On Thursday, Transit Miami attended FDOT’s public hearing on Alton Rd.

FDOT ran a PowerPoint presentation describing the project, and there appears to be nothing new. The parking lane has now been reduced to 8′, and 1′ has been added to the sidewalk in both the preferred alternative and the alternative with bike lanes. So we don’t know what happened to leaving any space for a Baylink streetcar.

Several members of the public got up front and voiced their opinions. Two people from the Flamingo Park Neighborhood Association got up and mentioned their concerns about FDOT’s failure to implement pedestrian improvements, such as reducing the travel lane width to 10.5′ and improving pedestrian crossings. A couple others called for on-demand pedestrian crosswalks and median refuges. Some also called for bicycle lanes. Our own Gabrielle Redfern got up to remind FDOT that they are in violation of Florida statute and their own standards by not providing bicycle lanes. She was not the only one who reminded them that a lawsuit is an option if FDOT does not properly accommodate bicycles on Alton Rd.

For your reference, check out the Florida Statute that requires establishing bicycle ways when reconstructing any state transportation facility, then read the first sentence on page 8-12 of Chapter 8 [PDF] of FDOT’s Plans Preparation Manual that says “Shared use paths are not replacements for on-street bike lanes.” Somehow the engineers involved in the Alton Rd. have convinced themselves that the shared use path they are planning for Alton Rd. fulfills the requirements.

Current conditions on Alton Rd. force bicyclists who fear cars to ride on the sidewalk. As in the above picture, this often means they ride against traffic and face vehicle conflicts at every driveway and side street. FDOT’s plan to reconstruct Alton Rd. currently offers no improvement to this dangerous situation. Check out John S. Allen’s website for some compiled information on the dangers of bicycling on the sidewalk.

It’s not too late to let FDOT know what you want to see on Alton Road. Even if you didn’t make it to the public meeting, you can review the project documents at City Hall, Monday to Friday 9-5, through July 7. You can also email the project manager, Adebayo Coker, with your comments. Send the email by July 7 to <Adebayo.Coker@dot.state.fl.us>. Please, let your voice be heard!

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6 Responses to Alton Rd. Public Meeting Followup

  1. Good job on being the watchdog.

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  2. Kyle says:

    Great job for participating!

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  3. Kordor says:

    How does the statute define “way?”

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  4. JM Palacios says:

    The statute doesn’t define “way”; the FDOT standards do. In this case, the applicable standards include the Plans Preparation Manual. That entire chapter 8 which I linked to discusses bicycle and pedestrian facilities.

    The lawsuit about bike lanes in District 4 on A1A was based on violation of both the statute and FDOT’s standards. If FDOT standards said a bicycle lane could be 3 feet wide, that suit would have failed because FDOT did provide a 3 foot shoulder. (If I remember correctly, FDOT put 3 foot shoulders on A1A, not 4-5 foot shoulders that would be wide enough for a bicyclist to safely ride on.)

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  5. Rod says:

    So why weren’t bicycle lanes put in on Biscayne Boulevard north from Downtown?

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  6. […] alternatives to a traditional bike lane since the first time FDOT ventured on the island back in June of 2008 . We later reported on the progress of the project here and here, all the while hoping that FDOT […]

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