Architect Wants to Change Rickenbacker From Highway Into Urban Park

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For a road that leads to a sparsely developed island sitting just north of a national park, the Rickenbacker Causeway has all the charm of an anonymous highway. A string of accidents, often deadly, have called attention to the fact drivers often zip through the road like it was I-95 even though speed limits on certain stretches are as low as 25 mph.

Well local architect Bernard Zyscovich has come up with a radical idea to redevelop the road so that he has more of a vibe of a park that just happens to have a road running through it rather than a raceway.

See also: Venetian Causeway Is Closed Again Thanks To Broken Drawbridges

Zyscovich, an active cyclist himself, calls for plan that would reduce the number of lanes from three to two from the mainland to the entrance to Key Biscayne Village. The exterior lanes would be turned into bike lanes with a strip of dense vegetation separating bikers from cars.

"If I had to describe it in just one simple thought, it would be to try and make a safe and secure park out of what is currently a highway," Zyscovich told the Miami Herald.

The plan already has the support of the Miami-Dade Metropolitan Planning Organization's Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, but has a long way to go before it becomes a reality. There's no other support and no funding for the project that would cost about $20 to $30 million.

While thousands live on the island and many others come to visit the restaurants, marina and beaches -- thus making the causeway an often busy road -- it's also among the most popular destinations in Dade for cyclists and joggers. There have been several accidents involving bikers and cars in the past decade, with at least three resulting in death. Ideas of how to make the causeway safer always seem to bubble up after the deaths, and yet Miami-Dade County, which owns the road, has done very little so far.

The number of bikers using the causeway may only increase as some seek an alternative route after portions of the Venetian Causeway close for construction.

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55 comments
Ed Ochoa
Ed Ochoa

By just putting a shrub and some trees is not going to stop a speeding drunk or some idiot speeding down while texting or looking at his emails from crashing and hitting a cyclist, they need to erect a concrete barrier wall about maybe 3 feet, so it keeps other cyclists from swerving into the cars lane and also for cars swerving into the bicycles lane

Eric Rodriguez
Eric Rodriguez

Jim Cobb "Not bicyclist racetrack tracks" lmao. You couldn't sound like a more ignorant motorist

Eric Rodriguez
Eric Rodriguez

Lenny Lebowitz Which is what happens currently. This is just a big improvement.

Joseph Mazon
Joseph Mazon

I'm thinking about Rickenbacker as a holistic project. This fits. The RIckenbacker has been asked to perform mutually exclusive tasks for far too long. A) It's the road home for wealthy South Americans in Key Biscayne B) Its the access to Virginia Key event grounds C) its the access to the often failing restaurants right before Virginia Key, D) Its the access to the aging, but still formidable queen of Miami restaurants: "THe Rusty Pelican", E) its the access to the C-grade, but sort of quaint marine attraction known as the Seaquarium, F) Its the access to students and faculty at NOAA, and let's not forget Hobie Beach and fishing. That's a LOT of responsibility to put on a single road. Can we fix it? Probably, cuz we've got top notch road architects and engineers, but who's going to pay for it. ?

Phil Ramirez
Phil Ramirez

That's the worst place to bike ride in all of south Florida!! All these coked-out rich fucks, heading home?! Nah! I ride either on Old Cutler Road, the Busway or the bike path under the metrorail. That local "Tocame La Pinga" attitude...

Mark Leavitt
Mark Leavitt

Biking business is to dangerous, I was hit once and that was it for me--- about 4-5,000 bikers killed a year by motor vehicles and over 70,000+ injuries per year. Now I just swim....

raul.patterson
raul.patterson

Remove the barrier median and leave just 5 lanes total with a movable median that allows the middle lane to switch directions based on traffic demand (ie. on weekend mornings when visitors are going to the middle lane becomes inbound, on weekday mornings when island residents are on their way to work, the middle lane is outbound). They've done that in large cities with a lot of congestion.

Aside from alleviating traffic it leaves more space for the linear park and tree barrier.

Serina Rose
Serina Rose

We saw it the first time you posted it last week

Alex Rivas
Alex Rivas

Not all good intentions have the intended results. Hopefully any changes include viable traffic calming solutions as opposed to traffic aggrivations. Safety is the most important thing for the sake of the bikers and motorist alike.

Stefano Alessio
Stefano Alessio

Great idea. Here is an even better one: Ban ALL private vehicles from the roadways and make the entire city completely accessible by bicycle and public transportation. To state the obvious, private vehicles are a tremendous source of pollution (many forms), constitute deadly force, are driven by dolts (for the most part) and promote laziness and ill health.

