‘Speedway’ prompts traffic enforcement

Government By David Snelling, Reporter Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Acting on complaints about speeding in residential neighborhoods and along the main thoroughfares in Miami Lakes, police have stepped up efforts to catch lead-footed drivers.

Nancy Rogers, chair of the Miami Lakes Safety Committee, said speeding has been a long-standing problem in town, including in her Loch Andrews community.

“We called it the quarter-mile speedway because cars come speeding down the street like they are racing,” Rogers said.

She said drivers are speeding or drag racing along Fairway Drive and residents fear for the safety of kids playing in the area as well as pedestrians crossing the street.

Residents on the west side of Miami Lakes also alerted police to speeding on Northwest 87th Avenue between Northwest 170th Street and Northwest 138th Streets, Miami-Dade Police Maj. Javier Ruiz said.

Ruiz said he deployed more officers to enforce speed limits along Northwest 87th Avenue since the traffic initiative went into effect in January.

Ruiz said the crackdown will last until the problem is resolved. “Although we have been conducting randomized traffic speed details in the past several months, recently we dedicated a significant amount of time towards speed enforcement on Northwest 87th Avenue,” he said.

Ruiz said since Jan. 18, officers conducted over 80 hours of speed enforcement and issued more that 120 tickets for that offense.

Ruiz said he did not immediately have available from county records the number of tickets written for the same period a year ago to compare results.

Speeders along Northwest 67th Avenue have also drawn complaints, prompting police traffic enforcement there, too, Ruiz said.

Drivers will notice an unoccupied police car parked on the swale, which is meant to get drivers to let up on the gas.

That tactic has been used along Commerce Way on the west side of town, too.

Ruiz said there have been complaints in the past of fast cars in school zones, but they’re fewer than in other areas.

He said officers at the schools help to protect students from drivers who are going too fast.

Officers patrol for speeders in residential neighborhoods, but more so along main thoroughfares which have more traffic.

“This is not to say that the residential areas are not targeted,” Ruiz said. “It simply means that we have some residential neighbor- hoods that are in the routine rotational enforcement.

“We are constantly addressing speeding violations throughout the town as part of our duties,” Ruiz said.

Rogers said the safety committee has recommended the town install new speed bumps in residential neighborhoods.

Residents want the speeding to stop, but they shy away when told the town may have to raise taxes to pay for speed bumps, Rogers said.

Rogers’ short-term solution was placing signs that read, “Drive Like Your Kids Live Here,” throughout town.

The signs help with raising awareness but the town needs traffic calming devices to combat the problem, Rogers said.

Carlos Acosta, the Miami Lakes public works director, said the town wants to replace 20 worn out speed bumps in Loch Lomond, Lake Martha, Lake Sarah and West Lake. Acosta said total costs are estimated at $25,000 but are currently not funded.

Acosta said the town received requests for new speed bumps in 13 neighborhoods, along streets that include Loch Ness Drive, Twin Sabal Drive, Northwest 168th Terrace, Jacaranda Lane and Lake Candlewood Court, areas which staff have not yet evaluated.

The town is asking residents to identify speeding hotspots by listing addresses online, or emailing Mike Zayas, transportation planning manager at zayas-moralesm@miamilakes-fl.gov.

To get one of the signs, call Town Hall at 305-364- 6100.

 

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