From the Miami New Times, 01.31.08:
Cyclists Court Death DailyAn extensive--extensive--article on bicycling in Miami, comprehensively spanning the range from planners to advocates to Critical Mass, from cycling immigrant laborers to affluent community bike activists.
It's dangerous, but Miami is getting friendlier to bikes
At first glance, there is nary a place on God's green Earth better suited to biking than Miami. It's utterly flat, with weather that lets a cyclist pedal year-round without donning so much as a scarf in January. Its streets are wide and, for the most part, arranged in a tidy, easily navigable grid.
But to ride in Miami is to be among the few and the hunted. Florida ranks among the highest in bicycle fatalities in the nation--second only to California--and in 2006, eight cyclists were killed on Miami roads; nearly 400 were injured. Such statistics are nebulous, though; many bicycle accidents go unreported.
Meanwhile, as Miami totters in place, more cities are looking to bicycles as an answer to everything from traffic congestion and air quality to fitness and green transportation. Paris recently unveiled the most ambitious bike-sharing plan in history, making more than 10,000 bikes available to borrow citywide for anyone with a credit card. American towns like Portland, Denver, San Francisco, and, closer to home, Gainesville, have transformed themselves in a few short years into some of the most bike-friendly places on the planet. New York, already boasting some 200 miles of bike lanes, plans to double that number in the next two years; Chicago proposes that by 2015, every one of its three million residents will live within half a mile of a bike lane.
"We're so far behind and in the dark with bikes it's absurd," says Chris Marshall, who owns the Broken Spoke bicycle shop...Miami's best hope is that, despite everything, it's actually full of bikers, and for the first time in a long time, they're fighting back. In the past year, five new groups dedicated themselves to improving biking here. A recent op-ed in the Miami Herald by young urban planner Mike Lydon captured both the exasperation and hope: "Miami is choosing not to compete...Yet the city of Miami could become a great bicycling city." (Read more.)
Image: Web capture.
Visit: Bike Miami hopes to gauge and stoke interest in city cycling, Miami Herald
Visit: Miami rides a green wave toward a 'bike friendly' city, Miami Herald
Visit: Beach residents encouraged to bike for a week, Miami Herald
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips Site