Monday, February 26, 2007

Safety improvement on the South Dade Trail

Updated Feb. 27
Here's a case where an informed man's quiet persistence got results. A dangerous part of the South Dade Trail below Florida City is being reengineered for a safer connection to U.S. 1. It should be especially helpful to tourists and other riders not familiar with that part of the county.

The changes are being made by engineers for Miami-Dade Transit, which is building the trail along the busway as it's extended to Florida City. Credit for the changes should go to Eric Tullberg, a member of the county's Bicycle-Pedestrian Advisory Committee, who documented the issue and over a period of months last year explained it to MDT and BPAC. At last week's BPAC meeting, chairman Ted Silver and other committee members commended Tullberg's good work.

As originally designed, the path extension from the busway at Palm Drive to U.S. 1 had a number of dangerous features. Worst is probably that it runs along the east side of Krome Avenue for roughly 150 yards, putting riders at risk of being hit by cars and trucks turning onto Krome from U.S. 1. Now accommodation will be made on the west side of Krome so that riders can approach U.S. 1 at a safer angle. This is Tullberg's photo of the site from about a month ago, looking across Krome to the original new shoulder. That 10-foot-wide shoulder extension on the east side is being extended a few feet more toward the intersection, as you can see in the top photo.

Reading the map: Because the aerial photo I linked to above predates the trail construction, you won't be able to see where the bike path approaches Krome Avenue. It's in the "V" formed by Krome and SW 177th Court (Florida City's SW 3rd Avenue), roughly due west of that new Holiday Inn Express whose green roof you can see.

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