Thursday, May 21, 2009

South Miami begins bicycle planning

City Manager Ajibola Balogun met today with bicyclists and some of his management team to size up how better to serve walkers and bicyclists in South Miami.

Much on the cyclists' minds was the pending improvement of Sunset Drive (SW 72nd Street) west of SW 62nd Avenue, where sidewalks already are being widened and planters and new curb ramps built. Lisa Fox pressed for bike lanes or at least wide curb lanes to be included, but the city resisted on grounds that the plans already had been submitted for state review.

Longtime bike advocate John Edward Smith recalled the city's years of gestures toward bicyclists, and how few of those came to fruition. Your writer, representing Green Mobility Network, stressed the city's strategic location near the University of Miami, a Metrorail station and the M-Path as providing an opportunity to make the whole community more livable and save oil at the same time.

On a note of complaint, I said that all kinds of signs, poles and street fixtures have been put in the ground with no regard for how they obstruct walkers and bicyclists. These two utility poles, for instance, fill the walk on the southeast corner of Sunset and SW 62nd Avenue. No master plan is needed to begin correcting and avoiding such things as opportunity arises.

We commended the city for its sturdy bike hitching posts, but asked that any new ones be placed in sheltered locations so bicycles don't get wet and rusty. And we urged the city to encourage property owners to better accommodate their bicycling employees and customers. On both points, the planners and managers seemed interested.

1 comment:

Eddie Suarez said...

Hi JHop!

I've posted before on this same exact sort of disregard for pedestrians/cyclists/handicaped users of the sidewalks around South Miami.

I noticed the same thing you did but on another street corner. A light pole and an electric pole placed so it leaves no space for a pedestrian to use the sidewalk, much less someone wheelchair bound, or a cyclist.

I don't know the corner but I was walking from Cavas, south a block, then I went east a block towards 57 Ave.

I also noticed a huge danger last night. The repairs being made along SW 80 St and 67 Ave. I saw about 5 kids on bikes trying to use the sidewalk but were forced into the street because of torn up sidewalks, barricades, and signs warning of road construction were blocking their way.

You're right, no master plan is needed to correct these issues.

Seems like it's just common sense to not block the right of way!