Emerge Miami hosted another family-friendly bicycle ride on Saturday afternoon to celebrate the recently striped bicycle lanes on South Miami Avenue in Miami’s Brickell neighborhood.
Around 70 cyclists came out for the “Brickell Neighborhood Bike Ride and Celebration”, a leisurely-paced ride that took riders through downtown Miami, Coral Way and the Brickell neighborhood.
A noteworthy aspect along the four mile route was that nearly every pavement segment was marked for cyclists in some fashion - either by striped lanes or “sharrows” - the shared-lane markings that remind motorists to ‘share the road’ with bicycles. Other features spotted along the way included bicycle-specific way-finding markers and “Bicycles May Use Full Lane” signs.
The ride ended at El Vato Tequila and Taco Bar in Brickell. Special thanks to El Vato manager Juan Angulo, who offered food and drink specials to cyclists as well as reserving the parking spaces outside the restaurant so riders could form an on-street bicycle parking corral!
“This was really enjoyable. If you told me ten years ago that an event like this would happen in Miami I wouldn’t believe it,” said rider Andrew Jacque, as he reflected after the ride on the emerging bicycle culture in Miami. The group was not limited to Miami locals either. A visiting couple from Montana found the event details online and figured it would be a fun and interesting way to explore the city.
In addition to enjoying the mild weather and supporting a local business, the ride was a way of saying ‘thank you’ to all the groups responsible for implementing the Miami Bicycle Master Plan across the city and to urge our local officials to adopt and embrace new features to make Miami a truly bicycle-friendly community.
It was a pleasant surprise last week to find, not merely one, but two, vertical bike racks on Metrorail train car #141. And, it just so happens that car #141 was the last wagon that day – interesting . . .
You may remember that several months ago, there seemed to be a sort of prototype rack on one of the train cars, yet not the last one (as one would expect since the official rules governing the Metrorail Bike & Ride program currently mandate that all bikes go to the back of the train). The South Florida Bike Coalition posted on this confusing observation in January 2011 and questioned, “This rack was installed on the second car – does this mark a change regulating where people can bring their bikes on the train?” After weeks of multiple sightings of this mysterious single rack on Metrorail, it seemed to have disappeared altogether. The observation last week of these two new racks seems to suggest that we’re getting closer – slowly but surely – to seeing a more permanent presence of bike racks on Metrorail.
However, train wagon #141 (the car in which these racks are installed) has not remained the last car, so many reading this may have already seen these racks on #141 as the non-ultimate train car. That’s important to note . . . See, just as different buses are regularly shifted to drive the numerous bus routes throughout the county, Metrorail train cars are regularly alternated to different positions within the chain of wagons. This technical procedure, the constant interchanging of the train cars, is one of the primarily challenges to creating a set of more equitable, enforceable, and sustainable Bike & Ride policies.
As I see it, there are two fundamental options here: (1) make more space exclusively in the last car to accommodate the numerous and increasing bike-train riders while making the last car more of a “standing car”, and/or (2) put an adequate number of bike racks throughout all, or at least most, of the train cars, with conspicuous signage on the outside of the train doors/cabins indicating which cars have bike racks and which do not. I personally favor the latter.
The bike racks seen last week are of a different model than those seen around this time last year. (Perhaps the County has finally made a decision as to which models are most appropriate and cost effective for our community’s trains (?)) To accommodate these newer racks, two separates pairs of seats were removed on each side of the front of the train wagon. That makes four seats lost to two bikes. One less sympathetic to bikes on the train may initially find this trade-off unwarranted: “How could you justify giving up two seats just for one bike?!” It’s a fair question, and the response is simple.
While two seats are lost to a bike safely secured on a rack, it would be at least two seats (and sometimes even four or five, for those despicably inconsiderate bike passengers) lost to a bike on the train not neatly stationed on a rack. Additionally, having these dedicated spaces on the train for riders to safely secure their bicycles will significantly reduce the many intra-train mobility conflicts and safety issues abounding in the absence of such spaces. People will no longer have to play a body-contorting game of Twister with one another through a gauntlet of legs, handlebars, tires, baby strollers, and wheelchairs. An adequate presence of bike racks throughout the entire train – say, four to eight in each car – would do wonders to alleviate the many common conflicts that arise among cyclist and non-cyclist Metrorail riders.
