Currently viewing the tag: "Bikes"

Inspired by Daniel’s post, An informal Bike Count, I decided to conduct my very on spontaneous bike count while riding north on West Avenue a couple of weeks ago. My unscientific experiment was carried out around 7:00pm from 9th Street all the way up to Dade Blvd. The route is less than 1 mile and took me no more than 5 minutes to ride it. I counted 46 bicycles, of which most were locked up to anything but a bicycle rack. In all fairness there were about 7 bicycles that were locked up to the new bicycle racks at The Shops of West Avenue between 9th Street and 10th Street and another 4 bicycles locked up to a large “wave” bicycle rack in front of the Mirador. I must have seen about 4 other cyclists riding on West Avenue, and that left about 31 bicycles or so parked to trees, sign posts and garbage cans.

That’s quite a lot of bicycle activity.  The city of Miami Beach must begin to proactively meet the needs bicyclists.  South Beach is especially under-served in terms of bicycle infrastructure.  I don’t believe that the city of Miami Beach seriously considers bicycles as actual transportation. Although they do have a Miami Beach bicycle master plan (Atlantic Greenway Master Planner), they do not have a bicycle coordinator to ensure its implementation. At one point the city of Miami Beach did have a bicycle coordinator, but they decided to do away with the position. This is a clear sign that they do not value the bicycle coordinator position or the implementation of the master plan.

I took the time to review the Atlantic Greenway Master Plan which was commissioned in 2007. Upon review, I discovered that nearly 100% of the bicycle facilities that were slated to be completed by 2009 on South Beach have not even been started. This is a dismal performance by the city of Miami Beach.

Although there has been talk about a bicycle share program, there has been no other sincere effort by the administration to promote cycling aside from purchasing new bicycle racks. The Miami Beach Bike Ways Committee seems to be ineffective as per Daniel’s Miami Beach Bike Ways Committee Update. I have attended this meeting on several occasions and I have to agree with Daniel’s assessment.

This is really a shame.  Miami Beach, particularly South Beach, has the potential to become a truly great bicycling city. The demographics clearly support cycling.  South Beach has an extremely high population density, distances are short, and parking is expensive and difficult to find. In addition, the topography is flat and the weather is beautiful.  These are the reasons that bicycling is already flourishing on South Beach. Can you imagine how great cycling would be on South Beach if there was actual infrastructure to support safer cycling?

The city of Miami Beach should aggressively seek to promote cycling by building bicycle facilities that encourage more cycling. Bicycles must play a central role in Miami Beach’s transportation policy. The administration should be held accountable for not implementing the Atlantic Greenway Master Plan as was promised to its residents.

Yesterday morning I took the scenic route back home from the synagogue, going down all of Lincoln Road Mall, to the Oceanwalk Promenade, then up 5th St before heading home (see the MapMyRide.com Map). On a whim, I decided to count all the bikes I came across my way, whether parked or with riders. Everyone knows we have a lot of bicyclists here in the Beach, but I wanted to have a very rough headcount. It was 10 AM, and the temp was in the mid 50s, so I figured I would see only those out exercising, and those on their way to/from/already at work.

When all was said and done, I counted 146 bikes, including me, with about 85 of them being spotted just along Lincoln Rd. I am no urban statisticians, but that seemed like a lot of bikes for a 3/4-mile long stretch, let alone for the 2.5 miles of my entire trip. And that fills me with joy.

Check out these pics (click for larger version).

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Dear Santa,

Transit Miami and its readers have been good boys and girls this year. So below are just a few things that we would like from you:

  • Miami 21
  • Bike Miami Days
  • Well designed bicycle lanes
  • A protected and separated bicycle facility on the Rickenbacker, MacArthur and Julia Tuttle Causeways
  • Implementation of the Miami Bicycle Master Plan
  • A complete streets approach to designing our public right of way
  • Safer, better, and more crosswalks
  • Bay Link
  • Streetcar
  • Yield to Pedestrian signs around Brickell and Downtown Miami

With Love,

Transit Miami

p.s. Santa has been watching us and he knows who’s been naughty or nice. If you have any special requests for Santa please let him know in the comments section.  Santa reads Transit Miami on a regular basis.

The “bog box” mall at 5th St and Alton Rd in South Beach surprises us yet again. After installing 14 new bike racks along the Publix front on 6th St, I just spotted 20 new bike racks along the Lenox Ave side of the mall.

I had already seen four when I first reported on the new ones along the Publix side, but wow, what a pleasant surprise to see an extra 16! This really gives me hope that they will also address the 5th St end of the mall once stores open there. Many thanks to the developers, AR&J SOBE, LLC.

And if we can be a bit bold, maybe you’ll also consider some of the ideas tossed out in this other post? I took this pic while it was raining, and boy, it would’ve been nice to have a dry place to park the bike. Just saying.

