The Miami New Times recently ran a provocative-sounding report: “Wynwood might just get Miami’s first woonerf.”
Not up on your Dutch? That’s okay. “Woonerf” refers to a unique street design, popular in Europe and increasingly trendy here in the States, that blends the best in safety and aesthetics.
Translated literally, woonerf means “living yard,” though city planners are more likely to refer to it as a “living street.” It’s intended as a pedestrian-friendly roadway that is drivable by cars but maintains a low speed limit and can be walled off to restrict motor vehicle access on the weekends.
Woonerfs are curb-less, generally allow cars and pedestrians to share the right of way, and can be enclosed during special events or at other desired times. Cars are typically asked to drive through them at a pedestrian’s walking pace.
Wynwood: An Artistic Revolution
Undoubtedly, change is afoot in Wynwood. The Miami Herald reports that property owners and developers are “looking to turn the industrial-district-turned-hipster-mecca into a real, honest-to-goodness neighborhood.”
The district’s hipster credibility should make the woonerf a good fit there. Of course, residents are eager to see Wynwood maintain its unique artistic flair during its transition into a more serviceable community.
Reform with an Eye on Miami Pedestrian Accidents
As Miami pedestrian accident attorneys, our first concern in any new road design — particularly in an area with heavy foot traffic — is the risk of Miami pedestrian accidents.
As we have noted many times in the past, Magic City has one of the highest pedestrian death rates in the country. City leaders, property owners, and urban developers have a responsibility to bring those numbers down.
Given that pedestrian safety is a principal goal in the implementation of woonerfs, we are happy to see the proposal move forward in Wynwood. We’re also hopeful that planners’ focus will remain on the reduction of Miami pedestrian accidents.
Questions? Ask Our Miami Pedestrian Accident Attorneys.
Kaire & Heffernan, LLC is dedicated to the safety of pedestrians and motorists throughout the Miami metro. If you or a loved one has been injured in or around Wynwood, the experienced Miami pedestrian accident attorneys in our office can help. If you have any questions whatsoever, please don’t hesitate to contact our office.