Collins Avenue Slated For $2.5 Million, 240-Day Upgrade, But Still No Bike Lanes

​Miami Beach traffic is already hell -- especially on Collins Avenue, where the lack of left-turn lanes combined with miles of buses and cabs waiting to get into tiny art deco hotel driveways equals nightmarish gridlock. It's about to get even worse.

The Florida Department of Transportation wants to spend $2.5 million and 240 days redoing Collins between Fifth Street and Lincoln Road. The worst part: They're not even planning to add any much-needed bike lanes.

FDOT's master plan once called for a dedicated bike lane all the way up Collins, Transit Miami reported last week.

But that particular detail seems to have been lost in the schematics -- an especially odd oversight considering that the recent addition of Deco Bike stations around the Beach has added hundreds of new cyclists to the choked roadways.

"Anytime they tear up the street they should always incorporate a bicycle lane, especially with a thousand new bicycles in Miami Beach," says Alex Ruiz, a sales manager at Miami Beach Bicycle Center.

Instead, the plan calls for repaving the roadway, widening lanes between 15th and 16th streets, fixing drainage problems, updating lighting and -- thankfully -- building a dedicated left-turn lane.

Riptide called Amparo Vargas, an FDOT spokeswoman, to ask what became of the bike lane, but she declined to comment.

Fortunately for Miami Beach's cyclists, there's still time to give FDOT a piece of your mind: There's a a public meeting tonight at the Miami Beach Regional Library Auditorium on 227 22nd Street, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Vargas says engineers will be on hand to talk about the specifics of the Collins Avenue roadwork.

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David Minsky is a U.S. Navy veteran and Tulane graduate who has experience reporting on stories from California, South Florida, and the Deep South. He has also won some journalism awards. Email or tweet David with story tips and ideas.
Contact: David Minsky