Hopping on a bike in Miami takes guts. Even for experienced cyclists, navigating aggressive drivers and oblivious pedestrians isn't easy. Picking a safe path is essential, which is why the Venetian Causeway has become one of Miami's most used bike routes.
And the 2.8-mile stretch of asphalt that is the city's two-wheel superhighway just got an upgrade: Last week, Miami Beach unveiled new green bike lanes, hoping they will serve as a clear visual of the "share the road" mentality many Miamians have a hard time grasping.
Those in the local bike community say the lanes make cyclists feel safer while signaling to drivers and pedestrians that bicycles also have a right to the road.
"The Venetian Causeway is already a favorite route for many," says Rydel Deed of the Miami Bike Scene. "If the green bike lanes encourage more people to ride their bikes, then that’s a step in the right direction."
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The initial plan would have limited the green bike lanes to just the portion of the causeway that's within Miami Beach city limits, but the county later agreed to put up the money to extend the lanes all the way to the city of Miami. The new lanes will extend 2.5 miles both eastbound and westbound, according to the Miami Bike Scene.
For those who ride eastbound into Miami Beach, the city has also added hundreds of new bike racks since 2015, including 275 that were installed in 2017. Last week, Miami Beach unveiled 65 new long-term bicycle parking spaces at the 17th Street garage across the street from city hall, giving bike owners a place to park overnight or between rides.
And if you need to do a quick tire change or brake adjustment, the city has you covered there too: Bicycle repair stations have been set up in South Beach at Washington Avenue and 11th Street and in North Beach at Ocean Terrace and 73rd Street so you can fix whatever is wrong and get back on the saddle.