When Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado issued a proclamation this week embracing Florida Bicycle Month, he not only aligned with a growing movement but also signaled to the public and to city employees that bicycling is an altogether good thing. He called for “increased bicycle usage, providing an opportunity to educate bicyclists and motorists as to the proper and safe operation of bicycles, to promote health and wellness and to address the problem of greenhouse gas emissions.” We appreciate the mayor’s continued support for developing Miami’s bicycle facilities. And by the way, that’s one handsome document, isn’t it?
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and six municipal mayors are launching a series of bicycle events they call Bike305 Month. Every weekend in March there are to be events along the bike trail between Key Biscayne and Black Point Marina — a route that includes the Commodore Trail, the Old Cutler Trail, and the Biscayne Trail. A new website includes county bike facilities and bike-friendly events planned for March and beyond.
The month gets an official endorsement with a County Commission resolution to be acted on Tuesday, March 5. If you can make it downtown that day at 9 a.m., please visit the 2nd floor of County Hall, 111 NW 1st St., to show support for Bike305 Month. In recent years the county has embraced March as Florida Bike Month, but this time the mayor’s office and the Department of Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces took the lead to organize a rich calendar of local events.
Thanks to crusading Pinecrest Mayor Cindy Lerner, the village of Pinecrest will hold a town-hall meeting Wednesday, Nov. 14, with officials from the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority to discuss the future of the busway adjacent to U.S. 1 south of Dadeland. The meeting will take place from 7-9 p.m. at Pinecrest Gardens, 11000 Red Rd,
One scenario for the busway under consideration is to turn it into a toll road. According to Lerner, that would preclude ever extending Metrorail south from Dadeland. “I want to start a dialogue,” Lerner told the Miami Herald. “The general public is completely unaware of what’s being prepared.” According to the Herald, Lerner and others have been pushing for more transit options for U.S. 1 south of Dadeland Mall, which is where Metrorail ends.
On Wednesday, Sept. 5, Tony Garcia and Hank Sanchez-Resnik, board members of Green Mobility Network, met with County Commissioner Rebecca Sosa (District 6) to discuss her resolution related to working with FDOT on bicycle improvements to major streets that FDOT controls.
This was in response to the commissioner’s Sept. 6 resolution on the County Commission agenda, which had the potential to undo many years of progress in getting FDOT to include bicycle and pedestrian improvements on FDOT-controlled urban roadways.
Commissioner Sosa began by saying she had received hundreds of our preformatted emails and she realized there might be unintended consequences from her legislation. She has pulled the item indefinitely.
She is primarily concerned with a proposed southbound bike lane on 57th Ave. between 8th St. and 24rd St. This is not about losing parking, she said, but about the safety of cyclists riding along 57th Ave. between fast-moving traffic and cars parked diagonally on the west side of the street in the commercial area. Her resolution was one of similar resolutions, she said, from the Cities of Coral Gables and West Miami to address FDOT’s bike lane requirement specifically for this stretch of road. All the resolutions requested FDOT to redesign the project in order to minimize the dangers to bicyclists.
The commissioner was open to suggestions about how to proceed. We agreed to develop a counter-proposal with specific recommendations for an improved design that will take bicyclists’ and pedestrians’ needs into account while also addressing the safety concerns this complex project entails. The commissioner made it clear she is not opposed to bike facilities, only that they be designed for optimal safety.
Our next move will be to study the proposal, develop a counter-proposal, and work with Commissioner Sosa to negotiate with FDOT to change the design. Also, in the event FDOT is unwilling to reconsider their design, we will work with Commissioner Sosa to develop alternate language for a County Commission resolution requesting cooperation from FDOT.
We will keep the bicycling community updated through posts on our website as well as Facebook and Twitter.
The BPAC helps to identify and provide input on projects that affect people who walk or ride their bikes in order to make bicycling and walking safe methods of transportation and recreation in Miami-Dade County.