After seven months of discussion, organization, gestation and planning, the efforts of the Bicycle Action Committee are coming together. From maps to action plans, the BAC’s goal to make Miami a “Bicycle Friendly” city by the standards of the League of American Cyclists will soon be underway in a visceral, hold-in-your-hand-and-weep-with-glee kind of manner. An official Action Plan, given a season of drafting, revision, redrafting, rerevision, and further draftvisions, will be readable, presentable and available within the foreseeable future. What does that mean for the Miami cyclist, beyond being the promise of supportive paperwork?
One aspect you will be able to take on your ride will be a map demonstrating friendly routes and facilities. I’ve been involved with the mapping process in the form of our surveys, mentioned in last month’s Bike Blog, as well as with trying to gather community support. This is an ongoing process, and the map may be dependent to some degree on the sponsorship of local bicycle shops. Any interested parties would receive advertising space and location markers on the final map, given a not-unreasonably priced sponsorship fee.
Another exciting aspect of the plan pertains to bicycle education. While the dream of dramatic increases in bicycle traffic is inspiring, the downside to this savory vision is the potential for equally dramatic increases in roadway disasters. I hate to be a killjoy, but frankly road conduct in Miami sucks. That goes for motorists and bicyclists. There is a substantial governing body over the intricacies of vehicular law, and guilty parties range on both sides of the divider line, drivers and riders alike. The Plan calls for the certification of bicycle instructors, and regular courses will be held throughout the year to make everyone on the road a little savvier.
These are just facets of the overall endeavor. Look to future updates as the plan reaches its final drafting stages over the next couple of weeks and transitions into city-wide execution. In the immediate future, you can learn a little bit more about the who’s and what’s of the BAC by tuning into the City of Miami's TV Station this Thursday at 4 p.m. The show Inside Miami will be interviewing several BAC members in order to get the skinny on what we’re doing for you and why we love doing it. Tune in and safe riding!
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-- Adam Schachner