There’s a beautiful progression underway to create more accessible routes for bicyclists around the City of Miami. I’ve been singing my praises to the Coral Way and Miami Avenue projects and wistfully dream of one day seeing a complete circuit from Downtown to the Grove. Now, amidst the jam-packed speculation over options for new lanes and updated roadways, another possible victory for the Miami rider has worked its way into the rumor mill.
Vaguely indeterminate yet ultimately enticing word passed around at the start of the week that the city and county may consider collaborating on a Bayshore Drive reconstruction project. That said, it is our region’s current incentive to see any roadway projects as a potential for improved bike lanes and conditions. If we land a renovation project on Bayshore, then it is not unreasonable to hope that this could close a substantial portion of that previously alluded to circuit.
There are several opportunities for potential route-building encouragement you can participate in if you are a bicyclist. The first would be looking out for bike counters. These are folks you may spot during the early morning hours, usually from 7-10 a.m., hanging out on popular routes with clipboards, counting each rider who passes them. The idea is to count bicycle ridership and establish if the area is heavily trafficked enough to merit a new route. So if you are a Bayshore Drive fan, and surveys suggest it is one of the most popular routes in the area, then show your appreciation by riding your beloved route between those hours and maybe this will help indicate your need for improved conditions.
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Another effective tactic for cyclist solidarity is to contact your commissioners. This goes for any desired accommodations, not just the potential Bayshore Drive project. We bicyclists seem to have plenty to comment on regarding conditions in the city- why not get more active regarding our needs? Send emails or phone calls encouraging change, approving of current projects or new accommodations, or just to express your opinions about riding conditions in general. Feedback breeds change, and your commissioners cannot read your minds. Tell them what you need!
In the meantime, if you love Bayshore Drive like I do, get on your bicycle and show it some of that love. Someday soon it may be a little more inclined to love you back.
-- Adam Schachner