Miami Beach 411
Like what you see? Let's talk about how
we can help your vacation --> Contact Us
Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Full Member zippyjet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Baltimore, Md.
    Posts
    156
    Likes Received
    2

    Default "Follow The Sun" Road Signs

    Back in the mid 1990s, there were signs along the main highways of Miami and Miami Beach with a sun logo on them. They were not for the Sun Pass Program. Instead, they were "follow me signs." These signs were posted especially around Miami International Airport. The idea if I'm not mistaken was that if one followed these signs, they'd stay on the main roads to get to the major tourist attractions; i.e Port Of Miami, Miami Beach and other major interstates in the Miami metropolitan area. Basically, if you followed the sun signs you'd avoid driving into ghetto areas such as Overtown, Brownsville etc. For the past five years every time I've visited Miami and Miami Beach which encompassed drives to and from the airport and port I have not seen the signs. When and why were they removed?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    6,900
    Likes Received
    374

    Default

    Hi Zippyjet, I remember reading something a while back that said they were removed because they were considered discriminatory. I don't remember where I read it and don't know how long ago they were removed, though. Does anyone else know more about this?

  3. #3
    Full Member zippyjet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Baltimore, Md.
    Posts
    156
    Likes Received
    2

    Default

    :coolcheese: Thanks for the info! How can they be discrimanatory? It doesn't say avoid Liberty Dity, Overtown, Alapatta. They were just additional direrctional signs along with the Interstate highway shields. Go figure. Discriminatory would be "Liberty City in a circle with a diagonal line through it. :coolcheese:

  4. #4
    Gus
    Gus is offline
    Administrator Gus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Somewhere between South Beach and South Miami
    Posts
    6,506
    Likes Received
    167

    Default

    I remember the road signs.

    Following the German tourists murders that took place in the early '90's, the New York Times published this article about the signs:

    The Metro-Dade County Department of Public Works has installed special road signs in the greater Miami area in an attempt to help out-of-town drivers reach major tourist destinations safely. The program was started in response to attacks, some of them fatal, on tourists who had got lost on the road, according to a spokesman for the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau.

    The road signs, which first appeared earlier this year as part of a $2.7 million program, show an orange sunburst symbol on a blue background. Installed along major highways, they designate recommended routes to many popular attractions in the Miami area, such as Miami Beach, downtown Miami, Coral Gables and Coconut Grove, as well as the most direct way to Key West, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando.

    Posters explaining the "Follow the Sun" program are displayed near baggage claim areas in the airport, beside car rental counters and in airport buses that shuttle travelers to the Triangle, an area east of the airport where most car rental agencies are situated. In addition, specially designed maps explaining the new signs are distributed by car rental agencies.

    The maps -- in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian and Portuguese -- give detailed information about the Triangle and sketch major local highways. Except for the Triangle, local roads and points of interest have been omitted. The map is intended is to guide visitors safely and conveniently to their destinations on arrival.
    TRAVEL ADVISORY; Miami Road Signs For Visiting Drivers

    Not sure why the road signs would be thought of as discriminatory.

  5. #5
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    South Miami
    Posts
    9,256
    Likes Received
    194

    Default

    Heck, those signs would even be helpful for some locals!

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Miami
    Posts
    1,915
    Likes Received
    0

    Default

    I wouldn't be surprised if it was as simple and thoughtless as that the signs were removed for the zillion road construction projects we have going on, and then they never got replaced.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    532
    Likes Received
    0

    Default

    We flew into Miami the weekend before that poor German woman was killed at the gas station when she stopped to ask for directions. We had rented a car, like she did, and given a road map and that was that. We then left on a week long cruise. When we arrived back in Miami and rented another car everything was completely different. The car people quizzed us on where we were driving, gave us printed directions, a disclaimer form that we had received specific directions, and a printed sheet listing the way from the rental area to the freeways and back. It was then that we learned about the murder. In one week everything changed and in less than a year, with killings at turnpike or freeway rest areas, and hijackings of rental cars (remember when all rental cars had big stickers with the name of the company on them?) the signs were put up and also in Fort Lauderdale, where they weren't needed but it looked better.

    I still fly into FLL, mostly because the rental car area in Miami is so poor. Instead of organizing the car rentals into a central facility like in FLL, MIA is still surrounded by bleak blocks and hidden rental agencies. The signage is absolutely impossible to see, let alone read at night and I have gotten lost picking up friends who fly into MIA. The only way I would fly into MIA now is to take a cab to our condo and use our own car.

  8. #8
    Full Member zippyjet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Baltimore, Md.
    Posts
    156
    Likes Received
    2

    Default

    It's sad, that one still has to drive in fear around the airport. I believe MIA is finally building a rental car complex much like FLL and BWI (Baltimore Washington International Airport). For concise road directions with maps, I feel the best out there is Google Maps with driving directions and, it's FREE! AAA online is pretty close. Mapquest can be outdated and confusing. Regarding another response about road construction and not replacing the sun signs...tourism being number one industry along with hot hard bodied chicks in skimpy bikinis, ommitting the signs is counterproductive. Road system and some signage has improved a bit since the bad old days. When I went on my cruise last summer, we drove down Collins Ave to the Port of Miami from the Thunderbird in Sunny Isles. Took maybe 15 minutes longer than the I-95 route which does go through ghetto/hood country. We have enough high crime ghettos at home in Baltimore.

  9. #9
    Suzanne C
    Guest

    Default

    Those tourists murders actually brought about lots of changes- the state had to change the license plates on rental cars. They used to all start with the same lettering making the rentals easy targets for criminals. That's long gone but as for the signs, they are 'sort of' still around- they've just changed a bit.

    For the port of Miami you'll want to look for a sign with a picture of a ship and some waves and they are all over downtown and I-95. For the beaches, I believe it's a sun and some waves.

    Let's see how early I can get Nick up tomorrow...maybe I can take a quick pic.

  10. #10
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    10,738
    Likes Received
    847

    Default

    The signs were considered discriminatory because people thought they were diverting people from minority neighborhoods. Which they were. But not because they were populated with minorities but rather because they had high crime rates. I'm not sure why they were reomved, but for a while (befroe Wilma) you'd see the old road signs with discolored squares from where the suns used to be. So I don't think is was attrition. Still, I;m not sure the discrimination thing was the reason either.

  11. #11
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    South Miami
    Posts
    9,256
    Likes Received
    194

    Default

    One would think that making it easy and seamless for tourists would be a priority, regardless.

  12. #12
    Suzanne C
    Guest

    Default

    Most ones don't think of assaulting anyone- tourists or otherwise...


    There was entirely too much traffic on the Dolphin for me to try to find the beach signs but I did get a shot of the port sign. These are unmistakable and all over downtown especially on N 5th St.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  13. #13
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    South Miami
    Posts
    9,256
    Likes Received
    194

    Default

    LOL that sign is pretty darn clear! Now that I have a mobile with a camera I'm going to look out for more signs too.

  14. #14
    Preferred Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    South Beach
    Posts
    285
    Likes Received
    0

    Default

    As expected, I didn't get an answer from the city when I emailed them about these signs. Typical.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •