University of Miami Students Want Pedestrian Bridge Installed
University of Miami students are making a push to get a bridge that goes from the Metrorail station near the school across US 1.
But there's a hold up. The owner of the shopping mall believes there's a better way to make things safe.
"I feel like it is just very dangerous. Yes, I feel like they should have a better way to get across," said sophomore Schyler Rice.
Rice and her friends all agree that the intersection is a place where you must be careful.
"Drivers here are not very considerate and they just keep going no matter what," said Chris Goodrich.
On the south end of the UM campus there are shops, restaurants with off campus housing on one side and the Metrorail and classrooms on the other side, in between busy traffic.
Ashley Kelly died here in April of 2005 when crossing US 1. Over the years there were two other fatalities and others injured.
"There aren't a lot of crosswalks, so i think a lot of students resort to jaywalking, which is obviously very dangerous," said Joshua Jacobson.
Friday afternoon these students are saying a bridge over the busy traffic needs to become a reality. A total of $6 million dollars in local, state, and federal funds are waiting. The students have a petition with 2000 signatures.
"The construction project the way that its currently proposed is that its going to need approximately five parking spaces of that parking lot. We've approached the plaza owners of that shopping center, and they're not willing just those five parking spaces," said Mike Piacentino, who is on the UM student government.
The lawyer for the shopping center's owner told NBC 6: "We sincerely believe a pedestrian bridge is not the best solution to the issue of pedestrian safety on this stretch of Dixie Highway. The public resources available should be devoted to installing street level pedestrian crossings with industry standard lighting and other current technologies, at more than one location, for the benefit of students from the university, as well as younger students from the nearby middle school."
The property owner thinks that if there is a bridge going to go up it should be further south.
The county has another solution: turn the road from three to two lanes and that would give them the space to have the footbridge without using the land from the shopping center.