By: Ismael Rodriguez

The federal government awarded Miami authorities $421,829 to speed the process on a project to transform a portion of Biscayne Boulevard into active parks.

The City of Miami’s Downtown Development authorities applied for and received a $421,829 federal grant late last month to boost the production speed of the Biscayne Green Lane Elimination Analysis Project, which will take over 101 parking spaces and two traffic lanes of Biscayne Boulevard and turn them into active parks.

The federal funds will be transferred by The Florida department of Transportation, but an agreement between the city and Local Agency Participation is still required for funds to be accessed.

City Manager Daniel Alfonso was appointed on July 27 as the man responsible for accepting the funds and executing the necessary agreement from a local agency.

The Biscayne Green Lane Elimination Analysis Project began earlier this year as a test-run in an attempt to provide added pedestrian safety and accessibility improvements at seven Metromover stations. It ran from Jan. 6 to the 26, attracting more than 16,939 visits.

This prototype provided both recreational and passive amenities, interactive elements, and a set of events for guests during the day and nighttime, allowing residents and others to gather and connect.

Development authorities in the city deemed the demonstration a success and moved forward with making it a permanent display. The final project will aim to reduce driving lanes from eight to four in a stretch of land that spreads from Biscayne Boulevard Way to Northeast Eighth Street, replacing them with grass, trees, street accessories and other amenities.

Other future steps by the city are said by authorities to include securing more funds to advance design development and finance more construction projects.