Photo courtesy of the Miami Herald

Good news for bicycle advocates: the Biscayne-Everglades Greenway is getting closer to becoming a reality. The proposed 42-mile trail would be the first and only bike trail in the U.S. to connect two national parks (Biscayne National Park & Everglades National Park).

The landmark proposal is still “largely conceptual, with designs nearing completion”, according to park planner at Everglades National Park, Fred Herling. As it currently stands, however, the Biscayne-Everglades Greenway is to be composed of two routes. The first route would originate at Biscayne National Park and travel westbound through Homestead and then to the Ernest P. Coe Visitor Center just past the entrance of Everglades National Park. The second route would then originate at EPC Visitor Center, then travel back eastbound to Biscayne National Park via Florida City this time.

According to the Herald, the Greenway would be replete with trail amenities including benches, rest stops, scenic mile markers, vegetation markers, and even occasional outlets for kayaking and canoeing.

How much is this going to cost, and who’s going to pay you ask? Current estimates are approximately $30 million. Homestead has applied for federal funding, which officials feel confident they will receive. Miami-Dade County has agreed to pick up a portion of the tab so far, but only for a small eastern segment.

I must say, though, while it is very encouraging to see this level of support for such a large bicycle project, it still appears that cycling is considered a “recreational pursuit” and not so much a legitimate form of transportation within this county. We need to continue to pressure for a Bicycle Master Plan – one that includes a vast network of urban bike lanes and greenways as well as recreational trails. Hopefully the Biscayne-Everglades Greenway will be the first step in a new direction for bicycle transportation policy in Miami-Dade County.

6 Responses to Introducing the Biscayne-Everglades Greenway

  1. Xavier says:

    A bicycle master plan sounds like a great idea especially considering the shortage of parking in most of the new construction projects. It seems to me like such a practical way of alleviating traffic and parking problems in the core. If the transit improvements are going to take more time, then why not push this initiative forward?

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  2. www.Miami-Forum.com says:

    I completely agree with Xavier’s post and the article. This is a great idea!

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  3. latinbombshell says:

    I don’t see how a recreational bike path is going to help transit … but as for recreation, it’s awesome. Have any of you actually been down there though? It’s hot as hell and not doable as a commute even in the winter. So much would have to change if bicycles became transportation. For one, people not having to wear suits to work and showers at work would help. I find it interesting that weather issues are not considered a transporation issue on this site. No one would bike during your daily summer Tstorm. I’m at a loss to consider what is the ideal public transport when we have such wacky weather during the Tstorm season.

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  4. kingofrance says:

    Actually, that is a very good point. I think the weather here is more of an obstacle to riding than anything else. Even cars. This Greenway plan is great and may benefit recreational cyclists, but it will probably not do much to further the cause of commuters.

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  5. Xavier says:

    During the summer, weather is an issue, but let’s be serious, if it’s raining, you wait. Storms here come and go in minutes. I’d worry more about cars splashing puddle water on me.

    As far as bicycling reducing the burden on traffic, well, I don’t think incoming urban condo owners are going to have much of a choice. If your unit comes with one parking space, and you have two cars, what do you do? Pay the MPA an excessive amount of money for a far away spot or fork over 25k to buy a spot from the developer. If I live near my office, I’d bike to it if I could. One less car on the street.

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  6. myangeldust says:

    A bike trail inside two national parks connecting both with a bike bridge or two.

    I didn’t know there was a shortage of parking at new construction jobs. There are ordinances and codes that assure adequate parking for all new buildings for the past two decades. How did someone get around it?

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