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Miami Dade Transit allows bicycles in the last train car, but there isn’t a safe place on the train to store the bicycles. On Sunday there were 10 bicycles in the last car. It was impossible for people to get in and out of the train because the bicycles were littered throughout the entire car; blocking the aisle and the doorways. Passengers had to navigate around the bicycles parked in the aisle, and then the bicyclists had to back their bicycles out of the train to allow people to get off.  There is no reason why we can’t retrofit bicycle racks like the ones below.  Having bicycles parked in the aisle and in the doorways is not safe or convenient for anyone.

Photo: http://www.trekbikes.com

Photo: http://www.trekbikes.com

Photo: http://fubicy.org

Photo: http://fubicy.org

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This is a joint bicycle ride with City of Miami’s Bike Miami Rides, Emerge’s Critical Mass, and the TACOLCY (The Advisory Comittee of Liberty City Youth) Bike Club. We’ll be meeting at 10am at the MLK Metro-Rail station and riding to the TACOLCY Center from there the bike groups will ride together.
The ride will take us through Liberty City, Little Haiti, Buena Vista areas, Design District and the Upper East Side. It’ll be fun, lots of kids too.

To get updates on what Emerge is doing you can join the Emerge Google Group

Emerge Miami was founded in 2005 with the mission to strengthen social bonds between progressive individuals, organizations and independent businesses in South Florida in order to more effectively accomplish our individual goals. Miami Critical Mass events have been an aspect of Emerge projects since July of 2006. If you would like to get involved and help plan future events, Please join us Tuesdays at 7pm at the Walflower Gallery. See contact info below.
Get Involved in Alternative Transportation.
Have Fun with People in the Community!

For more information, please call The Wallflower Gallery
[masked]
www.wallflowergallery.com
www.myspace.com/wallflowergallery
www.myspace.com/emergemiami

You can find more information about the ride here.

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cm_xmas09

Miami Critical Mass falls on Christmas Day this year. Bring out your new bike, hopefully some of you got lights for Xmas.

This will be a short ride. We will ride though Downtown Miami, Coral gables, Miracle Mile, and Little Havana. 12 miles total. Don’t be late, we’ll be leaving early. We’ll be stopping for a group photo by the large xmas tree at Bayfront Park.

Here’s a link to the route
http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/372788

Friday December 25th @ 6:30pm
Government Center
101 NW First St
Downtown Miami

For more information go the Miami Critical Mass Facebook page

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Bike Miami Rides
Sunday, December 20th
8:30am

Mary Brickell Village
901 South Miami Avenue
Miami, FL 33131

Before the ride begins we will go over basic bicycle safety information, and make sure everyone’s bike is road ready with the ABC quick check. The ride will meet at 8:30 and we will ride promptly at 9am.

The ride will travel through Brickell, Downtown, Little Havana, and Coconut Grove. 14 miles total.

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Check out these pictures of bicycle shelters and on-street bicycle parking. These are the types of bicycle parking ideas that should have been implemented at the new shopping center on South Beach. If two on-street parking spaces are removed, there would be enough room to park about 30 bicycles.  Considering the developer just over built parking due to city of Miami Beach minimum parking requirements, I  can’t foresee a problem with removing a couple of on-street parking spots and throwing up a bicycle shelter. The existing inverted U racks the developer just purchased could then be placed under the bicycle shelter.  Do we dare to try something different?  If there is one development on South Beach that deserves covered bicycle parking it would be this one. Bicycle shelters also need to be considered for  locations around Lincoln Road where bicycle parking is already undeserved.

Photo: Susty.com

Photo: Susty.com

Photo:Autopa.co.uk

Photo: Autopa.co.uk

Photo:austinbikeblog.org

Photo: austinbikeblog.org

carfreedays.com

Photo: carfreedays.com

toyride2009Sunday, December 13, 2009
7:00-7:30 AM Toy and Donation Drop off & Refreshments
7:30 AM—All Rides begin
Ponce de Leon Middle School, Coral Gables

Admission fee to ride:
$15.00 or more donation or an unwrapped, new toy or gift for children infant to17 years old, worth at least $15.00. Gift Cards are especially appreciated for the teenagers.

3 Rides:
Easy Pace Family Ride 12-16 MPH approximately 12-15 miles total—leaves at 7:45 AM
Medium Pace Ride heading north to Miami Beach, approximately 26 miles with and average speed of 18-20 Fast Pace Ride heading to Miami Beach, approximately 26 miles with an average speed of 20+ MPH

Please contact Mary Beth Garcia, Holiday Toy Ride Chair @ 305-389-5156 or mbgarcia@novations.com for additional information.

Click here for more information

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Miami-Beach-Community-Ride-300x189

The Miami Beach Bicycle Center organizes a monthly bicycle ride (2nd Saturday) with a Miami Beach Police escort.  This is a great free event for the entire family.

