A handful of bicyclists and a cluster of public officials attended the show- and-tell session for the M-Path Master Plan last night at the South Miami Library. Two men from the planning firm Kimley-Horn showed us plans drawn onto large aerial maps of the entire route, from SW 67th Avenue to Metrorail's Brickell station -- and the planned extension to the Miami River. By the time the library staff kicked us all out, the plans were liberally decorated with sticky notes indicating tweaks and must-have comments from the riders.
Several aspects of the plan seemed important to me:
- The zig-zag path between Metrorail columns would be straightened out; the current curves are too tight for safe riding at 20 mph. (I enjoy the zig-zags, but the planners have a good point about safety: The sight lines in the present curves don't give you much time to adjust for oncoming walkers or riders.)
- Crossing signals would be installed where they are lacking.
- Intersections would be reengineered in several cases -- Douglas Road, Bird Road, Red Road and Sunset Drive notable among them -- to reduce the hazard from motor vehicles turning off or onto South Dixie Highway (U.S. 1).
- Route signs would be added to help users find their way.
- Warning signs would alert motorists that the path is right ahead or just around the corner.
- Bollards at path entrances would keep motor vehicles out.
Contrary to what I indicated earlier, this project will not include closing the Dadeland Gap, which is my own priority for path improvement in Kendall. That is a separate project and probably can be finished next year -- sooner than the work reviewed last night, said the M-Path project manager, David Henderson, who also is the bicycle-pedestrian coordinator with the Metropolitan Planning Organization for the Miami Urbanized Area (that means Miami-Dade County, folks).