Believe it or not, but the most densely populated and arguably most walkable city in Florida does not have a bicycle and pedestrian coordinator. Actually, please let me clarify- the City of Miami Beach had a bicycle and pedestrian coordinator, but decided to eliminate this position two years ago when the position became vacant. Yep, you read that correctly. Miami Beach, a city where people walk and bike everywhere does not consider cyclists and pedestrians seriously enough to merit a full-time position. This is truly amazing to me. Well, I guess it just goes to show where the city’s priorities are.
Sources close to Transit Miami informed us that about two years ago the Budget Advisory Committee that is comprised of residents appointed by commissioners and the mayor (as well as a CPA and Financial Advisor) voted against keeping this position. I believe the funds for the position where shifted to create a position in the Public Works Department. Shameful.
South Beach in particular, desperately needs a bicycle and pedestrian coordinator. Now that Deco Bike, the city’s new bike share program is in full swing, they city should prioritize the expansion of its almost non-existent bicycle infrastructure. So what do you say Miami Beach? Are you gonna step-up and deliver?
There is a lot of work to be done on Miami Beach to ensure the safety of cyclists and pedestrians. If and when the city does hire a bicycle and pedestrian coordinator, the first step would be to commission a proper Miami Beach Bicycle Master Plan. I remember reviewing the city’s current bicycle master plan a couple of years ago and saying “Wow, this is really awful.” You can find more information about the Miami Beach Bicycle Program here.
Please email City Manager Jorge Gonzalez and let him know that Miami Beach needs a bicycle and pedestrian coordinator.
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