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Transform SW 8th Street in front of FIU into a SMART Boulevard

Promoting walking, biking, busing, and Metrorailing, all while supplementing existing ideas to improve transportation in Miami-Dade County.

Photo of Mackenzie Kram
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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 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.

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

-Motorists: Will have a faster, safer, and more enjoyable commute now that the street has been revamped. East-West traffic will be able to speed beneath the revamped roadway, enabling for faster east-west commutes along Tamiami Trail. -Pedestrians and Bicyclists: Will be able to utilize the expanded sidewalks, crosswalks, and rebuilt pedestrian bridge to access places on both sides of the multi-modal boulevard -Transit Riders: Will benefit significantly due to the arrival of Metrorail to the western suburbs, along with new transit terminals, and expanded bus routes to provide a seamless experience from bus stop to destination. Riders will also see an increase in service and reliability, allowing them to explore Miami without driving. -FIU Students, Faculty, and Staff: Will see major improvements to parking & transportation with a Metrorail extension, upgraded bus stop, and rebuilt pedestrian walkway. The elevated park will also give them a new favorite hang out and study spot.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Initial Design - you are still exploring the idea and have not tested it with users

Size of your team or organization

  • I am submitting as an individual

Funding Request

  • $25,000

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

For this proposal, I plan on making a video proposal, outlining the reasons behind the project, the footprint of the project, and the possibilities it would bring. Incorporating images from Google Earth, Google Maps, Paint, and real time images to persuade Miami-Dade County and Florida International University that this is an innovative, world's ahead solution to resolving today's traffic problems and build tomorrow's transportation hub, TODAY. I do plan on selling this proposal to Miami-Dade County and Florida International University, since the remnants of the collapsed bridge need to be demolished before construction begins. As a student filmmaker, I will also pilot this proposal by emphasizing how this project will benefit Film in Florida by providing filmmakers more opportunities to produce their projects and establish film companies in Western Miami-Dade County. To add to that, I'd mention that this project may stimulate the creation of an FIU Film School.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

To measure the success of my pilot, I would collaborate with other users to outline what my proposal will accomplish, what I am missing, and what can be revised to make this City of Tomorrow Proposal an example of a world's ahead solution. And since there are existing proposals to improve transit in and around FIU, I need to collaborate with FIU and the City of Sweetwater to determine what I should do to supplement everyone's existing ideas and enhancing them.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Wilda Previl

Hi Mackenzie Kram 

Again, I’m Wilda, one of the community facilitators here. Thanks so much for being part of our PROPOSE phase. Now that we’re in the Second part of the challenge I’d like to encourage you to upload to picture of yourself. Speaking of photos, do you have a mock-up or an illustration of your idea? Perhaps you’ve been toying with the idea for a while and have something you’d like to share of what this might look like. FIU had been a point of contention for some time now. The bridge collapse has especially made the community feel even less safe.

Also, we have a few weeks in the PROPOSE phase which means you have plenty of time to make any edits during now and Sept.; you may even add team members, other FIU students and staff, to the team to really being the idea to life!

Good luck and please come back often to see other ideas being posted daily! :)

Photo of Mackenzie Kram

Thank you very much, you're feedback is motivating me to enhance my proposal and make it more appealing. I'm also working on some illustrations for this proposal, and I'll upload them to the page as they come along.

Photo of Wilda Previl

We’re here to keep the fire going. City of Tomorrow Challenege really is about empowering the citizens of Miami to create fresh, innovative solutions to our traffic troubles.

Keep coming back back and make updates as you need. Don’t forget to upload a picture as well, Mackenzie Kram :)

Photo of KatieWalsh 100

Thanks for updates here Mackenzie - appreciated! K

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