State House Candidate Forum on Transportation & Mobility Issues
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Bike Walk Coral Gables and the Coral Gables Museum present a candidates’ forum on Tuesday, October 23, 2018, at 6:00 PM at the Coral Gables Museum, for the State House races in Coral Gables Districts 112 and 114 to discuss transportation and mobility issues that directly affect the quality of life in our community. The forum will be moderated by The Miami Herald’s urban affairs reporter, Andres Viglucci.

Bike Walk Coral Gables values cycling and walking as safe and healthy forms of transportation and recreation. Our mission is to promote a safe and friendly environment for cyclists and pedestrians by advocating programs and events to educate the community. We advocate for bicycle - and pedestrian-related issues, such as the Bike and Pedestrian Master Plan. To that end, the candidates will be asked to address those specific issues.

Audience members will hear how the candidates will handle the ever-growing traffic in Miami, including efforts to expand transit and bike lanes.

Candidates Nick Duran (D) and Rosy Palomino (R) in District 112 have confirmed their attendance. For District 114, Javier Fernandez (D) has confirmed his attendance and Javier Fernandez (R) has been invited, but not yet confirmed.

The Coral Gables Museum is located at 285 Aragon Avenue, Coral Gables, Florida 33134. Parking is available in the nearby Museum Parking Garage. The Museum is in easy walking distance from the Coral Gables Trolley and Coral Way Trolley routes on Ponce de Leon Boulevard. Bike parking is available on Aragon Avenue.

Kenneth Garcia
Robert Ruano re-elected as Bike Walk Coral Gables chair
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Robert Ruano, Bike Walk Coral Gables' co-founder and founding chair, has accepted the board’s nomination to return as chair and lead the organization as it enters its eighth season of public programming.

In 2011, Ruano helped start BWCG, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life through programs and events that promote the accessibility of streets and trails for cyclists and pedestrians in Coral Gables and neighboring communities.

Also, elected to the executive committee of BWCG are Adhys Izquierdo Obeso, vice chair; John Swain, treasurer; and Jennifer Garcia, secretary.

In its seven-year history, BWCG has served the Coral Gables community through popular programs such as the monthly Gables Bike Tours series, and special events including the annual Gables Bike Day in Downtown Coral Gables, as well as the annual Bike & BBQ at Matheson Hammock Park.

BWCG has spearheaded important initiatives that have improved the Coral Gables urban experience, including the Bike Fix-It Station on the Museum Plaza and the Galiano Green, a public space improvement project supported through a grant from The Miami Foundation, that will begin construction in 2019. BWCG has advocated in favor of bicycle- and pedestrian-related issues at City Hall, such as the Bike and Pedestrian Master Plan, which has faced recent opposition by some residents.

“Since its founding, Bike Walk Coral Gables has been fortunate to have a dedicated team of volunteer board members who give their time, money, and sweat towards making the Gables more cycling and walking friendly,” Ruano said. “I’m excited about the opportunity to once again lead this fine organization, and look forward to working with the community and city of Coral Gables staff and elected officials to make us a model for the rest of the county.”

Ruano is president of Ecostrata Services, a private government and fundraising firm in Coral Gables. Since he founded Ecostrata Services in 2010, he has worked with nonprofits, municipalities and private entities seeking funding or access to government programs. He has over 26 years of management experience, both in the private and public sectors, including many years in City of Miami government overseeing all grant applications and environmental initiatives.

Ruano believes that community service is crucial to being a good corporate citizen, and as such, he volunteers and chairs several community boards and volunteers at community events. Currently, he serves on the USDA’s National Urban & Community Forestry Advisory Council, is a member of Miami Dade County’s Planning Advisory Board, and a member of the Coral Gables Transportation Advisory Board. He also is a member of the Green Mobility Network. Ruano holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Virginia Commonwealth University and he is a LEED Accredited Professional.

 
Kenneth Garcia
Bike to School Day
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In celebration of National Bike to School Day, on May 9, a small group gathered near the Prado Entrance in northwest Coral Gables and rode their bicycles through the residential streets and a piece of the future Gables Greenways to George Washington Carver Elementary School and International Children's School. 

