From our friends over at Green Mobility Network:

Action Alert

Sept. 4 Resolution is Bad for Bicycling—Please Act Now!

Dear friends of bicycling,

We realize it’s the Labor Day Weekend and most of you are relaxing, but your immediate action is needed.

The Miami–Dade County Commission is being asked on Tuesday, Sept. 4, to help erode a progressive state law that requires accommodation for bicyclists and pedestrians on state roads in urban areas. There will be no opportunity for public comment during the commission meeting, so we’re asking Commissioner Rebeca Sosa to withdraw her resolution or postpone it until we can meet with her.

The law, section 335.065 of the Florida Statutes, provides that bike lanes and sidewalks be given full consideration in the planning and development of state roads in urban areas. When the state Department of Transportation (FDOT) repaves or redesigns an urban street, it must provide for walkers and bicyclists as well as for drivers — or show why cost or safety makes doing so impractical.

The law was virtually ignored in South Florida for most of a generation, and now that advocates have succeeded in getting FDOT to follow the law it’s meeting resistance — first in Miami Beach and now in the Sept. 4 resolution Commissioner Sosa, representing District 6. She’s responding to the upcoming repaving of SW 57th Avenue between 8th Street and Bird Road, where state engineers plan to include a bike lane and are encountering constrained road dimensions in some areas.

FDOT can choose from a variety of bike facilities on roads like 57th Avenue. This resolution will only hurt the cause of making Miami-Dade’s streets safer for all users. We strongly urge Commissioner Sosa to pull this item from the agenda and work collaboratively with the bicycle community to advance better bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure throughout Miami-Dade County.

Please copy the following message and send it to the e-mail addresses below. Do it now! It’s not too late to stop this ill-advised resolution.

If you would prefer to register your concern by phone, please make two phone calls to request that the resolution be pulled from the agenda. You can call the following:

Mayor Carlos Gimenez: 305-375-5071
Commissioner Rebecca Sosa: 305-375-5696

BEGIN COPY-AND-PASTE–AND ADD YOUR NAME AT THE END OF THE MESSAGE

Re: Sept. 4, 2012, Agenda Item #121569–Bad for Bicycling–Please Pull From Agenda

To the Board of County Commissioners:

Agenda Item #121569 is bad for bicycling in Miami-Dade County and potentially the entire state of Florida. It would turn back the clock on significant progress in winning accommodation for bicyclists and pedestrians in urban roadways. It was placed on your agenda without public input. I urge you to pull it from the agenda and make time for public discussion of this important matter.
END COPY-AND-PASTE

SEND TO THE INDIVIDUAL COMMISSIONERS–JUST COPY AND PASTE THE FOLLOWING E-MAIL ADDRESSES INTO THE “TO” LINE OF YOUR E-MAIL SOFTWARE.

mayor@miamidade.gov, officeofthechair@miamidade.gov, bjordan@miamidade.gov, district2@miamidade.gov, district3@miamidade.gov, district4@miamidade.gov, district5@miamidade.gov, district6@miamidade.gov, District7@miamidade.gov, District8@miamidade.gov, DennisMoss@miamidade.gov, district10@miamidade.gov, district11@miamidade.gov, District12@miamidade.gov, district13@miamidade.gov

Once you’ve written, how about letting us know at our Facebook page? Your example will be encouraging to others.

8 Responses to Action Alert: Sept. 4 Resolution is Bad for Bicycling—Please Act Now!

  1. C says:

    All they need to do is widen the tarmac so that there is no grass between the road and the sidewalk and there would be room for a full bike lane in the places where the road is currently two lanes with no shoulder. I’m sure the property owners would bitch like no mañana though that they were “having their property taken” even though anything past the sidewalk is already part of the right of way and not theirs.

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  2. Rick says:

    Maybe I’m missing something but after reading the resolution, which actually begins very pro cycling, I don’t see it changes anything as it currently now exists. What it does do, in my opinion, is allow for discussion and dialogue for a more common sense approach to creating bike lanes on South Florida roads.

    Was it here that I saw and read posts about how ridiculous it was to put a bike lane on the MacArthur? Sorta like that.

    The Miami Bike Scene has a link to the actual resolution.

    .

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  3. There should have been public input before this is to be brought before the commission. It came out of nowhere and there will be no public comment allowed at the meeting. I believe there is good intent in the resolution, but the language leaves the FDOT way too much leeway. I think what Sosa wants to see is BETTER bike lanes. However, the projects brought up in the resolution that she wants removed are actually good lanes.

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  4. Rick says:

    Craig…I’ve been accused of not reading enough so perhaps I’m misreading the resolution, but I don’t see it giving the FDOT anything.

    It “urges the Florida Department of Transportation to work cooperatively with local governments related to bicycle lanes on state roads.”

    It “urges the Florida Legislature to amend applicable statutes to require such cooperation and provide greater flexibility to the Florida Department of Transportation related to the installation of bicycle lanes.”

    It “directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit a certified copy of this resolution to the Governor, etc.”

    And, it “directs the County’s state lobbyists to advocate for the passage of the legislation and action set forth in Sections 1 and 2 above, and authorizes and directs the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to include this item in the 2013 State Legislative Package when it is presented to the Board.”

    If anything, the resolution encourages legislation, but that legislation, like all legislation, has to be voted on to be law. Until it is law, FDOT is still bound by the old law.

    I think it’s worth noting and getting the local cycling community motivated to provide input but to say that this resolution overrides state law and allows the FDOT to do as they please is really not accurate.

    .

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  5. Rick, it also singles out very good bike lane projects and suggests they be eliminated, which is counter-productive.

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  6. And it’s not ridiculous at all to have a bike facility on the MacArthur. What we need are better, modern and safe ones. The one that exists now leaves a lot to be desired, but we’d much rather have it and improve it than have nothing because some Commissioners think that some state roads aren’t ‘suitable’ for bike lanes.

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  7. Neil says:

    C said: “All they need to do is widen the tarmac so that there is no grass between the road and the sidewalk and there would be room…”

    C, take a look at the satellite view of Red road just north of Coral Way. There isn’t any grass nor sidewalk in front of the businesses. The asphalt goes from the storefront one side of the road all the way to the parked cars on the other side of the road. It gets a little better a couple blocks north, but there are trees between the sidewalk and the road. I guess you could cut them down to put in a bike lane, but the homeowners would bitch like hell. I wouldn’t want anybody cutting down the trees in front of my home either. The trees are on the west side of the homes. Those cars and homes would get very hot in the afternoons without the shade. There doesn’t appear to be any easy solution. Sometimes policy makers have to make tough decisions that will certainly upset one group or the other. Smart activists start with the easy battles.

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  8. C says:

    In those areas they could comprimise with sharrows.

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