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Sunday, October 06, 2019

Bike Coconut Grove wins foundation grant

Bike Coconut Grove, a nonprofit organization founded in 2014 to promote bicycling and walking in Coconut Grove, announced two important steps toward achieving its goals. The organization has received a grant from the Miami Foundation’s Public Space Challenge to improve the Commodore Trail at the intersection of Ingraham Highway and Douglas Road, where the Trail is little more than a narrow shoulder of one of the community’s busiest roadways. Also, Bike Coconut Grove is the lead organizer of Coconut Grove Bike and Walk to School Day, which will take place Friday, October 11.

Improving the Commodore Trail and making it safer for all users has been a key goal of Bike Coconut Grove since its inception. Toward that end, the group created a new project, Friends of the Commodore Trail, that will soon become a seprate nonprofit. The Miami Foundation announced on Monday that Friends of the Commodore Trail was awarded full funding for its proposal to improve the intersection of Ingraham Highway and Douglas Road. The improvements will include widening the Trail, trimming vegetation, and other ways to make the Trail safer for all users. This will involve close coordination with the Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works and the City of Miami.

Helping to organize Bike and Walk to School Day has been one of Bike Coconut Grove’s annual activities in both the fall and spring. For the spring 2019 event, 36% fewer cars passed Coconut Grove Elementary School than on the previous day. The number of participating schools has steadily increased. Nine schools have signed on for this year’s fall event: Carrollton School, Carver Elementary School, Carver Middle School, Coconut Grove Elementary School, Plymouth Preschool, Ponce de Leon Middle School, Ransom Everglades Middle School, Ransom Everglades Upper School, and St. Stephens School. 

All the participating schools are encouraging families to bike, walk, and carpool to school during the morning. The City of Miami Police Department will deploy additional officers at the intersections of Oak/Matilda and Grant/Matilda. In addition, the Coconut Grove Business Improvement District has arranged for older children to be part of a fun excursion on the Cycle Party vehicle. In addition to the Police Department and the BID, supporters of the event include the Coconut Grove Village Council, the BikeSafe/WalkSafe program at the University of Miami Medical School, and parents, teachers, and administrators at the participating schools.

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