South Florida’s second bike sharing program launches today, December 14th! After over a year of planning, permitting, bringing people on board with the concept, and even getting cities to pass new ordinances permitting advertising at their stations, B-Cycle is finally ready to roll out with 200 bikes and 20 stations. That number should expand to 275 within a month.
If you’re able, head to one of the launch events during the day.
|Hollywood:||10:00 AM||326 Johnson St.|
|Fort Lauderdale:||1:30 PM||Esplanade Park|
|Pompano Beach:||4:00 PM|
B-Cycle is funded by a $311,000 FDOT grant funneled through Broward County Transit as well as their own capital. Outside of the one-time FDOT grant that will only go towards 75 of the bikes and a few stations, B-Cycle will be supported by ad revenues and user fees and expects to turn a profit. Their plan is to use that revenue to build out to a 500 bike system over a period of five years. While high profile Public-Private Partnerships (PPP’s) such as I-595 and the Port of Miami Tunnel get a lot of attention, it’s great to see the concept being put to use on a transportation mode that doesn’t involve a motor vehicle.
Usage is essentially membership based and then either free or $.50 for the first 30 minutes any bike is checked out. Memberships start at $5 for a 24 hour pass and go to $45 for an annual pass. The second half hour, and every half hour afterwards, costs more ($3) in order to encourage quick turnaround. You’re probably familiar with the concept if you’ve tried DecoBike or another program, but the idea is to pick up the bike at one location and leave it at another station at your destination. The trip often won’t take more than 20 minutes.
Some have raised concerns that B-Cycle might flounder because it is spread too thin over the county. Most of the stations are focused around downtown and the beach in the three launch cities, however, which should cater to the popular tourist and hangout spots. Check the map showing the stations launching tomorrow in blue at broward.bcycle.com. I’m confident it will be better than many small bike sharing systems, such as the self-proclaimed “first bicycle sharing program in the Southeast” in Spartanburg, South Carolina with 2 stations and about 15 bikes. Try bike sharing in Broward as soon as you can and judge for yourself. B-Cycle will have “ambassadors” at the stations today to show you how to use the system, even if you don’t make it to the launch events.
Disclaimer: I manage the FDOT grant, inherited from my predecessor. Of course, I’d love the project even if I didn’t, as it brings bike sharing closer to me. But don’t take this post to be any kind of official FDOT statement.
Thanks to Oscar Guzman for the picture of the bicycle parking at the new Marlins Stadium. Lets hope that we see a picture next season of this same lot filled with bicycles! They are going to need way more bike parking to accommodate the folks who will not be able to come by car or ‘transit’.
A special thanks to the Adrianne Arsht Center for organizing the first annual Fall for the Arts festival. After today’s success this event will now become a yearly occurrence meant to kick-off the the season for Miami’s burgeoning arts scene. Downtown Miami came alive today as thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds showed up for this free concert. Ozomatli rocked the Magic City and several other bands had everyone dancing and in good spirits. Events like this are great for our city and really bring our diverse community together. Over 100 community groups and cultural organizations participated to make this event an overwhelming success.
We would also like to thank the Green Mobility Network for providing a much needed free bicycle valet service. It was very much appreciated.
Perhaps next year we could coordinate this event with Bike Miami Days? Just throwing it out there…
The esteemed people of Planetizen.com are just some of the people talking about car parking challenges this week -
Ian Sacs, Hoboken’s own Department of Transportation and Parking Director, writes an engaging and informative piece on how the exceptionally dense but car-enamored city is anticipating its urban parking problems and introducing Flexcar, bicycle infrastructure, and connectivity improvements to reduce the immense waste that car parking lots can be. You can read the whole article here.
Parking is an incredibly challenging issue for any architect, planner or transportation engineer. Parking spaces can cost upwards of $50,000 and other than hold a car for a bit, consume an incredible amount of wasted space. Interestingly, it is precisely these costs that are driving developers and politicians towards active transportation (rather than health or fun).
Portland State University (like Miami-Dade College, one of its downtown’s largest land holders) has been struggling with this issue. In a recent article in the Portland Daily Vanguard, writer Vinh Tran points out that PSU’s newest bicycle parking facility will provide parking for 75 students at the same cost of just adding 4 car spaces.
