If you’ve ever driven or walked past the Metrorail in Miami, you’ve probably noticed the unkempt and unutilized area located directly below it. A new initiative, spearheaded by The Friends of the Underline and James Corner Field Operations, aims to transform this neglected tract of land into a park extending the entire length of the Metrorail, from Brickell to Dadeland South. The 10 mile epic project has been titled: The Underline.
A couple weeks ago, The Friends of the Underline and James Corner Field Operations carried out two public meetings, where they laid out the initial version of The Underline. The authors of the development envision two paths running parallel throughout the entire length, one with a minimum of ten foot width for bicyclists, and the other with a minimum of eight foot width for pedestrians. The trails would weave their way through differing environments embellished with park features and art, with the ultimate goal of improving public land and promoting a healthy lifestyle.
At certain points throughout the park, the paths would cross roads and intersections. To deal with this, the designers have proposed an array of countermeasures to ensure the safety of everyone at the park. For the crossing of less traveled streets, crosswalks or raising the street to the park level, to create a sort of protuberance so that drivers are aware of the crossing, should do the trick. When it comes to more trafficked intersections though, they have recommended constructing elevated crosswalks.
Although the creation of this park would be fantastic, The Friends of the Underline and James Corner Field Operations are sure to encounter some bumps along the way. Recently, Florida Governor Rick Scott vetoed a $2 million in funding towards The Underline. Despite this happening, the South Miami City Commission voted to stick behind the project. Even though it might be a few years before we see the realization of this project, I really do hope to promenade along The Underline one day…