Indeed, let’s hope these racks are here to stay and the County is preparing to expand them throughout the entire train. That would suffice until 2014 – or until Miami-Dade Transit gets cleared by the Federal Transit Administration to proceed with its $300 million deal to procure 136 new trains, originally slated for 2014. Whatever happens with the feds, these two new racks are a welcome addition to the train, and we hope to see more! As recently described on this site, though, even with new bike racks, there remain many challenges and opportunities to a sustainable Bike & Ride program on Metrorail.
As the cycling scene in Miami continues to surge, one man aims to add another element to broaden the reach of cycling in Miami. Enter Julian Valencia, and his brainchild, The Miami Bike Cooperative.
- Providing a welcoming workshop with tools in which members of the community can work on their bikes as well as share their bicycle mechanic skills.
- Provide donated bikes and parts at discount rates to members of the community.
- Empower community members by providing a space where everyone can share the mechanical knowledge and skills needed to fix their bikes.
An unreliable* Transit Miami source has informed us that an “unofficial and temporary” FEC Greenway has been inadvertently developed over the past few weeks. We received an anonymous and unverified email this past weekend with pictures of the unofficial FEC Greenway. Our untrustworthy source tells us that he/she rode from Midtown to Downtown on a mountain bike along the FEC rail line that is currently under construction due to the Port of Miami rail expansion. Here’s an excerpt from the email we received:
Riding from Midtown to Downtown on the FEC Greenway was an excellent and joyful experience. I rode without fear of being hit by a car. Can you imagine how great it would be if families with children could ride from midtown to downtown without fear of being run over by a car? People could even ride their bicycles to the Miami Heat games safely! An FEC Greenway would also deter crime and homelessness along the rail line as cyclists, walkers, joggers and parents with strollers would self-police the greenway. An FEC Greenway would have a transformative effect on our city and would encourage less experienced cyclists to commute to work.”
Can you envision an FEC Greenway? We sure can. That being said, we desperately need passenger rail service on the FEC line. Rail is the priority, but we think there is enough right of way (100 feet) to add a permanent and official FEC Greenway. We can only dream. By the way, a greenway would be great PR for the FEC. The FEC would be wise to jump all over this opportunity and support a greenway.
Our unconfirmed source suggests riding the FEC Greenway on Sundays as the FEC workers are off on this day or after 5:00pm. Also beware that riding or walking along the FEC is considered trespassing. He/she suggests riding the FEC with a mountain bike and only intermediate riders should attempt this ride.
*We cannot confirm if these photographs are authentic or if they have been photoshopped. Perhaps we just need to get out there and find out for ourselves. Happy trails!
On Thursday, June 2nd, The City of Miami Bicycle Initiatives hosted the Miami Bicycle Summit at The Grove Spot in Coconut Grove, Miami. A variety of speakers, including city and county planners and public officials presented to an audience of local citizens and bicycle advocates, followed by a spirited question and answer session. The meeting was an informative overview of ongoing bicycle projects - but also highlighted the lingering disconnect between public agencies and advocates.
- In 1999, there were 100 miles of multi-use paths, 10 miles of bike lanes and 70 miles of paved shoulders in Miami-Dade County.
- Now, there are 130 miles of multi-use paths, 70 miles of bike lanes and 30 wide-curb lanes with many more in the planning stages.
- Bicycle parking increasing at Metrorail stations and pedestrian/cycling counts increasing in downtown area.
- Bicycle injuries are down, and have dropped by half since 1990. Still, 65 pedestrians and 12 cyclists were killed in accidents in M-D county last year.
Miami Beach resident Xavier Falconi from the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee and touted the success of the Deco Bike Program on Miami Beach and other improvements to bicycle infrastructure, including ‘sharrows’ on Washington Avenue and the development of Bicycle Parking Design Guidelines for the city.
Collin Worth, City of Miami Bicycle Coordinator, wrapped up the evenings presentations, mentioning a RFP (Request for Proposal) for a bike share program in downtown Brickell and Omni area and the City’s goal of eventually becoming a designated Bicycle Friendly Community.
The City of South Miami is home to more than ten thousand people and is a destination for work, play and shopping for thousands of more people across the Greater Miami area.
A city that is truly bicycle-friendly is safer and healthier for everyone - for people who walk, run, bicycle, drive cars or just simply spend time in the public spaces.
