Conservation Watch: Everglades Paved Bike Path

This is something that was brought to my attention through social media, which goes to show you how powerful it can be when trying to get to word out about a cause or movement. My buddy Nick from 239 Flies posted this article about a proposal to build a paved bike path that extends from Miami to Naples – through the Everglades. With that, he mentioned I should bring some news about it here as well.

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As per the Sun-Sentinel’s article details from the link above, the proposal itself calls for a 76-mile paved bike path to be built. It is proposed to span from Miami to Naples and cut right through the Everglades. The path itself will be 12-16 feet wide and have rest stops with parking and amenities every 10-12 miles.

Let that sink in for a second and then ask yourself, why do we need this? One of the concerns from┬áthe originator of the proposal was safety for cyclists. Currently, when biking the Tamiami Trail, it’s said that cyclists are not safe and it can be dangerous to traverse the trail by bike. The proposal has already been approved for a $1.5 million dollar planning phase and is expected to cost the tax payers up to $1 million per mile for construction.

Taking a step back from the details above this entire proposal is a horrible idea and will only further ruin the Everglades. The Florida Everglades does not need to be developed any further for the convenience of man.

“The Florida Everglades does not need to be developed any further for the convenience of man.”

While there may be good intentions by the original group who created the proposal to help their fellow cyclists, it is the wrong move for Florida and an even worse move for Florida conservation going forward.

The new paved trail is horrible because it is just that- PAVED. There should be no new pavement placed inside the Everglades as pavement is a man-made improvement. We are now seeing the effects that the Tamiami Trail/Alligator Alley have had on the Everglades ecosystem and it cannot sustain any other paved improvement even one such as a bicycle path. The proposed cycle path will introduce litter into the environment and further pollute the everglades at each planned rest station. These rest stations will need subsurface construction for drainage, sewage, water, electric, etc.

Again- even if the intentions of the proposal are pure at heart, there is no way that anyone can guarantee that there will be no environmental impact from increased human traffic and man-made facilities/improvements.

Isn’t it time people who truly respect the Everglades as a natural resource stand up for no further development in these lands?

How can I help?

Those pointless White House petitions don’t do anything (even though there is one started here for this issue). You need to contact your local representatives to tackle local issues.

Voice your opinion to the elected officials in the surrounding districts who have the power to do something about this.

Contact the Collier County and City of Miami commissioners:

Collier County Board of Commisioners

City of Miami Commisioners Listing

 

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