Youth Zones: A Traffic-Calming Measure

Jorge L. Fors, Jr.

City of Coral Gables Commissioner
[email protected]

The City of Coral Gables is home to thirty-two parks, ten community facilities, a library, and countless other open spaces that experience high volumes of foot traffic and use by the city’s youth and their families. Although the seventeen schools within our city limits enjoy the protection of legal “School Zones,” streets surrounding our other youth-centric areas (e.g., the Youth Center) are treated like any other thoroughfare in terms of regulation governing traffic (including speed limits). Meanwhile, I know traffic and speeding continue to be a primary concern for our residents despite recent improvements.

For that reason, with the support of my colleagues on the Commission, I began working with city administration to develop a concept I am referring to as “Youth Zones,” which would aim to increase safety in all youth-centric areas. Although the primary objective is to make these areas safer, I believe there will be an incidental traffic-calming effect city-wide. In its conceptual stage, Youth Zones will be designated traffic zones, similar to School Zones, but located in those area that experience a high volume of pedestrians due to the presence of parks and other youth-centric locations. These zones would feature reduced speed limits and other visual themes that, similar to School Zones, cue drivers to exercise greater care. Additionally, sidewalks within Youth Zones may be fully funded by the City to increase the safety around parks and schools.

Youth Zones are a relatively novel concept but stay tuned for further updates as I continue to develop the plan with staff and move closer to implementation. To view a briefing about this program, presented during the May 11 Commission Meeting, click here.


5 thoughts on “Youth Zones: A Traffic-Calming Measure

  1. I think it’s a great idea and we should implement on Sevilla. I live by St Theresa school and on any given day during rush hour (especially in the afternoon) we are a speedway for people going east to west from work. We need this now and any other type of traffic calming options on Sevilla from Columbus to Red Road!

  2. Nice idea however let’s focus on what kids need to get to these green spaces…sidewalks, bike lanes, crosswalks, and enforcement of Florida’s law that requires cars to stop at occupied crosswalks. Until the latter is enforced, drivers will always rule the road and no speed limit will make a difference.

  3. This is a great idea!!! They should consider the section of Granada Blvd where the large field that borders Granada Blvd and Carrillo Street (where West Lab Elementary School is) as a youth zone.
    There are several children playing in the field between Granada and Carrillo and the students from UM are constantly speeding on that section of Granada Blvd and even running the red light at the cross walk. It’s really dangerous

  4. Good concept. Hope it becomes a reality. A park was installed and opened during the pandemic on Venetia Ave between Venetia Ave and Venetia Terrace. The Terrace entrance/exit has NO SIDEWALKS and NO CROSSWALK. See kids and families walking in the street to get to the park and crossing in the middle of street where there is neither a cross walk or stop sign on a street that is wellknown for volume and speed. Regarding the 20 MPH zones, good luck. Folks couldn’t mind the 30 MPH speed limit and certainly not the 25 MPH speed limits.

  5. Great initiative! University Drive, around the Youth Center, is a speedway with limited visibility. The crosswalk there has only worked sporadically for many years.

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