The geography of Miami-Dade county has always been an Achilles heel in providing premium transit service to the far reaches of the county and will continue to be a challenge as we try to expand alternative modes of transportation – but connecting bikes and transit is one of the best ways to leverage our existing transit network. If you factor in a five minute bike ride – approximately one mile – you start to capture a larger population. Getting to stations is one of the biggest challenges, as our on-street bicycle network is still in its infancy. One saving grace is the hugely successful M-Path, which was the subject of a recent shoddy article in the New Times (where my quote was taken way out of context). Simple signage would help, as would prioritizing bicycle infrastructure investments around stations.
Once at the station, however, there are a host of other challenges that range from poor signage to conflicts with pedestrians. BPAC member Matthew Toro has been a frequent critic of MDT’s bike and ride policy, and put together some pretty compelling arguments about why the current policy has to change. He writes that the current MDT policy toward bicyclist is “highly contradictory, ambiguous, [and] unenforceable. There are serious inconsistencies regarding the how many bikes are allowed on the train; where they’re allowed on the train; plans to include vertical bike racks/hooks in future rail cars; bicyclists occupying multiple Metrorail seats, thereby denying non-bicyclist riders the chance to sit, especially during high-occupancy periods, etc.”
He presented the following policy problems and potential solutions at the BPAC meeting on 11/14.
While I don’t think that prohibiting bikes on MetroRail during rush hour is a good idea – especially as we try to strengthen bicycle and transit use – the other policy suggestions are right on. Great ideas Matthew.
I’ll leave you with two other items on the subject of MDT’s bike and ride. One is a powerpoint that Matthew Toro put together for BPAC that illustrates the many problems with bicyclists on the MetroRail and the other is a PSA about the MDT Bike and Ride program that gives more info about the current rules and how to use your bike on the system.
As popular as Bike & Ride is – it has its challenges.
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