MIAMI, Fla. – A string of major crashes along a stretch of a county road has neighbors and business owners begging the county to make a change. There have been several serious crashes in the Buena Vista East neighborhood and they say it is time Miami-Dade county does something about it.
On Friday, Local 10 News spotted police actively tracking drivers’ speeds and pulling people over.
“You see, the traffic is terrible on this street,” said Camile Lefebvre, owner of the Buena Vista Deli. “The people, they don’t respect the speed.”
The movement was sparked at the end of January when a beloved employee at the Buena Vista Deli named Avril was hit by a car and killed while crossing the street after work.
“All the customers loved her. (She was) always positive,” Lefebvre said about the woman.
Avril’s death shook the community surrounding the restaurant so much that they’ve begun pushing for major changes to be made along Northeast 2nd Avenue from just north of the Miami Design District to just south of Little Haiti.
“We were out here talking to all of the businesses after that accident and literally watched two people almost get hit,” said Robin Porter, president of the Buena Vista East Historic Neighborhood Association.
Porter said that people speed along the roadway all the time and it is not the first bad crash to happen here.
In fact, Miami police tell Local 10 News that they’ve responded to three crashes involving injuries or deaths in this area and just in the last four months.
Some safety changes were made after a horrific crash in 2014 when 10 people eating outside of the Lemoni Café were hit by a car that veered off the roadway.
Porter and other neighbors say more needs to be done.
“On a regular basis speed is a huge factor because you don’t hit a stop light until you hit 39th in the Design District or up here which I think is 51st,” Porter said.
Another danger in the area is that parking is across from where the businesses are, so when anyone wants to go to a business they need to cross the busy street.
“We have really been pushing for parking on this side. We’ve asked for a traffic light here and in the middle. If they would put medians for turn lanes, that would eliminate speeding around things,” Porter said.
Miami-Dade County Commissioner Keon Hardemon who represents the area, where Porter and other concerned residents have sent their requests, said his office is actively looking into a traffic study and are making it a priority.
“This is a really thriving area and it could be more so but the amount of apartments and condos that are being built in the area, the roads aren’t handling it and without the proper traffic measures it’s going to get worse,” Porter said.
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