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?
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can add your business name and logo to our growing list of supporters.
- Email a letter to the City Commission to let them know your company supports the Gables Greenways. Feel free to start from one of our sample templates for Standard, Retail, or Healthcare.
- If you are an employee: talk to someone empowered to speak for your organization about supporting the Gables Greenways. Or use our template.
- Help us recruit more businesses using this flyer.
Join Coral Gables employers and organizations by backing the plan:
Why should Gables businesses support this?
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.
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.
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.
People in Coral Gables work hard and are short of time. Fitting exercise into a daily commute makes for healthier, more productive teams.
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.