Miami-Dade Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee Formally Endorses Project
It may seem hard to believe but one particular Miami neighborhood has a parking problem – with bicycles!
Miami’s Wynood Arts District, specifically the commercial district of NW 2nd Avenue between NW 20th street and NW 29th street is rapidly becoming a hub for Miami’s emerging cycling community. Several local businesses in the area cater to this diverse group, and the evidence is plainly visible. On any given day or evening, this stretch of NW 2nd Ave. is filled with bicycles. However, the growing number of bicycles has put the squeeze on secure places to lock up.
With an inadequate number of sidewalk bicycle hitches already present, cyclists are often faced with the unsavory prospect of locking their bicycles to trees, signposts, fences and wires– and frequently down dark, less-traveled side streets. This creates all sorts of obvious problems, especially during Art Basel week in December when multiple bicycle thefts were reported. The issue really takes center stage during the monthly Art Walk events when throngs of pedestrians and bicycles alike compete for space on the narrow sidewalks. The situation is bad enough to deter would-be visitors from cycling to the neighborhood to begin with.
Fortunately, an easy-to-implement solution exists to solve the bicycle parking issue troubling the area.
At the last meeting of the Miami-Dade Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC), I presented a proposal for a centrally located on-street bicycle-parking corral. The proposed location is the SE corner of NW 2nd Avenue at NW 26th st. After the ensuing conversation, the BPAC decided to formally support the project moving forward.
You may be wondering, what exactly is a bike corral? Simply, it is an on-street bicycle parking facility, typically installed over an existing parking space.
Below is a primer courtesy of CityofChicago.org.
Why a bicycle corral?
• Corrals provide a 10-to-1 customer to parking space ratio, increase foot and bike traffic, and advertise “bike friendliness.” They also improve the pedestrian environment by removing bicycles from the sidewalk.
• Corrals improve bicycle parking availability at popular destinations, and increase the visibility of bicycling as a transportation choice.
• Corrals improve sightlines at intersections by eliminating the opportunity for larger vehicles to park at street corners.
What do businesses think about the potential loss of car parking?
Businesses support on-street bicycle corrals because:
• Storefronts become more visible.
• The presence of many bicycles parked in front of a business sends a message that the business is busy—and popular.
• The novelty of the facility attracts the attention of cars, bikes, and pedestrians alike.
• Businesses appreciate the increased pedestrian foot traffic that corrals promote by creating a more pleasant public space
• Businesses can advertise “bike friendliness.”
• When installed adjacent to sidewalk cafes, corrals can provide an additional buffer between people and passing vehicles.
What do bicyclists think about corrals?
• Cyclists prefer to park in high-visibility environments, because it reduces the risk of bike theft.
• Cyclists enjoy parking at—or close to—their destination.
• Corrals offer a space where cyclists can maneuver and lock up while avoiding conflicts with pedestrians.
What do pedestrians think about corrals?
• Pedestrians appreciate the reduction in conflicts with cyclists as they lock their bikes to racks.
• Pedestrians enjoy the increased availability of space on busy sidewalks with heavy foot traffic.
• Sometimes bicycles locked on the sidewalk tip over, presenting a pedestrian tripping hazard. Corrals eliminate this hazard.
• The bicycle corral ‘daylights’ the intersection, allowing pedestrians greater visibility to oncoming traffic.
The City of Miami District 5 has a tremendous opportunity to take the lead in building Miami’s first on-street bicycle parking corral to accommodate the burgeoning demand. These facilities already exist in cities across the country as easy, cost-effective solutions to bicycle parking problems. Additionally, the Miami-Dade County public works department already uses the hitches suitable for use in the facility. The idea shares virtually unanimous support amongst local businesses in the immediate area of the proposed corral.
Construction of such a facility is estimated to cost under $2,500. Let’s work together with Miami-Dade Public Works, our local business community and area cyclists to complete this neighborhood improvement project we can all be proud of.
Voice your support for this project by commenting below, ‘Like’ it or share with your friends!
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