The first-ever National Bike to School Day took place on May 9, 2012, in coordination with the League of American Bicyclists’ National Bike Month. Almost 1,000 local events in 49 states and the District of Columbia joined together to encourage children to safely bicycle or walk to school.

The event builds on the popularity of Walk to School Day, which is celebrated across the country – and the world – each October. Many communities and schools have been holding spring walk and bicycle to school events for years. National Bike to School Day provides an opportunity for schools across the country to join together to celebrate and to build off of the energy of National Bike Month.

If your family rides their bikes to school regularly or ocasssionally, please share your story with us as we reach out to our elected officials at the City of Coral Gables to build safer streets for children to ride: bikewalkcoralgables@gmail.com. 

 
Kenneth Garcia
Gables Bike Day Strolled Through Downtown Coral Gables for Its Seventh Year
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Gables Bike Day returned to Downtown Coral Gables for its seventh year. The all-day event celebrated biking and walking on Sunday, March 25. Focused on creating a safe space for the community to walk and bike, Gables Bike Day featured bike tours, exercise classes, music, kids' bounce houses and a tricycle race. This family-fun day was made possible by the financial support of local sponsors, Baptist Health South Florida, Downtown Coral Gables, Wells Fargo, smartCenter Coral Gables and the City of Coral Gables. The event was organized by Bike Walk Coral Gables (BWCG).

Dr. Gillian A. Hotz, Ph.D., received this year's Cycling Walking Champion of the year award. Dr. Hotz started the Bike Safe program and is currently a University of Miami professor. The award was presented by former Coral Gables Commissioner Ralph Cabrera.

The epicenter of Gables Bike Day was in the park across from the historic Coral Gables City Hall, with car-free streets on Biltmore Way and Andalusia from Le Jeune Road to Segovia Street. Food trucks offered a variety of lunch options, free bike valet was offered by Green Mobility Network and free bike rentals powered by OFO. Shake 108 FM provided the sounds and Freddy Stebbins emceed. Exercise classes gave attendees a sense of Sunday Funday Fitness Fun, along with a variety of giveaways for all who attended.

Bike tours led by trained ride leaders on safe routes and guided by local experts provided riders with safety tips and city knowledge. BWCG offers regular bike tours on the third Sunday of every month departing from the Coral Gables Museum, in partnership with Bike Walk Coral Gables. Mark your calendars for our Bike & BBQ on Sunday, April 29, 2018, powered by OFO

 
Kenneth Garcia
Gables Bike Day Takes Its Seventh Ride Through Downtown Coral Gables
 

Gables Bike Day is set to return to Downtown Coral Gables this spring for its seventh year. The all-day event, which celebrates biking and walking, will run from 12 noon to 4p.m. on Sunday, March 25th. This year, the focus of the event is to create a safe space for the community to walk and bike. Gables Bike Day will feature bike tours, exercise classes, music, kids' bounce houses and a citywide scavenger hunt along with many more surprises. This family-fun day is made possible by the financial support of local sponsors and the City of Coral Gables. The event will be organized by Bike Walk Coral Gables (BWCG).

The epicenter of Gables Bike Day will be in the park across from the historic Coral Gables City Hall, with car-free streets on Biltmore Way and Andalusia, from Le Jeune Road to Segovia Street. Food trucks will offer a variety of lunch options, and free bike valet will be offered by Green Mobility Network. An event stage will host music from radio station Shake 108 FM, exercise classes, and a variety of giveaways.

BikeSafe, a University of Miami program, will host a bike rodeo to teach kids how to ride their bikes safely and follow the rules of the road. Children can also enjoy complimentary bounce houses, arts and crafts, and other family-friendly activities.

Bike tours will be scheduled hourly, departing to points of interests and local landmarks nearby in Coral Gables neighborhoods. These tours are led by trained ride leaders on safe routes and guided by local experts. Tour space will be limited; interested participants are encouraged to register early in the day.

 
Kenneth Garcia
Support Gables Greenways
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The City of Coral Gables has been working the past few years to create safe, accessible bike infrastructure for commuters and people of all ages and abilities. In 2014, the City Commission adopted a publicly-vetted bicycle and pedestrian plan. For the past few months, the City has been working with the community to implement the central spine of a low traffic-stress bicycle network. The “Gables Greenways,” are planned to connect downtown Coral Gables north to 8th Street, and south to the Underline, the University of Miami, and the Old Cutler Trail.

