Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Roots In the City: Growing More than Collard Greens in Miami

Some of the best collard greens that you will eat in the City of Miami were grown right here - in the Overtown Roots in the City garden - with compost from local restaurants. Yesterday, we launched a pilot composting program that will help reduce the waste going into our landfills and improve our community soil at the same time. The organic compost, also known as "black gold," is a rich, environmentally-friendly fertilizer alternative that the City will produce in bulk from waste collected from local restaurants. Volunteers and staff of the Roots in the City garden will use the compost and then sell their produce to local supermarkets.

When I toured the Overtown garden with Director and friend, Dr. Marvin Dunn, I remarked that it had been a long time since I had eaten collard greens. Now, after enjoying Dr. Dunn's collard greens (picked just yesterday), I join my staff in thanking him for some of the best collards we have ever tasted.
The Roots in the City project is another example of how residents, government and the private sector can work together to improve our neighborhoods, create green jobs and make a lasting difference for the environment.

The Miami New Times covered the press conference HERE.
For more information on the project, please visit the Roots In the City website HERE.
-Manny

Monday, November 2, 2009

Mexican President in Miami for the 15th Annual Latin Trade Symposium

President Calderon of Mexico made his first visit to the City of Miami this weekend. President Calderon was here to receive the BRAVO Business Award for “Leader of the Year,” as part of the 15th Annual Latin Trade Symposium. The Symposium, organized in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank and the Americas Society/Council of the Americas, focuses on the hemisphere’s response to the global economic crisis and how Latin American companies are giving back to their communities. The event brought more than 300 international business, government and social leaders to Downtown Miami.
In the last eight years, Miami has truly become the epicenter of the Americas. It was an honor to welcome the Mexican President and the Latin Trade Symposium to the Magic City.
For more information about the City of Miami in the international context, please visit the Mayor's International Council website HERE.
-Manny

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

City of Miami Unveils Eco-Friendly Landscaping at City Hall, Dinner Key


City Hall is now home to hundreds of Florida native and Florida Friendly trees, plants and grasses. I invite you to come see this new, ecologically responsible landscaping at Dinner Key. This project, which was made possible at zero cost to taxpayers, makes our City Hall a model for sustainable greening practices, beautifying Dinner Key with plants that will significantly reduce our water consumption, storm-water runoff and reliance on fossil fuels used for maintenance. It is a step to return our city to its roots and an example of the new requirements outlined in thelandscaping ordinance that passed on October 22nd.

Today, 50% of the drinking water in Miami is used for irrigation. That's horrendous and it's irresponsible. In South Florida, water is one of our most precious resources. Increasing salt water intrusion and decreasing precipitation are threatening to further reduce our drinking water supply, but there is much we can do. We live in a tropical paradise, home to beautiful plants and trees that require minimal watering or fertilizers. I hope that you will have the opportunity to visit the historic open space of Dinner Key, the site of our City Hall, and see for yourself how sustainable design might work for your home or business.

This project is the result of the hard work and dedication of city staff, members of the Green Commission and the talented work of Southern Blossoms and BOMA Miami. Like so much of what we have done to increase our tree canopy over the last eight years, it was made possible by The Home Depot Foundation. The Home Depot Foundation has granted our city $1 million towards sustainable initiatives, helping us to plant more than 8,000 new street trees, provide fruit trees to residents, and promote eco-friendly practices through the OurGreenMiami.org campaign.

I am also honored to have worked with ACT - the Alliance for Community Trees, on this project. ACT works with 160 cities like ours across the country, promoting grass-roots programs to protect America’s urban forest. Today, ACT joined us to celebrate our city’s newest public landscaping project and to award me with the “Mayor of Trees” Award. It has been a privilege to partner with them and I thank them for their support.

Materials and services were also provided by Botanics Wholesale, Netafirm, Sunset Sod, D’Ultimate Bahoe Service, Affordable Irrigation and EBS Engineering.

We have a responsibility to each other and to future generations to conserve our natural resources. You can learn more about sustainable design in landscaping at OurGreenMiami.org.

-Manny

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

President Announces $200million to Expand Energy Smart Miami Program

Today, President Obama has committed $200million to expanding the Energy Smart Miami throughout the State of Florida. The grant, funded by the Recovery Act, will bring 6,000 green jobs to Florida, stimulating our green economy and promoting increased energy efficiency and reliability for residences and businesses. The announcement is part of the Administration’s $3.4 billion commitment to spurring the transition to Smart Grid, investing in alternative and renewable energy, ending our addiction to foreign oil, addressing the global climate crisis and jumpstarting the green economy.

Within the next two years, Florida Power & Light will install 2.6 million smart meters and other advanced monitoring systems in homes and businesses. Smart meters allow you to see where you are using the most energy and to manage your electricity bills accordingly. One day soon, you will be able to manage your energy consumption with the click of your mouse or even by sending a simple text message. This technology will also improve the reliabilty of your electrical service and help prevent or reduce brownouts.

Energy Smart Miami, now Energy Smart Florida, is the result of a model public-private partnership of the City of Miami, FPL, Cisco Systems, General Electric and Silver Spring Networks. This program is helping to support the integration of renewable energy into our electrical grid, help us all make more informed choices about our energy use and move our city and state into the 21st century.
Learn more about the program at www.energysmartmiami.com.
-Manny

Monday, October 26, 2009

Miami Primed for Investment, New Drill Down Report Shows

Today marked a milestone for the City Miami with the release of the SocialCompact Drill Down Report, which shows that our city's neighborhoods are both bigger and carry more spending power than previously thought. In other words, the City of Miami has more than 137,000 more people than the Census projected. As much as we have been able to accomplish in the last 8 years in terms of poverty reduction and financial literacy, the DrillDown may be the most significant project of my administration. By demonstrating the real number of people in our community and their real income, this study tells banks and retailers, investors and the federal government, that Miami truly is primed for investment.

This report, which you can read in full HERE, indicates that the City of Miami has more than 500,000 residents and is therefore eligible for millions of dollars in federal dollars for our residents that we have not received. It also indicates that several of our city's neighborhoods are 'leaking' their income dollars; residents spending their money outside of their neighborhood or the city. This means that in neighborhoods like Wynwood, where the household income is as much as 186% more than the last Census showed, there is an opportunity to attract local banks, services and employers that may not have considered this district before.

