streets

Miami-Dade County Saves Time and Gains Efficiencies, Resulting in Better Streets

Miami-Dade County, FL

Intersection in downtown Miami

Population

2.7 Billion

Agency Type

County

Annual Budget

$8.9 Billion

Region

Southeast

Solution

Remix Street Design

About Miami-Dade County, FL

The most populous county in Florida, Miami-Dade County is home to 34 incorporated municipalities, cities, towns and villages, as well as to unincorporated communities and neighborhoods. The City of Miami is the largest municipality, followed by Hialeah, Miami Gardens, Miami Beach, North Miami and Coral Gables. Miami-Dade County encompasses more than 2,000 square miles (larger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware). One-third of Miami-Dade County is located in Everglades National Park. The county is located along the southeast tip of the Florida peninsula.

Challenge

Often Miami-Dade County’s Department of Transportation and Public Works’ initial conversations felt like a speed bump on the road. The conversations about street design were too abstract and high-level. Lacking a tool that could customize and present an idea accurately and efficiently resulted in many non-starters. They also desired a less manual, error-prone, and time-intensive process for conceptual plan development.

Solution

The County introduced new street design technology, powered by Remix, that has enabled them to gain process efficiencies, save staff time, and ensure accurate design concepts. It also has allowed quicker alignment between stakeholders and the ability to move from ideation to execution much faster, all resulting in better outcomes for the County.

Results

Reduced number of needed software applications by 71% (from 7 to 2)

Decreased time to develop and make changes to a conceptual plan from days to hours

Reduced manual steps, enabling less potential errors and greater accuracy

Tell us about the challenges you faced with street design prior to adopting new technology.

We had challenges conveying some of our street design messaging to the rest of the department, as our conversations were too abstract and too high-level to take any action. We needed a tool that would allow us to take an idea, localize it to a specific segment, and present it in a graphical way. Without that, these conversations were non-starters.

In addition, our process was cumbersome. To manage everything, we needed to have at least seven different software applications open at one time on our computer to review data such as the police crash report, transit lines and activity, traffic reports, right-of-way info, and Excel for calculations. In addition, it took a long time to develop a conceptual plan or make changes to it, because it involved a manual process. And with manual processes come the increased risk of errors and inaccuracies.

Why did you select Remix for street design?

We had an existing relationship with Remix for their Transit solution. Our experience working with their Transit team gave us confidence in their ability to deliver their Streets solution. We were with them through the early stages as their Transit product evolved, and we anticipated the same positive experience would unfold with their Streets product. We were selected to join their early Streets customer program with six other entities, and we accepted. They were the right partner for us with alignment on the desire to have a great collaboration that truly delivered something beneficial for all.

Tell us about a recent win with street design.

We are proud of the work done on the SW 211 Street project. We took a resurfacing project and introduced the idea of protected bicycle lanes, thanks to the advocacy from elected officials and the community. With Remix, we were able to show different designs-- moving parking in and out, adding some buffering with traffic dividers, etc. We were able to easily create different options. We then had a meeting with construction folks, the traffic engineering division, and the highway design division to review conceptual plans and gather feedback. We showed segments and areas with all of the dimensions and details-- enough to move directly into a CAD design.  Internal stakeholders complimented the collaborative and streamlined way we were able to present these plans.


Disclaimer: This is a sample image and not representative of Miami-Dade County.

Based on that meeting, we were able to finalize the conceptual design, used by highway division to develop final plans. Due to the Remix street design tool, it was a very quick same-day project to gather input, go back into the design, and change it in real-time. If we didn’t have Remix, that conceptual plan would’ve been created manually with some different colored pencils through an inefficient process of needing to get someone to develop a conceptual plan (which takes time, money, effort, and a lot of back and forth communication with different divisions) before going to design. This project is now in the production phase, and we’re looking forward to taking photos and riding it. This great opportunity to introduce features for safer streets was achieved by having the Remix tool available to our team.

What are some of the benefits you’re seeing with new technology?

