Senate Bill 7054 will soon be presented to the Florida Legislature in Tallahassee. This bill would create the SunTrail Network of bicycle/pedestrian trails and require that the Florida Department of Transportation put $50 million a year into development of the network. Half that money would come from a new motor vehicle registration fee of $225 and half from transportation funds already being collected.
Except for Overseas Heritage Trail through the Florida Keys, the state has ignored trail needs in South Florida. Thus it’s notable that the Senate staff analysis of the bill says, on page 6: “Based on an analysis of comparable trails from across the country, the construction of Miami-Dade County’s Ludlam Trail will increase property values within a half mile of the trail 0.32 to 0.73 percent faster than other properties throughout the county. This translates into a total property value increase over a 25-year period of $121 million to $282 million.”
Green Mobility will be actively promoting the passage of this bill scheduled to be presented on June 1. SB 7054 can be viewed here.
Green Mobility Network was proud to partner with Palmetto Senior High’s CLEO Club for their Environmental Fair on May 22. Other organizations attending included the Sierra Club, Tropical Audubon Society, University of Florida among various others, including individual student-led environmental projects.
With the focus of the fair on environmental initiatives, GMN highlighted its Friends of the Ludlam Trail (FOLT) campaign. Students were educated about the multitude of environmental factors associated with the project. Eric Katz, GMN program manager, presented students with a multitude of trail renderings, maps and diagrams explaining FOLT’s goals toward pine rocklands restoration, bonneted bat conservation and how reduced carbon emissions from riding bikes equals cleaner air.
It was a honor to be present at the fair with so many other amazing local organizations. Some students were completely unaware of the Ludlam corridor that was just minutes from their homes, while some were already involved with our campaign and extremely supportive of our efforts. Special thanks to CLEO Club organizers Ms. Amy Leaonard and Ms. Shalla Sorensen. We look forward to the next fair!
Hundreds of Miami bicyclists gathered on Wednesday May 21, to observe the annual Ride of Silence group ride. The ride is meant to honor and pay respects to riders injured or killed on public roadways. The ride also is intended to build awareness advocating for bicyclists and cars to share the road. The ride marks the 10th anniversary of the event in Miami. The Miami organizers are Michael and Maria Luisa Hoover.
The Ride of Silence began in Texas, 2003 after cyclist Larry Schwartz was tragically killed by school bus. As form of remembrance, loved ones and over 1,000 community gathered for a silent ride around the local town. The concept has since been embraced by cities all over the country, with each ride occurring simultaneously.
Unfortunately, Miami has shared the loss of many local cyclists who were victims of automobile crashes. We must all do our part in better sharing the road and advocating for safer streets for all users. Many thanks to those who came out and showed support!
On May 13, the Florida Department of Transportation hosted a public workshop at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden to provide vital updates regarding the on-going Project Development & Environment Study involving the Venetian Causeway. Both the City of Miami and Miami Beach recognize the corridor as a historic landmark that is also revered as a favorite scenic route for bicyclists, walkers and runners attempting to cross over between the main land and the beach. The bridge was originally built is 1926 and is currently in needs of major repairs due to deterioration from salt water corrosion.
The engineering team presented the public with a series of alternatives to consider and provide feedback. No alternative will be an easy decision as each option comes with significant trade-offs involving safety, project costs and construction time. Besides the “Do nothing” option, the next two options are to either rehabilitate the current bridges, or move forward with complete replacement. Engineers offered a list of rehabilitation options. Rehabilitating the bridges offers the best chance of salvaging the causeway’s historic landmark designation. A member of the Historic Preservation board was present and advised that the rehabilitation option provided the least adverse effects in regard to protecting the the historic designation, but unfortunately can not be guaranteed. This option would also be the most costly.
The third alternative is to completely replace the bridge with entirely new structures. While surprisingly less expensive than the rehabilitative option, it also would take nearly 8 years to complete, and most surely lose the historic designation. Audience members were displeased to hear that the bridges’s iconic “X” railing ornamentation would mostly have to change due to its lack of safety standards (the rail gaps are large enough for a child to fit through).
Positive news involves a plan to include a designated bike lanes and wider sidewalks to improve the pedestrian experience along the bridges. At the end of the presentation, the audience was asked to fill out a form that ranked their favorite choice among those presented. Please go to this link to visit the official website and learn more about the PD & E study.
For an update about the Venetian’s closing, see Miami Herald.
Bike Coconut Grove is promoting a petition that calls for infrastructure improvements along Main Highway and Commodore Trail. The petition comes with the support of City of Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff and the Coconut Grove Business Improvement District who are collectively reaching out to Miami-Dade County officials who over see the roadway. A dedicated bicycle lane, improved signage and regular maintenance are the priority demands outlined in the petition. Please show your support for this effort by signing and sharing this petition.
With Bike to Work Week fast approaching in cities across the country, Green Mobility Network is excited to share the Island Press Bike to Work sweepstakes featuring a grand prize of a Barcelona folding bike from Citizen as well as bike-related weekly prizes, webinars, and in-person events. Enter through May 15th for your chance to win!
To enter, visit islandpress.org/bike, sign-up with your email and then share the promotion on Twitter and Facebook for additional entries.During the course of the five-week campaign, Island Press will highlight a different feature city each week including Detroit; Washington, DC; San Francisco; Philadelphia; and Miami. Visit weekly to learn more about each city and read stories of successes from some of the local organizations dedicated to making biking infrastructure safe, reliable, and enjoyable.
This promotion and the associated online activity will spark conversation around bicycle transportation and demonstrate how communities can improve local biking access. I hope you will join us in sharing the promotion with your own networks via email, tweets, status updates, and blog updates. Join the conversation with hashtag #IPbikes. For more information, contact
Improving walking, bicycling, and living in Miami, Florida