The Green Mobility Network is a growing force in Miami-Dade bicycle and pedestrian advocacy.
The nascent organization was founded in July of 2007 by a few like-minded people, including founding member John Hopkins, who runs the most excellent Spokes ‘n Folks blog.
“Nowâ€™s the time, bicycle riders, to write a check or pledge some of your time to help Green Mobility Network improve South Florida riding conditions. Weâ€™ve done a lot on a shoestring over the past year — but to complete the job we need money for printing, phone bills and all the other expenses that even a volunteer group will incur on the way to success. Green Mobilityâ€™s treasurer is Tom Blazejack at 5890 SW 100th Terrace, Pinecrest, FL 33156.“
Because Green Mobility recently received their 501(c)3 designation, Tom is now accepting basic level memberships starting at $35. If you donâ€™t have the cash on hand, let John or Tom know that you want to volunteer at an upcoming event, or start attending meetings. If you have more than $35, then go ahead and consider making a Founding Members gift. Your time and generosity will be appreciated by all Miami-Dade bicyclists and pedestrians. Having worked at a Bicycle not-for-profit in Boston, I know every little bit helps.
TM readers should know that Green Mobility Network has provided instrumental guidance on the City of Miami Bicycle Action Committee and the soon to be release Bicycle Action Plan, is helping to produce a new Bicycle-Friendly map, provides bicycle parking at major area and events, and are refurbishing their website to help better communicate their mission. Your support will help them further increase their advocacy and programs.
Please Join them, and us here at TM, in growing Miamiâ€™s bicycle movement. Iâ€™m writing my check this afternoon and so should you.
When it rains, it pours. Diana Moskovitz of the Miami Herald reports that two bicyclists were struck yesterday on State Road 84 in Davie. The negligent driver side-swiped the bicyclists and continued driving. Both were sent to the hospital and fortunately were not killed. Interestingly, some reports have said the bicyclists were off-duty Miami police officers. More to come if and when more information is available.
11 Bicyclists were struck by a cab driver this morning while bicycling across the Macarthur Causeway. Although one remains listed in critical condition, fortunately no one was killed. The cab driver admitted to falling asleep, inadvertently sending 6 of the 11 bicyclists to the hospital.
Reactions to the accident have been mixed. What were bicyclists doing on the Macarthur? Why was a cab driver, likely working the graveyard shift, still on the road? Why wonâ€™t those damn bicyclists get on the sidewalks where they belong?
These are just some of the comments over at the Heraldâ€™s online news comments section. Normally, I canâ€™t stomach the inanity of reader comments that follow most Herald articles, but this particular story and its attendant comments provide remarkable insight into several important issues.
1) The Macarthur Causeway is a limited access highway. In almost all cases, bicyclists are prevented from riding only these types of roads because of the elevated level of danger they present. Yet, the Macarthur is actually designated with signage as a Bicycle Route. Here in Miami, it seems we promote bicycling on only the most dangerous street for bicyclists and leave the safest ones unmarked. What a terribly backward twist on an already poor situation. Todayâ€™s accident is a case in point, and it is a wonder that more accidents do not occur. It is my opinion that the Macarthur needs to either be improved dramatically so that all users will be safe (including pedestrians) or the designated Bicycle Route sign needs to be removed, as its existence only promotes bicycling along an unsafe highway, that quite frankly, is not designed for bicycle safety where bicyclists need it the most. Save your own live, take the Venetian Causeway instead. It may leave your two blocks further north, but believe me it is worth it.
2) Motorist education is sorely needed. Now. Not tomorrow. Now. Most motorists seem relatively clueless about traffic laws here in Miami, let alone how to overtake bicyclists safely. Police must start enforcing traffic laws in this city, although perhaps they should learn to follow them first.
3) Bicycle safety education is needed as well. In this instance, it seems the bicyclists were not engaging in unsafe riding practices. However, as a daily commuter I canâ€™t even count the amount of times I have seen fellow bicyclists take their own lives into their hands just to run a red light. Bicyclists and motorists must learn traffic safety laws and heed them.
4) Hostility toward bicyclists in this city is out of control. Ignorance to the benefits of bicycling comes in all forms here in Miami, but motorists must understand that not only do bicyclists have a right to the road, they are also out there lessening traffic congestion and pollution and promoting a livable city.