With Remix Streets, we’ve been able to save staff time and gain efficiencies. Specifically, we’ve been able to:

  • Open conversation doors with stakeholders. We can now take a concept, localize it to a street we all know, and present it in a graphical and easy-to-understand way. This is extremely beneficial to us, because it starts internal conversations that previously were non-starters due to being too abstract with the inability to customize. We’re now able to move forward and deliver on a concept with everyone aligned thinking “this is feasible; let’s tackle next steps now to make it a reality.”
  • Reduce the need to have multiple applications open to get one answer or one number. We went from at least seven applications open on our computer to two applications-- that’s a reduction of over 70% and has really streamlined our workflow. This will also come in handy with onboarding/training of new hires down the road, because they’ll have everything in one place versus needing to search for all the necessary info from different sources and then toggle between them.
  • Be more efficient with the concept development phase. Previously, it was unrealistic to have our Transportation Engineer spend days to develop one concept. We were able to do the work in just a few hours versus days. In the case of the SW 211 Street project, we successfully made changes to design in as little as 10 minutes versus 4 hours-- a 96% time savings!
  • Become more self-sufficient. Before Remix, we often had limited ability to deliver because we were dependent on others to complete conceptual designs. There were times our hands felt tied, but now we can facilitate steps in the process ourselves and put wheels in motion sooner.
  • Enable accuracy with our work. It’s hard to keep accuracy at a high level when you have a manual process. Using Remix ensures accuracy, especially under a time-sensitive process.

All of these important benefits contribute to our ultimate end goal of developing better streets and better infrastructure for our communities.

Before Remix, it was a non-starter to bring innovative ideas. With this technology, we now have opened doors to a dialogue that otherwise would not have happened.

Carlos Cruz-Casas

Assistant Director, Department of Transportation and Public Works, Miami-Dade County, FL

Tell us more about the time savings involved in conceptual planning.

For conceptual design, we use Remix for 100% of the work-- it is the only tool needed, which is hugely valuable. It offers us the ability to show existing and proposed concepts. This saves us significant time because when we’re sitting in a meeting, we can react to proposed ideas, go back and forth in real-time with existing and proposed plans, and change the feedback live in the room. This removes the time-consuming steps of having to go back to the office, translate from paper to computer, send it back for feedback, schedule another meeting, gather more feedback, and then go back to the office again to transcribe. If you’re able to show a concept and change it in a one hour meeting to achieve alignment, that cuts out a lot of back and forth steps.

Many see your department as a leader in innovation - how have you done that?

We love the marriage between technology and innovation and making the most of it. New innovative projects often come through us such as data, mobile applications, etc. Through the years, we have managed to secure strategic partnerships with companies like Remix and other innovators.

We have been tasked to challenge the way our department performs transportation planning with aims to improve efficiency. Everyone has ideas, but if we didn’t have the right tools and technology to execute, the ideas would’ve stayed as ideas. Remix helps us move from ideation to execution, and keeps us on the cutting edge of innovation.

Do you see Remix as a collaborative partner?

Yes. We have bi-weekly meetings where we discuss everything openly. Our team provides a lot of feedback, and the Remix team takes it all into consideration. We see them listening to our feedback and then asking each other in real-time-- how can we help them achieve that? Every time we open the Streets platform, we notice something new in terms of features and functionality because Remix is constantly innovating and pushing updates automatically. It’s a great feeling to know our input is valued and acted upon, and that the collective feedback from us and Remix’s other customers is yielding new results and new approaches for cities and counties. We voice our needs, and the Remix team goes to work to get the necessary tools into our hands so we can achieve our goals.

What’s next for your team as you look ahead?

We want to empower our community to move around town with ease! The first step is to make sure we use our approach for new mobility in a way where we create better streets for everyone. This means developing designs that are responsive to the context of the neighborhood and are proactive as they create safer streets for everyone.

We are embarking on a new micro-mobility approach county-wide. We are looking forward to augmenting our decision-making with data on scooter and bicycle activity to enable improvements. We’ll be able to tie that data into design and concept, and then propose concepts and solutions that can be developed. We’re truly excited about the capabilities that new technology brings to our team.

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