Here in Miami, some residents of Miami Beach are getting vocal about the increasing costs of parking. An article in The Miami Herald has spurred comments from residents who can’t believe they will have to pay $15 to park ON Lincoln Road. (That’s it!?) This writer wonders why anyone would choose to live in the densest, most pedestrian-friendly neighborhood in our county and then want to drive anywhere-
Parking is a global problem. In countries as (seemingly) different as Italy and Japan, vertical parking is popular:
…so transportation engineers who can think out of the box and design successful parking alternatives are in demand. Naturally, so are those of us who advocate for even less consumption of space - by traveling by bicycle, on foot or mass transit.
UPDATE: This afternoon, we received a link to a great image that shows Chicago’s proactive work on increasing bicycle parking in the last year alone. Our hats off to the people at Active Transportation Alliance, who largely deserve the credit for these successes. Wouldn’t it be great if the BPAC or City of Miami Bicycle Action Committee delivered work like this?
What are your ideas for addressing an ever increasing need for car parking in an ever shrinking urban environment?
Inspired by Daniel’s post, An informal Bike Count, I decided to conduct my very on spontaneous bike count while riding north on West Avenue a couple of weeks ago. My unscientific experiment was carried out around 7:00pm from 9th Street all the way up to Dade Blvd. The route is less than 1 mile and took me no more than 5 minutes to ride it. I counted 46 bicycles, of which most were locked up to anything but a bicycle rack. In all fairness there were about 7 bicycles that were locked up to the new bicycle racks at The Shops of West Avenue between 9th Street and 10th Street and another 4 bicycles locked up to a large “wave” bicycle rack in front of the Mirador. I must have seen about 4 other cyclists riding on West Avenue, and that left about 31 bicycles or so parked to trees, sign posts and garbage cans.
That’s quite a lot of bicycle activity. The city of Miami Beach must begin to proactively meet the needs bicyclists. South Beach is especially under-served in terms of bicycle infrastructure. I don’t believe that the city of Miami Beach seriously considers bicycles as actual transportation. Although they do have a Miami Beach bicycle master plan (Atlantic Greenway Master Planner), they do not have a bicycle coordinator to ensure its implementation. At one point the city of Miami Beach did have a bicycle coordinator, but they decided to do away with the position. This is a clear sign that they do not value the bicycle coordinator position or the implementation of the master plan.
I took the time to review the Atlantic Greenway Master Plan which was commissioned in 2007. Upon review, I discovered that nearly 100% of the bicycle facilities that were slated to be completed by 2009 on South Beach have not even been started. This is a dismal performance by the city of Miami Beach.
Although there has been talk about a bicycle share program, there has been no other sincere effort by the administration to promote cycling aside from purchasing new bicycle racks. The Miami Beach Bike Ways Committee seems to be ineffective as per Daniel’s Miami Beach Bike Ways Committee Update. I have attended this meeting on several occasions and I have to agree with Daniel’s assessment.
This is really a shame. Miami Beach, particularly South Beach, has the potential to become a truly great bicycling city. The demographics clearly support cycling. South Beach has an extremely high population density, distances are short, and parking is expensive and difficult to find. In addition, the topography is flat and the weather is beautiful. These are the reasons that bicycling is already flourishing on South Beach. Can you imagine how great cycling would be on South Beach if there was actual infrastructure to support safer cycling?
The city of Miami Beach should aggressively seek to promote cycling by building bicycle facilities that encourage more cycling. Bicycles must play a central role in Miami Beach’s transportation policy. The administration should be held accountable for not implementing the Atlantic Greenway Master Plan as was promised to its residents.
Yesterday morning I took the scenic route back home from the synagogue, going down all of Lincoln Road Mall, to the Oceanwalk Promenade, then up 5th St before heading home (see the MapMyRide.com Map). On a whim, I decided to count all the bikes I came across my way, whether parked or with riders. Everyone knows we have a lot of bicyclists here in the Beach, but I wanted to have a very rough headcount. It was 10 AM, and the temp was in the mid 50s, so I figured I would see only those out exercising, and those on their way to/from/already at work.
When all was said and done, I counted 146 bikes, including me, with about 85 of them being spotted just along Lincoln Rd. I am no urban statisticians, but that seemed like a lot of bikes for a 3/4-mile long stretch, let alone for the 2.5 miles of my entire trip. And that fills me with joy.