We the undersigned promote making the City of South Miami a League of American Bicyclists- recognized‘Bike Friendly City’. We support the Action Plan for Bicycle Friendly Communities (PDF) and would like to see traffic calming in our streets so we may safely walk and bike for recreation as well as going about our daily needs. We also pledge to drive responsibly wherever we are to enable others to walk, bike and drive safely across South Florida.
We ask the City of South Miami Commission to make a nationally-recognized designation of ‘bike-friendly city’ a priority and to implement coordinated efforts across municipal government to make this happen.
Shout out to our partners (and Bike SoMi’s) the South Florida Bike Coalition for creating the online petition.
The article below is a repost. It was originaly posted on November 15, 2009. The FDOT has made some very small striping improvements since the article was originally published. Needless to say, it is not enough. The FDOT must do more.
Inspired by the recent Dangerous by Design report produced jointly by the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership and Transportation for America Transit Miami will begin documenting existing conditions that are dangerous and potentially deadly to pedestrians and bicyclists. In what will likely be an infinite collection of posts, the MacArthur Causeway will be the first roadway evaluated for Transit Miami’s very own Dangerous By Design exposé.
Although the MacArthur Causeway is actually designated as bicycle route, I don’t like to ride it because I fear for my life. The Venetian Causeway is a much safer alternative. This morning all bicyclists and pedestrians were forced to take the MacArthur Causeway because the eastern drawbridge on the Venetian Causeway was broken. Non-motorized vehicles and pedestrians had no other alternative to traverse the bay other than the MacArthur Causeway. I decided to make the most of my MacArthur Causeway crossing, so I took the opportunity to more closely inspect FDOT’s current resurfacing project on the MacArthur Causeway. Sadly, it seems like FDOT did not seriously consider pedestrians and bicyclists during the design phase of this resurfacing project.
My intention was to allow FDOT to finish the project before critiquing it, but that won’t be necessary, because what little work remains to be completed is mostly cosmetic (i.e. painting bicycle lanes and symbols). As one of only three arterial roads that connects Miami to Miami Beach, it is imperative that this wide, high speed, high capacity thoroughfare have safe pedestrian and bicycle provisions. FDOT’s current design consists of an unprotected bicycle lane that doubles as an emergency shoulder. Sorry, but anything less than a separated and protected multiuse path is unsafe for pedestrians and bicyclists. For this reason the MacArthur Causeway is being regrettably recognized as Dangerous By Design. If FDOT were genuinely concerned about the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists they would have designed a separated and protected multiuse path. Below are examples that should have been considered.
Below are a few photographs taken this morning of poor design standards on the MacArthur Causeway:
Around 11:00am this morning a cyclist was hit on Brickell Avenue. The cyclist is currently in the trauma center with a broken leg and pelvis, his injuries are considered to be life treating. I spoke with two witnesses and this is what I believed happened:
The cyclist was traveling east on SE 14th street. I’m not sure if the cyclist was riding on the road or on the sidewalk, but apparently he was attempting to cross to the east side of Brickell Avenue. One of the witnesses I interviewed, a pedestrian, said she was crossing Brickell Avenue on the north side of SE 14th Street intersection from east to west. She confirmed that the “walk” signal had just changed; indicating pedestrians had the right of way. The other witness I spoke to claims the Ford Explorer was traveling west on SE 14th Street and was making a left turn onto Brickell Avenue heading south when he struck the cyclist. I also overheard the driver saying he had a green light. If these are the facts, then the driver failed to yield to the cyclist while making a left turn. If my assessment is correct, the Miami Police Department should have issued a ticket for failure to “yield to pedestrian”.
This afternoon I decided to shoot some video at the exact location where this accident occurred. (Brickell Avenue and SE 14th Street). As I was filming this 30-second video two women were nearly hit by a red Cadillac (20 seconds). They must flail their arms in order to get the Cadillac to yield. Also, watch as 5 vehicles fail to yield to the pedestrians that are in the crosswalk. This happens every single day. Again, there is no enforcement. The City of Miami could probably balance their budget in a week if they started handing out “Yield to Pedestrian” tickets.
When are our elected officials and the FDOT going to acknowledge that we have a serious problem on Brickell Avenue? How many more people need to be critically injured or must die before they act? Where is our enforcement? How many “yield to pedestrian” tickets have been issued in the past two years around Brickell? My guess is none.
