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Guide To Trashing Taxpayers: The Metrorail M-Path

This week, Miami New Times is publishing a guide to the eight of the worst public works projects in Miami-Dade, where bureaucrats and elected officials take pride in wasting millions in taxpayer dollars on crap residents have little-to-no use for. As we reveal each one of these boondoggles on Riptide, we're asking readers to send us their suggestions of the most asinine things local government has built in your neighborhoods. We'll pick the best one and send the winner a seven-day pass to try out the wonderfully terrible public bus and rail system provided by Miami-Dade Transit. Leave your suggestions in the comments or email them to Banana Republican. Enjoy!

Today, we take a stroll on the least used pedestrian and cyclist path in Miami-Dade County.

Metrorail

M-Path
Year

built:

1984
Cost:

$266,945
What's

dumb about it:

Throws good money after bad.
Why

it was built:

To create the illusion that Miami is friendly to pedestrians and

cyclists.

It's

afternoon rush hour this past October 28. We count three people

traveling on the 27-year-old, nine-mile strip of pavement known as

the M-Path, which runs mostly along busy South Dixie Highway, from

the mouth of the Miami River to Red Road. There's one guy on a

royal-blue Schwinn near the Coconut Grove Metrorail station and a

woman pushing a stroller with a baby at the Douglas Road station.

Although the M-Path was designed with cyclists and pedestrians in

mind, most days you'd be hard-pressed to find either.

That's

because of heavy vehicular traffic and a gauntlet of 21 dangerous

intersections. There aren't even signs warning drivers to slow down

or stop at crosswalks. Most

cyclists avoid the M-Path. "Last time I was on it was three months

ago," Miami Bike Scene blogger Rydel Deed says. "On days you ride

the M-Path, you can't let your guard down. The M-Path sucks."

Transit

Miami blogger Tony Garcia, another critic, says the M-Path shows that

planners give priority to motorists. "Our transportation system

tends to be mediocre when it comes to all other modes besides cars."

The path could be great for nonmotorists, but "it seems like it

goes nowhere," he says.

Now

transportation officials are wasting $4.5 million more. They are

building a pedestrian bridge that will link the M-Path at Red Road to

the Dadeland North Metrorail station and the South Dade Trail, a

million-dollar, 20-mile urban path to Florida City. The bridge is

slated to open in December.

Wrong

solution, Deed says. "At the very least, paint the

crosswalks green so people in cars can see there is a path in front

of them," he suggests. "That is something that is so inexpensive

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to do. I'd rather have that than spend millions on a bridge."

Guide to Trashing Taxpayers:

Marc Sarnoff's Circle
South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center
Interstate 95 Golden Glades Flyover
Hialeah Okeechobee Road Landmark

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