Florida At Risk of Falling 20 Years Behind Other States
It is summer vacation season. Perhaps you just returned to South Florida from one of the world’s great cities. Chances are, you probably experienced bicycle facilities that are generally better than what we have here in South Florida. While recently there has been significant improvements to the bicycle infrastructure in Miami-Dade County, there is still a key design element that is missing from our streetscape.
A cycle track, is a physically separate and protected bike lane and is considered by bicycle planners and experts as the safest and most enjoyable way to ride a bicycle through an urban environment. Widely seen as a catalyst to encourage riding because of the inherent safety of the protection from traffic – either by a curb, bollards, parked cars or pavement buffer – cycle tracks are revolutionizing the way people view cycling in an urban context.
Before you read any further, watch this short video via StreetFilms.org on the new cycle track in Queens, New York City. On a personal note, I was in New York last weekend when this facility opened. Having cycled in the same area prior to the building of this lane, I was awestruck. Seeing so many people enjoying an area of Queens that was previously a miserable traffic-choked hellhole, the experience was almost surreal.
There are numerous studies that show cycle tracks are proven to increase ridership tremendously versus unprotected, striped lanes. A new protected lane on Manhattan’s busy First Avenue saw cyclist counts rise by 152% throughout the year the facility was opened. As most people cite safety issues as their biggest barrier to cycling for transportation, cycletracks offer a solution that not only makes traveling safer for the cyclist, but for the motorist as well. Numerous studies have found that crashes between bicycles and traffic diminish when a protected cycle track is available.
While many cities throughout the USA and world have installed such facilities like the Queens example to great success, Miami-Dade County does not have a single on-road protected bicycle lane/cycle track. The feeling of unparalleled uplift I experienced upon riding the Queens lane quickly faded to frustration when I realized the challenges ahead for Miami.
So what is the problem? Simply put, the Florida Department of Transportation does not recognize cycle tracks as an approved bicycle facility. Therefore, some of the FDOT’s biggest roadway projects in Miami-Dade County like the proposed redesigns of Alton Road in Miami Beach, Flagler Street in Little Havana, Brickell Avenue and Biscayne Boulevard will not include cycle tracks. In fact, the feasibility of such facilities have not even been studied by the FDOT in these projects because the design standards of cycle tracks are not approved. Even worse, some of these projects have start dates in 2016 with completion dates approaching 2018, 2019 and 2020.
If the FDOT does not adopt the cycle track as an approved design standard as these major projects move forward, FODT will be 20 years behind other states and cities in implementing accepted bicycle facilities. The benefits are obvious. We’ve spent a lot of electronic ink here at TransitMiami in lambasting the FDOT’s outdated auto-centric designs and how they imposed them on the Florida landscape. This is not the time for that. Simply put, it’s time for the FDOT to join the ranks of the enlightened world of modern urban design and adopt cycle tracks that will create the conditions for safe and sustainable urban transportation. Give us the facilities that will lead to safer streets, healthier people, clean air and stress free commutes.
Here is an abbreviated list of American cities that have built segregated bicycle facilities. It’s time for Miami to join this list.
Long Beach, CA
San Francisco, CA
Subscribe via Email
Find us on Facebook
- Mike Moskos on Event: Donald Shoup-The Godfather of Eliminating Required Parking
- Matthew Toro on ‘Mixed’ Land-Use in Miami-Dade
- Adam Old on ‘Mixed’ Land-Use in Miami-Dade
- Mike arias on County Announces New Vision for Pedestrians and Cyclists: Vision Zero 305
- Matthew Toro on Commercial Land-Use in Miami-Dade
- ivo on County Announces New Vision for Pedestrians and Cyclists: Vision Zero 305
CategoriesAccident Architecture bicycles bike lanes Bike Miami Days biking Biscayne Boulevard Brickell bus Climate Change Coconut Grove complete streets Downtown Miami FDOT High Speed Rail Metrorail Miami Miami-Dade County Miami-Dade Transit Miami 21 Miami Beach Museum Park News Parking Parks Pedestrian Pedestrians Pic o' the Day Planning Real Estate Development Rickenbacker Causeway Sprawl Streetcar Traffic Transit Transitography Transit Oriented Development Transportation Tri-Rail Uncategorized Urban Design Urban Development Boundary Urban Growth Urban Planning Walkability
- Biking Boom Takes to the Sidewalks April 20, 2014The city of Santiago, Chile offers a cautionary tale for cities amidst a biking boom that don’t rethink the mode balance on their streets: there’s nowhere for bikers to go except the sidewalk.
- Finding Authenticity April 20, 2014The coveted creative class is in search of neighborhoods and communities with lots of character. Why are such places so hard to find? Maybe it is because we are trying too hard.
- Billboards, Big Money, and (Political) Blight April 20, 2014Planners typically pay attention to the Supreme Court when a Fifth Amendment case, like Kelo v. New London, comes along. The recent McCutcheon decision is a case in which the court could have paid attention to planners.
- Study: Active Commutes Correlate to Positive Public Health Outcomes April 20, 2014The Alliance for Biking and Walking’s 2014 Benchmarking report found a strong correlation between active commuting rates and health outcomes like diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure.
- The Urban Reordering: Can the United States Make it Stick? April 20, 2014The trend toward the urban has been documented from every possible angle, but a recent op-ed wonders whether it will be possible for the federal government to make a course correction that ceases the endless subsidies for the suburbs.
- Seattle’s Cap on Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar Rescinded by Referendum April 19, 2014After Seattle Citizens to Repeal Ordinance 124441 acquired twice the necessary number of signatures necessary to send a March ordinance capping the number of Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar drivers in the city, the mayor will negotiate with the companies.
- The Economics Behind Crude by Rail April 19, 2014Sure, it costs more than moving by pipeline—double or triple the price per barrel. But look at the speed: five days versus 40. A new rail terminal in Beaumont, Texas sheds light on the economics that make CBR attractive to shippers and refineries.
- Enough with the Parking Garages: Baltimore's Inner Harbor Redo Criticized April 19, 2014The first step in the transformation of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is a proposed renovation of Rash Field. But one commentator sees the subterranean parking garage included in conceptual plans as more of the same car-domination.
- Ohio River Bridges Project Price Tag Climbs Again, but Why? April 19, 2014The price tag for massive project to bridge the Ohio River in Louisville, Kentucky complete with dual approach tunnels, has long been a source of controversy. Another sudden cost increase has one commenter wondering how this keeps happening.
- Breaking News on Keystone XL Pipeline: More Delay April 19, 2014Don't expect President Obama to issue a yes or no decision on whether to build TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline until after the November elections. A pending Nebraska court case and millions of public comments were given as the reason for the delay
- Biking Boom Takes to the Sidewalks April 20, 2014