Sunday, December 16, 2007

Make Miami a bicycle friendly city

Image of bicyclist in MiamiFrom the Miami Herald, 12.13.07:

An increasing number of cities, large and small, welcome bicycling as an energy efficient, healthy and economically sustainable means of alternative transportation. Chicago, for example, is currently implementing its Bike 2015 Plan, which makes bicycling an integral part of the city's daily life through infrastructure projects, programs and policies. Likewise, a bicycle master plan underway in Portland is upholding and expanding its reputation as the most bicycle-friendly city in America.

In contrast, Miami is choosing not to compete. To date, locating a sidewalk bike rack is more difficult than securing a Saturday night parking spot...On-street bike lanes simply do not exist. Nor do street signs directing motorists to share the road with their two-wheel "subordinates."

Cyclists do not have a bicycle sharing program to look forward to, or even a simple bike map showing them the friendliest streets on which to travel. What's worse, there seems to be surprisingly little commitment by the city to improve the situation on any level. This runs counter to America's most vibrant cities like Chicago, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco and even our own Miami Beach, where an official citywide bicycle master plan is currently adding signage, bicycle racks and bicycle lanes with great success.

Yet the city of Miami could become a great bicycling city. We have fantastic weather, bicycle friendly flat terrain and a population that seems to enjoy the abundance of outdoor activities that South Florida provides. (Read more.)
While cyclists in much of the U.S. are shivering and busy with snow shovels, from sunny Florida comes this impassioned cri de coeur from a bike planner and advocate in Miami.

Image: Web capture.
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a 25 year resident of suburban Miami the rule seems to be load your SUV with sports equipment and drive it there. I see many bike racks on the back of vehicles here and they usually aren't loaded with bikes. The drivers don't seem to came who or what is in the way. The local traffic demographic consists of young drivers with loud radios, many tourists sightseeing (not the road though) and retirees. I love my 9 mile commute - 2 roads long and straight with 3 stop signs with a max posted 40 MPH. I wish more was possible but the new stadium in Miami & Miami-Dade's budget problems are ill timed. With the price of fuel increasing - riders on local mass transit have increased dramatically. If some minor improvements were made a year ago I don't think biking would be as difficult to corect today.