Marlins need to step up to the plate and encourage healthy transportation.

The Miami Marlins won two games over the Colorado Rockies earlier in May, but they’re taking us to school out in Denver on encouraging healthy ways to get to the ballpark.

Below is an e-mail from the Colorado Rockies announcing their “Bike to the Game” event. Fans that bike to Coors Field this Sunday will enjoy free, attended bicycle parking and can enter a drawing for fun prizes which include a chance to take batting practice with the Rockies before a game. The rest of the e-mail highlights other initiatives the Rockies undertake to improve their community, including a season-long program in which the team plants a tree for every home run hit.

The Rockies aren’t alone in their active transportation initiatives. Other teams like the Washington Nationals, San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs and others offer free bicycle valet and other benefits for those that leave the car at home.

Contrast these programs with the Miami Marlins idea of “bike friendliness” which includes bicycle racks in the middle of car-clogged parking garages and a few hitches around the stadium. The list pretty much ends there.

If you are curious on how to get to Marlins Park by bicycle or on foot, prepare to dig through the team website to find any helpful information. Bicycle and pedestrian directions are buried at the very bottom of their “Parking at Marlins Park” page. This begs the question – why would pedestrian directions be under the parking information? By putting this information last, it makes walking or biking seem like the least attractive option. This of course, is pretty misguided – The Miami New Times already proved that biking is the fastest way to get there.

The included area map is also tremendously disingenuous, as it includes routes labeled as “funded greenways”, “funded sharrows” and “funded bicycle lanes” which don’t exist yet. The Marlins also consistently brushed off requests from the City of Miami to assist in making the area more bicycle friendly. The team did widen a few sidewalks immediately adjacent to the ballpark.

 

Enjoy those "funded" projects sometime in the future.

The bicycle racks the Marlins installed are like putting a dollar bill inside a wasps nest. Your average Joe probably isn’t going to stick their hand inside. Despite some quiet Little Havana streets around the stadium that are easily navigable and pleasant for riding, many fans are unfamiliar with them. The arterials of NW 7th St and NW 17th Ave are downright hostile and nasty – for motorists as well. The Marlins do absolutely zero to encourage riding to the game like other teams do, including the Rockies.

Even more bewildering is that despite the new stadium being recently awarded a LEED Gold certification, the Marlins have no active transportation programs for their fans. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for New Construction) is a rating system designed by the United States Green Buildings Council to guide newly constructed, high-performance buildings that minimize their impact on the environment, are operated in a more efficient manner and are healthier for those who use the building.

But how the majority of fans are arriving to the park is anything but “green”. Attendance at the park is already waning. The Marlins should step up to the plate, follow the lead of other teams and encourage more active transportation to the ballpark.

The cost is minimal and the greater Miami community will appreciate the outreach from a team in desperate need of improved public relations. Bicycling isn’t a fringe activity in Miami any longer and the Marlins should take notice.

Bicycling is Miami is positively booming

(Updated 5:05 pm) The Marlins can show their interest by supporting the upcoming Green Mobility Network Marlins Stadium Ride. Working together with City of Miami Bicycle Coordinator Collin Worth, GMN will be identifying the best routes to the stadium, and will be having a kickoff ride June 30 to “show residents of Miami that it is possible to bike to the Marlins stadium,” according to organizer Eli Stiers. Time for the Marlins to step up to the plate.

Tagged with:
 

7 Responses to Bike to the Game Day……not in Miami

  1. Oscar says:

    My wife and I have a 20 game plan and have biked to every game. It took us a few tries to finally find a route that we are comfortable enough with. Neither of us found the map you have here from their website. It would be great if the Marlins did an event like this to both encourage other forms of transportation and increase awareness of these options.

       1 likes

  2. Jimbo99 says:

    Well, a lot of the Marlins games start at 7:10 PM, even in the summer by mid game, it’s dark out. That’s what kept me from riding a bike to Sun Life for games. Even in the Fall, you’ve gotta be thinking that a 4 PM Dolphins game is too late in the afternoon and that’s leading into the most pleasant time of the year to ride a bike in Miami. Yeah, these sound like excuses, but if the cyclists on Key Biscayne are any indication, who in their right mind would ride after sunset, even with bike lights ? Especially thru that area of town. LOL, 5,000 parking spots for a 38,000 SR Only stadium. Yep, the prices just got a little steeper for the game itself andf now parking, did food & beverage go up too ? Wonderful area that they built this stadium. Traffic will be awful, well except for the weekends, maybe that’s what they’re shooting for for larger crowds on more expensive nights.

       0 likes

  3. Eli Stiers says:

    Green Mobility Network, as part of its SafeStreetsMiami campaign, has actually been working with the Mayor’s office and Collin Worth, the City’s bicycle coordinator, to have a Marlins Bike to the Ballpark day, tentatively scheduled for June 30, 2012. We expect to release an official announcement next week.
    -Eli Stiers

       3 likes

  4. Craig Chester says:

    Eli,

    Great news! I hope the Marlins are actively engaged in making it happen. Teams around the country are pro-actively encouraging things like this.

    Craig

       1 likes

  5. Eddie Suarez says:

    Can we do a critical mass / emerge ride to the stadium and get a group to go to the game? Imagine if the 1,500 who go to critical mass all show up for a friday night game?

    AND! We all keep our helmets on (because we all wear helmets right?) during the game! HA! 1,500 people wearing bike helmets in the stadium… awesome….

       2 likes

  6. Mike says:

    Good idea for more bike riding to the games, but it is also hard down here not knowing what the weather will be like from the start of the game to the end. Getting caught in downpours is always rough.

       0 likes

  7. [...] an article for Transit Miami earlier in June (Bike to the Game Day….Not in Miami), I wrote, “The arterials of NW 7th St and NW 17th Ave are downright hostile and nasty – [...]

       0 likes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current ye@r *

This site is protected by Comment SPAM Wiper.