FDOT will soon be resurfacing Sunset Drive from SW 84 Pl to SW 69 Ave and the Miami-Dade Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee has passed a resolution recommending that the median be narrowed by 1 foot on each side and bike lanes included. Sunset Drive, also known as Marjory Stoneman Douglas Historic Road, allows for the construction of bicycle paths and even recreational facilities according to its historic designation. What a wonderful way it would be to honor Marjory Stoneman Douglas, one of South Florida history’s most prominent environmentalists, if FDOT would  implement improvements that encourage safe, active transportation along this road!

FDOT invites members of the public (you!) to a public meeting on tonight, March 30th, from 6:00-8:00 pm at St. Matthew Episcopal Church, 7410 Sunset Drive. Currently, very wide (14-foot) outside lanes are proposed in the design. Lanes of this width encourage speeding AND take up space that could otherwise be striped for a bike lanes. Join us for the public meeting or support active transportation with a quick email to Gus Pego, our FDOT District Secretary, letting him know how important bicycle facilities in this project are to you. You also might remind him of the FDOT Complete Streets policy or the fact that the District just north of us was successfully sued by the South Florida Bike Coalition for failing to put in bike lanes without justifiable cause. We encourage you to cc: David Henderson, Bike/Ped Coordinator for Miami-Dade County. You may also call the FDOT District Office at 305.470.5197.

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19 Responses to NOTICE: Sunset Drive Could Get Bike Lanes

  1. Bogus says:

    FDOT stated at the BPAC that they couldn’t make the swales narrower because of drainage structures at the edge of pavement, which in almost every case is incorrect, the drainage structures are back away from the pavement.
    Also, they said they couldn’t get a variance to narrow the median anymore, because it would be sub-standard, however, they got a variance to remove 2′ to get the 14′ outside lane, thus they could get a variance to narrow an additional 2′ to incorporate bike lanes and still have a 15′ median.
    FDOT doesn’t want to put bike lanes, you need to show up at this meeting and tell them that it’s important for roads like this to have safe bicycle facilities when possible and this is possible.

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  2. [...] NOTICE: Sunset Drive Could Get Bike Lanes – Transit Miami [...]

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  3. Dave says:

    Why end it at 68th Ave? Isn’t that missing the urban portion from 67th east to 52nd ave? Currently Sunset from 84th to 68th doesn’t even have a sidewalk for most of that length.

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  4. Silver says:

    Dave,
    I don’t know if it makes a difference, but from 69th ave east in the area you mentioned becomes the City of South Miami. The part they are referring to is in unincorporated Miami-Dade. South Miami recently redid a large section of the road from 67th east to US-I, including a really screwy lane shift approaching 62 ave heading west. In addition, the reduced the speed limit in that area to 20 or 25, which hasn’t really slowed people down yet.
    And, I could be wrong, but I’m thinking that a large portion of that area does have sidewalks?

    My concern here though, is similar to what’s been refelected on some other posts: simply because there is a bike lane, will it be safe for bicyclists? Cars tend to speed down this part of Sunset and I don’t know how comfortable I would even feel using the bike lane.

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  5. Felipe Azenha says:

    Well said Silver. Adding a bike lane will not make it safer for cyclists. We need to design the road to discourage speeding too. Case in point: Coral Way bike lane. I don’t feel comfortable using the Coral Way bike lane and I consider myself an experienced rider.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    The more cyclists on the road the better! Cyclists are themselves a traffic calming element on the road.

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  7. Felipe Azenha says:

    Inexperiened cyclists will not begin riding if they perceive cycling to be dangerous. We need to make it safer for cyclists first. Painting a couple of white lines on a road which is designed for cars to move quickly does litlle to make it safer for cyclist.

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  8. Tony Garcia says:

    The real enemy here is not the bike lane but the standards that produce it. We should absolutely be advocating for bike lanes along Sunset, while also advocating for better design standards to make cyclists and pedestrians safer.

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  9. Sunset being repaved from cocoplum to s. miami says:

    Please also lobby for the inclusion of bike lanes in the repaving of Sunset from Cocoplum to S. Miami. This is a county project being funded thru stimulus dollars this year!!! NOW… Let Mr. Gimenez and Mr Henderson know cyclists need mobility now.