601 5th street (Corner of 5th and Washington)

Miami Beach, FL 33139

Tel: 305-674-0150

Experience Level: Novice/Intermediate

Bring water and sunscreen.

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Shortly after the Dangerous by Design report came out, I filled out a letter at the Rails to Trails website to be sent to the Florida Legislature on the subject. I just got a form-letter reply from Speaker Larry Cretul that I’d like to share.

Thank you for your e-mail regarding the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists.  I welcome the opportunity to learn of your concerns and I appreciate your suggestions for improving transportation safety.

Please know the Florida Legislature is concerned about the number of pedestrian and bicyclist injuries and fatalities, and has worked to make our state safer for pedestrians and bicyclists.  State law requires walkers and riders to be fully considered in the development of transportation facilities.  In addition, the Legislature passed legislation in 2005 that requires motorists to completely stop for sight impaired pedestrians with a properly identified guide dog or service animal, and 2006 legislation requires motorists to allow three feet clearance when passing a bicyclist.  These efforts have resulted in increased pedestrian safety, as this past year saw pedestrian deaths decrease five percent over the previous year.

The Florida Department of Transportation’s Safety Office bicycle/pedestrian coordinator works with many offices within the department to provide input and suggestions throughout the various stages of planning and design.  This position also serves as a member of the Strategic Intermodal System technical advisory committee to ensure a focus on safety with alternate modes of transportation.   In addition, the Florida Department of Transportation has a bicycle and pedestrian interest group that meets regularly to discuss safety issues.

I would encourage you to work with your local government and metropolitan planning organization on pedestrian and bicyclist safety needs in your area.  State law requires the plans and programs for each metropolitan area provide for the development and integrated management and operation of transportation systems and facilities, including pedestrian walkways and bicycle transportation facilities that will function as an intermodal transportation system.  I assure you that I will keep your concerns and suggestions in mind throughout the legislative process

Thank you again for writing to me.  If I can be of assistance to you in the future, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Larry Cretul
Speaker

It doesn’t say much that I didn’t expect; the Legislature pats itself on the back for the few advancements that have made and then it passes the ball to the local government and to us as citizens. The really bothersome part of that is, if I were to go ask people in the various micro-City Halls of Miami, they would all point me back to Tallahassee as the one I need to talk about improving the traffic situation unveiled by the Dangerous by Design report.

When your arguably four major cities are all listed as Russian roulettes for pedestrians and bicyclists (compounded by the hit-n-run epidemic), this isn’t a matter only for the local government, this is a state-government matter, and a very serious one. Take responsibility and take action.

New Bike Racks at the 5th & Alton Mall

I needed some things for dinner and quickly rode my bike to Publix at the Mall on 5th & Alton. It’s sort of a given that there would be no bike parking and I’d have to lock my bike to the garbage can, and indeed its what I had to do, but for a very different reason: there were new bike racks all full of bikes!

There are 13 new bike racks along the Publix side of the mall on 6th St, in addition to the two original ones.

Kudos go to the developer for actually delivering on what they promised the City of Miami Beach and for providing a service for their customers.

I did a quick circuit of the mall to see if there were more new bike racks. I saw four racks near the corner of Lenox and 5th, by the Vitamin Shoppe (I can’t remember if they are new or not, but I can’t really recall having seem them there before) and that was it. Since there are no stores on the 5th St-facing side of the mall yet there’s no big issue though once Petco finally opens, things may be different (the image below’s probably a small taste).

Still, thanks for the new bike racks. It makes me feel like we can indeed expect future bike needs to be met as well.

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Darlington Media Group and the Darlington Cycling Campaign produced a short video about overcoming social stigmas in order to encourage women to ride bicycles in the UK. A few months ago Scientific American reported that that best lead indicator for bikeability are women riders. As you may know, we here at Transit Miami are big fans of women on bicycles.  So check this video out ladies.  All the trendsetting women are on bicycles nowadays. We hope to see you out there on your new bicycle soon!

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Friend of Tranist Miami Kenneth Bereski was injured on Wednesday night after a green Mini Cooper convertible with dark side stripes intentionally hit him. Here’s how the incident occurred according to Ken:

It started when the guy tried to use the bike lane as a right turn lane on 16th and Alton. After honking at me to move and me pointing out that it was a bike lane, when the light turned green and I didn’t immediately move he got upset. Words were exchanged, ending with him accelerating to hit me. I swerved into another lane between cars. He followed partially, just enough to hit me and send my bike flying. He then swerved back into the turn lane to run straight through a red light to escape. The actual hit and run occurred on Alton Road and 17th street by the movie theater”

Although Ken is doing OK, he’s got an emergency room bill to pay, is unable to work, and his bike which he relies on for transportation is totaled. If caught, the driver will face battery with a motor vehicle.

If you have any information on possible suspects, please let us know.  Ken said he would be able to identify the driver.  This crime deserves a punishment.

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