A temporary demonstration of what the Gables Greenways could look like through our downtown is now in place on Salzedo Street and University Drive. The project is an important step forward, but is already being scrutinized by some groups for changing how we allocate road space. Unfortunately, there is a real danger that these new bikeways will never be implemented if their detractors shout louder than their supporters. Now is the time for businesses leaders in Coral Gables to speak up for safer streets and world-class transportation options. We are encouraging supporting businesses to join us in asking our elected officials to not delay the implementation of this important upgrade to downtown mobility and quality of life.

How can you help?

 

Join Coral Gables employers and organizations by backing the plan:

 

Why should Gables businesses support this?

 

Employee Demand

Employees deserve to have safe, affordable, and attractive transportation options. The quality and availability of workplace bicycling can influence the career decisions of employees. Having a low-stress, high-quality bike network is one benefit that can help attract talented workers and retain valuable employees.

A World Class City

In recent years, major world cities like New York, Copenhagen, and Paris have used bike facilities to improve their citizens’ lives. Cities across the country are rapidly working to catch up by building their own bikeway networks. If Coral Gables hopes to stay competitive in a changing global landscape it must make this a priority.

Our Environment

We love this city. We want to be able to walk, eat, and laugh on its streets. Poor air quality and noise pollution affect businesses as well as residents. A shift from driving to bicycling also helps to combat climate change and sea-level rise by reducing greenhouse gas emissions related to personal transportation.

Supporting Retailers

Studies show that bicyclists and pedestrians spend more money in local retailers than motorists do. Increasing bicycling will help support the small businesses that help our city to thrive.

Healthy Lifestyles

People in Coral Gables work hard and are short of time. Fitting exercise into a daily commute makes for healthier, more productive teams.

Reduced Congestion

Thousands of trips are made by bike in Coral Gables every day; increasing this number will continue to reduce congestion on crowded streets, Metrorail trains, trolleys, and bus routes, especially at peak times. That means we can all get more done.

 

What exactly is being proposed?

Starting north at 8th Street, the route for the Gables Greenways follows along Salzedo Street, heading south through Downtown Coral Gables all the way to University Drive. From there, the route follows University Drive connecting to the Youth Center, the Coral Gables Library, and the University of Miami. The route also turns south along Riviera Drive to connect to Coral Gables High School, the Underline, and the Old Cutler Trail. A series of renderings show various options for residential and commercial streets. The proposals are a massive improvement on any designs we have previously seen, but they are not final. If you see something in the designs which you think could be improved, feel free to include that information in your response. There are several good summaries of the proposed options on the project website: www.gablesgreenways.com

What if I don’t represent a business?

Any organization that employs people in Coral Gables will be affected to some degree by these plans, so it’s important that you speak up. Is your employer a school, non-profit, or healthcare provider? Have a senior member of the team write in. This is a vital issue for many of your colleagues. You can also write in as a resident, student, or community representative to share your support for the project.

 
Kenneth Garcia
Step Into 2018 with BWCG
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Thank you for your support for Bike Walk Coral Gables (BWCG) in 2017. Our community and supporters have been essential to our success this year and we’re proud of what we’ve achieved together. 

We started the year off by partnering with the Coral Gables Community Foundation to offer a bike option for participants of the annual "Tour of Kitchens." We'll be offering this option free again this coming year, February 3, 2018 - let us know you'll be joining us! 

We also rolled into March 'Bike Month' with the City of Coral Gables, Chamber of Commerce, and the Coral Gables Museum with the annual Bike to Work Day! We love encouraging residents and businesses to try biking to work for a day! Join us the first Friday of March 2018! 

On March 12th, we produced our 6th annual Gables Bike Day, with friends and neighbors in front of City Hall. Dozens of kids learned how to bike safely from our friends at BikeSafe, and Green Mobility Network offered free bike valet. We honored all of our generous sponsors and former Commissioner Ralph Cabrera. Join us for our next Gables Bike Day on March 25, 2018 and invite your friends!

