This month’s issue of Bicycling Magazine puts Miami as 44th best city in the US for bicycling. Only two years ago we were named one of the worst cities for bicycling. Our city has certainly come a long way, but we need the ongoing leadership of the Mayor of Miami and the City Commission to continue this trajectory. Without City Hall’s support I remain skeptical that Miami will continue to advance in Bicycle Magazine rankings, to say nothing of the effect on our vibrant bicycle culture.
Former Mayor Manny Diaz had a vision for cycling and pursued it, and while current Mayor Regalado has been big on the talk of promoting cycling, he has yet to deliver. I was excited by the Mayor’s pronouncement yesterday about the partnership with the Dutch Consulate for Bike Miami Days. One of the reasons Miami quickly jumped to #44 and is considered “up and coming” is because of Bike Miami Days. However, despite having issued a proclamation supporting cycling, not a single Bike Miami Days event has been held since Mayor Regaldo took office.
I sincerely hope that Mayor Regaldo and the City Commission step up in a big way to make the next Bike Miami Days event bigger and better than any of the other previous BMD events. The Mayor in particular should view this as a great opportunity to take bring the community together and show his support for bicycling in Miami. Observers have noted that the Mayor has dedicated minimal resources to planning or organizing the event, despite the pleas of many former BMD Volunteers and local bike advocates - going so far as to delegate the event to a hired PR consultant.
This administration’s commitment to cycling needs to go beyond proclaiming support and treating this as a public relations issue. I remain unconvinced.
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