Today I rode the M-Path for the first time in about a month since my last post about the progress of the M-Path.  I was hoping to give our readers a positive update, but unfortunately here we are nearly 4 months into the M-Path project and work seems to have come to a standstill.  In all fairness, I only rode the M-Path from Brickell to Bird Road, but did not see any new improvements. This makes me wonder if all we are getting for $700k is a patch job for some potholes, root rot, and a couple of inches of added width to the M-Path in a few locations?

Patch work on the M-Path with path width extension

Patch work and path width extended. Unfortunately the path's width was not extended enough.

The new asphalt looks great, but the path’s width should have been extended by a foot on each side.

The new asphalt looks great, but the path’s width should have been extended by a foot on each side.

Since there is nothing new to report, please allow me to suggest a few more ideas for improvements that Miami-Dade Transit ought to consider.

For starters, safety should be the #1 priority; not the cosmetic work that is being done. Miami Dade Transit must consider a “no right hand turn on red” from all streets that cross the M-Path on to US-1. Currently, traffic signals such as the one on 22nd (see below) and US-1 encourage vehicles to maintain their speed rather then slow down at pedestrian and M-Path crossings.  This is a simple solution which will make the M-Path safer for pedestrians and bicyclists alike.

The green right hand turn arrow encourages drivers to speed through the M-Path intersections.

The green right hand turn arrow encourages drivers to speed through the M-Path intersections.

Miami-Dade Transit should also take this opportunity to extend the path through “desire lines” (see below) which pedestrians and bicyclists created.  Why this was not considered during Phase 1 of the project is beyond my understanding. Simply fixing what is already broken does not make the M-Path better.

Desire lines show exactly where the path needs to be extended.

Desire lines show exactly where the path needs to be extended.

Below is a M-Path greenway simulation picture that Mike Lydon from The Street Plans Collaborative included in the Miami Bicycle Master Plan. This is what Miami-Dade Transit’s goal should be for the M-Path.

The M-Path in a perfect world

The M-Path in a perfect world

I sincerely hope that Phase 1 of this project is not anywhere near completion. If it is, we have a problem.

5 Responses to Transit Miami Eye on the M-Path

  1. Response says:

    Again TM can not praise the county for the work being done and instead wants a perfect world in the most unperfect of economic times. I rode the M-path this weekend and improvements have been done all the way to South Miami. Also, please give credit to Public Works who dedicated street repair funding to a recreational pathway. YES, you heard that correct, bikes are being considered transportation and street money was spent. This is Outstanding!!!!!(Miami-Dade Transit did not fund this)

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  2. Felipe Azenha says:

    Looks like we were able to find $1billion to fund a wasteful port tunnel in tough economic times. So I don’t think I’m not asking for to much, I just want the repairs to be done correctly. We need to adress and fix the fundamental problem with the m-path, which happens to be safety. Every intersection is a death trap. Miami Dade transit is also fixing sections of the m- path that should be abandoned entirely. Cosmetic repairs do not fix the underlying problems. I have and will give praise when it merits it. Please see my follow up post regarding the dadeland gap.

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  3. tjblaze says:

    Felipe doesn’t seem to understand some of the complexities involved. Transit has no control over the intersections. The intersection responsibilities remain with the municipalities and FDOT. That’s part of the reason (along with a paranoid legal department somewhere) you see those nearly humorous “M-Path ends” signs near every intersection.

    These things were well explained last year at a Green Mobility Network general meeting by Eric Tullberg.

    The simple improvements Felipe suggests were outlined a couple of years ago on the blog “M-Path to Enlightenment” – particularly the turning signage.

    I am concerned that Felipe has overlooked the safety improvements that have been made (the sidewalk at Viscaya, the loose gravel sections) because he is blinded by the enormity of what could be and lacks the patience to keep a little constant pressure on the problem.

    This is the first time major maintenance has been done to the path since the system was dedicated in May, 1985.

    Three questions for Felipe:

    What is your motivation for looking this gift horse in the mouth?

    Are you so sure that the cost of the improvements you suggest would be justified by an increase in its use? This second question I ask in light of the current economy and fair consideration that there are alternate uses of public resources to be considered.

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  4. Tony Garcia says:

    tj, just because the intersections are not the responsibility of MDT doesnt mean they shouldnt be done. I think that Felipe’s point about the ‘desire lines’ is well taken. Regardless of whose responsibility it is.

    I don’t understand the williningness of bicycle ‘advocates’ to settle for whatever the county is willing to do.

    “This is the first time major maintenance has been done to the path since the system was dedicated in May, 1985.”

    Is that supposed to make everything ok?
    I know these are ‘tough times’ but I don’t see FDOT scrimping on roadway repaving and repairs. That is like hiring a painter to come to your house, but because you cannot pay for the whole thing he only paints half. Are we supposed to be happy about that? NO! How about funding a complete and well done repair.

    TJ, what is your motivation for attacking Felipe? There is a way of having civil discourse, and this is not it.

    Good work felipe, keep up the pressure and awareness on the m-path. Regardless of these attacks, you are doing a good job of keeping on the pressure. In the future gentlemen, lets stick to the issues and avoid attacking the author (and fellow bicycle advocate).

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  5. Felipe Azenha says:

    Mr. Blazejack,
    With all due respect, I do understand the complexities which are involved. It is Miami Dade Transit’s responsibility to work with fdot to make the m-path safer for bicyclists and pedestrians. They need to work together.

    I have noticed and I am grateful for the repairs which have been done on the vizcaya sidewalk and the loose gravel sections. This is a step in the right direction, but simply repairing the uneven grade is not enough. We should not be satisfied with this. My only motivation is to make this path better and safer. Although we have been given a olive branch it does not mean we should be complacent and accept this as the final product.

    This is a major commuting route for bicyclists, so yes I do feel like the spending is justified. The repairs are fairly simple; it just requires some collaboration between fdot and Miami Dade Transit.

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