We also presented our programs and contributions at Miami-Dade County's Bike Friendly Summit, representing "encouragement" organizations and being a voice in our community. We shared are successes in our annual Gables Bike Days, monthly Gables Bike Tours and safety talks, our bike mentoring program, among others. 

Despite the rainy weather the morning of our annual Bike & BBQ event, we had a great time with friends, live music, and delicious BBQ provided by Whole Foods Market. Join us again this year on April 29. 

We were recognized with an award as a 'green' non-profit organization in our community at the annual Green Means Green awards ceremony, hosted by our friends from the Chamber of Commerce. We were honored to be recognized among other individuals and organizations in our community. 

Our friends at No Boundaries and Espirito Santo Graphics created our first mascot bike, Sunny, this year. We've enjoyed spotting Sunny around the community and joining most of our Gables Bike Tours

We had the honor of presenting our Galiano Green downtown Coral Gables park project to the Coral Gables Forum. We shared the importance of public spaces to encourage more people to get around on foot or by bike. 

For the first year, we participated in the national event, Miami Walks (nationally known as Jane's Walk) with the Coral Gables Museum. We hosted a free version of the Downtown Coral Gables walking tour. Join us again the first weekend in May 2018.  

We're also excited that the City has started to implement the 2014 Coral Gables Bike & Pedestrian Master Plan. The Gables Greenways gathered detailed input in September and October, and currently has a separated bike lane pilot project on University Drive and on Salzedo. Be sure to to try out! The City is expected to finally break ground on the first phase toward the end of 2018 or beginning of 2019! 

Closing 2017 with almost 2,800 “likes” on our Bike Walk Coral Gables Facebook page, help us reach more people in our community by inviting your friends to “like” our page to stay up to date on local events and initiatives that promote safer streets in our community for people to bike and walk. Follow us also on Twitter and Instagram

We’re looking forward to making our neighborhoods better for biking and walking with all of you again in 2018.

Happy New Year!

 
Kenneth Garcia
Why We're Thankful
 

This time of year as friends and families come together to celebrate the holidays, we here at Bike Walk Coral Gables look back at some of the things that we’re thankful for around Coral Gables.

 
 

What are you thankful for? 

 
Kenneth GarciaComment
Gables Bike Day 2018 Social
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Gables Bike Day 2018 planning has officially begun! Mark your calendars for March 25, 2018!

Bike Walk Coral Gables kicked off the planning for the 7th annual Gables Bike Day by hosting a social at local partner, John Martins, on Friday, October 15. The amazing and talented Adhys Obeso, Vice Chair of Bike Walk Coral Gables, will be Chair for Gables Bike Day 2018. We also welcomed new faces and enjoyed hearing fresh ideas for making this upcoming Gables Bike Day the best yet!

Thank you to all that joined us! We are very excited about the new individuals that are willing to join the group, and are always thankful for all the long-time partners involved again this year.

Bike Walk Coral Gables is always looking for committed people who want to give back to our community and make this year's Gables Bike Day even better than years past. If you're interested in helping us plan for Gables Bike Day 2018, please contact us at bikewalkcoralgables@gmail.com

We look forward to seeing you and your friends for the 'Lucky #7' Gables Bike Day on Sunday, March 25th, 2018!

 
Kenneth Garcia
Gables Greenways
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Bike Walk Coral Gables has been advocating for better bike facilities since the Coral Gables Bike Pedestrian Master Plan was approved in 2014. Segments of the plan have been built; but starting in 2018, the City of Coral Gables will be constructing the central spine of the plan. Connecting the northern limits of Coral Gables down to the Old Cutler Trail, the Gables Greenways project will be adding safe, beautiful, and comfortable bike facilities on Salzedo, University Drive, and Riviera

The Gables Greenways project is kicking off with an actual demonstration of one of the bike lane options! The two demonstrations will be installed on Salzedo Street and University Drive - just south of our downtown. These bike lane demonstrations will be available this September, showing what one of the options being considered will look like. 

Want to try out these real-life demonstrations with us? Join us on the "City Beautiful" Gables Bike Tour on September 18 for a special inside scoop on the project. 

To give your input on the types of bike lanes you want to see in our city, go to the Gables Greenways website at www.gablesgreenways.com/feedback.

