Friday, May 30, 2008



A big thanks to everyone who has given us feedback in the first week of our project. As you can see, we're working on organizing stuff and gathering data to make this as user-friendly as possible. We love suggestions or comments in general, so feel free to let us know what is on your mind.

If you haven't done so already, we urge you to review the M-Path Master Plan (yes, there actually is one!) drafted in 2007. It provides some good insight in regards to many issues cyclists and pedestrians deal with, including:

• Trail user safety
• Missing trail segments
• Lack of trail continuity and connectivity
• Deteriorating pavement conditions
• Poor visibility
• Encroachment of the trail
• Substandard design
• Limited signage
• Trail identity

The report can be downloaded here (.pdf):

Look for a brief review in the coming days.

There are many meetings, plans, and events scheduled for the near future that could impact the M-Path and the overall state of bicycle-friendly infrastructure in Miami-Dade County. Now is certainly an exciting time to get involved and we hope that you stick with us.

So stay tuned - unlike the homeless guy I saw sprawled out in the middle of the M-Path today near 57th Ave, we're not going to sleep on this one!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Recommendations for M-Path Improvement

This is our ongoing list of suggestions for improving areas along the M-Path. As it grows, we hope it will serve as a starting point for developing the M-Path into a safer, more conducive medium of transportation. Feel free to share your comments below.

Recommended improvements and repairs, ranked 1,2 or 3 [post date/transmit date/safety priority(1=highest)/1st cost category(1=lowest)/ongoing cost category(1=lowest)/fixed date]:

General: Every pair of Metrorail columns should be numbered from the start of the M-Path downtown. This would allow riders to know where they are in case of emergency or in the event they wish to report a maintenance item [5-22-08/_______/1/2/1/______]
General: Signs should be posted frequently reminding users to report maintenance issues to a central number easily accessible from a cell phone, like 311 for example. The chosen call center should be equipped to forward maintenance calls to Miami-Dade Transit [5-22-08/_________/2/1/1/_______]
General: Metro Rail contractors and maintenance personnel should be instructed not to park vehicles or equipment on the paved surface. They should also be required to post “work in progress ahead” signs sufficiently far from the work site in either direction so that Path users can be forewarned [5/29/08/________/1/1/1/_______]
General: ____________ should initiate a periodic (bi-weekly?) maintenance sweep during which broken glass is swept up, especially at intersections, and debris is removed from the paved pathway. In between routine cleanup excursions, there should be a response crew available to clean up reported dangerous conditions [[5-22-08/_________/1/1/3/_______]
General: There are several “End M-Path”, “Begin M-Path” signs currently installed at some, but not all, cross streets. These are confusing and unhelpful. Assuming they have been placed for some legal liability reason, they should be replaced with more useful signs such as: “M-Path continues 50 feet ahead” or “M-Path continues on other side of intersection” and then “M-Path continues here”. Begin and End signs should be reserved for the ultimate start and finish points. [5-22-08/_________/2/1/1/_______]

General: Warning signs should be placed along the M-Path at bicycle riders eye level to help anticipate difficult or dangerous areas. For example: there should be a warning sign before every intersection, in both directions: “Intersection Ahead, Slow Down”. Also, since the path weaves in and around Metrorail supports and other obstacles, upcoming curves should be indicated with appropriately drawn arrow signs, as on curved highways[5-22-08/_________/1/1/1/_______]

General: Broken pavement due to tree roots is a current and probably on going problem. These are dangerous to bicyclists at all skill levels. The path should be surveyed and the worst areas repaired promptly. There are other areas of pavement broken by other causes which should be repaired as well. [5-22-08/_________/1/3/2/_______]