We are still anxiously waiting for Commissioner Sarnoff, Mayor Regalado, County Commissioner Gimenez and the FDOT to announce more safety improvements as was promised during a recent press conference on Brickell Avenue. The FDOT is quick to make safety improvements for motor vehicles, but in the process they are actually creating more dangerous conditions for pedestrians. During the past year I am personally aware of at least a half dozen accidents around Brickell Avenue. This entire situation is utterly disgraceful. As the Brickell population continues to grow ,and our streets maintain an antiquated and autocentric design, the situation will only get worse. Deaths and injuries are certain to increase exponentially if nothing is done.
We hope the cyclist makes a quick recovery.
Please find links to all the accidents which have been documented below:
Last week, Bill C., posted the following comment on Transit Miami.
“People should ignore the Bal Harbour rule because it is unlawful. Your right to operate your bike on the sidewalk is a right protected by state statute.”
He goes on to say:
“Section 316.2065 (10), Florida Statutes, expressly provides that “A person propelling a vehicle by human power upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, has all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances.”
“It is well established under Florida law that municipalities cannot remove rights granted by state statute. In Rinzler v. Carson, the Florida Supreme Court declared:
Municipal ordinances are inferior in stature and subordinate to the laws of the state. Accordingly, an ordinance must not conflict with any controlling provision of a state statute, and if any doubt exists as to the extent of a power attempted to be exercised which may affect the operation of a state statute, the doubt is to be resolved against the ordinance and in favor of the statute. A municipality cannot forbid what the legislature has expressly licensed, authorized or required, nor may it authorize what the legislature has expressly forbidden. In order for a municipal ordinance to prohibit that which is allowed by the general laws of the state there must be an express legislative grant by the state to the municipality authorizing such prohibition.”
“Bring the state statute to court with you if you get a ticket for riding on the sidewalk. Sue Bal Harbour if you get hit by a motor vehicle because you were following their illegal ordinance.”
We decided to check with the South Florida Bike Coalition legal team and they agree; the Bal Harbour ordinance is in conflict with the State statue.
We here at Transit Miami do not advocate bicycling on sidewalks, but Bal Harbour is forcing inexperienced cyclists to ride on dangerous Collins Avenue. I would not want my child riding on Collins Avenue. Bal Harbour should not force people to ride in the roadway. Rather then castigating cyclists Bal Harbour should work with the FDOT to provide a safer environment for cyclists of all ages to ride comfortably and safely through Bal Harbour.
How about a group ride up and down the sidewalks of Bal Harbour?
Thank for the heads-up Bill C!
The City of Miami Beach will unveil the region’s first bicycle sharing system here on Wednesday, March 15th, with the introduction of Deco Bike. When complete the system will cover all of Miami Beach south of 85th street with about 1,000 bikes and 100 stations. Deco Bike President Colby Reese gave me a tour of his factory recently, and talked about the challenges presented in being the first to roll out a bike share system in our region.
Phase 1 of implementation will include 50 stations and up to 500 bikes sprinkled throughout Miami Beach south of 43rd Street. Each bike station can hold 12 bikes, and takes the space of two parking spaces.
Lost parking shouldn’t be a concern, says Reese, who notes that Miami Beach has added over 1,000 spaces over the past several years, including the much discussed Herzog and de Meuron designed sculptural garage. Stations will be located in key locations around the city, with more bikes and stations to come in Phase 2, which Reese hopes will come as soon as 60-90 days after the initial rollout. Plans for phase 2 call for expanding the network up to 85th Street, totaling 100 stations, and approximately 1,000 bikes.
One challenges Reese noted was negotiating with FDOT over locating stations in FDOT right-of-way. According to Reese, station locations at the corner of 5th and Alton were relocated because FDOT was requesting financial concessions for their approval of Deco Bike’s station permit. Never mind that the right-of-way is publicly owned and that this system will help expand bicycle mode share - FDOT just wanted their cut of the pie. Luckily, most streets in Miami Beach are not maintained by FDOT, so the crisis was averted, but it does go to show the priorities of our Department of Transportation.
