Dreaming Big with Bike Infrastructure
Recently unveiled in Miami, the Underline is a ten-mile-long path intended for pedestrian and bike use, and an important addition to Miami's walking and cycling infrastrucuture. "[B]ut it’s also part of a larger, interstate network of trails that will eventually make it possible to ride from Florida to Maine with little interaction with cars. And even that enormous project is itself just a small part of an even bigger dream: a network of protected bike lanes connecting cities across the country, making it possible to bike from city to city—and ocean to ocean—safely," writes Adele Peters.
Dennis Markatos-Soriano, executive director of the East Coast Greenway Alliance, says that the kind of economic stimulus the United States needs is embodied by infrastructure projects like the East Coast Greenway project that includes the Underline. Markatos-Soriano says that the construction of greenways promote even more jobs than highway construction, and without the deleterious effects.
"Other ambitious greenway projects are underway, including the Great American Rail-Trail, a cross-country path that aims to connect Washington, D.C., with the State of Washington. More than 1,900 miles of the likely route are already open for biking; the total route will cover 3,700 miles; the East Coast Greenway, traveling up and down the East Coast, has 1,000 miles completed out of 3,000," Peters reports.
Greenway advocates say that the construction of expanded bike infrastructure projects of this nature would not only support long-distance trips from city to city but also promote everyday commutes via bike and on foot.