As the designs for the Gables Greenways are being finalized, the team will need the support and voice of the community. Several options will be studied for each street. Public open-house style meetings will be held to discuss and determine these options. Join us for these interactive public sessions, held on Thursday, September 28 at the Coral Gables Museum and Wednesday, October 18 at the Coral Gables Library.

Want to learn more? Check out the Gables Greenways website: www.gablesgreenways.com 

 
Kenneth Garcia
Keep Pedaling through 2017 with Us!
 

Finish 2017 with us as we explore different areas and themes that the City Beautiful has to offer! Keep your bicycle from gathering rust & dust and join us as we learn more about our community. Together with the Coral Gables Museum, we offer #GablesBikeTours on the 3rd Sunday morning of every month. Gables Bike Tours are proudly powered by our friends at Whole Foods Market! 

We have a fun remainder of the year planned, including an insider view into the artistic side of the Gables; hidden secrets of our historic landmarks; and local foodie favorites (pedals up for free food)! A special treat will be an exclusive evening walking tour of Pinewood Cemetery - one of the oldest cemeteries in South Florida. Make sure you have your spooky costume ready to win a prize! 

Receive 50% off any of our #GablesBikeTours by just becoming a member of Bike Walk Coral Gables. Learn more here! 

Check out what we have in store for the second half of our Gables Bike Tours 2017 HERE!

Don't feel comfortable enough on two wheels to join our leisurely bike tours? Sign up for our complimentary bike mentoring program, where you'll be assigned an experienced bicyclist to teach you how. Learn more here!

 
Kenneth Garcia
Meet Sunny, our mascot bike!
 

Keep an eye out on our city's streets for Sunny, the new Bike Walk Coral Gables mascot bike! You may spot Sunny at our monthly Gables Bike Tours on the third Sunday at Coral Gables Museum; at a local event promoting biking and walking - such as Gables Bike Day; or even around town with one of our volunteer mentors. 

The name 'Sunny' is derived from the orange and yellow sun rays of the Gables Bike Day logo, the annual event that eventually formed into Bike Walk Coral Gables in 2011.  

Sunny will make her deput at this Sunday's Gables Bike Tour, Bike Through Bahamian History. Don't miss it! 

Special thanks to Amy Groves, Principal at Dover, Kohl & Partners, for donating the bike to Bike Walk Coral Gables. We also are thankful for the beautiful custom paint job by No Boundaries and awesome custom decals by Espirito Santo Graphics

If you see Sunny around town, don't forget to snap a shot and tag us! @BikeWalkCG

 
Kenneth Garcia
Slower, Safer Streets in Coral Gables
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Thank you to all of you that reached out to our City Commissioners to show your support of reducing the speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph on local residential streets. On Tuesday, May 9, the City of Coral Gables unanimously approved the ordinance

The City of Coral Gables will start to replace signage with the lower speed limit at the north end of the City and progress south until all signs are changed. Once the required signage is in place, enforcement is said to start immediately with initial warnings to allow motorists to adjust to the new speed limit. 

 
 
 
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An educational campaign is now starting to inform motorists of the new speed limit and requirement to not exceed it. Part of that campaign is the distribution of pace car magnets for your automobile. 

Stay tuned on how you can get a pace car magnet in support of slower, safer streets. 

Kenneth Garcia
Bike Walk Coral Gables Wins Green Means Green Award
 

Bike Walk Coral Gables (BWCG) capped off Earth Week festivities by earning a Green Means Green Award from the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, April 27th, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Downtown Coral Gables. The seventh annual “Green Means Green Awards” recognize individuals, corporations and organizations that have placed a strong emphasis on sustainability and green practices in several categories.  

“We are excited to be among the recipients this year, when so many of our green efforts are coming to life in our community,” said Jennifer Garcia, BWCG Board Chair.  “When we started six years ago, the idea of seeing 100 people of all ages bicycling as a group to enjoy the sites on one of our monthly tours was unheard of. This year we were awarded a Public Space Challenge grant from the Miami Foundation for our ‘Galiano Green’ park which will be taking shape in downtown Coral Gables.”  