I would like to thank Social Compact for their extremely important work and both the Citi and John S. and James L. Knight Foundations for the support that made this possible. Now, it is up to us. I call on you to join me in the next year and be an advocate for our city - let us work together to ensure that our residents get counted accurately in the 2010 Census.

For more information about the report, click HERE. You can learn more about City of Miami poverty reduction programs at www.ACCESSMiamiJobs.com.

-Manny

Friday, October 23, 2009

Miami 21 Adopted by the City Commission

Today is a historic day for the City of Miami and for the future of planning in the United States. Miami 21, the blueprint for a sustainable Miami, was adopted by the City Commission. We are proud that Miami is the first large U.S. city to adopt a citywide comprehensive zoning code based on the principles of Smart Growth and New Urbanism. With this important step, we are laying the foundation for a better, more walkable, bikeable and livable City of Miami.

I would like to thank Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Ana Gelabert-Sanchez and everyone at DPZ and in our Planning Department, for their exceptional dedication and hard work on this project. It has been an honor to work with them on Miami 21. I would also like to thank the thousands of Miamians who have participated in the most democratically produced document in our city's history. Thank you for being a part of this process to define the future of the city we love.

-Manny

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Univision Profiles Miami in 'Think Green, Act Green' Segment

Recently, I was interviewed by Univision for a segment titled, "Piensa Verde, Actua Verde" (Think Green, Act Green). The piece highlights the solar panels and retrofit of City Hall, our water conservation efforts and the Tree Master Plan, among other green initiatives. You can view the entire piece on the Univision website, HERE.

To learn more about the City's sustainable initiatives, please visit www.miamigov.com/MSI.

-Manny

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Miami 21: Second Reading this Thursday

Tomorrow is an important day for the City of Miami. The Miami Commission will have before them the opportunity to formally, and finally, approve Miami 21, the blueprint for a sustainable city. Miami 21, the result of over 500 public meetings over 4 years, has now been unanimously approved by the South Florida Regional Planning Council and vetted by the State Department of Community Affairs. All that remains is for a Second Reading by the City Commission, scheduled to take place tomorrow at 2:00pm at City Hall.

I want to thank all of you who have participated in the most democratic planning process in our city's history. We have received thousands of your emails, phone calls and comments. The City of Miami is ready for a plan that promotes sustainability, walkability, pedestrian-friendly streets, bicycling, historic preservation, open spaces and health. We are ready for a plan that recognizes a need to address climate change, obesity and a changing global economy.

One last time, I hope that you will join us in support of Miami 21 during the Regular Meeting of the City Commission, this Thursday at 2:00pm.

-Manny

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Be Water Wise Miami Campaign Video

The National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) has shared a video with me that they created from the Be Water Wise Miami campaign that we brought to Miami last May. I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I did and that you will take a moment to think about what you can do to Be Water Wise Miami!
For more information about the Be Water Wise Miami Campaign and the NEEF, click HERE for the press release or click HERE for my earlier blog post.

-Manny

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Bike Miami Days Receives Two Prestigious Recognitions

Miami’s largest pedestrian and bicycle-friendly street festival, Bike Miami Days, has received two prestigious honors from the Association of Pedestrian & Biking Professionals (APBP) and the Florida Bicycle Association.

The APBP has named Kathryn Moore, Mayor’s Aide and Bike Miami Days organizer, as Young Professional of the Year for her work in Bike Miami Days. The award was created this year and it will be given during Walk21, the 10th International Conference on Walking and Livable Communities, held in New York City on October 7 - 9.

Additionally, the Florida Bicycle Association selected Bike Miami Days and Bike Miami Rides to receive the Event of the Year Award on behalf of Bike Miami Days and Bike Miami Rides.

“We would like to recognize your efforts and achievements that help us deliver our mission to inspire and support people and communities to enjoy greater freedom and well being through bicycling,” reads the association’s announcement.

I am proud that the cycling community has recognized our efforts to make Miami a more pedestrian and bicycle-friendly city, and I hope to see Bike Miami Days continue with the support of our community.
Learn more about this award-winning event at http://www.bike-miami.com/
UPDATE: What the Florida Bicycle Association has to say about Bike Miami Days:
"Program or Event: Mayor Manny Diaz and Kathryn Moore, City of Miami: Bike Miami Days
In 2008 the City of Miami began to develop and implement an ambitious Bicycle Action Plan. The BAP included the usual program areas: engineering, education, and enforcement. The key to making the plan a success was showing that bicycling was popular among City residents and that investing in bicycling would bring substantial returns. The Bike Miami Days events were an ambitious strategy that proved that Miamians wanted safe opportunities to ride their bikes and helped build support for the other elements in the Action Plan. The seven BMD events closed over two miles of streets in downtown Miami to motorized traffic (one event took place in Coconut Grove) and were attended by over 10,000 participants. The closed streets allowed families, new cyclists, frequent riders and those that had not been on their bikes in years to experience on-road riding. In addition to the usual partners that are brought into a bicycling event, the City included artists, environmentalists, yoga teachers, fixed-gear riders, and the Dutch Consulate in Bike Miami Days. When the weather got too hot for a half-day street closure, Bike Miami Days were transformed into Bike Miami Rides: 8-10 mile explorations of the city that emphasized inclusiveness, vehicular-style riding and basic bicycle safety education. The four Bike Miami Rides held since June have each attracted 30-50 riders. BMD resumed October 4, 2009. It is not an exaggeration to say that Mayor Diaz’ vision and leadership were essential for the existence, of the Bike Miami Day and Bike Miami Ride events. Essential cooperation from the Police and Sanitation Departments, merchants, residents and property owners would not have been forthcoming without the Mayor’s direct involvement. Kathryn Moore coordinated each of the events and used her organizational skill and personal charisma to make each one a success. All of the Bike Miami Days and Bike Miami Rides events are documented at: http://bikemiamiblog.wordpress.com. "
- Manny

Monday, October 5, 2009

Another Successful Bike Miami Day

Yesterday, thousands of people biked, skated, walked and enjoyed the heart of their city during Bike Miami Day, Miami’s biggest free & family-friendly street festival.
I would like to personally thank all of the amazing volunteers, Waste services of Florida Inc., the Miami Downtown Development Authority, the City of Miami Police Department, Commissioner Marc Sarnoff and the Florida Bicycle Association for making this the best Bike Miami Days to date.
We couldn’t have made this happen without the support of our community, so – Thank you!
I invite you to take some time to listen to the WLRN story about Bike Miami Days and to read some of the comments posted on the Bike Miami Days blog, on the Bike Miami Days Facebook page and sent via email (below.)

