By Rebeca Puente-Limon
On August 29, the Miami Foundation announced the winners for the 2017 Public Space Challenge. Each year, Miami residents are given the opportunity to pitch ideas on ways to improve popular gathering spaces such as parks, beaches, activities, etc. within the community. Out of 441 applicants this year, The Miami Foundation awarded a total of $350,000 in grants to 21 recipients.
One of the recipients of the Public Space Challenge was Doral’s Parks & Police 4 Kids Foundation, who proposed installing a traffic park in Doral Central Park. “Our idea is to educate children and adults about bike and street safety by allowing children to ‘drive’ in a scale city,” said retired officer Noel Feliciano.
The park will contain all elements of an authentic city and be complete with stop lights, crosswalks, intersections, etc. A total of ten thousand dollars were granted to be used for the design of the park. The money is used as a starting point in the execution of the project.
The Parks & Police 4 Kids Foundation will be incorporating their organization’s overall purpose in involving the children of the community through this project. “This [park] will bring community involvement while reinforcing traffic rules, health and fitness interaction with police that will help our kids grow to become responsible citizens,” said Feliciano.
A new study closes in on the five worst counties in the United States when it comes to distracted drivers, putting Miami-Dade County as the only one in Florida. The planners for the traffic park have high hopes that the implementation of this park in children’s lives will help build future responsible drivers within the next generations.
The park will give children the opportunity to practice “driving” and following the rules of the road at an early age in a safe, small- scaled environment all while having fun in a different, productive manner.