Atlantic Greenways Network
The 2010 Census ranked Miami Beach 10th in the nation for people using bicycles to commute to work. The AGN helps to facilitate and promote this sustainable transportation option.Elizabeth Wheaton, Assistant Building Director – Environment & Sustainability Division
Through the development of the Atlantic Greenway Network (AGN), the City of Miami Beach is creating a regional alternative transportation network, which will connect key inter-modal centers, business districts, cultural/tourism centers, residential neighborhoods, parking facilities, parks, schools, and the beaches. The AGN is comprised of a citywide system of bicycle and pedestrian trails and facilities, enhanced public transit facilities, expanded local circulator service, and innovative regional parking improvement programs. Eventually, this network will link with the larger network of greenways and trails that is planned for Miami-Dade County and South Florida and will be a key component of the state’s outdoor recreational amenities.
The AGN is a transportation initiative aimed at improving bicycle and pedestrian connectivity citywide. As these projects developed, the city has employed a holistic sustainability approach to their planning and design. For example, the coastal connectors include extensive dune restoration to improve coastal resiliency. Additionally, Citibike bicycle-sharing stations have been incorporated throughout the entire network to provide residents and tourists with easy bicycle access.
The city has streamlined the development of this network by working with the development community to fund these public infrastructure improvements. For instance, through the development review process, beachfront properties have proffered either funding or constructing the segment of the coastal pathway that runs adjacent to their properties. Through these private/public partnerships, the city has been able to quickly move these projects forward and have significant input from business owners and hoteliers.
Currently, the City of Miami Beach is working to update the Bicycle-Pedestrian Master Plan (BPMP). More people are riding bikes and walking around Miami Beach than ever before. From the advent of DecoBike (now CitiBike, the Miami Beach bike-sharing program) to having one of the most robust bicycle scenes in South Florida, active transportation plays a vital role in the life of Miami Beach residents and visitors. Key to implementing the BPMP will be the development of low-stress, safe, and convenient bicycle and pedestrian streets that will encourage bicycling and walking, enhance the environment, and improve public health and quality of life.
The AGN has been funded with resort taxes, as well as grants from the Florida Department of Transportation’s Local Agency Program and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Recreational Trails Program.
The AGN will enhance the quality of life of residents and visitors by improving transportation mobility citywide and improving regional connectivity. Expanding and promoting sustainable and alternative modes of transportation will increase job opportunities generated with improved accessibility to affordable transportation alternatives, associated business development, and increased economic vitality throughout the city. In addition, the AGN will reduce travel times, alleviate congestion, improve public safety, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and improve resilience.