Thank you all for your support and comments!

- Manny

Support for Bike Miami Days:

Support via email:

Please continue to support BMD!! It's a very effective and unique community-building activity and one that we as residents see it as an important building block to create union, meet diversity, discover our city in a different light and most importantly, feel the City's presence in its improvements.

Thank you for continuing this program and introducing new and exciting ways to enjoy our city!
Regards,Yeraldine Ordonez


Comments from Participants to our blog:
Author : A Disgruntled Browarder
Comment:
What an awesome event. Broward needs to learn a lesson from Miami-Dade and show their cycling community a little respect. All of the volunteers and police present were super friendly and helpful. I certainly hope that whoever picks up the reins after Mayor Diaz will continue these fantastic events. Miami can and will be a city of cyclists if we can keep building this positive spirit and political momentum!

Comments from Participants to our Facebook:
Michelle Melin Niemeyer
I was out today and was VERY impressed with the numbers and especially the number of families with children who were out this time. It was a great day!

Ana Colls
Great day with great people! Don't be a fool, City of Miami, keep Bike Miami Days going!!!

Mariela Rossel
BIKE MIAMI ROCKS!!!!!! :)

Maria Hernandez Gestido
Perfect weather for a great time out there today. It was my first time and I can't wait to go again!

Carla F. Llamas
Today's event was awesome! Thanks for such a wonderful event in Miami!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bicycle Master Plan Presented at Third Miami Bicycle Summit

This week, the City of Miami hosted our third Miami Bicycle Summit to present the latest draft of the city's first Bicycle Master Plan. The summit, held at Belafonte TACOLCY Center in Liberty City, brought cyclists, planners and community residents together to view the last draft of the plan, which will be available in online for everyone to review next week.

The City of Miami Bicycle Plan is the result of nearly two years of hard work on the part of the Bicycle Action Committee, city planners and staff, the Bike Miami Days Team and countless advocates, local groups and individuals. The Plan includes a map of over 285 miles of inter-connected bicycle routes that we want to see in the City by 2030. These bicycle routes include bicycle lanes, greenways and innovative new bicycle facilities, called 'sharrows' and 'bicycle boulevards'. When built, whether as part of existing projects or as new capital improvements, they will provide a network of bikeways accessible to every Miami resident within a 1/4mile of where they live, work and play.
The Plan also introduces bicycle parking standards and calls for the implementation of bicycle parking racks, shelters or lockers at nearly 1,000 new locations throughout our city. This is important because we want to ensure that residents and visitors who travel by bicycle are able to safely and securely park their bicycles wherever they go in the city.
Bicycling is a fun, healthy and environmentally-friendly way to explore our city. I look forward to presenting the Bicycle Master Plan to the City Commission on October 8 and hope that our commissioners will join me in supporting this plan for a bicycle-friendly Miami.

For more information about the City of Miami's bicycling program, please visit www.miamigov.com/bikes. I also hope to see you for my last Bike Miami Days event on Sunday, October 4.
-Manny

Friday, September 11, 2009

Everyone Must Sacrifice

These are challenging times for the City of Miami and for its residents. The economic perfect storm - an economic meltdown, the worst since the great depression, leading to a significant decline in housing values, a record number of foreclosures, the highest unemployment rate in decades and substantial drops in consumer confidence and spending, has made this the most difficult budget year that I have had to face since taking office eight years ago.

My budget includes a large number of layoffs. During these difficult economic times, the last thing we want is to add our employees to the ranks of the unemployed. But we must also deal with reality. The City and the taxpayers cannot afford and will not be able to afford the current cost structure.

However, most of these layoffs can be prevented if all of the City’s Unions to come to the table and make the sacrifices that must be made. We are asking no more, and no less, than that which is being asked of every employee everywhere, in order to keep their jobs: Salary and pension concessions.

We simply cannot continue to place the economic burden with the tax payers.

There is no question that sacrifices must be made. The question we have to answer is who should make these sacrifices. Should it be those whose salaries and benefits are paid by the public? Or, should it be those same people who pay our salaries and who today are hurting economically, losing their jobs and homes or in fear of losing their jobs and homes and taking salary cuts?

This is the time to decide: does the city serve the needs of the people? Or do the people serve the needs of the city?
- Manny

United We Serve: National Day of Service and Remembrance

Today is the first National Day of Service and Remembrance. In honor of those lost eight years ago, the President and First Lady are calling on people across the country to come together, renew our commitments to community service and recognize the heroism of our servicemen and women.
I hope that you will join us by taking a moment day to reflect on what you can do for your community and to make the commitment to active citizenship and service throughout the coming year. At the City of Miami Administration Building (444 SW 2nd Ave.), city staff and volunteers will be on hand from 11am to 1pm to provide information about opportunities to give back. You are welcome to drop by and write letters to Americans serving abroad, make a pledge to serve or just learn more about local community service groups and other non-profits in need.

You can read the President and First Lady's call to service HERE. Make your pledge online at 911dayofservice.org or learn more at http://www.serve.gov/.

Thank you.

-Manny

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Mayor's Challenge: Pledge to Water Conservation

This week, I accepted The South Florida Living Green Fair’s Mayors Challenge and now I'm asking for your help to show that City of Miami residents support water conservation. The City of Miami is dedicated to Green practices that minimize our impact on the environment. By reducing unecessary water use, we can all make a real difference for the planet. Please join me in taking a few minutes to review easy and helpful tips for preserving our precious water resources. You will receive a free family pass for five to the South Florida Living Green Fair and the City of Miami could win the opportunity to display an original 45-foot mural by marine artist and conservationist Wyland.

With just a few simple steps, you can save millions of gallons of water throughout your lifetime. I know that Miami residents care about our environment and with your help, we can prove that we are "The Most Water Wise City" in South Florida.

Let's show that Miami residents care about living green. Take the Pledge HERE.

