Beginning Friday, downtown Miami might look a little greener.
The Miami Downtown Development Authority will take over 101 parking spaces and two traffic lanes of Biscayne Boulevard and turn them into active parks, a pilot project that will be in effect until Jan. 26.
The DDA plans to use the project as a kickstarter to a permanent version of the Biscayne Green, which will eventually cut four lanes of traffic on Biscayne Boulevard and eliminate four median parking lots. The Florida Department of Transportation approved more than $400,000 worth of funding for a lane elimination analysis, which is the next step for the park project. The Knight Foundation and the Miami Foundation are funding the temporary project.
In the long run, the Biscayne Green would convert those traffic lanes into pedestrian and bike paths and an exclusive public transit lane. Parking for the AmericanAirlines Arena and Bayside Marketplace would be affected.
It’s aimed at reducing car traffic to make downtown Miami more pedestrian-friendly and geared toward public transit as the focus to develop the area intensifies. Over the past two years, there has been more $1.8 billion in transactions in the downtown area with prices per square foot increasing from $82 to $500, The Real Deal previously reported, and a bevy of new residential, commercial and mixed-use projects in the pipeline.
Other projects in Miami intended to add green space and reduce car traffic include the Underline linear park and trail and the proposed Biscayne Line.