Miami’s Saturday morning Critical Mass celebrated its second anniversary this weekend with a surprise visit from City of Miami Mayor Manny Diaz. The ride included a picnic at Peacock Park at which the Mayor greeted a posse of fifty bicyclists to partake in vegan cupcakes, freeze pops and cheerful bicycle advocacy. The last few months have provided multiple instances of city involvement in bicycle-related action. It would seem the mayor has bicycles on his mind.
The monthly ride rolls in advocacy of creating a bicycle-friendly city and all that entails from community involvement in alternate transportation to environmental awareness. Since the city’s initiation of the Bicycle Action Committee last March, a growing support for the cyclists in town has been enhanced by the participation in the monthly rides of several movers and shakers, including a trip over the Rickenbacker and subsequent break at Jimbo’s with Commissioner Joe Sanchez and this weekend’s guest appearance by Mayor Diaz. Could these political shout outs be a sign of good things to come?
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Saturday’s Critical Mass also hosted the first of several upcoming mapping workshops to help keep the BAC up to speed on what riders want and need. These informal public input sessions will help get an idea of the safe routes and routines seasoned cyclists use to make sure they actually get where they’re headed. City maps were brought for the riders to mark their preferred routes. The Massers marked the hell out of them.
Along with the maps came a bicycle trends survey meant to get the skinny on the bicycling atmosphere in town. The more people who fill out the survey the more aware the BAC will be about where people need accommodations, facilities and bicycle-oriented goodness. Everything you bicycle lovers say will be catalogued and taken into consideration regarding how to make Miami a place everyone wants to bike around. Look for more mapping sessions at the Critical Mass on August 9. More information will get posted on additional mapping events as it arrives.
As a maniacal optimist and a person who has been lucky to get involved with the organizing the Saturday Critical Mass and a member of the BAC, I feel that the civic presence and initiative toward bicycle related issues is an encouraging sign.
- Adam Schachner