-Manny

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Miami 21 Approved

Yesterday was a proud day for the City of Miami. The Miami Commission approved Miami 21, the blueprint for a sustainable city, on First Reading, after extensive public input and a truly democratic process.
I was exceptionally proud of the number of Miamians who embraced Miami 21 and was proud to sit through the debate. Speaker after speaker stressed the importance of sustainability, climate change, walkability, pedestrian-friendly streets, bicycling, historic preservation, open spaces, health, obesity, etc. Speaker after speaker reflected the new Miami, a different demographic that embraces the urban experience and advocates for a very different Miami. I also welcomed the opportunity to address many of the concerns brought up by our residents.
I want to thank all of you who have participated in the over 500 public meetings and who visited our website, with more than a quarter million unique visitors, over 4000 subscribers and 7 million hits over the past 4 years. Your participation has made this plan the most democratic planning document in our city's history.


Visit http://www.miami21.org/ for more information



- Manny

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance


September 11th is National Day of Service and Remembrance. In honor of this day, which is also the culmination of President Obama's United We Serve campaign, the City of Miami is reaching out to its employees and residents to make a pledge to engage in at least one community service project before the end of this year.

I invite you to join me, staff and volunteers at the Miami Riverside Center on Friday, September 11th from 11am to 2pm to learn about service opportunities in our community. We will be collecting donations of prepaid calling cards for local men and women who are serving overseas as well as writing letters to send out through the Florida Army and Air National Guard.

To learn more about what you can do to serve in our community, I invite you to visit HandsOnMiami.org or visit your local NET office.


Thank you for your commitment to serve.
-Manny

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Miami 21 Needs Your Support

Due to the tremendous outpouring of support from our constituents, and the expressed desire of several City of Miami Commissioners to revisit Miami 21, I have called a Special Commission Meeting for September 4 at 10 am, at Miami City Hall, 3500 Pan American Drive, Coconut Grove, to revisit the issue.

The special meeting will follow a previously scheduled of the City Commission convened for the purpose of addressing the vacancy created by Commissioner Regalado’s resignation in advance of the upcoming general election this November. The item will be discussed on First Reading, given that the 2-2 vote on August 6th meant there was “no action” on the item pursuant to the commission’s rules of procedure.

I was encouraged by the public participation and public support for Miami 21 during our last meeting and I am once again asking you to take time out of your busy schedules to return for the public hearing on September 4.
Each of you should make your support of Miami 21 known to each of the commissioners in a short letter or e-mail, as the final decision regarding the plan’s fate rests with each of them. This is especially important if you will not be able to attend the meeting.

Here is a list of email addresses:

Commissioner Angel Gonzalez - District 1.
E-mail: agonzalez@miamigov.com
Commissioner Marc Sarnoff - District 2.
E-mail: msarnoff@miamigov.com
Commissioner Joe M. Sanchez - District 3.
E-mail: jsanchez@miamigov.com
Commissioner Tomas P. Regalado - District 4.
E-mail: tregalado@miamigov.com
Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones - District 5.

Please contact Kathryn Moore (kmoore@miamigov.com) in my office if you would like assistance drafting your letter or e-mail. Also, please remember to send a me copy at miamimayor@miamigov.com.

Make your voice be heard on Miami 21. Miami’s future depends on it!

- Manny

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sunday Bike Miami Ride through Little Havana, Shenandoah and Brickell


The City of Miami Bike Miami Rides program returns this Sunday August 23rd at 8:30am. Bring your bicycle, your helmet and water bottle to Mary Brickell Village's Brickell Plaza where you will meet with City of Miami Police officers and volunteers for a ride through the streets of Little Havana, Shenandoah and Brickell neighborhoods. You'll learn how to get ready for each bike ride, how to ride safely and share the road with cars, properly fit your helmet and more.
For more information about bicycle safety, please visit www.miamigov.com/bikes.
For more details about this weekend's ride and other bicycling events in the city, visit the Bike Miami Rides blog HERE.

Ride safely Miami.
-Manny

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Miami Bicycle Summit Reviews First Draft of Bicycle Master Plan

Miami’s bicycling community continues to impress me with their enthusiasm and dedication to our city. Last night, at the second Miami Bicycle Summit, roughly 50 people came to listen to the progress of the Bicycle Master Plan and to share their experiences, ideas and reflections on where we are and where we are going.

The City of Miami Bicycle Master Plan includes a study of current conditions, standards for better bicycle parking facilities and guidelines for implementation of a bicycle route network to connect our city’s parks, schools, shopping areas, special districts and neighborhoods. When completed, the plan will drive this city’s staff and future leaders to promoting a more bicycle-friendly city through policy, infrastructure, education and enforcement. It will be up to you, the residents of our city, to keep the pressure on your local leaders and make sure that Miami fulfills its promise of becoming of safer, friendlier, more sustainable place to live, work and play.

For more on the Bicycle Master Plan and the rest of our bicycle initiatives, please visit http://www.miamigov.com/bikes.

My personal thanks go to everyone who came and participated in the summit – with special thanks to those who rode to the event, many of whom are here:
-Manny

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Walkability Increases Home Values


The organization CEOs for Cities has released “Walking the Walk: How Walkability Raises Housing Values in U.S. Cities”, which demonstrates that, more than just a pleasant amenity, the walkability of cities translates directly into increases in home values.

The study showed that homes located in more walkable neighborhoods—those with a mix of common daily shopping and social destinations within a short distance—command a price premium over otherwise similar homes in less walkable areas.

The study analyzed data from 94,000 real estate transactions in 15 major markets and found that in 13 of the 15 markets, higher levels of walkability were directly linked to higher home values.

Within the findings is that houses with the above-average levels of walkability command a premium of $4,000 to $34,000 over houses with just average levels of walkability in the typical metropolitan areas studied. This is significant for policy makers as it offers the opportunity to increase local tax base, while at the same time increasing individual wealth by making homes more valuable.

Walking and cities go hand in hand. Sidewalks, streetscapes and destinations all define urban space. The resurgent interest in downtowns and in promoting mixed-use developments throughout metropolitan areas is, in part, driven by recognition of the value of walkability.

This is another example of why Smart Growth, as included in Miami 21, is good for the City of Miami.


Visit the CEOs for Cities website for more information



- Manny

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Energy Smart Miami Advances

The groundbreaking energy initiative that proposes to use federal economic stimulus funds to help spur a $200 million investment in “Smart Grid” technology and renewable energy over the next two years is moving forward.
FPL has submitted their proposal for $200 million in aid from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The money would be used to install Smart Meters, upgrades of electric network, installation of solar panels on some municipal and school buildings, and tests to accelerate the development of new products and services focusing on energy efficiency and renewable power generation.

