Lets face it: Coral Gables is pretty amazing. It sits at the nexus of the county – has amazing architecture, a pedestrian friendly and bustling downtown, and a lush tree canopy that is the envy of the county. It is compact and could be easily accessible by bike for anyone living within a mile of its boundaries. Unfortunately, the City Beautiful doesn’t have a great on-street bicycle network, which makes it difficult to get more people out of their cars and on their bikes enjoying the city. Today the Coral Gables City Commission will consider a resolution to approve a $3.5 million plan to resurface 30 lane miles of Coral Gables streets. Described as “the most ambitious street resurfacing effort ever undertaken by the city,” the resolution lacks any mention of bicycle facilities, and has concerned many Coral Gables residents. While regular maintenance and resurfacing is an important part of keeping our street network in good working order, the city commission may miss a golden opportunity to significantly expand on-street bicycle facilities.
As currently written there is no mention of bicycle facilities in the resolution, even though major routes that connect to current bike lanes, such as Segovia, are identified. Some of the streets identified in the survey above are wide enough to accommodate a variety of bicycle facilities – with simple, cheap white paint. Part of the challenge is that the current city approved 1997 Bike Masterplan for the city focuses exclusively on bike lanes; while an important part of a bicycle network, they are not the only type of bicycle facility which should be used. Absent from the current plan is any mention of sharrows, bicycle boulevards, or protected bike lanes. These facilties, along with on-street bike lanes, work together to form a complete bicycle network, and could be implemented at little or no extra cost, yet they have not yet been identified in a master plan and are not currently called for in the resurfacing project.
The Coral Gables City Commission has a responsibility to create a complete network of routes before it spends these funds on road resurfacing. As someone who travels to Coral Gables on a daily basis, several of my routes to/from downtown are indicated on the survey. It would be a crime to not leverage the proposed investment to get more miles of our street network. More ways of getting to/from downtown Coral Gables means more customers and more business without increasing traffic.
My initial review of the drawing shows that the following routes are important city-wide connections that should include a bicycle facilities:
Ponce de Leon (from Bird Road to Palmero, & from 8th Street to Fonseca) – Protected Bike Lane, Bike lane or sharrow
University (from LeJeune to Ponce) - Protected Bike Lane, Bike lane or sharrow
Salzedo (from University to Majorca) - Protected Bike Lane, Bike lane or sharrow
Cordova (from Coral Way to Anastasia) – Bike boulevard, Sharrow
Andalusia (from Lejeune to Galiano) – Protected Bike Lane, Bike lane or sharrow
Country Club Prado - Protected Bike Lane, Bike lane or sharrow
Columbus Boulevard (from 8th street to Valencia) - Bike boulevard, Sharrow
Sevilla (from Columbus Blvd to Douglas)
In addition, there are numerous residential streets that should be designated as Bike Boulevards or Sharrows to connect the many riders (myself included) who enjoy the lower speed and volume neighborhood streets as alternatives to higher volume and speed main roads. While these may not connect immediately, over time they will. The important thing is to not miss this opportunity. Coral Gables can be one of the most bicycle friendly cities in the US- aggressively implementing a new bicycle plan now would help make that happen.
Please email all the city commissioners – and the clerk – expressing your disapproval of this resolution moving forward without properly vetting for bicycle facilities. Their emails are below:
Subscribe via Email
Find us on Facebook
- Gabriel Lopez-Bernal on All Aboard Florida! Downtown Miami Map Preview and Rail-Trail Poll
- Rick Eyerdam on Highways and the Decay of Once Glorious Overtown
- Miami Planning History on All Aboard Florida! Downtown Miami Map Preview and Rail-Trail Poll
- Upper East Side on Overtown Commissioner Knows Her Highway History: FDOT Fails!
- Miami History on Overtown Commissioner Knows Her Highway History: FDOT Fails!
- Al Crespo on Overtown Commissioner Knows Her Highway History: FDOT Fails!
CategoriesAccident Architecture bicycles bike lanes Bike Miami Days biking Biscayne Boulevard Brickell bus Climate Change Coconut Grove complete streets Downtown Miami FDOT High Speed Rail Metrorail Miami Miami-Dade County Miami-Dade Transit Miami 21 Miami Beach Museum Park News Parking Parks Pedestrian Pedestrians Pic o' the Day Planning Real Estate Development Rickenbacker Causeway Sprawl Streetcar Traffic Transit Transitography Transit Oriented Development Transportation Tri-Rail Uncategorized Urban Design Urban Development Boundary Urban Growth Urban Planning Walkability
- Land in Conflict: How Planners Can Better Manage an Increasingly Contentious Public Process June 19, 2013Summary: Land use disputes are increasingly taking up our time and producing unsatisfying results. A new approach to resolving conflict based on mutual gains may provide a better way to manage the most challenging situations. […]
- With Improvements, Baltimore Seeks to Steal D.C.'s Thunder...and Residents June 19, 2013The last decade has brought tremendous growth and prosperity to Washington D.C., but it's neighbor to the north hasn't been so blessed. Planned infrastructure improvements are intended to lure new residents to Baltimore's cheaper cost of living. […]
- Bloomingdale Trail Gets New Name and Final Plan June 19, 2013Final plans for what will become the longest elevated park in the world where unveiled this week in Chicago. The 2.7-mile rail-to-trail conversion has been branded as The 606, a nod to the zip code digits shared by the neighborhoods along its route. […]
- Astrodome Among National Trust's List of 11 Most Endangered Places June 19, 2013The National Trust for Historic Preservation has released its annual list of America's most endangered historic places, the preservation community's most effective tool for bringing awareness and assistance to the country's threatened resources. […]
- Architect Ego Trip or Necessity for a Modern Metropolis? Paris Debates Skyscrapers June 19, 2013Following Mayor Bertrand Delanoe's overturn of a ban on buildings over seven storeys high, Paris is planning a dozen new skyscrapers outside the city centre. Debate over the towers is destined to become an issue in next year's municipal elections. […]
- Should Cities Eliminate Free Parking for the Disabled? June 19, 2013Ongoing research from the University of California Transportation Center documents the detrimental effects that free street parking for the disabled has on city coffers and performance pricing systems. Is it time to reconsider such laws. […]
- New Downtown L.A. Park Latest Victory in Mayor's Open Space Initiative June 19, 2013At .7 acres, downtown L.A.'s Spring Street Park isn't likely to invite comparison to the world's great urban parks. But for a city, and neighborhood, starved of quality open space, the new park is a significant achievement. […]
- University Housing: Bastion of Communal Learning or Luxury Resort? June 19, 2013John Eligon examines the private student housing building boom, and asks whether we are spoiling college students with luxurious off-campus amenities to the detriment of academic and social environments. […]
- How Parking Minimums Beget Ugly Urban Environments June 19, 2013In the Pacific Northwest, and elsewhere, excessive parking requirements dictate the form and footprint of buildings, mostly to the detriment of urban environments. In a lavish photo essay, Alyse Nelson explores the damage inflicted by parking laws. […]
- Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Fees are Here to Stay, and Spreading June 19, 2013It may seem counter-intuitive to charge extra fees for the cleanest, most fuel-efficient vehicles on the road today - including those that qualify for a federal $7,500 credit. But ten states are doing just that to keep roads well-funded. […]
- Land in Conflict: How Planners Can Better Manage an Increasingly Contentious Public Process June 19, 2013