Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bikes and bricks in Virginia Key plan

The latest plans for development of Virginia Key were presented to an attentive roomful tonight at the Museum of Science in Miami. The City of Miami's consultants rolled out an impressive array of ideas for Miami Marine Stadium and just about every other square foot of the barrier island that hasn't been built on or declared a nature preserve. I was relieved to hear that three miles of mountain bike trails are in the plans, along with a course for BMX competition and many multi-use paths for getting around without a car.

To my eye, there seemed to be an awful lot of parking, which isn't surprising considering the activities the planners had in mind: many new shops and restaurants, additional beachfront, a sports center with several fields for track, soccer, softball and baseball, a conference center, a campground and much more. Oh, yes, there are many nature walks and a wildlife observation tower or two, though if those athletic fields are to be lighted I don't know how many birds and beasts anyone will be able to see.

On one hand, all this stuff would be an improvement over the spoil banks on the key's North Point, but on the other, this design anticipates an awful lot of motor traffic. Is that really what the city wants for its dwindling stock of open space?

An earlier version of the plan was aired in August, and can be found here. The newest will be posted soon, I am told.


Anonymous said...

The final proposed Virginia Key Master Plan is now posted at Bike trails yes, if you don't mind riding past eight parking garages with a capacity for more than 7,000 vehicles in the interior of the island.

Anonymous said...

Please Stop building!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are running out of land for wildlife, we are running out of space without cement!!!!!! Visit the shore of the island and you will find thousands of pounds of trash. From washing machines to diapers to beer bottles. It is a crime to go ahead with this plan. A crime to nature, a crime to green spaces, a crime to the marine life and a crime to future generations.