Metrorail Stations: The current M-Path signage currently does provide clear instruction as to how users are supposed to go through or around the stations, and each one is different. The approach to each station should be marked with a large information sign, perhaps with a graphic showing the preferred route to the other end of the station. As riders approach the station there should be closely placed and clearly marked signs showing where the rider is supposed to go. In some cases the M-Path users may have to use the bus drive-thru, which should be striped, but signed to warn riders to “yield to bus traffic”. In other cases riders may have to cross the pedestrian plaza, and bicyclists should be instructed to “yield to pedestrians” [5-22-08/_________/1/2/1/_______]

Intersections (Users): At the approach to most intersections the M-Path pavement splits in two directions, but there is no indication as to which direction a rider should take for the safest (preferred) crossing. The intersection warning sign (#5) should have an add-on arrow which directs riders to the preferred crossing point[5-22-08/_________/2/1/1/_______]

Intersections (Cars): Every intersection should be posted with a bicycle crossing sign. Perhaps an enhancement could be added that says (“Do not block crosswalk”) [5-22-08/_________/1/1/1/_______]

Specific: Mile___ (North of Red Road Intersection). Contact FPL and insist that the low-hanging guy wire, which could cause serious injury, be removed and relocated[5-22-08/_________/1/1/1/_______]

Specific: Douglas Rd Station. The short section between the new circle at Ponce de Leon and the station has extensive broken pavement. The Path should be resurfaced in this area [5-22-08/_________/1/2/1/_______]

Specific: Viscaya Station. Resurface the concrete section of the Path between the station and South Dixie Highway[5-22-08/_________/1/2/1/_______]

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


We received some quality feedback from our first posts. These included a copy of Eric Tullberg's excellant and detailed review of the M-Path N, the subject of this blog. We are reviewing his information to see how it could be incorporated. In the meantime our cue sheet has been updated with a bit more detail and we think what we have so far is consistent with Eric's study.

Ride carefully, tailwinds

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

MP2E goes live, Ride of Silence, M-Path after dark?

We're up and running, er, riding. In the coming days and weeks this blog will be fine-tuned and updated to become a valuable resource for cyclists - and anyone else - who use the M-Path. Yep, it's a blog about a path. But, in my opinion, it is an important path. Our hope is to generate enough awareness that this utility path is actually one the best-established and bicycle-friendly routes in Miami-Dade County.

It certainly has its share of problems, however. With enough effort we believe it can be improved to become a great example of why Miami-Dade should embrace bicycles as a mode of transportation.

Side note - tonight is the Ride of Silence on Key Biscayne. It is a slow, silent 12-mile ride in honor of all cyclists who have been injured or killed by motorists. The ride is going in conjunction with many others throughout the nation. I will be there, and hopefully will grab a pic or two to share. Then it's off to the M-Path for the evening ride home. I've yet to ride the M-Path in the dark and it should be interesting.


Important Contacts

Important Contacts (note: we are constantly updating this list - please let us know who we've left out!)

Reynold Monestine
Property Manager
Miami-Dade Transit

Miami-Dade County Transit Complaint/Concern Form

Harpal S. Kapoor - Transit Director
Address: Overtown Transit Village, 701 NW 1st Court, Suite 1700, Miami, FL 33136
Phone: 786-469-5675

Mayor Carlos Alvarez
Stephen P. Clark Center
111 N.W. 1st Street, 29th Floor
Miami, Florida 33128

Office of Commissioner Carlos A. Gimenez (District 7)
Downtown Office
Stephen P. Clark Center
111 N.W. 1st Street, Suite 220
Miami, Florida 33128
Phone: 305-375-5680

District 7 Office
6330 Manor Lane, Suite 100
South Miami, FL 33143
Phone: 305-669-4003

West Grove Office
Frankie Rolle Center
3750 S. Dixie Highway
Miami, FL 33133
Phone: 305-446-3311

George M. Burgess
County Manager

Stephen P. Clark Center
111 N.W. 1st Street, Suite 2910
Miami, Florida 33128 E-mail:
Phone: (305) 375-5311

The Cue Sheet

The Cue Sheet is an ongoing record of areas we believe cyclists should pay extreme attention to. These are instances on the M-Path that can act as hazards if neglected. If you have any comments or additions to the Cue Sheet, feel free to leave us a comment. Once one of us gets around to checking it out, we'll add it to the sheet.

