designing a friendly Calle Ocho, for one day
In December 2014, Calle Ocho (SW 8th St) in Little Havana was temporarily transformed from a hazardous 3-lane major thoroughfare into a pedestrian and bike friendly public space. Contracted under ConnectFamilia's Live Healthy program, Urban Impact Lab used temporary materials and signage to demonstrate what a better street design might look like.
The redesign featured:
- a road diet, where 8 Street temporarily went from 3 one-way lanes to 2 lanes;
- a wide, protected bike lane with buffer space to protect cyclists from dooring;
- a mid-block crosswalk to facilitate pedestrian mobility, particularly for the neighborhood's young and elderly population;
- large, visible speed limit markings on the roadway to control speed;
- addition of parklets for broadened public/pedestrian space.
In addition, we designed and created highly visible, illustrated, bilingual signs to explain each redesign element, including terminology, use, and benefit.
As a result, participants and community members experienced first hand examples of what a walkable, and bikeable street design might look like. This interaction provided critical engagement and feedback for ConnectFamilias' Live Health initiative.
Part of the Live Healthy program seeks to ensure Complete Streets policies move forward at the City of Miami. These policies have seen much success throughout the county as they improve safety and encourage greater use of public streets and sidewalks thereby promoting health by getting residents to walk and/or bike more.