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  10. Support Sunset Bike Lanes says:

    Well said Tony. In regards to inexperienced cyclist, they seem to be taking to the streets more and more, and that is even with the perception of dangerous roads. The most encouraging thing for an inexperienced cycle is seeing others cycling on street. Coral Way is a great road to ride on because of the bike lanes. It is a far nicer ride then it used to be, and a more attractive road as a whole.
    Bike lanes encourage cycling, and the markings and signage let drivers know that yes bikes do have a right to the road, and you may see them. So encouraging bike lanes on all roadway projects is a safety measure. Bike lanes are the safest on road bike facility.
    Current roadway design standards are not the most ideal, but they do mandate bike lanes and pedestrian features, and if you do not hold them to those standards then you encourage dangerous road design.
    Please send your emails to Gus Pego as stated in the article, it is important.

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  11. JM Palacios says:

    I’m not too familiar with this project or the roadway, so I don’t know if there are any other reasons why bicycle lanes cannot be provided. But since this road has no curb and gutter on the outside, this appears to be the type of road where FDOT would be required to install bicycle lanes or else provide a variance explaining why they cannot. Moving curb and gutter is spelled out in the PPM as a justification to be too expensive to install bicycle lanes (and therefore not requiring a variation), but widening to add a shoulder is not. Refer to Table 8.1.1 inChapter 8 of the FDOT PPM.

    I should also note that the designers will have to get a variance for this project if they do not provide 5′ shoulders which could also be marked as bicycle lanes, so whatever reason they have for not adding shoulders might also be the same reason why they’re not adding bicycle lanes.

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  12. Mike Moskos says:

    OK, so I don’t know this road, so this may be out of the ballpark for this particular road, but . . .
    it seems to me the best way to ensure the safety of bikers/walkers on any street (and enhance the value of the road’s real estate) is to put a row of trees to separate the bikeway/sidewalk from the road. You could put up a low cement wall like the ones used on expressways, but the trees will look a whole lot nicer and shade both bikers and walkers.

    What makes Coral Way a great street? The trees.

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  13. Support Sunset Bike Lanes says:

    They are already reducing the median to include 14′ outside lanes, this requires higher cost and a variance. The request should be since you are willing to spend the money to do this, and you are willing to get the variance, make it a point to reduce the median to the size needed to include 2×11′ lanes and a 5′ bike lane.
    That will not cost more than what they are proposing and the end result are 2 bike lanes.
    I hope you all come out even if you are unfamiliar with the roadway as it is important that Miami-Dade not cyclists not get neglected again by FDOT.

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  14. [...] A Public Meeting in South Miami today could mean new bicycle lanes on Sunset Drive, also known as Ma… FDOT’s required neighborhood public meeting to address their proposed work on the roadway takes place from 6-8pm tonight. It is structured so that you can drop in at any point to meet with FDOT officials and consultants working on the project and share any thoughts you may have. [...]

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  15. this article needs to be at the top today says:

    we need bike lanes, everyone come out. come one, come all…

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  16. good start says:

    Tonight was a good start with over 35 cyclists in attendance. We are 1 foot from receiving bike lanes on this road. Please contact FDOT, county commisison, state rep. The plan also calls for removing all of the newly planted trees in the swales. Great use of taxpayer’s money…

    Keep up the pressure and we will crack this nut yet. TBC

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  17. allods gold says:

    I think his appears to be the type of road where FDOT would be required to install bicycle lanes or else provide a variance explaining why they cannot. i think i will keep it.

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  18. MrSunshine561 says:

    FDOT showed up at this meeting with their mind already made up. Judging from a conversation I had with one of their representatives, they were not expecting the number of cyclists in attendance and were rather surprised.

    It may not be all lost, but a campaign to drive the message across to FDOT that they must comply with their own “Complete Streets” policy seems to be in order. Even if the project goes through as is, I was glad to see their surprise and we should continue to “surprise” them at every future meeting. Now they know their projects are being looked at closely.

    The design of the road as proposed is unorthodox and rather unsafe. The excuses given (and there were many) to exclude designated bike lanes were lacking in substance and common sense. The space is there, which is not the case in other parts of Sunset, but there is no will at all.

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  19. [...] of you followed our efforts to force FDOT to do more through my (and others’) posts on TransitMiami.com. I’ve copied my most recent post [...]

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