A new bicycle and pedestrian path is cleared for takeoff on Miami Beach. After yesterdays meeting of the Miami Beach Historical Preservation Board, a planned shared bicycle and pedestrian project overcame a final hurdle, with the board voting unanimously to approve the latest plans presented by Miami Beach Public Works. At stake was nearly $4 million dollars in Federal grant money for the multi-use path that would be returned to the government if the project did not begin by July 2012.

The shared bicycle and pedestrian path will run adjacent to the Collins Canal along Dade Boulevard from the Venetian Causeway to the Beachwalk at 21st St. and Collins Avenue.

The mixed-use path will bisect Miami Beach along Dade Blvd from the Venetian Causeway to Collins Avenue

In October, the Historical Preservation Board approved the actual bike path with the exception of the barrier wall that would protect the path from traffic on Dade Boulevard. The board requested enhanced landscaping or a more visually appealing solution to the concrete jersey-style barrier that was originally presented. In the final plan, the wall is to be covered in vines, which will soften and ‘green’ the appearance of the barrier.

If you can believe it, the project is actually scheduled to begin Thursday, January 12 - that’s right, tomorrow — with the re-construction of the Collins Canal seawall. The decaying seawall will be replaced, after which the construction of the bicycle path can begin. The scheduled completion of the entire project is July of this year!

Karen Gordon from DecoBike began an online petition to garner support ahead of yesterday’s meeting. Local resident Michael Jarobe collected over 1,000 signatures from Miami Beach residents as well. Excellent work!

“After 17 years of debate, its possible that all Miami Beach residents will have a safe, continuous mixed-use path that connects the beach to downtown, Venetian Isles, Belle Isle, Palm View, Bayshore Drive and our other communities to all of the hotels, shops, restaurants and beaches located in the Mid-Beach area,” said Gordon.

Thank you to everyone involved, especially to the Miami Beach Historical Preservation Board for approving the plan in its entirety yesterday, allowing the project to move forward without further delay.


13 Responses to Miami Beach Bike Path Clears Final Hurdle, Construction Begins Tomorrow

  1. Felipe Azenha says:

    Sadly, the County Public Works Department just recently resurfaced Dade Boulevard and they did absolutely nothing to calm traffic on this road. Dade Boulevard is a virtually a highway that cuts through Miami Beach. Miami Beach High and Publix are on this highway as well, so there is a huge amount of pedestrian traffic. CPWD should have done more to calm traffic. Little attention was given to pedestrians and bicyclists. Travel lanes should have been narrowed. Bicycle lanes/sharrows as well a more crosswalks should have been included in this project too. The CPWD did an awful job to say the very least.


  2. Brandt says:

    I work at the mouth of the Venetian Causeway. Maybe I’ll take the beach route home once this is done, since it will be sooner than later.


  3. Daniel says:

    Yeah, and given the relatively little traffic on this road, there was absolutely no reason to design it as a highway like that.


  4. Daniel says:

    To go along with this great project, the bicycle infrastructure on the redone Venetian Causeway had better be spectacular or it will go down as yet another half-baked failure that could have been something great. I’m worried that the conversion to SunPass will be an added convenience that will lead to more traffic in a corridor not designed for it. Also, there had better be some improvements made for crossing the Amazon, I mean Alton Road.


  5. Daniel says:

    Alton Road really is a middle finger to the generally urban nature of south beach, especially near the southern end below 10th street where it’s nothing but tacky shops/restaurants and empty lots.

    Fifth Street is pretty bad, too. What’s the point of designing a less than one mile road which fifth street is to handle such high traffic volume and speed like that when both ends (Collins/Ocean Drive and the Alton intersection) are such bottlenecks anyway?


  6. M says:

    Daniel - Very true! I appreciated the imagery of Alton Road as a middle finger.

    I hate crossing that thing when I ride over the Venetian (which I used to do more frequently before construction began).

    The intersections of 17th Street and Dade Blvd are HORRIFIC! Why can no one fix those things? There are already a lot of bikers and pedestrians in that area and this new shared use path will make the situation worse. We need better crossings there.


  7. Kevin says:

    This is a good bit of progress, and much needed in the city. Thank you to all those that pushed it.


  8. Gabrielle says:

    A nail biter to the end! BASIC is most appreciative for all the newcomers to the fight to enhance active transportation on Miami Beach. Riding hats off to Michael Jarboe and Karen Gordon! No rest for the weary, however, Alton Road, West Avenue, Euclid Avenue, 41st Street and Collins Avenue still must be addressed. I hope everyone stays in the game and continues to demand for more progress.


  9. Daniel says:

    I find it shocking that the main north and south thouroughfares, Collins Ave and Harding Ave, have no bicycle markings at all. I don’t even consider MB to be bike friendly just because of that. Those roads are terrible to bike.


  10. Brandt says:

    I’ve started cycling there recently, and although some stretches need to be avoided, there are others that are decent, despite it being three lanes. The pavement has deteriorated, but all the buses in the right lane keep most of the cars out, which is nice.


  11. jane says:

    Twelve years ago when I moved down here, there was a plan in place to run a walkway/bike path along Indian Creek from 41st street to about 23rd street. What happened to that? Can that plan be activated? I know some right-of-ways had been purchased. Miami Beach is sorely in need of a North South route besides dangerous Collins Avenue, es;pecially since Collins ave. seems to be constantly undergoing some typeof construction.


  12. Felipe Azenha says:

    The City of Miami Beach needs to start with a real bicycle master plan, much like the city of Miami commissioned a few years ago. Also, they need a bicycle coordinator. It’s time for Miami Beach to show that they are serious about making bicycles part of the transportation mix. It’s happening organically without any real help from the city because parking is an expensive commodity and distances are short.


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