Most Miamians rely on driving to get them where they need to go. They have little faith in public transportation, and walking means baking in the sun while dodging traffic. While a recent study on walkability ranked Miami twenty-two out of thirty cities, it also reports hope for pedestrians. Magic City is making a big effort to change for the better and the effects will soon be visible.
Full Speed Ahead for the Underline
Friends of the Underline founder Meg Daly became highly inspired by all the unkempt space under Miami’s Metrorail. That was some priceless shade going to waste. So, now the group is planning a 10-mile linear trail from north of the Brickell Metrorail station to the Dadeland South Metrorail station. Governor Rick Scott denied funding last year, but the project switched gears and sought funding elsewhere.
The City of Miami approved $50 million, covering about 40% of the $120 million needed. Friends of the Underline also won the Knight Cities Challenge hosted by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
Their proposal to include a sports field and gym along the path beat out 4,500 city improvement ideas for a $250,000 prize.What are the details of this award-winning plan? Friends of the Underline envisions anatural wonderland filled with outdoor attractions.
They want to redirect the winding path and improve basic amenities, while prioritizing safety. Then they’ll add destinations like the previously-mentioned gym, art installations, and performance areas.
Friends of the Underline wasn’t the only Miami-based Knight Cities Challenge winner. Another project seeks to improve Biscayne Boulevard – a daunting eight-lane road that does little to accommodate pedestrians.
The Miami Downtown Development Authority won $145,000 to create a “pop-up park and urban forest along Biscayne Boulevard.” Events such as food truck pods, games and movie nights are set to take place from January 6th to January 29, 2017.
The DDA hopes this pop-up will ignite community interest in renovating the Boulevard’s median. Their larger plan would turn Biscayne Boulevard into a beautiful promenade, complete with art exhibits and open-air cafes in the hopes to make life easier and fun for pedestrians.