(Northbound from SW 67th Avenue & Southbound from SW 15th Street)

[Note: MR refers to the Metrorail structure]

Mile 0.3: There is a nice little wooden bridge across the canal. The approaches are partially obstructed visually so stay to the right at all times

Mile 0.4: There is a driveway from the doctors’ parking lot at South Miami Hospital to the southbound lane of South Dixie Highway. Watch out for the Docs leaving the lot on their cell phones and not paying much attention to their stop sign. There is a "X" warning sign northbound on the M-Path but no warning southbound.

Mile 1.0: At South Miami Station use the bus drop-off lane but stay to the left and stop for pedestrians crossing to and from the parking garage. Go slow and yield to buses.

At the North end, alongside the fire house, cross SW 70th Street carefully and pick up the sidewalk as soon as possible to get back on the Path.

ALTERNATIVE ROUTE THRU STATION: Ride slowly on the station plaza to the north end where a concrete pathway leads off toward the SW 70th St/US-1 intersection. The head-high wing wall along the west side of this pathway creates a blind corner, but once thru that there is a new direct path to the signalized crossing. The approach from the north is a bit easier to see things.

Mile 1.3: Immediately after crossing Red Road (SW 57th Avenue) the path curves to the left and then once under the MR swings back to the right. AT THIS POINT there is a dangerously low guy wire supporting an FPL utility pole that comes up from the ground on the right. Northbound: keep LEFT around this turn but watch for oncoming traffic, Southbound: keep RIGHT.

Mile 1.5: Opposite San Amaro Dr near Mark Light Stadium, the M-Path appears to end at the south end of the parking lot. Stay in the lot and work your way to the drive area closest to Dixie Highway. When you get to the north end (Mile 1.7) there is a dirt path about 4 feet long between the walk light pole and the traffic light stantion to get you to the intersection where you can wait for a Walk Light. This is one of 2 locations along the route where one must leave a paved surface and it is very short.

Mile 1.9: At the south end of University Station the M-Path delivers you to the pedestrian plaza and there is no good way around it. Ride slowly thru the plaza and yield to pedestrians. The Path resumes after the parking lot on the north side of the station.

Mile 1.9 to 2.9: There are some nice, long, well-maintained sections here in front of the UM and in Coral Gables. Enjoy!

Mile 3.3: The LeJuene Rd, Ponce De Leon, Grand Ave Intersection is “a bear” Use the Walk Lights and be patient.

Mile 4.2: At Bird Road there 5 lanes plus a seperate right turn lane to southbound US 1 and no pedestrian lights. There is southbound and northbound traffic turning west which makes the traffic light sequencing completely whacky so approach this crossing with GREAT CAUTION! This is probably the most dangerous intersection on the route. Heads Up! Some northbound riders prefer to cross SW 37th Avenue on the north side of the Douglas Rd station, then cross Bird Rd to SW 29th St, then east to 35th or 34th Avenue and south a short distance to the M-Path. This can be done southbound in reverse, but that involves an unsignalized cross of Douglas Rd at 29th St. Pick your poison!

Mile 4.3: On most of the Path when it crosses under the MR columns the pavement straightens out a bit before returning to the other side and makes some nice, gentle variations in the trip. However, in this section there are two places where the Path weaves in and out around a single column set. The southernmost of these requires a slowdown in order to negotiate the tight turn which returns quickly to avoid a utility pole guy wire. There are no warning signs. There is also some tree root damage to the north of this reverse turn.

The northernmost has a more relaxed return but we suggest a slowdown at both.

