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.
“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.”
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:
- Gwen Graham, of Tallahassee
- Corrine Brown, of Jacksonville
- Alan Grayson, of Kissimmee
- Daniel Webster, of Winter Garden
- David Jolly, of Clearwater
- Kathy Castor, of Tampa
- Vern Buchanan, of Sarasota
- Patrick Murphy, of Palm Beach Gardens
- Alcee Hastings, of Fort Lauderdale
- Ted Deutch, of West Boca Raton
- Lois Frankel, of Boca Raton
- Debbie Wassserman-Schultz, of Pembroke Pines
- Frederica Wilson, of Miami Gardens
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.
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.
Miami Police request that if you’re taking part in the Corporate Run Miami tomorrow evening, you not bring knapsacks, gym bags, and the like. Just bring what you really need for the walk/run event starting from downtown Bayfront Park. Maps and timetables are provided here to help you out. If it’s available where you are, Metrorail will be the best way in and out of downtown. Just be patient about the crowds. Good luck, everyone!
Thanks to the American Public Health Association for advocating for walking and bicycling during its annual National Public Health Week this month. Some of the important national data they shared:
- In 2010, more than 4,200 pedestrians died in traffic crashes — a 4 percent increase from 2009.That same year about 70,000 pedestrians were injured in traffic crashes.
- More than 600 bicyclists died in motor vehicle crashes in 2010 and 52,000 were injured.
- More than 15 people are killed every day in the U.S. and more than 1,200 are injured in crashes involving a distracted driver.
You can learn more and join their efforts at their website.
Today is National Walking Day, and the American Heart Association has identified walkable paths in several parts of South Florida to help you get out and get moving. Click on StartWalking to use their path-finder and other aids for making regular walking part of your healthier lifestyle.