Category Archives: Bicycling improvements

My Calle 8 Urges For Bicycle/Pedestrian Infrastructure

There is a growing demand for Calle 8 revive itself as a vibrant urban corridor that supports all modes of transport including transit, biking and walking.  “My Calle 8” is a movement of neighborhood residents reaching our to the community and elected officials pleading for FDOT to re-purpose the roadway no longer a one-way 3 lane road.  The proposed idea, presents wider sidewalks, dedicated bike lanes, bus lane and two-way car traffic.  My Calle 8 has developed a website including background information and a petition to sign and share with representatives in Tallahassee.  Below is an excerpt from their website.

PlusUrbia_Calle-Ocho-Proposed-Plan-web“For half a century, Calle Ocho (SW 8th Street) has served as an eastbound speedway for commuters, along with the equally dangerous one-way, three-lane, westbound SW 7th Street.

Originally a 2-way typical American main street, Calle 8 between SW 27 & Brickell avenues was transformed in the late 60s into the unsafe “Highway Ocho” we know today.

With FDOT studying the corridor this year, the time is right to convert Calle 8 back into the quaint main commercial core of Little Havana. This will reverse 50 years of highway conditions that have disenfranchised neighborhoods and caused commercial blight.

A broad base of stakeholders has united to urge elected officials, government agencies — and the transportation engineers that serve them – to be innovative. We challenge them to create a 21st century Calle Ocho with comfortable wide sidewalks, additional safe crosswalks and dedicated bike and transit lanes — in a vibrant urban setting.”

PlusUrbia_Calle-Ocho-Rendering1v2-web

Countdown to the Venetian: T-Minus One Month

Bridge repairs are underway across the Venetian Causeway.  For the past 6 months, thousands of bicyclists and pedestrians have been anticipating the re-opening of this critical and scenic corridor connecting Miami Beach to the mainland.  Due to the bridge closure, non-motorists have been forced to reroute their east-west commutes across the MacArthur and Julia Tuttle causeways, both high-stress commuter routes offering little protection with cars zooming by at 60+ mph speeds.

VenetianJust last week we highlighted a new green bike lane across Miami Beach’s 16th street.  The Venetian Causeway bridge repair in another critical component  adding to Miami’s 21st century built environment where cars, bikes and peds all benefit from improved accessibility and protection.

*Photo courtesy Michael Matthews

Scott vetoes Miami-area trails

Gov. Rick Scott on veto day, June 23, 2015
The governor vetoed several projects that didn’t go through the ordinary evaluation process.

Gov. Rick Scott slashed $6.7 million in legislative appropriations for trails in Miami-Dade County this week, though $25 million for a statewide SunTrail network appears to have escaped his veto pen. Scott struck off:

  • $3 million for the proposed Ludlam Trail,
  • $2 million for the Underline project upgrading the M-Path,
  • $1.5 million for the Biscayne-Everglades Greenway connecting our area’s two national parks
  • $1 million for a 174th Street pedestrian bridge in Sunny Isles, and
  • $200,000 for section 8 of the Black Creek Trail.

By the time he finished, the governor had knocked $461 million off the budget passed in the Legislature’s recent special session. The final budget totals $78.2 billion. That includes $25 million for the SunTrail network, a sum expected to be raised from a new motor vehicle registration fee.  Here’s the full veto list.

Continue reading Scott vetoes Miami-area trails

People who walk, bike, have some friends in Congress

A dramatic late-night vote in the U.S. House on Tuesday blocked a  ban on using federal New Starts transit aid to include sidewalks, lighting, or bicycle racks in any of the projects the bill covered. Thirteen House members from Florida joined in to help defeat Rep. Tom Emmer’s amendment to the transportation appropriations bill. Three of them were breaking from their Republican colleagues. So here, in district order, are the folks from the Sunshine State who are deserving of your thanks:

Here, courtesy of the League of American Bicyclists, is a convenient link for communicating with your member of Congress.  Speaking of which, maybe this is the time to show the League some love and join or renew.

Alton Road Redesigned by FDOT….again misses the mark

It seems like we’ve been tracking the Alton Road reconstruction for years. Well we have. This project has been under design for what seems like an eternity. Today, the Alton Road Reconstruction Coalition released news the FDOT just redesigned the project…again. ARRC had advocated originally for an excellent design that expanded bicycle and pedestrian space, green space.

Unfortunately, FDOT agreed to a 17′ wide median at the expense of a shared-use path and expanded sidewalks. This was pretty unfortunate given ARRC’s original proposal, but to make matters worse, the new designs proposed by FDOT have very little in common with either the original proposal or the one that followed. The 17′ wide planted median has been replaced by a narrow strip of green, with very wide turn lanes. This is a disaster for such an important main street. Check out the proposed FDOT design – what do you all think?

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Funds Voted for Gulf-to-Atlantic Bike Trail

The appropriations bill being wrapped up in the Florida Legislature includes $50 million to complete a 275-mile bikeway from St. Petersburg to Titusville. The money’s for the Coast to Coast Connector, filling seven gaps between several existing trails. Imagine what $50 million could do for the planned Ludlam Trail in Miami’s south suburbs.

Several months ago, when the Office of Greenways and Trails aired its priorities around the state, we asked Jim Wood, who headed the agency at the time, why South Florida had fared so poorly as the state built an impressive series of trails upstate over the past 20 years or so. Each of those existing trails, he pointedly said, has had a local champion — generally an elected official — who led the way to show local authorities and lawmakers the value of the proposal. So the Ludlam needs a champion. Will it be you?

By the way, since Florida has a line-item veto there’s no guarantee the Coast-to-Coast Connector will go through until Gov. Rick Scott signs the bill. The project didn’t appear in the budget he submitted to the Legislature.