The above video link from StreetFilms displays what can happen when a city realizes that streets are for living, not just for moving automobiles.
Modeled after Bogota, Columbiaâ€™s Ciclovia, New York Cityâ€™s Summer Streets program is closing 7 miles of major thoroughfares for three separate Saturdayâ€™s during the month of August. The first event was held last Saturday and exceeded all expectations. I imagine NYC will take this from an experiment to a regular weekend event in a short amount of time. Congrats to all who mad Summer Streets such a success.
Here in Miami, where we can have summer streets all year long, the Bicycle Advisory Committee is working with the Mayorâ€™s office and government officials to produce something similar. Stay tuned.
I was just catching up with a weekâ€™s worth of posts on the Miami Critical Mass Discussion Board and came across a crucial advocacy post:
We have a problem with a planned project that we were looking forward too. SW 3rd Ave from Coral Way to SW 16th Ave (by US-1/MPath) was in the works to have fresh new bike lanes on them.
We need to support this project. It is an important connector it will connect the planned Coral Way bike lane to the SW 15th Rd project which will connect to South Miami Ave in Brickell.
If this section doesnâ€™t happen it is likely the FDOT will pull their support of the Coral Way project. Remind Commissioner Sanchez that he supported bike lanes when he rode with us earlier in the year, and it is important that he continues his bicycle facility advocacy.
If you want bike lanes on Coral Way, then call Commissioner Joe Sanchez and kindly voice your support.
Office of Commissioner Joe SanchezÂ· www.miamigov.com/district3
Telephone: (305) 250-5380 Â· Fax: (305) 250-5386
3500 Pan American Drive, Miami, FL 33133
Had I seen this yesterday I would have posted it. Regardless, if you have not called Commissioner Sanchez yet, do it first thing Monday morning!
Are you frustrated with your bicycle commute? Is there a location sorely in need of bicycling parking? Are you discouraged by even the idea of bicycling in Miami? Do you want to know what the City and County are doing to become more bicycle-friendly?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, by all means come out on June 3rd or June 7 and raise your voice!
Two public workshops are being organized for early June to help update Miami-Dade Countyâ€™s 2001 bicycle and pedestrian plans. Youâ€™ll find maps and experts on hand to inform you about the paths and other facilities already in place or in various stages of design. The planners want public input, so mark one of these dates and make your own arrangements to be there:
- June 3, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Miami City Hall in Coconut Grove.
- June 7, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the South Dade Regional Library, 10750 SW 211th St.
Thanks to Spokes nâ€™ Folks for the announcement.
Miami may be one of “Americaâ€™s cleanest cities,” but it certainly is not one of the most bicycle-friendly. This fact was recently recognized in the June 2008 issue of Bicycle Magazine, which bestowed Miami with the dubious distinction of joining Dallas and Memphis as one of the three worst cities in America for bicycling. The excerpt, linked above states the following:
In Miami, the terrain lies pancake-flat and the sun shines bright nearly every day-perfect conditions for cycling. But Miami-Dade County has done little to foster safer streets for bikes, despite the fact that Florida ranks second in the nation in bicycle fatalities and that much of Miamiâ€™s poorer population relies on bikes for transportation. The county enacted the Bicycle Facilities Plan in 2001, but it failed to state any specific goals. The city of Miami has no finished lanes, and the only one under construction is less than a mile long. The rest of the countyâ€™s lanes are just as short, appearing randomly and disappearing a few blocks later. “Weâ€™re so far behind and in the dark with bikes itâ€™s absurd,” bike-shop owner Chris Marshall told the Miami New Times in January. “Iâ€™d say weâ€™re stuck in the â€™60s, but itâ€™s worse than the â€™60s. In the â€™60s you could still get around by bike.”
I agree that we are far behind, but the article fails to mention Mayor Diazâ€™s new Bicycle Advisory Committee, which is working under the umbrella of the Office of Sustainable Initiatives to create a bicycle master plan that dovetails with Miami 21. Itâ€™s an uphill battle, but itâ€™s a step in the right direction.
Interestingly, the City of Boston, another cycling-poor city in which I have lived, repeatedly received similar honors from Bicycling Magazine. However, thanks to an aggressive agenda to improve cycling conditions the city is quickly altering its reputation. Letâ€™s hope Miami is not too far behind.
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