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Open letter
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 28 July 2011 09:20

This is an open letter sent to Broward County Commissioners Wexler and Jacobs, Sunrise Mayor Mr. Ryan and Mark Horowitz, Bicycle & Pedestrian Coordinator at Broward MPO.


Good Morning Commissioners, Mr. Mayor, and Mr.Horowitz,

Interesting article in yesterday’s (7/27/2011) Sun-Sentinel about the ‘new’ greenway on the north side of the New River Canal that runs parallel to SR 84 and I-595. As you know, it is part of the planned wider greenway system to be implemented by Broward County that spans numerous cities and ties many of the parks and cultural centers together. The article states that the new greenway is devoid of any pedestrians or riders. The defenders' position is that the park is yet to be completed and there are benches with shades still to come. Unfortunately, no trees are to be planted since they might end up in canal after a hurricane. This is the first issue that should be reconsidered. If you want people to use the park, it NEEDS trees, it’s as simple as that.

I designed to create a sense of community among the people living in the new and old developments around Sawgrass Mills Mall. I strive to promote the neighborhood to residents, businesses and visitors alike. I support City of Sunrise vision for developments such as Metropica, Westerra and Everglades Corporate Park, the latter as long as all possible efforts are made to protect the Everglades. I also fully support the idea behind the planned greenways. The new greenway however suffers from poor or limited accessibility which means getting there for those living around Sawgrass Mills is a major hassle as well as a safety issue. Similar accessibility affect Markham Park. There is a potential entrance to the park at NW 8th St, under the Sawgrass Expressway, in Sunrise, yet it is fenced off and closed. Opening this entrance to cyclists and pedestrians (even if on weekends only) would save miles for those of us living around Sawgrass Mills.

However, back to the greenway. If you live at Tao Sawgrass or Artesia which are both located on Flamingo Road in Sunrise, you would need to cross 18-21 roadways/streets/community and shopping plaza entrances before getting to the greenway. The number of crossings however can be decreased to under 10 by turning the 47 feet-wide (according to Google Maps) strip of land running along the east side of Flamingo Road, and generally separating Plantation from Sunrise, into a greenway and creating a 10-12 feet pathway inside of it. There would still be plenty of room left for landscaping to protect homes in Plantation Acres from any traffic noise. The pathway will be for the exclusive use of joggers and bicyclists.

While there is a greenway planned for the Hiatus Road, it is 12 blocks from the current and future developments around Sawgrass Mills. Also, there are no stores along Hiatus Road between Oakland Blvd and I-595 making it impossible to make a pit stop to buy food or water in case of need. Creating a greenway along Flamingo Rd would also link the Flamingo Road Linear Park on the west side of Flamingo Road next to Artesia and it will also serve the future mobility center recommended by the Broward MPO for the Sawgrass area.

Every weekend hundreds of bicyclists use the local roads around Sawgrass Mills. Let's face it, they wont use the sidewalks since those are not wide enough and often twist and turn thus forcing the riders to constantly adjust speed. Riding on the road however is a safety issue for both bicyclists and drivers. As an example, I and my girlfriend ride exclusively on the sidewalks since we don't want to get hit by a car. By creating a Flamingo Road greenway, we can get cyclists of the street by giving them a long, almost uninterrupted path to ride on, as well as help those of us living in the Sawgrass Mills neighborhood to get to the greenway safer and quicker.




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