Last year, BWCG donated a bike fix-it station to the city that was placed on the Coral Gables Museum’s Plaza. The Galiano Green will take a seldom-used barren area next to a parking lot and transform it into a gathering space with a butterfly garden, benches, bike amenities and a drinking fountain. These partnerships and activities not only create attractive and useful greenspaces and resources, but further encourage people to get out of their cars and enjoy beautiful, green Coral Gables. In 2014, BWCG received the Florida Bicycle Association’s Bike Business of the Year Award for programs that promote sustainability by reducing reliance on the automobile.  BWCG has also been recognized as an exemplary partner by the City of Coral Gables. 

 
Kenneth Garcia
Community Pedals Together at Gables Bike Day
 

The sixth-annual Gables Bike Day returned for a fun-filled day of activities on Sunday, March 12th, in front of City Hall.  Gables Bike Day offered safe streets for the community to bike, skate, and walk by closing them off to motorized vehicles. This signature event, produced by the community-based non-profit organization Bike Walk Coral Gables (BWCG), promotes biking and walking safety.  
“We’ve attended the Gables Bike Day event for the last two years,” remarks Maria Mowry, winner of UHealth’s #HumanBeingWell Challenge. “We love the chance to be able to get our kids outside and riding their bikes in a safe zone. Each year brings something new, and this year was the best one yet!”
Gables Bike Day started off with a kick-off program on stage in Merrick Park, with a welcome by Bike Walk Coral Gables Board Chair, Jennifer Garcia, who shared the organization’s plans to create a new public space in downtown Coral Gables called the “Galiano Green.” The organization has also launched a membership program for the community to become more active and engaged.  Avid cyclist and Chief Clinical Officer and Chief Operating Office for University of Miami Health System, Dr. Thinh Tran, gave remarks on the importance of building community. Commissioner Vince Lago also welcomed the crowd on behalf of the City of Coral Gables. 
Free bike tours escorted people on bikes by experienced ride leaders to see nearby landmarks. A bike rodeo, bounce houses, climbing wall, and other activities comprised an active kid’s area, and food trucks provided a variety of lunch options. 
“This event continues to be a wonderful family outing for our city,” stated Former Coral Gables Commissioner, Ralph Cabrera, who was presented with the first-ever Coral Gables Bicycle Advocate Award. “I was most surprised and truly honored to receive this recognition.” He added, “I’m just glad to have worked with so many other cycling enthusiasts to make bicycling an important priority for our community. Hopefully, all our ongoing efforts will continue to enhance the cycling experience for years to come.”
Sponsors were recognized with plaques on stage later in the day. Gables Bike Day 2017 was made possible by UHealth and The Lennar Foundation; City of Coral Gables; Suncycling; Baptist Health; Milam’s Market; NP International; Coral Gables Business Improvement District; Coral Gables Fraternal Order of Police (FOP); Catch of the Day; No Boundaries; Canon; Miami-Dade County; Mr. Green Dean’s Vegetable Farm; Don & Jeannett Slesnick; and Shake 108.

 
Kenneth Garcia
Hold on to your Handlebars - Bike Month is HERE!
 

Bike Month was officially kick-offed with the presentation of a Proclamation on the February 28 City Commission meeting, declaring March 2017 as "Bike 305 Month" in Coral Gables. This Proclamation highlights the City's commitment to quality and accessibility to open spaces; the implementation of the adopted bike master plan; locally-hosted Bike to Work Day; and continued support for the annual Gables Bike Day

Along with other municipalities and local organizations, Bike Walk Coral Gables plans to celebrate "Bike Month" with a variety of activities:

 

Membership in Bike Walk Coral Gables (BWCG):

Bike Walk Coral Gables is launching their membership program to give greater opportunity for community members to lend their voice to promote walking and biking in our city.

In addition to helping support Bike Walk Coral Gables' mission, members are entitled to great benefits.

Learn more here. 

Bike to Work Day, Friday, March 3:

Partnering with the City of Coral Gables, Chamber of Commerce, Bike305, and the Coral Gables Museum, Bike Walk Coral Gables encourages those that who work in the City to commute by bike on March 3. 

Sign-up for our free group rides!

