Category Archives: Planning and Environment

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 The 17′ wide planted median has been replaced by a narrow strip of green, with very wide turn lanes.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?

Alton-Road-For-Everyone

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.

 

Check in on Greenway Planning

River of Grass Greenway If you drop by the School of Architecture at FIU on Saturday (March 16) you can see and comment on plans for the River of Grass Greenway, the proposed hiking and biking trail between Naples and Miami. On my visit yesterday I got a kick out of the aerial maps detailing  the full 26 miles between Krome Avenue and the Collier County line. It was easy to recognize spots I’d been to, and envision how a trail would make visiting the Everglades both more fun and more educational. The Saturday session, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Room 341 of the PCA building, will conclude a three-week series of workshops designed to encourage public input on what the trail should be like. If you haven’t offered your ideas, I encourage you to do so — either in person or by visiting the planners’ website. Continue reading Check in on Greenway Planning

Plans Workshop for Trail in Glades

A third series of public workshops to plan the River of Grass Greenway will be held March 12-16 at Florida International University. These sessions will focus on the corridor along U.S. 41 between Krome Avenue and the Collier County line. You can follow progress on the proposed cross-state greenway at www.evergladesROGG.org and contribute your ideas for the planning at www.RiverofGrassGreenway.org.

The FIU meetings will be held at the College of Architecture & the Arts, on the north side of campus at 11200 SW 8th St., Miami 33199.  The schedule follows: Continue reading Plans Workshop for Trail in Glades

Visualize an Everglades Greenway

A new video is out that highlights the exciting potential of exploring the Everglades on foot or by bicycle.  It’s from the Naples Pathways Coalition, foremost advocates of the River of Grass Greenway. You can watch it here.  Plans are taking shape in a series of public workshops this week at Naples, mentioned in this blog a week ago. Continue reading Visualize an Everglades Greenway

One Year, Two New Bicycle-Pedestrian Bridges

Green Mobility Network has been actively involved in advocating for, monitoring, and supporting the construction of two new bicycle-pedestrian bridges during 2012-13.

The first to open is the bridge across the entrance to the Snapper Creek Expressway just north of Dadeland. Previously, bicyclists, pedestrians, and runners had to cross one of the most dangerous intersections in Miami-Dade County at grade level. The second, which will open early in 2013, crosses the Coral Gables Waterway at Cocoplum Circle. Both of these important projects will help to ensure the safety of future generations of bicyclists, walkers, and runners who use the M Path and the Commodore and Old Cutler trails. Both projects required many hours of our volunteers attending meetings and participating in reviews and discussions—the kind of behind-the-scenes work at the heart of our advocacy efforts.

Photos: Top, Snapper Creek Expressway bridge north of Dadeland soon after opening. Bottom: Bridge at Cocoplum Circle under construction, fall 2012, opening early in 2013.