The future of Pinecrest is looking more bicycle and pedestrian friendly.
The Village Council recently approved a $32,000 bicycle and pedestrian mobility plan grant from the Miami-Dade County Metropolitan Planning Organization to help fund a study that will analyze how to better connect the village’s eastern residential area to its three-mile U.S. 1 corridor.
The study stems from the Village Council’s 2012 vision plan that proposed to beautify and improve Pinecrest’s U.S. 1 corridor by adding sidewalks, new and wider bike lanes, bike racks, and possible shower and changing facilities behind commercial outlets on the corridor.
“This will allow residents to go between properties without having to go to U.S. 1,” said Village Manager Yocelyn Galiano Gomez, who added the plan promotes an interactive community because residents will be able to safely walk and bike to the corridor instead of drive.
Galiano Gomez said the lack of bike and pedestrian routes in the village is one reason there is so much traffic on the corridor.
The Village Council must match 20 percent of the grant, which is $8,000, to pay for the $40,000 study.
A consultant has not been chosen and there are no exact dates for the study to commence, but Galiano Gomez said Pinecrest has a strong biking community, so this plan is vital.
Richard Cahlin, a former Pinecrest resident who now lives in Coconut Grove, agrees.
“Any road biker has heard of someone who has fallen, gotten hit or died,” said Cahlin, a certified public accountant who road-bikes as a hobby and created the Bicycle Action Committee (BAC) in 2008 to promote bicycle safety throughout Miami-Dade County.
The BAC, made up of business owners, city representatives and cyclists, has previously partnered with Miami and Coral Gables by adopting the cities’ logos, manufacturing cycling outfits with the cities’ logos on them, and then selling them to cyclers to raise money for bicycling initiatives in each of the cities.
The BAC was able to fund a mountain bike trail in Virginia Key for the city of Miami and bike racks for Coral Gables.
Cahlin, who works for Mallah Furman in Brickell, receives donations from his firm, colleagues and friends to help pay for the outfits, which BAC sells for $75 (top and bottom).
Now Cahlin has asked Pinecrest’s Village Council members to join his efforts, and they agreed.
“It’s complimentary to what we are trying to do,” said Galiano Gomez.
Cahlin will present the outfits he designed for Pinecrest at the next Village Council meeting on July 16 at 6 p.m.
“It’s a road paved with bureaucrats that all have good intentions,” Cahlin said about his reasons to fundraise for bike initiatives. “More and more people are electing to bike for health, eco and money reasons. The awareness that this creates is important for anybody on the road.”