Mile6.3: There is a portion of the path that weaves west and then back east around 2 or three MR column sets in which the top surface of the pavement is literally crumbling. It looks like a previous resurfacing just didn’t work at all. Be careful of loose gravel on this short section, especially in the turns.

Mile ____: Traffic southbound on SW 16th Avenue is allowed to turn right on red. In order to do so, drivers in this lane must nose out across the stop line and crosswalk to look around cars in the lane to the left so that they can have a chance to view fast-moving southbound drivers on US-1. THEY ALMOST NEVER EVEN THINK TO LOOK TO THEIR RIGHT!. So if you are northbound on the Path at this intersection, do not proceed unless you have positive eye contact or the intersection is empty.

Mile 6.9: The pavement around Viscaya Station is severely uplifted and broken. Slow down here and if safe to do so, pick your way around the worst spots.

Mile 7.3: The Path continues north after crossing SW 25 Rd (Mary Brickell Place). But it is unsafe because of the broken pavement caused by the routes of the Mahoghany trees planted between the path and the street. Until this portion is repaired get off and ride alongside on SW 1st Avenue until the end at SW 14th St. It has a good road surface and not too much traffic.

You’re downtown now…no more help. Except if you need to cross the Miami River, the best bridge is at SW 2nd Avenue which has a concrete surface (no metal grate…it’s great!). The M-Path continues to the South bank of the Miami River but it's "dicey".

Mile 8.1: The M-Path is unmarked but runs on a narrow path to the east of the MR columns on the north side of SW 14th St. Cross SW 13th St (Coral Way) @ SW 1st Ave where there is a Walk Light. Tricky tight left turn on the sidewalk to pick up the M-Path. It's difficult to follow the Path between here and the start of the last section.

Mile 8.6: On the north side of SW 7th St their is an "M-Path Begins" sign. There is a short 3-5' unpaved section after the ramp and then the pavement begins. BUT DON'T GO TOO FAST because...

Mile 8.7: The M-Path ends at the south bank of the Miami River. There is no warning and no barrier. If you're heading north too fast, you could go for an unintentional swim.

Our Mission

The M-Path

This blog exists to inform the public about the M-Path, a little-known utility path of approximately 9 miles that runs underneath the Metrorail from SW 67th Avenue (Ludlam, South Miami/Pinecrest) to SW 15th Street (Brickell).

Who We Are

The contributors are cyclists who use the M-Path to commute to work. At present, we believe that the M-Path holds great potential to provide a healthy and eco-friendly alternative to driving. We are everyday people who work in the downtown Miami area and have, at one time or another, discovered that commuting by bicycle is much more enjoyable than utilizing the personal automobile. Unfortunately, we also discovered that Miami has very little bicycle-friendly infrastructure and remains largely unaware of transit alternatives.

Our Mission

Our goal is to emphasize the importance of the M-Path and it's potential to transform Miami-Dade county into a bicycle-friendly area.

Quite simply, we want to create a medium in which users communicate with one another about the current state of the M-Path, how it can be improved to accommodate alternative forms of transit (with an emphasis on bicycling), and the benefits/dangers associated with utilizing it. Further, we intend to regularly inform those responsible for maintaining and improving the M-Path of its hazards, issues, and possible solutions.


- The M-Path is an excellent asset to Miami-Dade County but is substantially under utilized.

- M-Path utilization could increase if the existing facilities were made more user-friendly and in some cases safer.

- All types of riders should be accommodated on the M-Path, including (but not limited to) recreational riders, commuters, and visitors.

- Use of the M-Path is by necessity a blend of traffic regulations, pedestrian protocols, and common sense.

- Bicyclists are most vulnerable to falls and other accidents when they are starting or stopping, the times when bikes are inherently less stable and riders are most distracted. Necessary starts and stops should be easily anticipated and made as safe as possible.

We welcome your suggestions about how to improve the M-path, safety observations, and your M-Path stories of Joy and/or Horror. Feel free to drop a comment to us in the appropriate post.