On April 1st, the Miami Marlins and Florida Department of Transportation announced an exciting public-private partnership to prioritize bicycle transportation to the new Marlins Ballpark. Transit Miami received word that Marlins President David Samson and FDOT District 6 will team up to fund and construct a protected, 2 mile “cycle track” that will link Government Center in Downtown Miami with Marlins Park, set for completion by August 2012.
As a solution to the anticipated parking and transit woes at the new stadium, the Marlins and FDOT mutually agreed that encouraging safe, active transportation is the most obvious and sensible option for area residents. Both Marlins and FDOT officials anticipate a surge in casual ridership on non-game days as well, as the facility will provide a designated route separated from motorized traffic along the two mile pathway, suitable for commuters and recreational cyclists alike.
When the cycle track is completed later this summer, the Marlins also announced that for weekend games, team mascot “Billy the Marlin” will lead a family-oriented group bicycle ride on the cycle track to the ballpark from the Government Center Metrorail station. Dubbed the “Playoff Peleton”, the escorted ride will provide fans with a chance to “Bike With Billy” for an entertaining and hassle-free way to the stadium.
Free bicycle valet service will also be available, an upgrade to the “wave” style racks currently installed inside the surrounding parking garages. The Marlins have donated one of the vacant retail spaces in the north parking garage to the newly formed Magic City Bicycle Collective until an official lease is signed. Inside, volunteers will provide free, secure bicycle parking as well as performing basic repairs and maintenance. With the free valet service, Marlins Park joins Wrigley Field in Chicago, AT&T Park in San Francisco, Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. and Minute Maid Park in Houston as another MLB stadium offering bicycle valets.
The cycle track and bike valet are complements to the new stadium’s LEED Silver designation (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) “There is nothing less LEED-y than driving an automobile to the game. Bike with Billy instead!”, said the Marlins press release on the cycle track.
“Helping build this valuable community amenity just makes sense,” said a Marlins representative. “Heck, it only costs about 1% of Jose Reyes’s salary!”
Transit Miami applauds the Marlins and FDOT for their sensible gestures of good will in accommodating the surging numbers of casual cyclists in Miami seeking to use bicycles as a safe, healthy transportation option. The protected cycle track signifies the city of Miami is joining the ranks of modernity in providing bicycle riders with world-class infrastructure they have been pleading for. An FDOT representative also expressed delight that the agency is finally embracing non-motorized transportation options on a broad-scale across Miami-Dade County.
In other news, Transit Miami Films will be screening new features at both the Sundance and Cannes film festivals for 2012. (To be even more clear – this is an April Fools joke.)
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