On Thursday, June 2nd, The City of Miami Bicycle Initiatives hosted the Miami Bicycle Summit at The Grove Spot in Coconut Grove, Miami. A variety of speakers, including city and county planners and public officials presented to an audience of local citizens and bicycle advocates, followed by a spirited question and answer session. The meeting was an informative overview of ongoing bicycle projects – but also highlighted the lingering disconnect between public agencies and advocates.
- In 1999, there were 100 miles of multi-use paths, 10 miles of bike lanes and 70 miles of paved shoulders in Miami-Dade County.
- Now, there are 130 miles of multi-use paths, 70 miles of bike lanes and 30 wide-curb lanes with many more in the planning stages.
- Bicycle parking increasing at Metrorail stations and pedestrian/cycling counts increasing in downtown area.
- Bicycle injuries are down, and have dropped by half since 1990. Still, 65 pedestrians and 12 cyclists were killed in accidents in M-D county last year.
Miami Beach resident Xavier Falconi from the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee and touted the success of the Deco Bike Program on Miami Beach and other improvements to bicycle infrastructure, including ‘sharrows’ on Washington Avenue and the development of Bicycle Parking Design Guidelines for the city.
Collin Worth, City of Miami Bicycle Coordinator, wrapped up the evenings presentations, mentioning a RFP (Request for Proposal) for a bike share program in downtown Brickell and Omni area and the City’s goal of eventually becoming a designated Bicycle Friendly Community.
Lest we forget that Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach are considered one metropolitan area, here is some news for Palm Beach County. The Palm Beach Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is developing a Bicycle Master Plan for the county and would like your input. Public Workshops are scheduled for April 14 and April 15 in multiple locations, from 4:30 PM to 8:30 PM both days. You don’t need to stay the whole time, just come out for a bit to share what your needs are as a cyclist.
Locations for Wednesday the 14th include the Bryant Auditorium of the Palm Beach County Office Building in Belle Glade and the Jupiter Community Center. Locations for Thursday the 15th include the Vista Center County Building in West Palm Beach and the Boca Raton Community Center. Flyers are available in English and Spanish, and for more info you can contact Bret Baronak, the MPO Bicycle/Greenways/Pedestrian Coordinator at bbaronak at pbcgov.org or (561) 684-4170. I hope to make it to the Boca Raton meeting myself, so I look forward to seeing you there if you ride in Palm Beach County!
If you know something about thoroughfare right of ways in Miami, you know that they are controlled by several different jurisdictions: State, County, City, and even Federal in the case of Interstate 95. While the City of Miami controls many of the local neighborhood streets, they essentially have no control over the the city’s major corridors. This my transit-minded friends, is a major problem, as such a thicket of bureaucracy tends to make the instigation of change a nightmare, especially when it comes to taking back the streets from the car cartel. Yet the City of Miami is finally starting to join us in the good fight and we need to help them, help us. The reconstruction of Coral Way is the most imminent opportunity.
If you would like to see bicycle lanes included on Coral Way, from Southwest 12th Avenue to Southwest 15th Road, please join Transit Miami by writing a quick letter of support by Friday, June 27th to Alexander Adams (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the City of Miami Planning Department (You can even tell him, or us, where else you would like to see such facitlities). Bicycle lanes along this important corridor will be an important link in the City’s eventual bicycle network. Speak up and show FDOT that bicycling in Miami is being taken very seriously!
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