The Honorable Mr./Ms. President
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC, 20500
Dear Mr./Ms. President
My name is Gabriel Gonzalez and I am a resident of Miami, FL, and I am writing because there is a lack of safe crosswalks for the residents in my community. America is in a death epidemic in which our nation’s roadways are a mortal threat to a very vulnerable segment of road users – pedestrians. Statistics show that 5,000 pedestrians are killed annually, while 64,000 are injured in accidents involving motor vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Associations most recent statistics, for 2009, reflect a sad statistic that reflect pedestrian fatalities represented 12.1% of the people killed in traffic crashes for that year. With our national roads in need of great improvement, I write as a concerned high school student to implement more pedestrian crosswalks in communities to prevent these future atrocities.
In my community, Sunny Isles Beach, the current population is 21,698 with an estimated growth rate of 25% in the next 24 years. Its growing numbers are not accommodating the traffic as it is to be deemed at a critical high according to the Department of Transportation. With the finalization of the main attraction of the city being completed in the summer of 2016. Gateway Park will serve as a large number of outdoor facilities for residents to enjoy. The park will host a citywide convention center, largest playground for children, and a sophisticated amphitheater for tourism to flourish. This has caused issues of pedestrian safety to arise. The size of our city run at 2.6 miles in length while North Bay Road stretches at approximately half a mile constituting 20% of the whole city of Sunny Isles Beach. This would mean that residents would have to embark through 1/5 of the city to enjoy Gateway Park. All while being walked without a single crosswalk. With this issue being presented we the students at Alonzo and Tracy Mourning High believe the best solution to the problem of pedestrian safety would be to implement a crosswalk in this intersection in North Bay Rd to connect a safe path for pedestrians to enjoy the cities amenities. Working closely with the city we managed to have our idea approved and received 100 percent support from our elected officials. Only until we came to a roadblock in which the Florida Department of Transportation would refuse to take action until this “road provides a hazard for pedestrians”. In other words the DOT will not take action until an accident involving a pedestrians is presented. I write to express my concern in this mentality, as prevention is the best way to eradicate this problem. We should not have to wait until our community has to mourn the death of a fellow brother and sister in order to have the DOT to take action. The mentality the DOT has is something that has to change immediately, as we should not have to loose fellow peers for the process to serve as a precedent to others. I write on behalf of my community to ask for a change in the millions of cities across the United States.
Thank you for considering this matter.