Tag Archives: Complete Streets

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

Getting bike-friendly needn’t take long

Bike-friendly is Good Business talk at the DDA

When businesses work together to make their neighborhoods bicycle-friendly, they can see results in weeks or months, April Economides told the “Bike-friendly is Good Business” session sponsored by Green Mobility Network. “A bike-friendly business district is not infrastructure,” Economides said. “Safe bike infrastructure is crucial, but done separately. [Bicycle-friendly business districts] are do-it-yourself urbanism programs that business districts can build into their operations, events, and promotions, often quickly and at very low cost.”

She described her work in Long Beach, Calif., where she helped four commercial neighborhoods make their streets and individual shops more congenial to customers who don’t drive. The rationale was the already strong link between cycling and the “shop-local” movement.

April Economides

Shop owners found places to install bike racks near their doors. A grant provided delivery bikes, cargo bikes, and trailers to the four districts, and participating shops use them for deliveries and for employees’ errands. The bikes are prominently parked outside by day. More than 160 Long Beach shops now give Saturday discounts to cyclists. Bicycling was integrated into existing neighborhood events via free bike repairs, bike valet, and community rides.

Economides emphasized the speed with which change could be accomplished through Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) or merchants’ associations. “It is so fast,” she said, a contrast to what’s required to gain municipal approval for street signs or other infrastructure.

The City of North Miami, where Mayor Andre Pierre has emphasized bicycling over the past couple of years, helped Green Mobility Network pay for the program. We appreciate that, as well as the hospitality of the Miami Downtown Development Authority, where the meeting was held on July 27.

To learn more about our speaker and her work, there’s a one-page flyer attached below that you can download.  There’s additional information at www.greenoctopus.net.