This morning, the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department hosted a dedication ceremony celebrating the award-winning Safe Routes to Parks project at in Hialeah. The project prioritizes and enhances pedestrian mobility along West 74th Place, connecting community residents to the park in a neighborhood with a large population of older adults. Enhancements include new tree-lined walkways and benches to provide safe seating on the route to the park.
This project was completed in collaboration with Miami-Dade County Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) Executive Director Aileen Bouclé and the TPO Governing Board, Chaired by Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners Chair and District 10 Commissioner Oliver Gilbert, Miami-Dade County DTPW Director Eulois Cleckley, and Miami-Dade County Parks Director Maria I. Nardi.
The Safe Route to Parks initiative is part of the Miami-Dade County Parks Masterplan vision of increased walkability and equitable access to parks and recreation amenities for all residents, and also part of the TPO SMART STEP (Street Transportation Enhancements) project in Miami-Dade County. The project received the National Association of Counties (NACo) Award and the Miami-Dade County Safe Streets Summit’ Tri-Region People’s Choice Award for Best Project, which honors individuals and jurisdictions that lead by example in creating better streets for all users.
“Thanks to the Safe Routes to Parks project and the leadership of Senator René García, we have a safe and beautiful connecting corridor to Amelia Earhart Park,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “This partnership is a great example of how interagency collaboration advances our Parks Masterplan vision to create safe, accessible and sustainable routes to parks in our community, which is important for the physical and emotional health of our residents and visitors.”
“This new development has provided much needed connectivity enhancements to our beautiful Amelia Earhart Park and for the residents of our District 13 community, especially our seniors who frequent this park. They now have a safe and aesthetically pleasing route, with the bonus of cooling shade trees along the way. And I am pleased to say that the Safe Route to Parks corridor at this park is highly utilized,” said Miami-Dade County Commissioner René Garcia.
“We are proud to celebrate the award-winning Safe Route to Parks initiative, part of the Miami-Dade County Parks and Open Space Master Plan’s goal of increased walkability and more equitable access to parks and recreational amenities for all residents,” said Director Nardi. “This connectivity project furthers the Parks’ Masterplan vision of a safe 10-minute walk to a park. We are grateful to the Transportation Planning Organization and Miami-Dade County Department of Transit and Public Works for their partnership and collaboration in implementing this initiative that helps build a healthier community.”
Executive Director Bouclé stated, “The Miami-Dade TPO Urban Mobility & Non-Urban Core Task Forces were created to focus on addressing bicycle and pedestrian mobility challenges in Miami-Dade County. As a result, the SMART STEP was created to facilitate interagency coordination, innovation, and accelerated implementation of pedestrian and bicycle improvement projects that increase connectivity and enhance safety throughout the county. The TPO is proud to have Miami-Dade County Parks and DTPW as partners to ensure that this SMART STEP project was implemented to increase connectivity and enhance safety for the neighboring elderly population.”