The City of Miami announced in April that it is partnering with Florida Power & Light, GE, Cisco Systems and Silver Spring Networks to launch Energy Smart Miami, a model electricity system for American cities and cornerstone of a broader $800 million statewide investment.

This is an exciting project for Miami and one that will place our city in the forefront of energy conservation.

Read more in The Miami Herald

Read the April Announcement


- Manny

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Miami's Affordable Housing Finalist in National Awards

The editors of the national magazine Affordable Housing Finance have published their list of the top 35 affordable housing developments across the nation as finalists in its fifth annual Readers' Choice Awards. I am proud to say that two City of Miami housing developments have been listed in the top three of the following categories: Historic Rehabilitation and Master Planned/Mixed Use Developments.

The Royalton Apartments are located in the heart of Downtown Miami. Originally built as the prestigious Royalton Hotel in 1923, this historic property was restored in a collaborative effort among the City of Miami, Carlisle Development Group and Carrfour Supportive Housing. The project is also a finalist in The Florida Trust Awards for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Restoration/Rehabilitation.

Additionally, Village Allapattah is recognized for promoting a healthy community for its residents, all low- and moderate-income families and seniors. All residents receive membership to the onsite 17,000 sq. ft. fitness club, part of a larger YMCA center that includes a day-care facility and other resources for residents. I am proud that Village Allapattah, our newest affordable housing development, is already being considered a model for YMCAs across the country.

The City of Miami has taken a lead among Miami-Dade County municipalities in providing quality affordable housing for the residents of our growing city and I hope that our successes will serve as a model for cities throughout South Florida.

Read more about the awards here and in the recent issue of U.S. Mayor.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Statement Regarding Vote on Miami 21

I am exceptionally proud of the number of Miamians who embraced Miami 21 and was proud to sit through the debate last night. There can be no doubt that we successfully raised the public discourse in our city. Speaker after speaker stressed the importance of sustainability, climate change, walkability, pedestrian-friendly streets, bicycling, historic preservation, open spaces, health, obesity, etc. Speaker after speaker reflected the new Miami, a different demographic that embraces the urban experience and advocates for a very different Miami.

However, I am also extremely disappointed with the Commission’s final vote on Miami 21. This disappointment is not for me, but for the thousands of Miamians who participated in designing a new Miami during the course of the last four years. Regrettably, Miami’s residents will continue to be exposed to the monthly victories of the special interests that place their particular projects over the public good. Individual properties will continue to be re-zoned without regard to their neighborhood context or their place in the fabric of the entire city. The status quo will continue to promote a Miami with a little and mostly hostile public realm, uninviting streets, unsightly and exposed parking garages, poor or nonexistent transitions in residential neighborhoods, non-functioning public spaces and ugly commercial corridors.

For the moment, we are unclear as to next steps. However, I am very clear in my deep concern that last night's Commission action is a sign of things to come, a return to the old Miami of politics as usual.
- Manny

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Miami 21: First Reading this Thursday

I sat down with City of Miami Director of Planning Ana Gelabert-Sanchez and DPZ Urban Planner Elizabeth Plater-Zyberg to answer questions from The Miami Herald editorial board about Miami 21. You can watch the meeting video HERE.

I hope that you will join us in support of Miami 21 during the Special Meeting of the City Commission, this Thursday at 2pm. For more information, please visit http://www.miami21.org/.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Share the Road Miami

The City of Miami's bicycle initiatives continue to grow and bring fun, family-friendly events to our neighborhoods. The monthly Bike Miami Rides have brought people together from all over Miami and The Miami Herald has published a photo gallery from our last ride, which you can see HERE.
A recent success that I would like to share with you is the installation of Share the Road signage in Downtown. In the State of Florida, cyclists have the right to 'take the lane', which increases their safety and visibility on our roadways. We are happy that the County has responded to our requests to post these signs and hope that it will make Miami's streets safer for everyone.

If you are interested in knowing more about what we are doing to increase safe cycling in Miami, please visit www.miamigov.com/bikes or visit the Bike Miami Blog HERE. Also, I hope you'll join us for the next Bike Miami Ride on Sunday, August 23rd.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Using Stimulus Dollars to Green Miami


The City of Miami is on its way to using stimulus dollars to green our city and become more energy efficient.
Our City is slated to receive $4.7 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) from the Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) to “green” all 29 municipal buildings, which the City will leverage with private financing.
This week, the City Commission has approved the process to choose a contractor to perform energy audits and retrofits of many of our larger buildings.
The City will now have the ability to look at specific ways that we can save electricity and water usage. Once the buildings are “greened”, we will save up to 25% of in electric consumption. This will not only help our budget, but will also have an impact on our environment by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.
Our first phase of building retrofits is set to begin in the next few weeks, using the guidelines of the Clinton Climate Initiative, eventually making many of our buildings Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified.

Read more about how ARRA funds are being used in our city on Recoverymiami.com

- Manny

Florida Bar's Green Building Committee Launch Blog

The Florida Bar's Green Building Subcommittee has a launched a blog with green-building resources and related information. Their most recent entry discusses Green Building-inspired art here in Miami. View the blog at http://www.floridagreenbuildinglaw.com.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Bike Miami Rides through Mimo with Great Success

Bike Miami Rides brought 65 new and experienced cyclists to Miami's historical MiMo district this Sunday. Thanks to everyone who took part and who are taking responsibility for becoming safer users of our city, county and state roads.

I would also like to thank everyone who has written to me and my staff about their experience on Sunday. One participant wrote:
"I took part in the Bike Miami Ride (BMR) this last Sunday, July 19th, 2009. I want to express my great delight with this program, I have lived in Miami since 1968, and yet we traveled through neighborhoods that I was not familiar with (East Buena Vista just to name one). I enjoyed that we traveled through the area and sited new restaurants and other businesses that I'll return to and try out thanks to BMR exposing me to this area.The route also took us past the Haitian Cultural Center, that was an eye-opening experience. Another reason I enjoyed this ride was because of the fine work the City of Miami Police Bike Patrol did. They were very friendly and helpful as they shepherded us through the streets and kept us safe. It was a special treat to have Police Chief John Timoney with us too. I also want to mention how great the NET office was. [The NET Administrator] opened the office and provided cold water bottles to the 65 or so participants. I want to heartily thank her for her service in addition to yours in informing us of the bicycling laws and rules of the road and acting as our tour guide. I would be remiss if I didn't mention Collin Worth and the yeoman's work he has done in promoting cycling in the City of Miami. I have had the pleasure of attending 3 Bike Miami Days and now this Bike Miami Ride, and will continue to take advantage of these rides in the future. I want to encourage the city to continue and even expand this program. because Miami is such an expansive city and not easily traveled on foot I believe it has become imperative that Miami become a more bike-friendly city and that we foster a bicycling culture. The Bike Miami Days/Rides, go long way in meeting both objectives and want to vocalize my support and encouragement. Additionally support and recognition are also in order for other organizations such as Critical Mass which has a chapter in Miami and also does much to educate and encourage cycling here.Thanks again and keep up the fantastic work! Regards, JOHN C."
For more information about these rides, please visit the Bike Miami Team Blog HERE.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My Response to The Miami Herald on City of Miami Budget

