Bike Miami Days 2.0 Report

At Bike Miami DaysOn Sunday, Dec. 14, we had the second instance of Bike Miami Days, the City of Miami’s now-monthly event turning part of Downtown Miami into a car-free zone for cyclists, skaters and pedestrians to run around and enjoy. Mayor Manny Diaz and his office have been working hard to build this up as Miami’s own cyclovia, and their efforts are greatly appreciated.

This sophomore effort, however, had a smaller turnout than the brand-spanking-new one in November. Considering the time of year, the at-home Dolphins game and that fact that this lacked the novelty of the previous one, I found it understandable. There were, however, quite a few participants, even at 1:30 pm when I finally arrived, so it wasn’t a wash-out by any stretch of the imagination. 

The Green Mobility Network once again offered free bike valet services at both Bayfront Park and Mary Brickell Village (the two bookends of the route), and as before, there was a small army of volunteers riding around ready to answer any questions. The Everglades Bicyle Club held a toy drive in conjunction with the event, which was very cool. There were also a few changes from the previous event, all of them for the better: the route was extended along the waterfront towards the AA Arena (though I was never able to find this extension), the entire route was marked with sandwich board signs with arrows marking the directions to follow, and possibly the best addition, water stations were setup along the route for participants to freshen up. Bonus points go to Kirk Jewelers for handing out water during the day as well.

After the event, TransitMiami hosted a party at Tobacco Road. A bunch of the volunteers gathered there and I had a great time just chillin out after a fantastic day of bike riding around Downtown Miami. You can read my personal report over at Slow Bike Miami Beach.

The one complain I have about this event has nothing to do with Bike Miami Days, the City or the Mayor, it has to do with the local mainstream media:

Where the heck were you?

I never saw representatives of any of the local mainstream media outlets, televised or print, covering the event; if (IF) they were there towards the start of the day, they quickly took off afterwards. No local newspaper promoted the event leading up to it, and I have yet to see any mention of it pop up on the website of any local news show, let alone on the air. I mean, not even Deco Drive!

What’s the matter with you, Miami mainstream media? You’ll cover any gory event no matter how stupid it is as long as there is enough blood and/or scandal, but an event that actually builds up community pride, highlights the city in a positive light, can be a boost for local tourism and the local economy, and shows the commitment of Mayor Manny Diaz towards making Miami an improved city doesn’t get anything? Not even a micro-post on Twitter? Shame on you.

Bike Miami Days will return in January (date still to be determined). I plan to be there with my wife, and I hope everyone else joins us as well, including you, local mainstream media.

3 Comments so far

  1. blainezuver on December 16th, 2008 @ 10:32 pm

    Miami is the city where the Car is King ! Though I do bike a bit , I rollerblade much more. I try to take the sidewalks as much as possible and I have gotten to know most of the backstreets ( over hundreds of square miles) in order to avoid the insane lawless drivers that are everywhere.

    However, we have to appreciate that we live in the free-est city in the USA. The police here take care of real crime instead of breathing down everyone’s neck trying to collect revenue.

    Just be careful and use common sense !

  2. Daniel M. Perez (highmoon) on December 17th, 2008 @ 9:54 pm

    I momentarily wonder where in Miami are you that you see those cops. ;-)

    This IS the city where cars are king, but the problem is that, on top of that, we have a population of drivers that are horribly uneducated about the laws of the road, let alone bike laws. Here on the Beach there are some streets where the maximum speed sign is actually read as a suggested minimum speed instead, and even on a sidewalk you feel tense, if not downright scared at times.

    Every little bit helps, so if I can get one driver to learn about bike laws, then cool.

  3. citizen477 on December 28th, 2008 @ 9:35 pm

    Well, I’ve found that Miami Beach drivers are way more sympathetic to riders than what I’ve experienced in the burbs, even Coral Gables. I’ve been cursed out for riding the correct way in Coral Gables. I think motorists, for the most part, have been given so much attention, from government to advertisers, for so long that they simply feel that they are the only ones who belong on the road. I’ve ridden in cars with a friend who actually got all riled up because a pedestrian dropped a few grocery items while trying to cross Miami Gardens Drive, thus holding traffic for two seconds after the light changed. I know that’s anecdotal, yet representative of how many motorists think. They really do believe that driving is a right and not a privilege. I pity them.

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