 

Gables Bike Day, Sunday, March 12:

Bike Walk Coral Gables is producing their sixth annual Gables Bike Day, a free family day of fun on two wheels with a bike rodeo, music, bike tours, dog park, food trucks and more. 

Plan Z - Gables Bike Tour, Sunday March 19:

Partnering with the Coral Gables Museum, Bike Walk Coral Gables is providing a special bike tour about Plan Z, architect Bernard Zyscovich's proposal to convert the Rickenbacker Causeway into Rickenbacker Park. 

Kenneth Garcia
A Rolling Tour of Kitchens with the Coral Gables Community Foundation
 

Back by popular demand, Bike Walk Coral Gables (BWCG) provided a bike option for The Coral Gables Community Foundation's annual fundraiser, The Tour of Kitchens. On Saturday morning, February 4. a dozen participants were guided by BWCG trained ride leaders a delicious glimpse into some of Coral Gables’ most spectacular designer kitchens. Founding Chair, Robert Ruano; Former Chair and current Board Treasurer, John Swain; Debbie Swain, and Rick Smit were among the experienced ride leaders to safely lead participants from house to house. The tour offered tastings, table settings, the sale of special foodie merchandise or home goods, and/or a cooking demonstration. 

 

A portion of the proceeds benefit the Culinary Arts Program (CAP) at Coral Gables Senior High School. 

Kenneth Garcia
Urging Commissioners for Slower, Safer Streets
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Bike Walk Coral Gables (BWCG) fully supports the City Commission’s proposal to lower the speed limit from 30 MPH to 25 MPH on residential streets in the City of Coral Gables. Although most residential streets in Coral Gables provide a network of walkable, shaded streets, many people biking or walking feel unsafe due to excessive speeding by motor vehicles. These speeding motorists are typically not local residents, but commuters driving through these neighborhoods. Lowering the speed limit, coupled with proper police enforcement and strategic traffic calming, will make our residential streets safer for people to move around on foot and bike. 

Many studies have shown that the probability and seriousness of bodily injury and death increases dramatically when a bicyclist or pedestrian is struck by a motor vehicle traveling at speeds in excess of 25 MPH. Moreover, we know from local surveys and personal experience that concern for personal safety is a primary factor that keeps people from riding a bike on city streets. Lowering the speed limit will help to encourage more active transportation and recreation, resulting in a healthier, more livable community.

Coral Gables prides itself on being a family-friendly city and offering its residents a high quality of life. World class cities such as New York City, Seattle, Boston, Paris, Stockholm, London, Cambridge, and other communities have all recently lowered their speed limits. They recognize the benefits that accrue for everyone from slower vehicular speeds. 

Along with the lowering of the speed limit from 30 MPH to 25 MPH, BWCG encourages the City of Coral Gables to implement street designs that incentivize slow speeds (narrowing or reducing the numbers of traffic lanes, and adding street trees, blub-outs and other traffic calming features). A commitment should be made to focus the City’s resources on proven strategies to eliminate fatal and serious traffic crashes. BWCG strongly believes that this goal can only be accomplished encouraging slower speeds on city streets. Lowering the street speed limit from 30 to 25 MPH would be a significant step in the right direction.

Get involved, speak up, and tell our commissioners that you support slower, safer streets. 

The ordinance to reduce the speed limit passed on first reading on January 24, and will be heard at second reading on Tuesday, May 9. 

More info on the proposed ordinance here.

 
Kenneth Garcia
A Healthy and Active 2017
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Happy New Year! To kick off the year right, Bike Walk Coral Gables invites you to have a healthy and active 2017 with us this year. 

If you could only choose one event this year, don't miss our annual Gables Bike Day on Sunday, March 12. Hosted by Bike Walk Coral Gables, we offer free bike safety training, bike tours, kids' zone, live music, food venders, scavenger hunt, and tons of free stuff. 

Want to try biking monthly with a group? Join us and the Coral Gables Museum on our monthly Gables Bike Tours. On the 3rd Sunday of every month, we offer a different route and theme so you can explore more of our streets, environment, history, and most importantly - feeling more comfortable riding a bike on urban streets. Riding with a group is a great way to have fun, get fit, and enjoy the great scenery around Coral Gables. 