Today, The Miami Herald published my response to the Sunday, July 12 article on the City of Miami Budget.
You may read the op-ed HERE, in both English and Spanish.
-Manny

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Working with the Department of Homeland Security to Improve the HSAS

This morning, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano announced the formation of a national task force to review the Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS). I am proud to have been asked to join this group and look forward to working with Secretarty Napolitano and others to assess the effectiveness of the HSAS, which serves to communicate to the public on terrorist threats and protective measures within government and the private sector. You can read more about the new taskforce on the City website HERE or at the DHS website HERE.

Shake A Leg Miami Celebrates Summer Learning Day

Shake A Leg Miami is one of this City's great community non-profits. Shake A Leg provides children and the disabled with unique opportunities to connect with nature and to learn and grow as individuals and athletes. This year's summer program features an engaging environmental curriculum that I am proud to support. My thanks go to everyone at Shake A Leg for this video in celebration of National Summer Learning Day on July 9, 2009.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Have a Happy and Safe 4th of July!


As you celebrate this 4th of July with your family, please follow all safety instructions when handling fireworks. One great way to celebrate the 4th of July safely is by joining the City of Miami in one of the largest fireworks displays in South Florida for America's Birthday Bash, in Bayfront Park in Downtown Miami.

Enjoy food and beverages, and a free Kids' Zone with inflatable slides, a "kiddie carousel," hoops, face painting and more. Bring the whole family!
- Manny

Monday, June 29, 2009

House Passes American Clean Energy and Security Act

The U.S. House of Representatives took historic action with the passage of the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) (H.R. 2454) last week, which will set our country on the path to energy independence from fossil fuel consumption, and will significantly help to promote the deployment of renewable energy resources, thereby mitigating the dangers of global climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
I commend our Florida U.S. Representatives who recognized the importance of this bill and voted in its favor: Kendrick Meek, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Ron Klein.
Not voting for this bill, as our other U.S. Representatives, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Lincoln Diaz-Balart, and Mario Diaz-Balart, is highly irresponsible, and the effects of not passing this bill would be irrevocable to our planet.
We must now work to get this bill to pass in the Senate and create a bill for President Obama to sign into law that ensures a clean, sustainable future for our children.
See the final vote on H.R. 2454 here>>

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The American Clean Energy and Security Act

This week, our Congressional representatives will vote on The American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) (H.R. 2454). I strongly support ACES, though I believe that it can do more to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Today, I wrote a letter to our United States Representatives urging them to help strengthen the bill by supporting the inclusion of funding for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program. The EECBG program is a priority of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and it provides a vital nexus for emissions reduction at the local level.
This legislation is currently scheduled for floor action in the House tomorrow. ACES will set our country on the path to energy independence from fossil fuel consumption and will significantly help to promote the deployment of renewable energy resources, thereby mitigating the dangers of global climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
During this City of Miami Green Week, I urge you to join me in supporting ACES and the EECBG program. You can read my letter to representatives Kendrick Meek, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Mario Diaz-Balart, Ron Klein and Alcee Hastings HERE. I invite you to contact your representative at http://www.House.gov

-Manny

Monday, June 22, 2009

Celebrating International Olympic Day: Tuesday, June 23

Around the world and throughout the City of Miami, people will celebrate the Olympic spirit on June 23: International Olympic Day.
Olympic Day is a celebration of the Olympic values of fairplay, perseverance, respect and sportsmanship. Each year, the U.S. Olympic Committee spearheads events with athletes from Team USA. This year, I join the USOC and mayors in 145 other American cities to bring these events to our local children and to show solidarity with the Chicago 2016 bid to host the Summer Olympics.

Miami is a city with a rich athletic history. Our local Miami Heat team has several Olympic athletes and our city is host to trials for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Miami's historic Moore Park has been a training ground for local Olympic heroes like Bershawn Johnson and Sylvia Fowles. Today, our city parks, swimming pools and gymnasiums welcome young athletes with dreams of success both on and off the field. In recognition of all of our young athletes, City of Miami Parks & Recreation Summer programs are hosting weekly mini-Summer Olympic Games, starting this Wednesday. I am honored to be joined by local Olympians Gary Hall, Sr., Gary Hall, Jr. and Tiffany Cohen (all multi-medal winning athletes), who will share their stories with over 170 kids in City of Miami Summer Camp at Shenandoah Park tomorrow.

I hope that you will join me in celebrating the Olympic spirit and by pledging your support for bringing the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games to the USA. Click here to make your pledge.

-Manny

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I'd like to thank everyone who came out to support a more Bicycle-Friendly Miami at our first Bicycle Summit on Monday. The event was a real success, with participants from across the city and county offering their questions, insights and responses to our survey. (Please click here and take our survey if you have not already).

The Summit was the first of two public forums dedicated to the development of the Miami Bicycle Master Plan, which will set specific guidelines and targets for making our city a truly bicycle-friendly place to live, work and visit. Please stay tuned for the date and time of our next summit.
I am also proud to announce the launch of the City's newest webpage, www.miamigov.com/bikes, which provides up-to-date information about our Bicycle Master Plan and all City Bicycle Initiatives. Here, you can access copies of the Bicycle Action Plan, contact city staff and local groups and get more involved.

We want to hear your thoughts and ideas, so please contact Collin Worth, the City's Bicycle Coordinator, with any questions or suggestions that you may have.

-Manny

Monday, June 15, 2009

Welcome to the New USCM President

My year-long presidency of the United States Conference of Mayors ended today during the last day of the 77th Annual meeting of the organization. This past year has been filled with challenges and opportunities, and I thank the more than 1,300 mayors members of the USCM for the opportunity to lead them through this difficult time.
I wish the new president of the USCM, Mayor Greg Nickels of Seattle, a great and productive presidency.
Watch a video about my presidency on the USCM website.


