Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Funds approved for early M-Path repairs

The Miami-Dade County Commission today approved the transfer of $700,000 to begin repairs and safety improvements on the Metrorail M-Path this year. This is wonderful news for all walkers and bicyclists using the nine-mile greenway between downtown Miami and South Miami.

Until today's action, we might have had to wait as long as 2012 before the work was begun. By transferring funds from the Tamiami Swing Bridge project, which has been delayed, the commission answers a need that's visible every day in neighborhoods along the path. And the county staff expects it not to slow the bridge project at all.

The work being funded is part of the M-Path Master Plan for the improvement of the path created in 1983 when the Metrorail was constructed. According to the staff report on this item, "Due to budget restrictions, there has been little or no maintenance done to the M-Path for over 20 years. Additionally, increases in [motor] traffic have impacted the manner in which pedestrians and bicycle riders cross the streets along the M-Path." The path certainly shows the effect of neglect, and everyone I know who rides it is concerned about conflicts with cars turning off U.S. 1.

Bravo, Commission. Bravo, staff, for spotting the opportunity and putting it before the commission.

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