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More New Bike Racks at Fifth & Alton

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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9 Comments

  1. brody says:

    I saw all those new bike racks as I was walking down Lenox Av, and I was pleasantly surprised. Bravo to them, and I wish every building in South Beach had this much bike parking, wow.

  2. TM reader says:

    Typical for the new Transit Miami. Never enough…

  3. Felipe Azenha says:

    TM Reader,?
    Mediocrity has never been and never will be accepted by Transit Miami. If
    we had remained complacent about the bicycle parking situation, bicyclists
    would still be locking their bicycles up to tress and garbage cans. We are not asking for too much, we are simply asking for secure and covered bicycle parking. We have already commended the developer for going to great lengths to improve the parking situation; but why stop short? The City of Miami Beach should be working with the developer to find a place for a bicycle shelter.

  4. Hagbard Celine says:

    While I fully support covered bike racks, and more bike parking in general, you have to keep in mind a few things.
    1. Who is paying for the cost of bike racks?
    2. Is this an expected cost?
    3. Has the city asked that this be part of their development or is it a gesture to cyclists?
    4. Have you considered that the location may not be the problem but that it costs substantially more money to build a shelter?

    While TM Reader has expressed frustration with the new transit miami, and you may blow it off without really considering what he/she is saying. You seem to have a strange view of how things actually get done, and it’s charming that you are idealistic. Have you discussed what the City of Miami Beach is doing to improve bicycle parking citywide? Have you proposed ordinances, and asked them implement them? If you are just expecting that developers will always listen to people who complain on a blog about the way things should be, your results will not always be as good as this. Yet even when the developer does the commendable thing, you go the extra step and say it’s not good enough. You have to walk before you run before you ride, but that may be mediocre.

    I would suggest getting involved before projects are built and asking that planning incorporate transit friendly concepts into the design. Maybe attend a public meeting on the subject and ask that that be included on the record. Who knows you could ask that the county pass a bicycle parking ordinance that would include covered parking, showers, lockers the works. That would require more than taking pictures and blogging about it though.

  5. Ack, that should’ve been “big box,” not “bog box.” Sorry.

    @TM Reader:
    Perhaps a ;-) at the end of the post would’ve better conveyed the tone of the last paragraph? I am actually very glad that the developer has been so proactive in putting up bike racks. I know for a fact the City had been requesting them, but I think this is beyond what the City was expecting. I duly commended them, and will do so again and again. That said, there’s nothing wrong with putting the idea out there that there is more that could be done. With the amount of bike traffic this mall is seeing, it isn’t crazy to suggest that our needs be better met if possible. If it were cars, no one would be batting an eyelash.

    @Hagbard Celine:
    1- The developer, at around $160 per rack, if they are using the City’s supplier (which it seems they are).
    2- Yes and no. The City requested them from the start and has been on their case to provide them. Though there is no legal requisite for the provision of bike racks in MB yet, that’s coming and the mall was sort of a testbed.
    3- The City has requested it from the planning stages, IIRC.
    4- It is costly to build shelters, yes, but so was building the garage to begin with. Comparatively it is far cheaper to build a covered bike parking space than a car parking space of equal size which can fit at least 3 to 4 times as many customers. It’s an investment to serve your customers; the mall gets a large amount of bike traffic, so eventually it will become a matter of providing for the needs of those spending money there.

    As for the rest, I can’t speak for any other TM writer, but I do attend the City of Miami Beach Bikeways meetings and have been part of the process of asking, cajoling, begging, settling and wishing that gets things done for bikes in the city. The case of the 5th & Alton Mall is one we’ve been talking about for months, even before I began to attend, and one that for a while there wasn’t showing any signs of movement. So yeah, it is pleasantly surprising that the developer acted to such an extent, which is why I praise them, and yeah, sure, ask half in jest/half seriously for further improvements.

    I know for a fact that no one in the Bikeways Committee reads TM (or didn’t till I started forwarding them relevant links) and I imagine the developer doesn’t even know we exist (something I also want to change as soon as I can find a contact email), so it isn’t that this blog had an effect. But this blog IS the voice of concerned citizens, and thus carries a certain amount of weight in that it reflects a sampling of the public opinion, and that means something.

    And to reply directly to your last paragraph, a little bit of research on me, the writer, would tell you that I have done all that already, that I’m not bloggin out my butt here, and that I am fully aware of things in the pipeline, such as an ordinance making temporary and long-term bike parking mandatory on all developments in MB. So in essence, when I ask for covered parking as a winky addition at the end of a post that’s all in good vibe, is giving them a chance to get ahead of the game, because if/when the ordinance passes, then they’ll be forced to. So which is the better choice, by their own volition, or by forced mandate?

    To readers in general: don’t assume we post willy-nilly without knowing what we’re talking about.

  6. Richard R-P says:

    Is it at all possible for bike racks to be placed inside the parking garage? Would it be possible for cyclists to somehow walk their bikes up the garage ramp? This would provide sheltered bike parking.

  7. @Richard:
    Is it possible? Sure. I wouldn’t mind them putting some inside at all. Going up the ramp is not really feasible since it is not safe for pedestrians. You’d have to use the elevators to reach the upper floors.

  8. Jeffrey Bradley says:

    Seeing as how this was originally designed as a major Beach intermodal center replete with a streetcar stop and numerous bus bays, the very LEAST they could do was put in this scaled-down version of a public transit center that, in essence, is strictly for bikes.

    Once again, the City of Miami Beach compromises alternative transportation-or throws in a sorry sop-rather than present something meaningful and not autocentric-which I’ll be soon be addressing in a upcoming column (see Ad Hoc At Home http://www.miamisunpost.com).

    The City, alas, is still batting .1000 when it comes to less-than-effective-way less-alternative transportation measures.

  9. @Jeffrey:
    By all means call the City of MB out on what it needs to be called out, but do get the fact straight that this mall is under private development and at the moment, the city has no legal way to demand bike parking (that I’m aware of).

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