Category Archives: Blog

FDOT Launches Put It Down Campaign

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Just last week, another texting & driving tragedy hit close to home as Miami Bike & Build rider Patrick Wanninkhof was struck and killed due to a distracted driver who was too busy on the cell phone rather than paying attention to the road.  This simple yet highly dangerous act of driving negligence has claimed too many innocent victims, and has communities across the country struggling to find solutions.

Florida Department of Transportation has recently launched its Put It Down campaign aimed at educating the public about the dangers of driving while texting.  Green Mobility is a proud partner in this campaign and will begin distributing informative data with hopes to educate the local community and inspire us all to #PutitDown! For those who are ready to 100% give up driving and texting (or those who already have), please sign this Pledge Card, and share it with your neighbors, family, and friends.

Big Ride Spreads Word for Affordable Housing

The 2015 Bike & Build campaign is a effort led by young, engaged cyclists who are raising awareness about the affordable housing crisis across the United States.  For 75 days, the 31-member team begins at the Atlantic ocean of New Haven CT, and pedals all the way until they reach the Pacific ocean at Half Moon Bay, CA. Yup, across the entire country by bike!

Throughout the trip, the group raises money and periodically stops to volunteer for organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Rebuilding Together, and Youth Build USA. One of the riders is a  Miamian and FIU alum, Daniela Ruiz.  Months before the trip, Daniela was passionately seeking donors to help sponsor her ride.   Thankfully, Daniela was able to reach her $4,500 goal, with more donations still coming in! If you would like to support her ride with a donation click here!

Bike & Build is an independent non-profit that has contributed more than $4.5 million to housing groups to fund projects planned and executed by young adults. Through pre-arranged gifts, Bike & Build funds affordable housing projects executed by its participants in communities where their events begin. Through their grant program, Bike & Build  identifies and supports exciting projects involving young people all throughout the nation. Bike & Build also supports local affordable housing organizations along each route through on-the-road donations.

The last time we spoke with Daniela, their group had crossed the Illinois border.  We will continue to check up on the group and celebrate their ride completion, scheduled in August.  Great job guys, just over 2,000 miles to go!

Crandon Resurfacing to Include Green Bike Lanes

The long-awaited upgrade of Crandon Boulevard into Key Biscayne is to start July 13.  The improvements will include green bicycle lanes and vibratory lines to increase rider safety.  This is a much- needed project on one of the Miami area’s most popular cycling destinations.  Sadly, the causeway into Key Biscayne has also been the scene of too many collisions in which riders died.

The new bike lanes will be a safer seven feet wide instead of five.  That will be accomplished by reducing the motor lanes from 12 feet to 11 — which will subtly encourage people in cars to moderate their speeds.

Under Construction

Earlier coverage of Crandon Boulevard.

County Calls for Trail Funding

The Miami-Dade County Commission is urging the Florida Department of Transportation to make four local trail projects part of the new Shared-Use Non-motorized Trail Network (SunTrail).

Resolution 151570 adopted last week addresses the $25 million recently appropriated for SunTrail, to consist of trails and shared-use paths around the state.  The Commission urges that $2 million go for the Underline — an upgrade of the M-Path — $3 million for the proposed Ludlam Trail, $1.5 million for the proposed Biscayne-Everglades Greenway, and $200,000 for extending Black Creek Trail.

The four projects had been approved by the Florida Legislature but were vetoed by Gov. Rick Scott on grounds they hadn’t been vetted in the standard pre-appropriation screening.

Click below for the full resolution, offered by Commissioners Rebecca Sosa, Jose “Pepe” Diaz, and Juan Zapata.

Resolution 151570

 

Save the Date for WHEELS

From November 11-15, the City of South Miami will be hosting WHEELS, a unique 5-day event meant to galvanize the community and help advance Florida’s mobility future.  Within this time frame, the goal is to get 10,000 people on bike, trails and transit, including 1,000 visitors from out of town.  The event also shines light on the East Coast Greenway (ECG), a bold initiative that seeks to connect Florida and Maine with one continuous biking and walking trail.  Miami’s major segment of the ECG is the 10 mile M-Path, soon to become The Underline linear park.

