Steal with Pride (Part 2): Bicycle Infrastructure

Posted at June 12, 2011 by Comments Off

“The bicycle is a curious vehicle.  Its passenger is its engine.” -John Howard

 

IMG 0725 300x224 Steal with Pride (Part 2): Bicycle Infrastructure In more ways than one.

A city with good biking infrastructure is the product of a proactive community of progressive urban planners and residents, dedicated to striking a balance between cyclists, pedestrians and cars.

In 1894 New York City created the country’s first bike path. Today, it is at the forefront of a pro-cycling movement that also includes cities like Minneapolis, MN, in the Midwest and Portland, OR, on the west coast.

New York City’s unique biking infrastructure addresses many of the city’s issues: congested road ways, a lot of stop-and-go traffic and streets with a large amount of pedestrian activity. Check out this film from the peeps at Streetfilms.org about the evolution of bicycle infrastructure in New York City.

Highlights from the video include how bike lanes improve safety for NYC commuters. Namely, they:

  1. Reduce speeding
  2. Create shorter pedestrian crossings
  3. Promote less lane shifting
  4. Create more predictable movement for drivers
  5. Generate opportunity for more green space
  6. Promote less injuries for pedestrians and cyclists

As of 2008, the City of Miami began taking significant steps to become a more bike-friendly city and elaborated the Miami Bicycle Master Plan. They recognized that:

  1. Miami was designed primarily for auto mobility
  2. Existing motor vehicle speeds did not provide a safe environment for cyclists
  3. The city lacked bicycle facilities including parking
  4. There was an unbalanced geographical distribution of existing biking infrastructure

And responded with ambition:

Miami is committed to becoming a Bicycle Friendly City by 2012.

A recent April 2011 article by The Miami Herald reads:

Should you need proof of the rising local popularity of the noble bicycle, just take a gander at the rapidly expanding smorgasbord of places and occasions to ride in car-crazy South Florida.

From mass charity rides to mountain-bike trails, from triathlons to urban transportation, cycling in South Florida has lately taken off like the price of gasoline. It’s no longer just for children or the hardcore Lycra brigades — though there’s plenty for them, too.

And, yes, it includes bike polo

The last three years have borne witness to:

  1. The debut of Miami Beach’s bike share program–Deco Bike
  2. The creation of designated traffic lanes are to be shared by cars and bikes made in South Beach and Miami’s Design District
  3. A Biscayne/Everglades Greenway, a 42-mile loop connecting Biscayne and Everglades national parks through Homestead, Florida City and the Redland
  4. New trails on Virginia Key for mountain bikers
  5. The Miami Bicycle Summit in Coconut Grove to review ongoing bicycle projects and address the disconnect between public agencies and advocates

And though we still have a very long way to go, I’m glad we’re moving.

Please continue to actively support organizations that are doing their part. The peeps at Streetfilms.org need to recognize New York City might be at the forefront of  a movement but that the dedication and spirit for progress in South Florida does not lag far behind.

Continue to be the engine that powers our city’s alternative transportation propsition by:

  1. Joining Critical Mass the last Friday of every month, alongside other bicyclist, skaters and “self-propelled commuters” to support alternative transport awareness in South Florida.
  2. Becom ingan advocate at the Green Mobility Network, an organization that aims to make South Florida better and safer for bicycling, walking and running.
  3. Checking out the City of Miami’s page on Biking Initiatives and get involved.
  4. Reading up on the latest news at The Miami Bike Scene Blog or at Transit Miami.
  5. Contributing to mapping the city’s bike paths, trails and green ways at Miami Bike Report.

And most importantly…R-I-D-E.

t4a badge011 Steal with Pride (Part 2): Bicycle Infrastructure

 Steal with Pride (Part 2): Bicycle Infrastructure

Related posts:

  1. A Bike-Friendly South Miami: Let’s make it happen!
  2. Steal with Pride: Notes from a weekend in New York City
  3. Steal with Pride (Part1): Indie Book Stores

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