Wednesday, May 21, 2008

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.

2 comments:

Raul said...

Excellent piece. Thanks for you efforts. I find there is a blind corner just past 27 ave where the sidewalk turns into path. Just past the Metrorail station.

hipster librarian said...

After the Douglas Road MR station, the path leaves you with no intuitive way to cross Douglas Road, so I take a left until I get to Bird Road, and use the lights to cross Bird Road-Doulas, so I can avoid the absurdly hazardous Bird Road-US 1 intersection. I want better bike laws, but I´m not about to martyr myself for them.