Monday, December 29, 2008


Although it looks complete the new traffic island at SW 57th Avenue (Red Rd) and US -1 has a 4-6" wide channel cut about 6-8" deep on either side between the newly poured curb/ramp and the existing road surface. THIS IS EXTREMELY HAZARDOUS for bicycle riders, joggers or even pedestrians. The cut is not marked in either direction and is at an angle to the pedestrian crossing so could easily capture the front wheel of a bicycle. WALK bicycles across this intersection until it is repaired properly.


The pedestrian crossing signals at SW 27th Avenue and US-1 were not operational this morning (12/29)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Good Weather to Ride and Some Progress

Back on the M-Path after a few weeks of travel and allergy stuff. Some observations:

  • The South Miami intersection at Sunset Dr (SW 72nd St) is complete and nicely done. Nice signalization and clear crossing marks.
  • New construction at the Red Rd (SW 57th Ave) intersection. No are in the intersection before it is obvious that a new median is under construction. BE CAREFUL!
  • The sidewalk to path transition at Douglas Rd (SW 37th Ave)has been completed. Work on the adjoining sidewalk to the north continues...GO SLOW!
  • The dangerously broken chainlink fence at the 27th Ave intersection has been completely removed...THANKS to M-D Transit?

This weather is great for commuting to work. The best areas of the Path are looking very good: Coral Gables in front of UM and through "The Roads" closer to Miami are the best...very relaxing.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Along the Path

Riders beware: The intersection of Sunset Drive and US-1 continues to be impassible for bicyclists and pedestrians due to reconstruction of the sidewalks and islands on the west side of the intersection. This has been on-going for about a week and probably has another week to go. A little consideration for M-Path users would have been nice, but in lieu of that I suggest you you detour using SW 62 Ave and SW 70th St.

Another salute to the grass trimmers working on the Path in the Gables between Lejeune and the new Ponce circle who were courteous enough to park their truck off of the paved pathway. Thanks guys.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Right on Red to US1: Suicide or Manslaughter?

Here's an easy fix that may help cyclists and motorists as well, a "two-fer".

SW 16th Avenue's intersection with US-1 is a "T"-type. There is no continuation of 16th Ave east of the Highway. The roadways are signalized but the crossing is not.

There is a sign hanging above the roadway facing 16th Ave which reads: "Right Turn On Red From Right Lane Only". And yes, there is second southbound lane on 16th Avenue so in order for a motor vehicle to turn right on red a driver in the right lane would have to :
  • nose his vehicle out far enough to see around the vehicle next to him in the other lane
  • to gain the required visibility to the high speed traffic coming south on US-1 he/she would by necessity have to cross the stop line and completely block the striped crossing
  • because of the continuous southbound US-1 traffic during most of the day the entering driver could not afford to take his/her eyes off of the line of traffic and would therefore NEVER see a bicyclist or pedestrian approaching from the south on the M-Path

So by permitting this turn the vehicle driver is forced to break the law in order to even make an attempt to enter the traffic flow without signalized assistance. Look, what's the chance of making a safe merge onto a busy US-1 anyway? Why not use some common sense and replace the sign with one that says: "No Right On Red"?

There are other intersections with permitted right-on-red turns to Southbound US-1 along the M-Path. Who needs them? They are inconsistent and dangerous to drivers and M-Path users alike. I urge the County, City (who does have the authority?) to prohibit these turns all along the Path, BUT LET'S START AT SW 16th AVENUE!

Appreciative nod to the grass cutting crew working along the Path in the Gables this morning. They courteously parked their truck off of the pavement.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I'm A Traitor

Recently, I was at a Saturday Critical Mass ride, and I was telling someone about how I take the M-Path home from work everyday. He was telling me that he didn't like the M-Path, because it's hard to gain any speed, and that he takes Ponce instead. After a while I decided to give it a try, and I have to admit, it's not too bad, and I definitely dropped my commute time by about 5 minutes. The reason I bring this up is because it is part of a larger cycling debate that many of us are aware of. Basically, separate cycling facilities are important. Versus, as long as we practice the principles of vehicular cycling, separate infrastructure is not necessary. The problem with this debate is that it is usually carried out by cycling geeks, so they are not incorporating the mindset of the average commuter or pedestrian into their argument. 

As someone who became a cycling commuter within the last year, I still retain some perspective of a non-cyclist. I can now get home easily from South Miami to downtown without setting wheel on the M-Path, but I can say with complete certainty that without the M-Path, I would have never attempted to commute to work on my bike. The M-Path gave me the confidence and skills to brave the streets. Furthermore, not all cycling is about going from point A to B in the shortest possible time. Sometimes we just want to go on a nice relaxed ride without cars whizzing past, and when that's the case, I still hop on the M-Path, so I can smell the flowers as I ride. 

A 'Thanks', GMN debrief

Hank previously highlighted a frequent problem involving vehicles parked smack in the middle of the path. The usual culprits in my experience are landscapers and FP&L, and wanted recognize this Miami-Dade Transit van to illustrate my point. Thanks to the driver for the courteous display, whoever and wherever you are. Sometimes it's the little stuff that counts, and it is appreciated.

Re: Tuesday's Green Mobility Network meeting

The turnout was fantastic - JHop is claiming around forty - but even more exciting was the draft of the Bicycle Action Plan for the City of Miami. Though the M-Path is the County's domain, several bike lanes are now in the works that would intersect the path.

I will wait for the finalized plan to dive into specifics, but key East/West lanes seemed priority on the presented draft. This is both an exciting and critical moment for improving the bicycling infrastructure in South Florida. Though Mayor Diaz was a no show, he dispatched staff members who adamantly proclaimed his intent to create the action plan and set it in motion.

Now, if not more than ever, the importance of the M-Path is visible as a potential main artery for bicycling traffic south of the downtown area. For the sake of connectivity, it is absolutely imperative that the county cooperate with the City of Miami and respond to our initiative.

Finally, A big shout out to Mike Lydon from Transit Miami who worked very hard on developing this action plan alongside city staffers - and took the time to patiently go over the draft with everyone at the meeting.

Monday, September 15, 2008

GMN Meeting This Tuesday

The Green Mobility Network, quite possibly the solution to the rusted, clunky drive train that is South Florida's bicycling advocacy, will hold a meeting tomorrow night near downtown Miami.

There are all sorts of reasons you, the concerned cyclist and/or pedestrian, should attend. One is to take a sneak peak at portions of the inaugural Bicycle Action Plan for the City of Miami, drafted by city staffers and volunteers. Another reason to go is to network with like-minded cyclists/pedestrians and check out some good opportunities to find ways to do your own advocating (other than just riding and yelling at distracted drivers, of course).

I've attended a few meetings and the draw is usually very diverse, spanning all types of citizenry and everyone is very approachable. So don't be shy.

Place: Garden Center @ Simpson Park
Time: 7:30PM, Tuesday, September 15
Spoke's has the details.

Wait, wait, wait - bicycle, action, plan, AND Miami... all in the same sentence? If you didn't just fall out of your chair, you need to wake yourself up.

May your track stands be lengthy,