Beach residents will be able to get an unlimited $15/monthly pass, while tourists and other beach visitors will have hourly and daily options as well. Already one of the most walkable and bikable places in South Florida, Miami Beach is uniquely poised to take advantage of the the benefits of a city-wide bike share system. With the implementation of sharrows on Washington and elsewhere in the beach, upcoming revised bicycle parking standards, and now the implementation of a city-wide bikeshare program, Miami Beach is making big strides to expand bicycle use around the city. If successful, other cities in the region like Miami and Coral Gables would be smart to look to Deco Bike as a partner in creating a regional bike share network.
On any given weekend morning cyclists outnumber motorists on the Rickenbacker Causeway. Yet thousands of cyclists are relegated to the bike lane/shoulder/bus stop (or whatever you want to call it) of the roadway while dozens of cars whiz by in excess of 60mph. It’s about time we close a lane of traffic for cyclists on the Rickenbacker Causeway. I see no good reason why we can’t close a lane in each direction from 6:00am-11:00 am on Sunday mornings, when vehicular traffic is very light and cyclist traffic is at its peak.
The recent crackdown on bicyclists is just a game of politics and the Miami Dade Police Department is caught in the middle. The last thing the MDPD wants to do is crackdown on cyclists or speeding motorists. They have far more important things to do. But unfortunately we still have a poorly designed Rickenbacker Causeway that encourages speeding. We also lack the political will or leadership to actually make any short term tangible improvements to the Rickenbacker Causeway. Instead we continue to play car vs. bike politics and wait until the next cyclist is killed.
Please send Commissioner Carlos Gimenez an email and let him know that you would like to see a ciclovia on the Rickenbacker Causeway every Sunday morning.
In a show of force unseen before, the MDPD is ticketing cyclists for not coming to a complete stop at the turn around before the toll plaza as one heads back to Key Biscayne. Tickets are running between $79-$179.
Although I do agree that there are plenty of irresponsible bicyclists on the Rickenbacker Causeway, the majority of us are not. For the most part we obey traffic laws, it behooves us to remain alive. It is the few large packs that give most of us a bad name.
That being said, I believe the MDPD is putting far too many of their valuable resources cracking down on cyclists, while the much larger problem of speeding is not being adequately addressed. Or rather it is not being given the priority that it deserves.
Yesterday, there were 6 police officers handing out tickets to cyclists. I’ve biked the Rickenbacker for the past ten years and have never seen such a concerted effort by the MDPD to ticket speeding motorists. In all fairness to the MDPD I have seen increased enforcement during the past year, but nothing like I witnessed yesterday. I would like to see the same heavy-handed enforcement that is being applied to cyclists to speeding motorists.
The much larger problem on the Rickenbacker Causeway is and will continue to be speeding. Not one speed trap was set up yesterday to catch speeding cars, all the while I saw dozens of cars traveling in excess of 60 mph, particularly on the bridges where I have never seen a speed trap.
We need to focus our resources on ticketing irresponsible drivers, speed is the enemy and there should be zero-tolerance for speeding cars. One mph over the current speed limit should result in a ticket. I would like to see 6 MDPD officers handing out tickets on Saturday morning to motorists to show that speeding will not be tolerated.
All I’m asking is for equal treatment. If you believe speeding cars are not being adequately dealt with on the Rickenbacker Causeway, please send Commissioner Carlos Gimenez an email and tell him you want more enforcement of speeding vehicles.
A thank you to the Public Works Department for repairing the asphalt around the railroad tracks on North Miami Avenue. This repair was needed. I can personally attest to the danger of crossing here. A few months ago I totaled my rear rim and nearly fell of my bike while crossing the tracks. On a recent Critical Mass ride about thirty people fell while crossing the tracks. I personally know a young lady that crashed while crossing here too.
LISTEN TO THE LATEST TALKING HEADWAYS PODCAST
Find us on Facebook
Subscribe via Email
TagsBicycle Bicycle Infrastructure bicycles bike lanes Bike Miami Days Bikes bikeway biking Brickell bus Calendar Climate Change Coconut Grove complete streets Congestion Cycling Downtown Miami Downtown Miami FDOT MDT Metromover Metrorail Miami Miami-Dade County Miami-Dade Transit Miami 21 Miami Beach Miami Dade Parking Parks Pedestrian Pedestrian Activity Pedestrians Pic o' the Day Public Transit Rickenbacker Causeway Sprawl Streetcar Traffic Transit Transit Oriented Development Transportation Tri-Rail Uncategorized Urban Planning