Don’t forget, the event is for walkers, joggers, skaters, strollers, and dogs too!
come one, come all.
Reporter Andres Viglucci wrote a nice piece chronicling the City’s growing commitment to becoming a bicycle friendly city. He writes:
Whether it’s out of fear of getting crushed by two tons of speeding metal, the clueless motorists or the near-total lack of bike lanes, Miamians have long been notoriously bike-averse.
So what’s a car-choked town to do if it wants to join a growing trend and foster safe cycling for recreation and transportation?
You do what the city of Miami — incredibly, perhaps — is starting to do.
First, you draw up a bike plan for the first time ever: identify suitable streets, create bike lanes and signage, provide bike parking and print up ”bike-friendly” maps.
And then, to show that people do want this, pick a day when main streets in the center of town can be closed to cars and turn them over to the citizenry to freely bike, walk, skate, jog, congregate.
Say, Sunday, Nov. 9.
To read more follow the link above, or hey, go old school and pick up a copy of tomorrow’s edition.
What do New York City, San Francisco, Portland have in common with Miami? Ah…not much you would say. The first three are revered as some of our country’s most progressive, sustainable and livable cities. But Miami? Well, the times they are ‘a changin’.
Last December I wrote an op-ed to the Miami Herald urging city officials to make a Miami more bicycle-friendly. I wrote because the pure lack of attention being paid to bicyclists represented a larger issue. Miami was choosing not to compete as a 21st century city. Although bicycle-friendliness does not encompass all things livable in a city, those cities who have pursued such a noble goal are those that tend to be the most livable. As a result, they are capable of outperforming others in the pursuit of new talent, investment and sustainability — a buzzword if I have ever heard one.
One of the items that I mentioned in said op-ed was Bogota’s Ciclovia, an event that closes 70km of city streets and hands them over to what makes a city work, it’s people. The shear success of Ciclovia — with thousands of bicyclists, pedestrians, joggers etc. participating every Sunday — has had a catalytic effect on how North American cities are starting to view their own streets. In many respects, Bogota has become what Jane Jacobs calls a ‘pattern city.’ That is, a city that inspires other cities to emulate its success.
Well, mark your calendar Miamians, because the City of Miami is closing several downtown streets for what is now being dubbed BIKEMIAMI. Sources close to Transit Miami confirm this landmark event will take place on Sunday, November 9th. The exact times have not been scheduled, but know that it will likely run from mid-morning to mid-afternoon. Bicyclists, skaters, pedestrians, joggers, roller bladers, yoga fanatics and everyone else and their mother will be invited to come downtown and enjoy their city — without cars.
Ah, now maybe this will foster some civitas.
Keep in mind that all the details are still being worked out, but TM will be there every step of the way to report on updates and concurrent events as they become available.
A big thank you has to be bestowed upon the Bicycle Action Committee and those within the Mayor’s office who have made this little seed I planted grow into a reality. Also, please know the cooperation across City departments and with groups like the Miami DDA and the folks who run the ING Miami Marathon has been instrumental.
More to come…
In the meantime, check out StreetFilms‘ work documenting Ciclovia type events in the aforementioned cities. I think you will like what you see.
Spread the word.
Maybe we’ll put some magic back in this city yet.
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