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ThinkBike 2015 Brings Community Together to Brainstorm Bike Safety Improvements

Riding a bicycle for either leisure or transportation has become increasingly popular in Miami. With the launch announcement of Citi Bike Miami and its eventual expansion, to the monthly herding of Critical Mass, bike safety has become crucially important.

Next week, Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces will present a four-day workshop dedicated to urban biking and health-consciousness. ThinkBike 2015 will feature Miami-Dade officials joined by urban mobility and planning experts from the Netherlands Consulate in Miami to discuss ways to make the Magic City a bit more bike-friendly.

See also: Citi Bike Launches in Miami This Saturday

Dade county transportation planners, public space planners, engineers, and cyclists have all been invited to gather for the workshop. After the opening presentation, influencers will be separated into teams and left to roam the city on bikes for two days. The third day, the teams will reconvene and discuss their findings.

The ultimate goal of ThinkBike is for Miami officials to draw from the expertise of the Dutch -- because they hail from the most bike-friendly nation. More diplomatically stated: "Together, these Dutch and American experts will design a blueprint for enhancing bike and walking options to improve sustainability, mobility, and transportation in the Miami area."

The workshop begins Monday, January 12, with a presentation that offers examples of how the Dutch handle bike infrastructure, planning, and implementation. Presenters will make connections and suggestions on how Miami can implement some of these best practices locally.

One main topic of discussion will be the revamping of the ten-mile M-Path, which runs beneath Metrorail from the Miami River to Dadeland Station. Also known as the Underline, the path could essentially be transformed into a long, linear park that would make biking from one end of Miami to the other much easier and safer.

Miami-Dade Parks' chief of planning and research, Maria Nardi, explained in a statement that the purpose of ThinkBike 2015 is to act as a starting point to enhance our community "by rethinking biking and walking options to improve mobility, sustainability, and the overall health of the community and [also to] further Miami-Dade's master plan for the development of a seamless park system that will improve neighborhood living and encourage active recreation."

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ThinkBike 2015 will take place at HistoryMiami and the Downtown Miami-Dade County Public Library Monday, January 12, through Thursday, January 15. The opening session (Monday, 9 a.m. to noon) and the closing session/reception (Thursday, 1 to 5 p.m.) are free and open to the public with RSVP via Eventbrite. Attendees can register for a chance to win a VanHoof bike; the winner will be announced at the closing party. Visit miamidade.gov/bike305 for a full schedule of events.

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