This morning I joined our friends from the Green Mobility Network for a bike ride on the M-Path to see the improvements which Miami-Dade Transit has been working on for the past two months. Although some improvements have been made, they have left much to be desired. From what I experienced, the improvements are mostly cosmetic and have no real impact on the real problems of the M-Path. Repairs to the asphalt are being done where there is tree-root damage to the path. In some sections, the path has been widened by a few inches as well. Aside from these improvements, not much else has been done. So why am I not satisfied?
I am unsure that the M-Path merits the designation of a “path”. Usually a “path” has as a main characteristic some level of connectivity, and unfortunately the M-Path does not. There is no clear designation or markings for one to follow the M-Path.
Miami Dade Transit has budgeted $700,000 to make these improvements. From what I have seen, there has not been $700,000 worth of work done to the path so far. Although the improvements certainly help, the more pressing safety issues that the M-Path has have not been given priority.
Rather then looking at the M-Path as a whole, Miami-Dade Transit is fixing the problem with a piecemeal strategy. This strategy is wholly flawed and wasteful, as some of the work that is being completed today, will have to be undone in the future when a more comprehensive project to fix the M-Path is undertaken. Safety should take precedence. Below is a list of priorities for the M-Path.
Intersections: Safety issues at street intersections must be addressed. How can we possibly call a path a path, if we cannot safely cross at intersections? This is baffling to me. Initial funding should have been allocated to the intersections, not fixing potholes.
Path Route and Width: The route of the M-Path dangerously meanders near US 1 at times without any protection for the bicyclists from cars. Several of the curves are hazardously blind which happens to place cyclists riding in opposite directions in a precarious situation. This is further exacerbated by the fact that the path is not wide enough, nor does it have any lane markings. The current path route is not always the safest for bicyclists, and needs to be rerouted in certain areas. Wherever possible, the path should follow the straightest, most direct route.
Lighting and Signage: The M-Path becomes very dangerous after sunset. Currently, there is no lighting whatsoever on the M-Path. In addition, clear path signage and mile markers should be placed along the M-Path. First time users of the M-Path will get lost.
Below are a few pictures I took this morning with some commentary:
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