Miami Lakes officials are talking about connecting the town’s parks, neighborhoods, schools and businesses via walking paths and bike trails.
On Tuesday night, Tony Lopez, director of community and leisure services for Miami Lakes, gave a presentation of the proposed “Greenways and Trails Master Plan,” to Town Council members and residents.
The purpose of the meeting was to allow the community an opportunity to give feedback on the estimated $6.7 million plan, projected to be constructed over several years.
“It’s a proposed plan right now; we hope to have it final and done by the end of the month,” Lopez said after the meeting, adding that portions of the plan are already under way thanks to grant funding.
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During his presentation, Lopez went over various elements of the plan, which includes the development of walkways, bike paths, potential fishing areas, rest benches with shelters, all intended to allow for non-motorized travel in Miami Lakes.
“It’s going to build connections for parks, schools and businesses. It’s going to make the community, hopefully, healthier and more vibrant, and create a bike-friendly culture here, which would be unique in South Florida,” Lopez said. “I think it’s an ambitious vision, but one that can be done.”
Resident Alec Anderez, who is involved with the town’s youth activities task force, said he’s enthusiastic about the project and envisions group bike rides down trails and paths, and other activities, once the project is completed.
“I think it’s really cool to see the community incorporate trails and greenways,” Anderez said. “I am a little concerned about a couple of busy roads, but they always bring up the master plan every year so we’ll see as the process moves along.”
Lopez said the town is considering safety and other factors as they move forward with the project.
“[We’re] taking every precaution before we even put paint on the ground,” Lopez said, adding enforcement of bike and pedestrian safety are key to this plan. “Once we inform people that we do enforce bicycle and pedestrian safety here, hopefully we’ll be fine.”
At the meeting, Mayor Wayne Slaton said he’s proud that the plan is starting to take shape and that he hopes that Miami Lakes will be known as a walking, jogging and biking community.
“This is something that was actually in our very first strategic plan,” Slaton said.”I’m really proud of this coming into fruition now.”
The master plan remains in development, and the town is encouraging residents to provide feed back and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.