State of Florida.
Once all the pieces are put together, the FIU Pedestrian Bridge can be rebuilt, but sturdier (AND BETTER) than before
Unlike its failed predecessor, the rebuilt span will be constructed as a double-decker bridge, allowing for seamless pedestrian access between FIU and the City of Sweetwater during adverse weather conditions. The bridge will be further improved from its predecessor by providing a Metrorail entrance direct from the lower deck, as it will be connected to the station. On the upper deck, an elevated park should be built atop the Metrorail station to increase green spaces and create a gathering place for Sweetwater residents and FIU students alike.