Winston Park hires police to stop speeding drivers

One of West Kendall’s older communities is plagued with speeding motorists who use its streets largely to avoid clogged traffic on main east-west arteries.

“These are mostly drivers that use the neighborhood to avoid the major roads,” noted Armando Brana, member of the ecWinston Park Homeowners Association Board of Directors that has had to budget $15,000 for special police surveillance.

Built largely in the 1970s, Winston Park is a community of nearly 1,500 homes in a one square mile area, located between SW 127th and 137th avenues from 72nd Street (Sunset Drive) to 88th Street (Kendall Drive) two of the busiest east-west roadways in West Kendall.

“Traffic has become an issue… due to very high speed and a general lack of concern about stop signs, runners, and children,” Brana said.

“The worst area is in the morning when drivers try to avoid Sunset Senior High School’s zoned speed limit.”

Eastbound drivers turn into Winston Park to avoid Sunset commuter traffic, later exiting on 128th Court or speeding through the neighborhood to exit elsewhere.

“The community has had a speeding problem for quite some time,” noted Miles Moss, president of the Winston Park Homeowners Association. “In the interest of promoting safety and protecting residents, we have requested Public Works Department to conduct speed counts at nine selected locations to confirm the extent of the problem and identify the exact times speeding occurs.”

“Unfortunately, this was never done and we never received a response as to why it wasn’t done,” Moss noted.

Told selective enforcement was not possible by Miami-Dade Police Hammocks District, the board decided to hire off-duty police at $50 per hour to perform its own selective enforcement.

An appeal to Miami-Dade District 10 Commissioner Javier Souto to share one-half the $30,000 cost of hiring offduty police three times a week, four hours per day, was turned down.

“All associations in our district will be asking for our office to help pay costs for off-duty enforcement, and we certainly cannot accommodate that,” said John Michael Montes, Souto’s aide, to the request. He added that the commissioner “will continue to assist the Winston Park community in having motorcycle patrol to enforce the speeding issue.”

“We are now spending homeowner’s funds for this protection, which we would not have to have done, if we were a city,” Moss concluded.

“Miami-Dade Police have now issued over 100 citations in just four short weeks since we began the off-duty police project,” Brana said. “Speeders have created a traffic nightmare in our community.”

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