Check out these pics (click for larger version). Continue reading »
Continue reading »
The “bog box” mall at 5th St and Alton Rd in South Beach surprises us yet again. After installing 14 new bike racks along the Publix front on 6th St, I just spotted 20 new bike racks along the Lenox Ave side of the mall.
I had already seen four when I first reported on the new ones along the Publix side, but wow, what a pleasant surprise to see an extra 16! This really gives me hope that they will also address the 5th St end of the mall once stores open there. Many thanks to the developers, AR&J SOBE, LLC.
And if we can be a bit bold, maybe you’ll also consider some of the ideas tossed out in this other post? I took this pic while it was raining, and boy, it would’ve been nice to have a dry place to park the bike. Just saying.
Miami Dade Transit allows bicycles in the last train car, but there isn’t a safe place on the train to store the bicycles. On Sunday there were 10 bicycles in the last car. It was impossible for people to get in and out of the train because the bicycles were littered throughout the entire car; blocking the aisle and the doorways. Passengers had to navigate around the bicycles parked in the aisle, and then the bicyclists had to back their bicycles out of the train to allow people to get off. There is no reason why we can’t retrofit bicycle racks like the ones below. Having bicycles parked in the aisle and in the doorways is not safe or convenient for anyone.
Check out these pictures of bicycle shelters and on-street bicycle parking. These are the types of bicycle parking ideas that should have been implemented at the new shopping center on South Beach. If two on-street parking spaces are removed, there would be enough room to park about 30 bicycles. Considering the developer just over built parking due to city of Miami Beach minimum parking requirements, I can’t foresee a problem with removing a couple of on-street parking spots and throwing up a bicycle shelter. The existing inverted U racks the developer just purchased could then be placed under the bicycle shelter. Do we dare to try something different? If there is one development on South Beach that deserves covered bicycle parking it would be this one. Bicycle shelters also need to be considered for locations around Lincoln Road where bicycle parking is already undeserved.
New Bike Racks at the 5th & Alton Mall
I needed some things for dinner and quickly rode my bike to Publix at the Mall on 5th & Alton. It’s sort of a given that there would be no bike parking and I’d have to lock my bike to the garbage can, and indeed its what I had to do, but for a very different reason: there were new bike racks all full of bikes!
There are 13 new bike racks along the Publix side of the mall on 6th St, in addition to the two original ones.
Kudos go to the developer for actually delivering on what they promised the City of Miami Beach and for providing a service for their customers.
I did a quick circuit of the mall to see if there were more new bike racks. I saw four racks near the corner of Lenox and 5th, by the Vitamin Shoppe (I can’t remember if they are new or not, but I can’t really recall having seem them there before) and that was it. Since there are no stores on the 5th St-facing side of the mall yet there’s no big issue though once Petco finally opens, things may be different (the image below’s probably a small taste).
Still, thanks for the new bike racks. It makes me feel like we can indeed expect future bike needs to be met as well.
Hi, I read Transit Miami daily, and I know you guys take suggestions for ideas for the blog. I was thinking TM could write something about bikes lanes at our local universities (most notable FIU and UM which have large biking populations). I’m a bicyclist at FIU, and I just recently wrote to our Facilities Department about the lack of bike lanes on campus, and the limited bike parking in many of our campus buildings, despite the large biking population.
Many buildings on campus, don’t have enough parking for the amount of bicyclists on campus. Some buildings, like the School of Architecture Building, and the Engineering and Computer Sciences Building, don’t even have bike parking, so people are forced to park their bikes on stairwells, handrails, and poles, making it dangerous for people walking around. Other buildings, like the Graham Center, the university’s student union, and Green Library, FIU’s main library, don’t have enough bike parking, and bikes are often crammed together or locked to tables, and handrails since there simply isn’t enough parking. An article on these problems at FIU, and possibly similar scenarios at other local universities could prove very educational and helpful for TM. Thank you!
Thanks Kevin. I think your observations on the lack of facilities at FIU is a perfect start on the subject. The least that local universities can do as part of their responsibility in providing safe and convenient transportation around campus is by providing basic infrastructure like bike racks around campus. This is only a start, and should be as important to the university as providing lavish amounts of surface parking around its campus.
