The M-Path offers an often adventurous north and south passage. Broken pavement, unspecific route signs and herds of careening vehicles intersecting the path create challenging obstacles. Bicycling commuters cannot simply zone out in the monotony of traffic like their vehicular counterparts. Sporadic and inattentive cross traffic requires alertness; drivers often do not see bicyclists who are crossing the intersection mere inches from their bumpers. This precarious situation is enhanced by a number of intersections where the M Path seems to cease existence.
The M-Path is broken in diverse senses of the word. Aggressive roots tear their way through the pavement in multiple locations. The Vizcaya to Brickell section is murder on a bicycle, even with shock absorbers. I usually wind up riding on the street just a few feet from the path- I’d rather contend with traffic than shred my butt. Additionally, the mapping of the pathway itself is broken by inconsistencies in the designated route. Complicated intersections and roadways create gaps in the route, sometimes diverting portions of the M-Path with confounding detours. These are roughly marked by directional signs, some of which are unreliable with their advice.
Despite these fissures and complications, recent revisions in the M Path route have started the path’s transition from busted to bike-tastic.
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Several yards of space can be the difference between an effective and pleasant commute or a circuitous quest. Roughly 30 feet of pavement have been laid down at the South Miami Metrorail stations to make the M Path more accessible. This should prove a promising transformation for cyclists. Until recently, the route deposited riders in an obscure pocket of 70th Street flowing onto US-1. The path essentially stopped in a tiny parking lot and resumed one block up the street at the US-1 intersection. This awkward detour was recently remedied with a throughway under the Metrorail. Thanks to a revised route roughly 30 feet long, what was once a broken pathway is now a clear and effective passage. Check out the M-Path masterplan that will ideally alleviate other concerns.
The welcome South Miami M-Path revision will hopefully be the first step in a revitalization of the passageway’s routing, bringing even more convenience to the daily commute.
- Adam Schachner