As reported in the April 21st issue of Miami Today, Marlins Stadium stakeholders are meeting monthly to devise ways for fans to travel to the games at the new Marlins stadium, set to open for the 2012 season. While recent news mentions options including trolleys, bus transfers and water taxis, premium mass transit and bicycle connections to the stadium remain elusive. 

The new Marlins stadium is set to be the first LEED-silver certified baseball stadium in the USA. As criteria for this certification, the stadium’s design incorporates an impressive array of environmentally sound measures. As reported in this NBC story on April 19th, the stadium will also feature “2,000 spaces for bicycles”. After an inquiry to the Marlins via the team’s website, FanFeedback@Marlins.com replied, “We will have 536 spots reserved for bicycles all around the stadium for those whom do not commute by car.” However, we at TransitMiami wonder if that simply means unattended bicycle racks spread around the stadium, or a secure valet/bicycle check like that of San Francisco’s AT&T Park as seen in this clip (via Streetfilms.org). While there is a discrepancy in the number of spaces and questions regarding security, it is encouraging news for cyclists at the ballpark either way. TransitMiami will continue to look into the details of these accommodations.

But what about getting to the new stadium by bicycle? The site is less than 3 miles from the heart of Downtown and Brickell. It would make complete sense to connect these two dense residential areas and the stadium with a safe bike route for a multitude of obvious reasons. TransitMiami is calling on the Miami-Dade Public Works Department, the City of Miami and the Marlins to be pro-active in this regard.

Personally, I rode from Brickell to the stadium site this weekend via NW South River Drive and NW 4th street. It is mostly a pleasant ride of less than 20 minutes through leafy residential areas of Little Havana. Of course, there are a few perilous intersections with little consideration given to pedestrians or cyclists along the route. But overall, a designated bike route seems entirely feasible on a variety of roadways to link the densest areas of Miami with the stadium. I can even envision a Marlins ambassador leading a group ride from Downtown/Brickell during day games.  What a perfect way for the Marlins to promote the LEED certification of the new ballpark as well as provide a fun and hassle-free way for their local fans to get to the game!

Commuting to baseball stadiums by bicycle is wildly popular in cities like Denver, San Francisco and Washington DC as those stadiums make significant accommodations for cyclists. In an age of soaring gas prices, traffic congestion and expensive parking, Miami needs to ‘step up to the plate’ and provide cyclists a safe route to the game.

As said in the baseball movie Field of Dreams, “If you build it, he will come.”

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9 Responses to New Marlins Stadium Will Accommodate Cyclists, But Questions Remain

  1. Great idea says:

    Nothing I want more than to sit for 3 hours next to some sweaty smelly guy who just rode his bike to the game in 100 degree weather.

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  2. Tony Garcia says:

    Ummm, isn’t that why we’re paying for a big air conditioner and roof??

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  3. Vernon6 says:

    Hey ‘great idea’ – You’d sweat more just sitting in the sun than you do riding a bike. If you rode one once in a while you might realize that. The breeze keeps you cooler than you think. Alsoooooo, while you enjoy sitting in that garage breathing exhaust fumes trying to leave the stadium (and paying god knows how much), that ‘sweaty smell guy’ will already be home!

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  4. B says:

    I just hope ingress/egress of cyclists will be accommodated. I guess you could ride together with the cars as they’re leaving, but that kind of defeats the purpose, since the point is a AVOID the traffic hassle and exhaust fumes!

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  5. Vernon6 says:

    B – Why would you want to ride together with cars as they are leaving? I think it would be obvious to stripe/designate a bike route away from the main arterial roadways that cars will be directed to.

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  6. brock says:

    Great ideas! I hope they take us the bicyclists serious in the design of the stadium.

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  7. B says:

    Vernon: My point exactly! I hope there will be a designated bike route that is convenient and avoids most of the vehicle traffic (as opposed to, say, sharrows on NW 7th ST). Miami-Dade County doesn’t have a good record on this kind of thing. Otherwise, it’s pretty pointless to cycle to the game.

    Hmm…this is all assuming there will be much vehicle traffic, I’m still a bit skeptical about that.

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  8. Jeremy says:

    Jeff Loria, president of the Marlins, is a tri-athelete. So he must be an avid cyclist. This could work really well.

    There is also the possibility of combining metro-rail to make the trip. Is the hospital/civic center the closest station?

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  9. JLoria says:

    I do love cycling, but I love money more. I think it’s a great idea to have a bike garage, now I just have to figure out how to make Dade pay for it via higher taxes….

    PS We have a no “sweaty smelly guy” policy in the new stadium so we’ve got you covered (pun intended).

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