- Manny

Saturday, June 13, 2009

My Address to the U.S. Conference of Mayors

Today I addressed close to 300 of my fellow mayors during the 77th Annual Meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors. The economic crisis and ways to come up with solutions to address the situation are foremost in all of our minds.
A year ago in the USCM annual meeting in Miami, mayors were the first to sound the alarm about this crisis. We saw that we were headed down a path towards economic disaster before any presidential candidate figured it out. We were first to call attention to the need to invest in our cities and our people.
Mayors were the first to connect these investments to the creation of millions of jobs, and described these investments as the best economic stimulus plan our nation could ever have.
These are the investments called for in our 10 Point Plan. They formed the Action Agendas developed during our five forums, the largest federal investment in our people in the history of our country. This is a defining moment in our history and in the history of this organization. The mayors’ agenda is now America’s agenda.
The USCM also faces an unprecedented situation now, a boycott of our annual meeting by the Obama Administration. This boycott is a terrible mistake. Today, when we are in the midst of the most serious economic crisis since the great depression, the importance of our partnership is more important than ever.

CLICK HERE to watch a video and read a transcript of my speech.

- Manny

Friday, June 12, 2009

Miami's Environmental Programs Featured in Video

Today, I write to you from Providence, Rhode Island, where the nation’s mayors are convening for the 77th Annual Meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Throughout this weekend, we will be addressing America’s greatest challenges, including the need to promote effective, innovative environmental programs.
As a partner in the flagship EcoZone program, Miami became the first U.S. city to power City Hall with onsite solar panels – all at no cost to the taxpayer. Successful public-private partnerships like this can serve as model for other cities looking to reduce their carbon footprints. I would like to thank EcoMedia for supporting a Greener Miami and for a compelling video they recently completed about Miami's environmental programs. You can watch the full video here.

I will continue to blog from Providence. You can also follow me on twitter by clicking here.

-Manny

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Healthcare Reform Is Imperative

Today a bipartisan group of city, county, and state officials joined together with community leaders at the Borinquen Health Care Center in Miami to bring everyone's attention to a very critical issue that we are battling on a daily basis- rising health care costs. In Miami-Dade, more than 600,000 residents do not have Health Insurance, and more than 120,000 of them are children. These numbers are simply unacceptable.
Lack of Health Insurance disproportionately affects minority populations. In Miami-Dade, 30% of Hispanics, 25% of Blacks, and 39% of people of other ethnicities lack Health Insurance. The Health Disparities Report released today by the White House, racial and ethnic minorities and low-income populations experience serious disparities in rates of insurance and access to health care.
Miami is in particular need of Healthcare reform. According to the Millman Index he average total medical costs for a family of four rose 7.4% in the past year to $16,771. Miami has the highest health care costs in the entire country, with an average of $20,280. More than 40% of that came out of the pockets of Miamians. Exploding Healthcare costs have created a troubling burden for local businesses and government. In just the past seven years, premiums in Florida have increased by an unbelievable 72%.
Every day, more and more Miami residents are forced into bankruptcy and foreclosure because their health fails or because of an accident. And the longer we wait the worse it will get. The more people lose their healthcare coverage, the more costs will increase, along with the drag on our City’s economy. The time for action and reform is now- we can no longer sit by and watch as rising Healthcare costs cripple our economy and endanger our citizens.

- Manny

Honored to be Named as Member of Homeland Security Advisory Council

I am honored to have been named by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano as a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC), which provides recommendations and advice directly to the Secretary on matters related to homeland security.
It is a privilege to serve the Secretary, the Administration and the American people as part of the Homeland Security Advisory Council.
I look forward to working with Secretary Napolitano and other members of the council to find solutions to keep our country safe while welcoming immigrants who will contribute to our nation’s interests.
The HSAC is comprised of experts from state, local and tribal governments, emergency and first responder communities, academia and the private sector, and provides recommendations and advice directly to the Secretary of Homeland Security. The Council is chaired by former CIA and FBI Director Judge William Webster.
To read more about the HSAC, including a complete list of its members, please visit www.dhs.gov/hsac.

- Manny

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Miami A Character on TV's 'Burn Notice'

Sunny Miami is one of the characters in USA's hit show "Burn Notice", filmed on location, according to the Associated Press.

"Every city has its own unique pulse of life. That's what Jeff Freilich, executive producer of the USA network series "Burn Notice," believes...As a multiethnic, multicultural, international city located in a tropical climate, it's nearly impossible to fake Miami anywhere else." Read the story.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Miami Students Receive Free Computers

Following the event last week celebrating the graduation of more than 300 sixth-graders from the ELEVATE Miami program, this week we started handing out free computers to the students. Here you can see students from Kinloch Park Middle School taking their free computers home.
This is the second year of ELEVATE Miami, a joint effort of the City of Miami, Miami-Dade Public Schools and private partners to close the digital gap within our community. I am very proud of our students who graduated from the program and who have been rewarded with a free computer and internet access. Congratulations!
- Manny

Friday, May 29, 2009

Free Fruit Tree Giveaway for City of Miami Residents


All City of Miami residents are welcome to pick up a free fruit tree this Saturday as part of the Our Green Miami program (www.OurGreenMiami.org). From 8am-12 noon, residents can pick up young Mango, Avocado, Jackfruit or Lychee trees to plant in your own yard. These trees grow well in Miami and will help boost our urban tree canopy while helping you to save money and save the earth. Growing your own fruit is healthy and delicious way to promote a more sustainable Miami.

Please bring proof of residency with you and come early because trees will be given away on a first come-first served basis. Each household can bring home 2 trees. If you have any questions, please call 305.416.1551. I hope to see you there.

Fruit Tree Giveaway
Saturday, May 30, 2009
8:00 - 12:00
Eglise de Notre Dame D'Haiti
110 NE 62nd St (on the corner of NE 2nd Ave and NE 62nd St)

-Manny

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Miami 6th Graders Take Home Free Computers

Today we celebrate Miami sixth-graders who have earned a free computer as part of the Elevate Miami – Rites of Passage program. The program is a joint effort of the City of Miami, Miami-Dade Public Schools and private partners to close the digital gap within our community, and it is part of our committment to provide every 6th grader in Miami with a free computer and internet access.

