Imagine running, biking, or walking the entire stretch of the Miami Beach oceanfront.
Well, that dream is slowly, but surely, becoming reality: construction workers have begun replacing wooden boardwalks between 45th and 47th Streets with stone and concrete pavers, better for bikes and pedestrians.
The move is a part of the city's updated plans for the Atlantic Greenway Network project, an initiative to expand and link bicycling paths and pedestrian trails throughout the city. This boardwalk phase of AGN, dubbed the Middle Beach Recreational Corridor Project, will be eventually be completed north to 64th Street with the help of the state and federal funds.
"The plan is to have an entire beach walk from north to south," said city spokeswoman Nanette Rodriguez. "Sections between Government Cut and Fifth Street are already up."
Efforts to improve navigability for non-drivers have been in the works for over a decade, but only moved at city hall beginning in 2007 with aggressive pushes by advocacy groups like Critical Mass and Transit Miami. In June, city officials updated the plan, with implementation and construction efforts resumed in October.
AGN plans call for an interconnected series of biking and pedestrian paths, lanes, and trails (see map below). The network will be unified by a single continuous stretch from near 5th Street and Alton Road, heading around the tip of South Pointe Park and north along the beach to the limit at 87th Terrace.
"The beach walk project will eventually link all sections of Miami Beach," said Rodriguez, who told HuffPost the city planning department's goal is to complete the project by 2025.
Bike paths currently dot the city in several noncontiguous segments, but will eventually look like this according to the Atlantic Greenway Network master plan: