It’s that time of year again, folks . . . Time to give yourself a break from the self-imposed captivity of the automobile and reintroduce yourself to that two-wheeled stallion eagerly waiting to transport you to wherever your heart desires (and, in this case, even that place you may not wish to be: work).
Friday, May 18 is National Bike to Work Day!
In fact, this entire week (May 14 – May 18) is National Bike to Work Week, one of many events being held in celebration of National Bike Month. (Here in Florida, our official Bike Month is celebrated in March.)
The City of Miami’s Bicycle Coordinator, Mr. Collin Worth, has done a great job organizing some group rides for Bike to Work Day. At least two group rides have been planned for commuters working in the City of Miami.
The first ride starts in Coral Gables and ends downtown in the Health District (click on the link for route map and details):
Start Location: University Metrorail Station
Start Time: 7:00am
Stop Location: Health District
Stop Time: 7:40-8:00am (depending on group comfort level)
Total Distance: ~9 miles
The second ride starts in Miami Beach and ends in Coconut Grove (click on the link for route map and details):
Start Location: South Point Park
Start Time: 7:00am
Stop Location: Coconut Grove
Stop Time: ~7:50-8:10am (depending on group comfort level)
Total Distance: ~12 miles
And, of course, any rider wishing to join can simply meet-up with the groups anywhere along the way . . .
So break from the routine of stop-and-go traffic and miserable motorists. Hop on that bike of yours and get to work in style, with a cool breeze in your face as the sun rises to what will certainly be a very non-routine day. It could very well change your life . . .
Just how supportive were our local officials?
As Florida Bike Month has come and gone, Transit Miami commissioned a “Twitter Audit” of local authorities and their official Twitter accounts to examine if they used the tool to promote or mention it during the month of March. We’ll even give them credit if they mentioned anything relating to bicycling or safe streets during the period.
Here are the results for March.
@MiamiDistrict2 : 3
March 7th - Advocacy is important - pick candidates that respect pedestrians and bicyclists, says Comm. @MarcSarnoff
March 7th - At the SafeStreetsMiami Forum with City of Miami Comm. @MarcSarnoff and Miami-Dade Comm. Suarez.
March 7th - Safe Streets Miami forum tonight about pedestrian & bicycle safety. @MarcSarnoff & M-DC Comm Suarez will speak @ 7pm @ O Cinema, 90 NW 29 St
@MarcSarnoff (City of Miami Commissioner, District 2) : 1
March 7th - I’ll be speaking tonight at the Safe Streets Miami forum. Join me and M-D County Comm. Suarez at 7pm at O Cinema, 90 NW 29 St., in Wynwood.
March 22 - The Annual Shark Valley bicycle ride will be held on Saturday, March 31, 2012, beginning at 7:30 a.m.
@MYFDOT_Miami (FL Dept. of Transportation District 6) : 0
(Yet MyFDOT_Miami had 9 tweets related to motorcycles, including 2 for Daytona Bike Week (as in motorcycles) , which is located 247 miles from the border of District 6. Whose FDOT are you anyhow?)
@MiamiBeachNews (Official Account of the City of Miami Beach Government) : 0
Thanks to Transit Miami friend Eddy Stevens-Torrealba from Miami Bike Report for submitting these updates.
@FDHSMV (Official Twitter feed of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles): 0
Join us for the 2012 Bike Day at Pinecrest Gardens on March 24th - #constantcontact http://conta.cc/wWCEu1
City of Doral, Florida - City of Doral Receives $1 million Grant for Bikeway Project http://fb.me/19l3PK5xK
@CityofHomestead: 0 (but tweeted back in February about Greenway Bike Fest)
So far, we have
not seen a single mention seen one tweet (@PincrestFL) specific to Florida bicycle month during our audit. Many officials do not even have Twitter of Facebook accounts, highlighting a significant disconnect between how people share information and communicate in the 21st century. Utilizing social media to promote initiatives like Florida Bike Month is the “low hanging fruit” for local officials to engage their communities.
Know of any we are missing? Let us know at the Transit Miami inbox and we’ll look into it and add the results here.
Last Saturday Bike the Grove unveiled the first of three artistic bicycle racks in Peacock Park. Miami Bike Scene and the Coconut Grapevine provide plenty of coverage on this one. I personally have yet to see it, but from the pictures find it to be underwhelming, if not underperforming. Let’s hope the next two hit the mark.
Photo by Rydel.
If you were a bike commuter this morning along the Venetian Causeway or Southwest 2nd Avenue then you may have been lucky enough to snag a free donut, cup of coffee, or at least a friendly wave from Bicycle Coordinator Collin Worth or the City’s Office of Sustainable Initiatives. That’s my half-eaten chocolate sugar bomb on the table.
As a reminder, a very special Bike Month edition of Bike Miami Days takes place this Saturday, March 14th. As the fifth Bike Miami Days, Miami now has the distinction of being the first American city to run a monthly ciclovia event, which also means that no other city has as much experience as our city does. Indeed, cities like Washington DC have been calling Mayor Diaz’s offiice looking for advice on how to run their own. Please keep showing your support for this fantastic community event, and come support your downtown and the livable cities movement by showing up this Saturday.
Check out the official website for a list of all the concurrent events and the latest news.
The Transit Miami Bike Miami Days After Party will also return this month at Tobacco Road. I will try to secure a beer special or two tomorrow.
All are welcome.
Last year Mayor Diaz publicly declared that March would become Miami’s official Bicycle Month. Diaz’s decision was wise, as it provides cooler weather and a way to distinguish Miami from the state’s existing bike month, which happens in May. Think of it as twice the fun.
Tomorrow at 9am, at City Hall, Mayor Diaz will discuss Miami’s accomplishment’s to date and outline the plan for what will be the city’s second Bicycle Month. The event is open to the public, and I would encourage anyone interested in showing support to come out.
“What a difference a year makes” - that according to our own Mike Lydon commenting in the Herald today about the strides the City of Miami has taken since his last commentary on the subject at the end of ’07.
Throughout last summer, the Bicycle Action Committee crafted an ambitious plan. It calls for the expansion of Miami’s bicycle infrastructure in the form of lanes, parking and signage, as well as improvements in safety education for motorists and bicyclists; cooperation among city and county departments; and methods for measuring progress.
Although the city has a long way to go in becoming a top-notch bicycling city, the amount of change that has occurred is impressive and must be commended. I am hopeful that Miami will shed Bicycling Magazine’s ranking in 2008 as one of the three worst cities in which to bicycle and become one of its more-positive “Cities to Watch.”
Bravo to Mike and everyone involved for exemplifiying the type of dialogue we should expect between City Hall and the public.
I’m feeling the bicycle love right about now. Not only did we have a local and state bicycle month with a bike to work week, but we also have a national bicycle month with a national bike-to-work week. That’s this week, May 12-16. Friday the 16th is bike to work day for those who can’t do it every day. The League of American Bicyclists promotes this event, so check out their site here. But most important of all, get on your bicycle this week and rest easy about the near $4/gallon gas prices because you won’t need to fill up as soon. Take that, Big Oil!
Here are some of the highlights:
- Last Saturday, a 75-mile bike ride took place from Tequesta to Oleta River Park in Miami.
- The Wallflower Gallery is having a Bike Film Festival, March 5-7
- Pledge to bike to work, March 24-30.
- Critical Mass Miami has bike rides planned throughout the month on South Miami, Coral Gables, Florida City.
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