Monday, January 15, 2007

Sampling Bike Route 10

My honey and I took a short ride yesterday to check out Miami-Dade's Bike Route 10, which was laid out years ago along Coral Reef Drive (SW 152nd Street). It's a good route to Metrozoo or the Gold Coast Railroad Museum (see photo) for anyone in Kendall, Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, Richmond Heights or Country Walk. This route follows the sidewalk instead of the street, and for about two miles -- the stretch closest to Coral Reef High School -- there's an ample 13-foot sidewalk with a green zone for walkers and a wider segment for cyclists.

Unfortunately, at the east end of the route, from the Busway and M-Path to roughly opposite Jackson South Hospital, the walk narrows to eight or even six feet. Here the path is parallel to the park-and-ride lot and the Palmetto Golf Course, with its high chain-link fence. Worse, the walk is right against the curb. It would not be comfortable riding when there's heavy traffic on 152nd and lots of traffic in and out of the parking.

The route west of the zoo is not much better, though it's not a big issue until you approach and pass the shopping on each side of SW 137th Avenue. Eric Tullberg, of the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee, has done a detailed analysis of the route and documented, down to the hundredth of a mile, the broken or missing pavement, absent curb cuts, overhanging vegetation and other hazards that ought to be corrected. He also has estimated that the route could be substantially improved for an outlay of about $45,000.

One thing I really would like to see done is the placement of signs to remind motorists entering SW 152nd that cyclists may be on the sidewalk they are about to cross. In fact, I didn't see a bike route sign anywhere on the five miles that I rode on the path yesterday.

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