Miami Gardens residents call for speed humps along NW 7th Avenue due to string of crashes

Police respond to nearly 130 crashes at intersection in past year

By Layron Livingston - Reporter

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. - The car was moving fast. It hit the median, took out a street sign and then rolled onto its roof. In a flash of headlights and sparks, the car skidded down the wrong side of Northwest Seventh Avenue in Miami Gardens into a parked minivan.  

"It was scary," Michelle Mesa said.  

The surveillance camera outside Mesa's house recorded the out-of-control car early one Sunday morning, this past February.

"If somebody would have been driving on that road, they would not be here today," she said.

One of Mesa's neighbors who witnessed the crash ran to help the driver get out of the car.

Mesa said the driver walked away with only minor injuries.

That car flipping in the middle of the road is just one incident of many, neighbors told the "Leave it to Layron" team.

"All of us are at risk," Mesa said.

Mesa has lived in Miami Gardens for decades on a stretch of Northwest Seventh Avenue between 183rd and 199th streets.

The street underwent a major overhaul a few years ago. A median was installed, along with three roundabouts at 187th and 191st streets and 194th Terrace.

Eliamise LeGrand lives at the corner of Northwest Seventh Avenue and 187th Street.  

She said she moved in the same year Hurricane Andrew hit.

According to LeGrand, there used to be a street light at the intersection. 

"People stopped," she said. "There was never a problem."

LeGrand said she just finished repairing her fence after it was hit four different times last year.  She blames the speeding and the roundabouts.  

Three of her neighbors at that intersection have all had their fences hit. The fourth neighbor doesn't have a fence in the front of their home.

"I'm afraid that somebody will run inside my yard, and hit my kids or hit me," LeGrand said. 

The "Leave it to Layron" team reviewed crash reports provided by the city of Miami Gardens dating back to January 2017 through March 2018.  

According to the reports, Miami Gardens police responded to nearly 130 crashes along Northwest Seventh Avenue from 183rd to 199th streets, and a quarter of those crashes happened at the roundabouts or approaching the roundabouts.

The crashes involved cars, trucks and transit buses.  

Thankfully, the majority of the drivers and passengers involved did not suffer any injuries.

Unfortunately, people's fences, mailboxes, cars, street signs, homes and hydrants did not fare as well.

"I would like to see speed humps all down this road," Amanda Mesa said.  

The driver who hit her and took off while she was pulling into her driveway still has not been caught.

The "Leave it to Layron" team reached out to the city and learned the city maintains the road and the landscaping along the corridor, but Miami-Dade County's transportation department is responsible for traffic flow.

The city said county officials recently approved the installation of solar pavement lights at the roundabouts, which the city hopes will slow down traffic at night.  

Council members will have to approve the lights as part of next year's budget. 

We're told the city also asked to replace the yield signs at the roundabouts with stop signs, but the request was denied.

After we called the county transportation department, the county installed rubber cables on Northwest Seventh Avenue as part of a four-day traffic study.

We're told the speed and traffic data is now under review, and that the county is "expediting the study and review process," and hopes to make its recommendations within the next two weeks.

Currently, the city says the section of road does not meet the criteria for speed-bumps, based on the county's policy. 

The county policy notes how speed bumps are considered on a case-by-case basis.   

City officials said its officers will continue enforcement efforts. It will also keep working with the county to "reduce hazardous driving behaviors" along Northwest Seventh Avenue.

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