The first time we heard of architect Bernard Zyscovich‘s plan to turn parts of the Rickenbacker causeway into a pedestrian and cyclist friendly linear park it was a revolutionary but still modest idea.

His original plan called for lessening the number of car lanes on the bridge, and replacing them instead with a bicycle path blocked off by lush, tropical landscaping. Well, some officials weren’t so keen on eliminating car lanes, so they asked Zyscovich the question all architects secretly want to hear: What would you do if money wasn’t an object?

The results are eye-popping and totally ambitious.

Rickenbacker Causeway Plan Z - 2Forget modifying the current structure. The new plan, dubbed Plan Z 2.0, completely reimagines the Rickenbacker. New lanes would be constructed solely for bikes, and a striking entranceway meant to link up with the planned Underline park would be built.

The dedicated biking and jogging lanes would then continue onto Key Biscayne. An observation deck is called for at the William Powell Bridge.

Though, in the short term, Zyscovich just wants to complete a pilot program that would paint the entirety of the existing bike path green and add reflectors to the lanes.

According to Miami Today, Key Biscayne officials liked Zyscovich‘s originalplan, but wanted to see options that wouldn’t reduce car lanes. According to the paper,  Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Matheson Family spokesman Bruce Matheson are in favor of the plan.

Rickenbacker Causeway Plan ZThe Rickenbacker is one of the most popular pathways for cyclists and joggers not just in Miami-Dade, but all of Florida. But parts of the path can be particularly dangerous. A number of fatal accidents where drivers have killed cyclists over the past few years have brought attention to the need for more safety measures along the causeway.

Of course, there’s no word on who will pay for this idea quite yet. Miami-Dade leaders and citizens have a history of falling in love with eye-catching, big picture ideas, and then never actually seeing those ideas come to pass in a timely manner. Only time will tell what becomes of this idea.

Zyscovich will officially present the plan to the Key Biscayne Village Council later this month, but officials from the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County will eventually get filled in as well.


Source: Miami New Times

Public promenades and plazas are part of the plans for Miami Worldcenter’s high street retail future.

MiamiWorldcenterPedestrianFriendlyMiami Worldcenter Associates, master developer of the project—in collaboration with Forbes Company and Taubman—are developing a pedestrian-oriented streetscape that will serve as the retail focal point of the 27-acre mixed-use development. The official groundbreaking of the retail project and the Paramount condo project are set for March.

The renderings reveal an open-air shopping promenade running north and south from northeast 10th street to northeast 7th street and between northeast 1st and 2nd avenues. Residential towers, a hotel and exposition center and plenty of dining and entertainment venues will surround the promenade. Nearby, retail shops and restaurants will surround an open-air public plaza along northeast 1st Avenue. The idea is to create a central gathering place and outdoor event space at the heart of Miami.

“Working with Forbes and Taubman, we’ve created a high street retail concept that takes full advantage of Downtown Miami’s rise as one of the nation’s most densely-populated, walkable and well-connected neighborhoods,” says Nitin Motwani, managing principal for Miami Worldcenter Associates. “By creating a network of open-air promenades and plazas, we’ll ensure Miami Worldcenter is seamlessly integrated with surrounding streets while developing a street-level experience that draws visitors from across South Florida and around the world.”

The high street retail model—defined by a critical mass of shops and boutiques in a pedestrian-oriented setting—is proving successful in urban centers across the US. San Francisco’s Union Square District, New York’s SoHo, and Miami Beach’s own Lincoln Road are a few examples.

“We believe that high street retail is the right way to move forward in Downtown Miami,” says Robert S. Taubman, Chairman, president and CEO of Taubman Centers. “The retail and restaurants, combined with the new residential developments and surrounding amenities, will create a very desirable urban experience.”

Miami Worldcenter will also be home to the 700-foot tall Paramount condominium; an 1,800-room Marriott Marquis hotel and expo center developed by MDM Group; Luma, a 429-unit luxury multifamily building developed by ZOM; and two multifamily towers built atop street-level retail lining northeast 7th street. Direct links to the new All Aboard Florida high-speed rail terminal and the existing Metromover system will encourage mass transit.


Source: GlobeSt.