Walking and cycling were the only transportation options on SW 8 Street (Calle Ocho) on Sunday, December 14, during the City of Miami’s first “Ciclovía.” Sponsored and coordinated by the Florida Department of Transportation, the focus for the event was on being active, connecting with neighbors, and just to have fun.
Set within the vibrant and historical Calle Ocho neighborhood, this Ciclovía event was created to inspire a community movement to get outside, interact with the street, and get to know the area in a whole new way. Similar events have been held by other FDOT districts in Tampa, Gainesville, and Orlando.
Ciclovías are “open streets” events which turn major city streets into safe, car-free environments for families to run, bike, and play. Originating in Bogota, Colombia over 30 years ago, Ciclovías are now held in hundreds of cities worldwide. By linking neighbors and communities together and providing a different way to “connect with the street,” these events are designed to bring attention to alternatives for using area roadways safely.
For this event, FDOT closed the street to vehicles for approximately 1.4 miles, encouraging people to take advantage of the opportunity to walk, cycle, exercise, and enjoy outdoor activities on the roadway. This event provided families and community members the opportunity to interact with a legendary Miami corridor, Calle Ocho. Instead of experiencing the neighborhood while working around vehicle activity, the road literally belonged to them for a few hours.
The event included participation from local bike clubs, community groups, and featured partners such as Miami-Dade Transit and the City of Miami. Activities included bike helmet fittings, a bicycle valet station, yoga and Zumba classes, pedestrian and bicycle safety demonstrations, plus displays from local vendors and businesses. Community members were encouraged to break out their bikes, skates, and skateboards and put on their walking shoes for this event.
Tents lined the street and included plenty of events, appropriate for all ages. FDOT representatives were also on hand to distribute safety literature, answer questions and provide information on current pedestrian/bicycle pathway studies being conducted in the area. With events like this one, FDOT continues to help promote their commitment to providing not only safe roads for vehicles but for pedestrians and cyclists as well. The City of Miami and neighboring municipalities can expect more events like this one in the coming months.