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| Cycling |

Plan to Turn Rickenbacker Causeway into Linear Park is Back and Fancier Then Ever

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The first time we heard of architect Bernard Zyscovich's plan to turn parts of the Rickenbacker causeway into a pedestrian and cyclist friendly linear park it was a revolutionary but still modest idea. His original plan called for lessening the number of car lanes on the bridge, and replacing them instead with a bicycle path blocked off by lush, tropical landscaping. 

Well, some officials weren't so keen on eliminating car lanes, so they asked Zyscovich the question all architects secretly want to hear: What would you do if money wasn't an object? 

The results are eye-popping and totally ambitious. 

Forget modifying the current structure. The new plan, dubbed Plan Z 2.0, completely reimagines the Rickenbacker. New lanes would be constructed solely for bikes, and a striking entranceway meant to link up with the planned Underline park would be built. 

The dedicated biking and jogging lanes would then continue onto Key Biscayne. An observation deck is called for at the William Powell Bridge. 

Though, in the short term, Zyscovich just wants to complete a pilot program that would paint the entirety of the existing bike path green and add reflectors to the lanes. 
According to Miami Today, Key Biscayne officials liked Zyscovich's original plan, but wanted to see options that wouldn't reduce car lanes. According to the paper,  Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Matheson Family spokesman Bruce Matheson are in favor of the plan. 

The Rickenbacker is one of the most popular pathways for cyclists and joggers not just in Miami-Dade, but all of Florida. But parts of the path can be particularly dangerous. A number of fatal accidents where drivers have killed cyclists over the past few years have brought attention to the need for more safety measures along the causeway. 

Of course, there's no word on who will pay for this idea quite yet. 

Miami-Dade leaders and citizens have a history of falling in love with eye-catching, big picture ideas, and then never actually seeing those ideas come to pass in a timely manner. Only time will tell what becomes of this idea. 

Zyscovich will officially present the plan to the Key Biscayne Village Council later this month, but officials from the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County will eventually get filled in as well. 

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