On June 30, WHEELS chairman Victor Dover, above right, led an opening discussion with local biking advocates to begin coordinating a comprehensive program of group rides along the ECG and neighboring trails to be hosted during WHEELS.  Everything from road bike rides to mountain bike rides and everything in between is fair game for WHEELS.  Stay tuned for more information about WHEELS as the event approaches.  If you are a ride organizer and would like to participate in WHEELS be sure to contact them at info@wheelsflorida.org.  You should also visit their website and “Like” them on Facebook.

2nd Round of Underline Workshops Completed

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Last week the Friends of the Underline completed their second round of community workshops to deliver an important follow-up regarding the Master Plan process of the 10-mile M-path. On Tuesday June 23, a meeting was held at Vizcaya Garage and focused on the M-Path from the Miami River south to Douglas Road, while the second meeting was on Thursday June 25, for those interested in the M-Path from Douglas Road, south to Dadeland.

The meetings were led by the consultant team James Corner Field Operations, based out of New York City.  After a few opening remarks from public officials, the consultants then began to outline the direction of their design principles for The Underline.  From improved intersections to habitat restoration to transit oriented development, the team has analyzed myriad of variables that stretch along the 10 miles of built environment.

Ultimately the Underline seeks to build a native-friendly, 10-mile habitat that includes amenities that fit with the general character of the surrounding neighborhoods along the corridor.  The 4 main character zones described were Health & Fitness, Green Technology, Arts & Culture and Brickell’s Backyard.  Health & Fitness would involve the trail segment from Dadeland to South Miami and incorporate trail amenities such as fitness stations and improved shade for those utilizing the trail for recreation, commuting and healthy exercise.  Green Technology would focus around the University of Miami station and would host a variety of sustainable development practices such renewable energy fixtures & sources, rainwater capture and pop-up retail and dining.  The Arts & Culture segment would focus on the Coconut Grove area and would provide a host of  programming and pop-up events such as fresh markets, craft fairs, music, live performances and more.   Public art displays would also be suitable in this location.  Finally, Brickell’s Backyard would serve the north end of the trail and would seek to provide the urban community with a green refuge.  With the tremendous amount of cement and asphalt in Brickell, the Underline would benefit residents with a corridor that takes them away from the noise and traffic and offer leisure amenities that brings them back to the natural beauty of Miami, before it was developed.

While the presentation was certainly inspiring, there are still many questions to be answered, and the Friends group were not shy in addressing them. The Friends were fully aware of the recent veto of state funds, but remain undeterred in their efforts to fund-raise.  In addition, they also addressed the possibility of FPL erecting massive power lines along the trail.  With that possibility, the design team is already building around where these poles would be located.

The master plan process is not over, and there will be another set of community meetings scheduled for September 2015.  Best of luck to the design team, Friends of the Underline, volunteers and residents as they all work together to create a magnificent trail for the Miami community to enjoy!

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

Miami Fellows Take a Bike Tour

If you ever want to get acquainted (or re-acquainted) with a place, nothing beats a pleasant bike ride.  The Miami Foundation’s Miami Fellows Class VIII recently took a guided bike tour through Miami streets to learn more about the current challenges and opportunities facing our community.  Check out the awesome new Citi Bikes they are riding, which can now be found on the mainland!  Great job guys, keep up the good work.

 

Upcoming Underline Community Workshops

The Friends of the Underline and their master planners are continuing to do great work to transform the M-Path into a linear park that will vastly improve the safety and aesthetics of one our most important urban trails.  Please make sure you attend these upcoming charrette meetings to learn more about the enhancements that will be occurring at a Metrorail station near you! Your input is needed!

Mango Festival’s Coming

mangoIt’s mango tiiiime! Excitement is building for our good friends at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, where the 23rd annual International Mango Festival will take place July 11 and 12. This is a perfect event to go to by bicycle, and you’ll find our volunteers in our usual spot off Old Cutler Road — ready to park and protect your bike until you’re ready to leave. Festival tickets are available online.

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$5 off for adults, $2 for children, if you arrive by bike or public transit.

Do you know about Fairchild’s Bike-N-Five plan? Click here to learn more.

Our bike valet is sponsored by Mack Cycle & Fitness. Please tell them you appreciate it. Want to help on valet? Here’s the link for volunteering.