Does anyone else have suggestions for FIU or UM - or Miami-Dade College or FAU or Barry?
The new Big Box shopping center which opened up on South Beach seems to be very popular amongst bicyclists. I have ridden and driven by on a number of occasions and I am astonished to see the number of bicycles parked outside the entrance to new Publix on 6th Street between Lenox Avenue and Alton Road. It seems like the developers of this shopping center did not account for the fact that shoppers would come to this shopping destination by bicycle.
Today I counted 23 bicycles parked outside the entrance to Publix. With only two bicycle racks available on 6th Street, we can all agree that this shopping center is underserved by bicycle parking. In addition to being underserved, the bicycle parking should have been placed in a safe, secure and covered location, much like the parking which is available for cars. To be fair, there are additional bicycle racks on Lenox Avenue, but they are about a block away and not utilized due to their distance from the entrance. The parked bicycles on 6th street are locked up to anything that is anchored to the ground, including trees, garbage cans, and sign posts.
This is poor foresight by the developer of this project. It should be of no surprise to anyone, except for the developer, that so many customers would not arrive by car. Although I did not check out the parking garage, I’m willing to bet that a large percentage of the available parking is empty.
If the developers had really understood their target market, they should have known many of the trips undertaken to the shopping center would be done by bicycle, public transportation and foot. Crosswalks in the area have seen very little improvement, and with so many elderly people living in the area, need to be enhanced to ensure their safety. Developers should share the responsibility of providing safe and secure access, not only for cars, but for actual people too.
It’s really in the developer’s best interest to have fewer people arrive by car. Instead of allocating precious square feet to unused parking, the developers would receive a higher ROI if they could lease out commercial real estate space instead of parking. Sounds like a win-win situation for everyone.
It seems like it was just yesterday that Bicycling Magazine voted Miami as the worst city for cycling. Mayor Diaz seemed to take this insult personally, and over the course of the past year and a half, his staff has taken great strides to shed this dishonorable accolade.
Although our bicycling infrastructure has yet to see much improvement, awareness through events such as Bike Miami Days has certainly put cycling in the limelight and has shown that the cycling constituency is a force to be reckoned with. With a little luck, City of Miami commissioners will vote on Thursday to approve the Miami Bicycle Master Plan, and in doing so, they will effectively set the stage to improve the bicycle infrastructure of our beloved city.
Mike Lydon, from The Street Plan Collaborative, spent countless hours in the saddle, riding throughout the streets of Miami, developing the bicycle master plan. This comprehensive plan will guide the development of our cycling infrastructure for the next twenty years.
The plan looks to expand the current bikeway network of 16 miles to 280 miles by 2030. It also emphasizes the fundamental need for bicycle parking and education as key components to a successful bicycle strategy. Included in the plan are 950 suggested locations for bicycle parking, comprised of 3000 new bicycles racks. There are even suggested locations for commuter showers.
Please send your commissioner an email (My Commissioner tab above) to let them know how important the Miami Bicycle Master Plan is for our city. The commission meeting will be held on:
Thursday, October 8th at 9:00am
Miami City Hall-Commission Chambers
3500 Pan American Drive, Miami, FL
Please come out to show your support!
The Times Union is reporting that seventh-grader Adam Marino has engaged in a noble act of civil disobedience. Adam and his mother, Janette Kaddo Marino, are defying a Saratoga Springs school policy by biking to Maple Avenue Middle School. Apparently, the school board has a policy that does not allow students to bike or walk to school.
Keep up the good work Adam. You are teaching the school board that there are alternatives to the car and the bus to get to school. While you’re at it, make sure the school board provides you with proper bicycle parking. The bicycle parking should include appropriate bicycle racks, which are covered, in order to protect your bike from the elements. Don’t settle for anything less. You are a young advocate in the making.
I vacationed in Key West a while back with my wife. I loaded our bicycles on my car, and once we parked the car at our hotel we didn’t need it again until we left. It was a wonderful experience riding all over town. I wanted to share one way that they have implemented bicycle parking on their narrow streets designed for cars. It’s an excellent use of on-street parking, and very easy for any city to retrofit their parking.
Do bicyclists have to pay the meter to use these spaces?
This was not the crowded end of Duval St., but the bicycle parking was still seeing use at this time of night.
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