Jim Cobb
Jim Cobb

The roads and highways of Dade County are not bicyclist racetrack tracks

Jim Cobb
Jim Cobb

They should ban packs of bicyclists riding there should be no more than four in a group in line separated by at least 70 feet from other cyclists

Jose Ramos
Jose Ramos

Yes, cyclist need to obey the traffic laws, but motorists need to share the road and slow down. Remember, its us (riding a bicycle with zero armor) versus you in a 3,000 pound vehicle (depending on what your driving).

Pablo Torres
Pablo Torres

Cyclists need to respect the traffic laws! Sheer madness entering and leaving Key Biscayne!

Lenny Lebowitz
Lenny Lebowitz

Really awesome but bikers are gonna die on the lane from drunk drivers and speeders

JC Hernandez
JC Hernandez

Finally! They've taken over the fukn causeway! Can't even drive the family into key Biscayne safely I n the morning anymore. Not for year's anyway.

orleans
orleans topcommenter

Finally an urban project that takes Miami to the level of great European cities. The county has twenty million to subcontract shady security companies and to subsidize tax-free stadiums for lazy spectators/drivers who rather sit around watching their bellies grow than get lean on a bike. Kudos to this architect. 

Nadia Tamara Ramaglia
Nadia Tamara Ramaglia

I don't go there a lot but on a recent job asigment I experienced the madness of traffic. I don't think reducing a lane would be ideal for the people who live there and have to commute. What about instead building an elevated track for bikes. That way cyclist would also get a nice view of the island while being safe.

Eddie Suarez
Eddie Suarez

ideally the bike lanes would be wide enough for two cyclists to ride abreast.

richard_fries
richard_fries

Interesting concept. Even more interesting are the comments treating this concept as some Utopian dream. I visit Miami regularly on business. I both ride and drive while I'm there. I'm floored by how much money folks there spend on automobiles to stylishly sit in traffic at 13 mph average. Meanwhile these Utopian nut job projects to factor in pedestrians and cyclists along with cars and transit are working in places like New York City, San Francisco, Portland, Boston, Washington, Philadelphia, Denver.... oh wait....Aren't those all the places where real estate values thrive, the creative class of young entrepreneurs want to live, and companies look to move? 

Erika Ann Grohoski Peralta
Erika Ann Grohoski Peralta

Awesome. Miami needs more parks in general, and more space for alternative transit options. Sure, we NEED to crack down on drunk/distracted driving, but we also NEED more public space. Every little bit helps.

Frank Oliva
Frank Oliva

What if... We took all the bikers, and told them not to get into the lanes because cars are bigger, faster, and will kill them if they get infront of it.

Alberto Erviti
Alberto Erviti

How about everyone using the rickenbacker has to have their eyes pried open using an eye restraint like in clockwork orange, with a doctor in your car giving you eye drops every once in a while.

Emilce Ramirez
Emilce Ramirez

Just have more cops posted up on those streets. That would be a more affordable approach to accident and speeding control.

Mario Renteria
Mario Renteria

Unless there's a park like this along every road, it's nothing more than cute. Like others have stated before, the problem is drunk/distracted driving.

Philip Iplixian
Philip Iplixian

An interesting idea that will never become a reality, unfortunately. Also, this will constrict the evacuation flow in the event of a hurricane warning.

Michael Naranjo
Michael Naranjo

I propose we ride on dolphins to cross the rickenbacker

Leo Maceyras
Leo Maceyras

The arquitect should share the stuff he's smoking. . They didn't want to fix the bridge the right way what makes you think there going to spend the money on this....

Jorge Pulles
Jorge Pulles

Not a chance, but I hear China has many roads totally populated by bicycles.

James G. Camp
James G. Camp

I like the concept , but the problem is alcohol, throwing money at something else is never going to address the real issue that plagues mankind. Just as gun control will never address mankind's mental health issues. Drinking to impairment is drug abuse and these folks will not stay on their couch until they are sober.

WaterfrontParcelB
WaterfrontParcelB

Parcel B is 3 acres of waterfront park land behind the AA Arena.  The Miami Heat promised to build a soccer field there years ago.  Bikers could use it and it is large enough for a 1/3 soccer field.  It is close to architect Bernard Zyscovich's office.  

richard_fries
richard_fries

yeah! And we should ban packs of motorists, too. There should never be more than four in a group in line separated by at least 70 feet from other motorists....I vote that Jim gets to administer that rule, too. Let me know how it works out .... (LOL) 


orleans
orleans topcommenter

The lonely commuters need to get smaller cars. Why is it that one person with a big vehicle owns the road and the one person with a small vehicle has no rights? Make one lane for at least double-occupancy vehicles. All those people who drive alone in their big cars, taking space and polluting, need to be the lowest priority.

orleans
orleans topcommenter

Since when the life of a person sitting alone in a motorized vehicle should have priority over the life of a person sitting in a non-motorized vehicle? Before the law and in terms of rights to space, going faster is no and should not be grounds for privilege.


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