Knight Foundation to sponsor a thought-provoking evening panel discussion at the Idea Center at Miami Dade College with key experts on how to prepare for South Florida’s urban transformation into a bicycle friendly metropolis.
Who: Moderator: Matt Haggman, Miami Program Director, Knight Foundation
James Wolfe, P.E., Florida Department of Transportation, District Six Secretary
Aileen Bouclé, Executive Director of the Miami-Dade Metropolitan Planning Organization
Bernard Zyscovich, FAIA, Zyscovich Architects, Plan Z for Miami
What: In an age of rising urbanization, failing public health and the continued rampage of automobile culture, solutions are needed in a hurry. Bicycle and pedestrian planning is gaining in influence as a way of rethinking urban planning in the interest of making cities more livable and prioritizing intelligent transport forms. Design and placement of bicycle infrastructure, multi-modal solutions, and safe routes presents opportunities for repurposing aging infrastructure to open space in order to try and reverse the damage done to our cities by a century of traffic engineering. One of the classic problems in further developing bicycle culture in cities is that bicycle users are often anonymized and categorized as “traffic.” The bicycle is certainly a way to get from A to B, but the contribution that great numbers of bicycle users in a city make to the urban fabric cannot be underestimated. In Miami, how would bicycle infrastructure impact bicycle culture if it were in place? If our growing population is less and less interested in driving, what does that mean for the design and branding of our city? We examine how planners, architects, and elected public officials are rethinking and connecting bicycle planning as part of the city’s transit options and solutions, not just as a mere urban amenity but recognizing its vital importance and impact on Miami’s future.
Why: At the intersection of architecture and public health is Plan Z for Miami, a not-for-profit organization founded with the purpose of restoring safety and vitality to South Florida’s most preferred waterfront destination spot for exercise and recreation: Rickenbacker Causeway.
Plan Z for Miami seeks to transform this outdated, dangerous, single use infrastructure into a world class, multi modal recreational asset that promotes physical activity, health and well-being while in a natural and safe environment. PLAN Z FOR MIAMI was generated in response to the continuing deaths of cyclists on the Rickenbacker Causeway in Miami-Dade County.
PLAN Z’s goal is to help minimize cycling risks while providing uninhibited access to clean air and exercise in a safe, scenic environment while also taking into account future bridge replacement and the potential for sea-level rise.
Although Miami-Dade County’s Rickenbacker Causeway is one of the most popular bicycling routes in America, no physical division between the cars and bikes exists. This lack of separation between bikes and cars, excessive speeds and drunk driving has contributed to four fatalities since 2006, making it one of the most dangerous transportation corridors for cyclists in the state of Florida.
The discussion is sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.