This morning, I had the pleasure of meeting several of Elevate Miami’s most recent Rites of Passage graduates at Carver Middle School. They are among the 300 students citywide who have demonstrated an outstanding dedication to school work, community involvement and self-improvement. Now they will have the opportunity to bring home a computer, practice what they learned in school and share it with their families.

It's a wonderful day for these students and for the City of Miami.
For more information about Elevate Miami programs serving students, adults, seniors and businesses, please visit http://www.elevatemiami.com/.

-Manny

Monday, May 25, 2009

In Observance of Memorial Day

Today we observe Memorial Day, a day to honor our fallen soldiers, the brave men and women who gave up their lives for others. It is thanks to them that we can live in a truly free country, where peace and democracy reign. More than a million men and women have given their lives to protect America's freedom, thousands of them in Iraq and Afghanistan. As these men and women fight for our freedom, we must continue to remind ourselves that they too are sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers. It is up to us to uphold their legacy with respect, reverence and heartfelt gratitude. All too often, we as Americans forget how fortunate we are to live in a democracy. As we commemorate Memorial Day, we do so, not only in the spirit of remembrance, but also with the intention of extending our appreciation to all who have sacrificed to protect our freedoms over the years.

- Manny

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Your Emails About Bike Miami Days

Bike Miami Days is about community, and I want to thank each one of you who has taken the time to share your experience with me. I've received emails from people living in Downtown and also from as far away as Lee County, San Francisco and Chile.
Here are some excerpts from your emails. Please, keep them coming.

"Allow me to congratulate you for a great Bike Miami Days season. I followed your blog from the beginning and the results speak of passion and great team effort, a great leadership! Truly your office is changing our weekend activities and makes it cozy to be out in the streets of Miami. I am proud to be part of the community of the City of Miami."- Julieta R.

"Mayor, Your work in implementing the ciclovia actually made me consider moving to Miami. it's just an incredible town, but it's been completely ruined by cars. You've taken a bold step to try to save Miami from car culture. In fact, I'm still considering Miami. In cities with developing bike infrastructure, like Portland and Austin, young 'creative' workers flock -- even without jobs. I know - I was one of them. Congratulations, keep up the good work, and best of luck!" - Peter S.

"I just wanted to say how much my family enjoyed all of the Bike Miami Days. It is wonderful to have a safe, fun biking event that my 3-year-old daughter loves. Please keep Bike Miami Days going! They are not only fun, but they show Miami to be the amazing, progressive city that
it is." - Kristin H.

"Bike Miami Days = GREAT. I would like to add my compliments to the Mayor and all the City staff and volunteers for organizing the Bike Miami Days events. What a fantastic idea! I participated, and I’m glad I did, and encourage the City to do more things like this." Victor D.

"Sunday, May 17th was the first time that I was able to enjoy this event. It was absolutely wonderful. We will be back in October. It was so special to ride our bikes down streets that I had only been on in a car. I was able to see Miami from a totally different view." -Juanita G.

"I just wanted to write to you about what a great time I had at Bike Miami Days. I think it's a great way to get people together and celebrate what it's like to not be dependent on a car. I'm proud to say Miami is showing a commitment to giving more power to getting on two wheels and peddling as transportation. I get around on my bicycle, be it to go to school (starting in the fall it'll be FIU!), visit a friend, do the groceries or anything else. I've had the option to get a car and I really don't think I need one! Anyways, thanks for showing Miami a great time and setting up Bike Miami Days. Please keep up the good work!" -Joseph O.

"The only person who loves Bike Miami Days more than my kids is me! Thank you Miami. I have to drive from Hollywood but it’s worth it." - Veena

"Even though we got to the event almost at the end, we were able to enjoy the freedom of the closed streets. We rode around Biscayne Boulevard, Bayside, Bayfront Park, Intercontinental, and Brickell. We did have a wonderful time. We cannot wait until October!!! Thanks a lot to City of Miami for the great effort of bringing free entertainment to Miami."- Vicky C.
"Thanks to Bike Miami Days, I've rediscovered Downtown Miami and found Mary Brickell Village. It's been years since I went Downtown - and it's beautiful. I don't bike, but my husband and I like to walk the route each month. We look forward to the next one soon. Thank you." - Kathy K.

"May 17th was a wonderful event; my first time and we arrived early and it was such a thrill having major streets closed off and well-protected by Miami police and their aides for the enjoyment and the safety of the riders; it is truly a wonderful undertaking and we have the Mayor and the City to thank over and over again; all bikers, walkers and skaters should take time to enjoy the fun and celebration the next time around." -S. Hendrixx, Pinecrest.
"I just wanted to take a moment to thank the City of Miami for initiating this idea and taking it to fruition so successfully. I've riden my bike in many cities (San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Madrid, London, Toronto) and value the effort put forth by local government to allow alternative modes of transportation in auto-centric city infrastructures. Please continue to fund and support more bike-friendly venues and dare I say, add focus to more well-designed and neighborhood-connected bikepaths throughout our beautifully sunny City! THANK YOU and looking forward to many more rides!" - Yeraldine O.

Thank you again. I promise to keep the bicycling and walking community events coming. In the meantime, I hope you will continue to share your experiences with me. You can email me HERE and also fill out a survey about how we can improve bicycle facilities in the City of Miami HERE. The results will be used for the City's Bicycle Master Plan.

-Manny

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Seventh Bike Miami Day Sets Record

I'd like to thank all of volunteers, staff, friends and supporters of Bike Miami Days. Sunday's event was another great day to be in Downtown Miami, with thousands of people of all ages enjoying the open streets. I'd like to offer a special thank you to the Miami Downtown Development Authority for sponsoring the Children's Corner, great live music and the Dance Contest prizes of 6 bicycles and 1 tandem.
Bike Miami Days has really become a movement here in Miami, and it is getting attention around the country. As the Miami Herald wrote yesterday, we are the first U.S. City to host seven events like this. I hope that you will take a moment to share with me your experience with Bike Miami Days, so that we can make our next event (scheduled for October) the best yet. Please send me an email, here.
The City of Miami plans to break ground on several bike lanes projects this summer, including parts of Northeast 2nd Avenue, North Bayshore Drive and the North Spring Garden Greenway. And through October, volunteers and City of Miami Police Bike Patrol Officers will be leading monthly community "Bike Miami Rides". I'll post more information soon.
To see some more pictures from yesterday's event, please visit my Facebook page.
-Manny