Miami Beach is already a relatively bicycle-friendly city. It’s dense urban pattern, limited geographic area, mixture of uses, and many well-scaled streets —  prerequisites for urban bicycling — certainly give it a leg up on all other South Florida municipalities.

However, these qualities alone do not a great bicycle city make.

As demonstrated in cities like Portland, Davis and Boulder — the platinum standard in this country — a well-connected, easily identifiable network of bicycle infrastructure must be put in place if any city is to meet latent demands. Otherwise, as a mode of transportation,  bicycling will achieve only a fraction of its potential. It seems this lesson is starting to take hold in Miami Beach, which I believe has the potential to surpass the previously mentioned cities as America’s most bicycle-friendly (I’ll explain how in a future article).

New bicycle racks are being installed on Alton Road.

Within the past few years the city has striped bicycle lanes on portions of 16th Street, Prairie Avenue, the Venetian Causeway, Royal Palm Avenue, and 47th Street.  Attractive and recognizable bicycle racks continue to be installed along the city’s commercial corridors, including Alton Road, Lincoln Road, and Washington Avenue. Additionally, attractive way-finding signs have been installed which help bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorists alike navigate their way efficiently around the Beach.

Yet, according to the latest edition of Miami Beach Magazine, a quarterly publication distributed to all MB residents,  a bonanza of additional bicycle improvements are on the way.

Alton Road, South Pointe Drive, Ocean Drive, and West Avenue are all slated for new bicycle lanes. Additionally, a new “bike path” (not sure if they actually mean lane here) will appear on Dade Boulevard, and hundreds of new racks will continue to be installed along the city’s main corridors and eventually within the neighborhoods. And finally, as we reported earlier this month, a 500 bicycle-sharing system may be implemented as soon as this fall. With the glut of tourists who arrive in Miami Beach every week, and only one other American city with such an amenity, this project may be the most transformative.

Many of the above projects are still in the design stage, and the article did not include a timetable for their completion. Given that I am still waiting for the pilot “sharrows” to be painted along Washington Avenue, I will not hold my breath.

Regardless, these long overdue projects will certainly enhance mobility, but most importantly improve accessibility to points and destinations all over Miami Beach. Ultimately, it will also further the city’s reputation as one committed to sustainable transportation.

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7 Responses to Miami Beach To Improve, Expand Bicycle Facilities

  1. Anyoneofus says:

    Is that your bike in the picture?

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  2. Mike Lydon says:

    Indeed.

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  3. Kevin says:

    Very interesting blog post and it’s definitely great news for Miami Beach. Please keep us updated on this stuff and as always, thanks for what you do! :)

       0 likes

  4. Blingtown says:

    I am all for bike share systems, but does this have the potential to kill somebody like the 5th street bike shops rental business? That is a great little resource in the city and I would hate to see them hammered by good intentions. Maybe they could get a “fleet maintenance” contract or something?

    Another item…
    Any ideas why is key west so bike-rental oriented v. MB being so scooter-rental oriented?

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  5. Miami Condos says:

    Great post thanks

       0 likes

  6. […] politicians struggle with decisions like whether to fund the area’s second commuter rail line or how to provide adequate bicycle infrastructure, it may be worthwhile to look at how other American cities approach the challenges related to […]

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  7. […] Miami wrote an article back in 2009 detailing improvements that were planned, as well as those that have already been […]

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