Serious about riding a bike more, but not sure where to start? Take advantage of our Bike Mentorship program. Bike Walk Coral Gables offers experienced cyclists to teach anyone how to ride safely; choose comfortable routes; and provide support as you start to ride more often. People who commute by bike lose an average of 15 pounds in their first year of riding. 

Interested in getting involved in bike/walk advocacy? Volunteer or Sponsor an event to help make our community more friendly for people who bike and walk. 

 
Kenneth Garcia
A Walk through BWCG's Year
 

Thank you for your support for Bike Walk Coral Gables (BWCG) in 2016. Our community and supporters have been essential to our success this year and we’re proud of what we’ve achieved together.

We started the year with a Trek the Trail #GablesBikeTour to learn and explore the important work the Friends of the Ludlam Trail having been doing on the future Ludlam Trail. We also led a Bike Option for interested participants with our friends at the Coral Gables Community Foundation for their annual Tour of Kitchens. We’ll offer this Bike Option again for February 4, 2017 – sign up and join us!

On February 28, we held our 5th annual Gables Bike Day with thousands of our closest friends and neighbors in front of City Hall. Dozens of kids learned how to bike safely from our friends at BikeSafe. Our hourly bike tours were filled to capacity as tour guides, including former Mayor Don Slesnick and former Commissioner Ralph Cabrera, shared the history of our City Beautiful at several landmarks. Join us for our next Gables Bike Day on March 12, 2017 and invite your friends!

As part of Bike Month, we partnered with the City and hosted a Bike to Work Day to encourage Coral Gables residents and businesses to try commuting to work by bike for a day. We also helped our friends at The Underline for the inaugural Underline Cycling Club monthly ride. Later in March, we hosted our 4th annual Bike & BBQ with our partners at the Coral Gables Museum. Bring yourself, your friends, and your appetite next time on April 23, 2017!

As part of our efforts to promote bike safety, we offered a bike ride leader training course with our friend Mary Beth Garcia from the Everglades Bicycle Club. We later applied these techniques at the inaugural Dade Heritage Trust Miami Bike Tours series, offered by our BWCG Board Member Christine Rupp.

We officially thanked our Gables Bike Day 2016 sponsors with personalized plaques at our Sponsor Appreciation event on May 3rd. We also introduced our incoming Bike Walk Coral Gables Board officers and recognized our dedicated volunteer board members for all they do to make our community safe for biking and walking.

Thanks to the generosity of our community and sponsors, we were able to donate downtown Coral Gables’ very first bike fixit station. We officially presented a check to the City Commission on July 26 and installed the station in August at the Museum Plaza.

In September, Bike Walk Coral Gables was selected as a winner in the Miami Foundation’s Public Space Challenge and received a grant to create an urban park on the corner of Galiano and Almeria. The “Galiano Green” Downtown Community Park will be a small green oasis in downtown Coral Gables and offer seating, shade, and bike amenities. The park is expected to open in spring of 2017.

Our bike fixit station was officially unveiled on September 18, with Commissioner Vince Lago and City Manager Cathy Swanson attending and sharing the City’s appreciation of Bike Walk Coral Gables’ contributions to our community. We showed participants how to use the different tools available on the fixit station.

In October, the Coral Gables TV interviewed BWCG board members about the new bike fixit station and general questions about biking comfortably and safely in Coral Gables. The film crew also joined a couple of our popular monthly bike tours.

We participated in the Miami Foundation’s annual Give Miami Day event for the second time on November 17 and raised more than $2,000 – over 4x a much as last year. We’re looking forward to participating next year on Thursday, November 16, 2017.  

On December 9th, we presented the “Galiano Green” Downtown Community Park to the Coral Gables Parks & Recreation Advisory Board. The board unanimously approved the concept site plan and are looking forward to its expected opening in spring of 2017.

We’re closing 2016 with a Facebook goal to reach 2,500 “likes” on our Bike Walk Coral Gables page – we’re only a few short. Help us reach this milestone by inviting your friends to “like” our page to stay updated on local events and initiatives that promote safer streets in our community for people to bike and walk.

We’re looking forward to making our neighborhoods better for biking and walking with all of you again in 2017.

Happy Holidays!

 
Kenneth Garcia