In a move to prevent and reduce the number of cars that accidentally plunge into lakes and canals, Miami-Dade Commissioner Javier D. Souto will introduce a new ordinance that would expand the current guardrail law, which requires the barriers on streets adjacent to bodies of water, to include commercial parking lots.
Souto will introduce the amended ordinance for first reading during the Miami-Dade Commission meeting Tuesday morning at the Stephen P. Clark Center at 111 Northwest First Street. He sponsored the original ordinance, which went into effect in 2008, after death and injuries of teen drivers who swerved off the road and drove into nearby canals.
The proposed ordinance would require safety barriers on commercial parking lots located near bodies of water in unincorporated Miami-Dade County.
“We live in a very beautiful state, but unfortunately we cannot avoid building roads and structures near bodies of water we enjoy for recreation, irrigation, storm water drainage, and other uses,” said Souto.
"We need to consider expanding this protection to commercial properties where parking is also near water. The same dangers exist there as on the road,” he added.
The new ordinance requires the installation of guardrails when new parking lots are constructed. Owners of existing parking lots would be given an 18-month period to set aside funds for the barriers.