By: Thad Adams, Senior Vice President
The Allen Morris Company
- The average Miami-Dade resident is spending 10 days a year sitting in traffic.
- For a senior manager … a commute from Pinecrest or Doral to Brickell can cost his/her company up to $60,000 in lost business per year.
Amid stunning growth and cranes adorning the skyline in every direction, Miami-Dade residents experience higher commute times than the national average of 25.5 minutes each way. Even this, I believe is an understatement for many of us.
According to the 2015 Urban Mobility Scorecard released by Texas A&M Transportation Institute, Miami ranks amongst the top 15 urban areas in the nation with the worst traffic congestion. Extensive construction, overused roads, limited public transit, and lack of affordable housing downtown is pushing employees further away into more affordable suburbs, further adding to the problem.
The average Miami-Dade resident spends over 55 minutes each day in traffic. This translates into 10 days a year and does not take into account the added costs for tolls, parking, and insurance premiums Floridians pay, averaging almost 65.8% greater than the rest of the nation. For a senior manager whose time costs an average of $300/hr., a commute from Pinecrest or Doral to Brickell can cost his/her company up to $60,000 in lost business per year in comparison to commuting to a more central location such as Coral Gables.
Commuters to the Brickell/Downtown Area have reported worsening traffic delays due to new and ongoing construction as well as changing traffic patterns, which has increased their commute by an average of 15-20 minutes. Some companies in Brickell and Downtown have also been negatively affected by decreased business due to traffic, limited parking, and constant noise and dust. With the ongoing construction of over 20 towers and a shopping center, the problem is projected to continue and will probably worsen over the next several years.
Areas such as Coral Gables have become increasingly popular for companies to relocate their headquarters. Not only does it offer an excellent variety of amenities, such as hotels, restaurants, arts, culture and entertainment, but Class A office rates tend to average 13% lower than Brickell. In comparison to Brickell, the average company can save over $31,000/year for a 5,000 SF High End Class A Office.
Its central location to the Miami International Airport, Brickell/Downtown, and South Miami (all within 10-15 minutes) also make it an attractive hub for companies who constantly have employees traveling to and from Miami. Hotel and transportation rates are 40% lower than Brickell, which translates into savings of approximately $5,000 a year on visitor travel expenses.
While some entities need to be in the downtown/Brickell corridor, others are re-thinking the commute. The cost-factors noted in this study, along with the anecdotal realities of living the commute on a daily basis, clearly validates those decisions.
With this in mind, although Miami-Dade is known for its dense traffic, Broward and Palm Beach Counties have both experienced their fair share of congestion, traffic and safety concerns as well.
In a study conducted by consulting firm Kimley-Horn, the commute from I-95 to A1A in Palm Beach, a 3.1-mile trip, would take six and a half minutes at 30 miles per hour if you made all seven traffic lights. Stopping at the train crossing or at the bridge opening would add up to eight minutes to the total commute time. The study also found that commuting on Palmetto Park Road through the downtown area in good conditions would take 11 minutes but can take as long as 22.5 minutes with traffic. The study also makes it clear that it recommends builders to minimize traffic disruption during construction and even though new developments bring traffic, it is not the primary source of downtown’s driving complications.
TRIP, a nonprofit transportation research group, also recently released a study that named Florida’s interstate highways the 9th most congested in the country, and according to the Auto Insurance Center and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s latest statistics, I-95 is the second most dangerous highway in the nation. TRIP’s study further concluded that traffic is increasing at a pace that states cannot keep up with. Many see this as a healthy pattern and a positive catalyst for city and state board members to identify creative solutions that would create more walkable areas and use of public transit, such as Broward’s Johnson Street Complete Streets Project in Hollywood, scheduled for completion in 2023. The project will rebuild the street with one travel lane in each direction and a center left turn lane, concrete sidewalks and bicycle lanes, bus shelters, pedestrian ramps, as well as a new drainage system and decorative street lights, among other improvements that would help ease traffic concerns and would significantly reduce commute times.
To that end, with continued construction and worsening congestion in the CBD area, and almost 470,000 square feet of new office space being built in Downtown Coral Gables alone over the next few years, we expect to see a greater migration of corporations to areas with high quality space at lower rates in a central location.
For more information on new or existing office space available in Coral Gables, contact Thad Adams, Senior Vice President with The Allen Morris Company, firstname.lastname@example.org or at (305) 476-2532.