The Miami Herald is reporting that FDOT has begun a resurfacing project on Bird Road. According to the article:
Workers will repave and restripe the road; widen the bridge and road shoulder; build a new sidewalk on the north side of Bird Road as well as upgrade sidewalks and curb ramps.
Crews will also make drainage improvements to alleviate water buildup in the swale area. Landscaping will improved. Lighting will be improved and new traffic and pedestrian signs and signals installed.
A pedestrian bridge will be built. Workers will remove existing guardrail and installing new guardrail at various locations.
There is no mention of new bicycle facilities. I have contacted Transit Miami sources within the City of Miami and the County and they are unaware of any bicycle infrastructure improvements. The $2.5 million improvement project on Bird Road will occur between Red Road and Southwest 38th Avenue. Coral Gables High School happens to be on this stretch of roadway. Connecting a high school with bicycling infrastructure would be the smart thing to do; it encourages students to bike to school. Also, there is a bridge that crosses a canal on this stretch of roadway. Bridges are often the most dangerous areas for cyclists; they must converge on bridges to cross any body of water. I’m glad to see a pedestrian bridge will be incorporated in the design plans, but the transition should also be seamless for cyclists too.
For the record, FDOT has recently completed 2 resurfacing projects which are second-rate (MacArthur Causeway, Coral Way). FDOT seems very hesitant to accommodate cyclists on Sunset Drive and now it appears that cyclists were not considered in the Bird Road project at all. This is not a pretty track record. Please contact Transit Miami ally Coral Gables Commissioner Ralph Cabrera and FDOT District 6 Secretary Gus Pego and ask them why provisions for bicyclists were not made to this very important route.
The Transit Miami eye is watching every FDOT project closely.
- The entrance to the parking garage is large, hideous, and the focal point of the building’s principal frontage on Bird Ave, a primary street. The arrows are tacky and the gate is ugly as all get out.
- There are not any pedestrian entrances from Bird Ave., which is a primary street in Miami. Typical of most buildings in the Grove, this building does all it can to separate itself from public space with its fortress-like ground floor.
- Instead of planting shade trees, which would have enhanced the pedestrian realm on Bird Ave. and aligned closely with the lush character of the Grove, the developers opted for dinky little palm trees on the edge of the street that serve more as eye candy for passing drivers than for functional green space on the sidewalk corridor. The larger tree in the back right of the photo that could have better accomplished this is instead barricaded from the public behind yet another gate.
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