Spring into SOMI!
Changes in nature are always dramatic although oftentimes subtle; in South Florida we begin to see lush colors emerging as we enjoy our seasonal changes. At my home, butterflies are taking flight and the wildflowers are just doing what they do – being abundantly wild! Spring is the season of dramatic change and creates a renewed sense of awareness and appreciation of our surroundings.
Spring is also a great time for cycling in South Florida. There are some great cycling initiatives happening: The Underline, the development of a ten mile linear park under the Metrorail; The Ludlam Trail, a rails-to-trails project on the abandoned FEC Corridor and BIKE 305. The latter is a collaboration of Miami-Dade County municipalities, the county’s transportation, public works and parks departments and cycling groups and businesses – all who encourage healthy lifestyles and transportation alternatives through bike-friendly events that connect bikeways, trails and greenways, as well as programs that teach safe-cycling skills to children and adults. I’d invite you to check them out: www.miamidade.gov/bike305
See SOMI Magazine’s coverage on page 39 this year’s Bike-to-Work day.
Cycling is one aspect of multi-modality solutions. County Mayor Carlos Gimenez has taken a leadership role over several years in addressing cycling concerns, such as improvements to the Rickenbaker Causeway, more bike lanes stripped, and promoting cycling as a good community connector with the adoption of the BIKE 305 initiatives.
Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd of each year. I was privileged to be a faculty member at Christopher Columbus HS in 1970, where I was instrumental in organizing a first Earth Day observance. Read the History of Earth Day on page 21, and I’ve asked a bright, knowledgeable and involved millennial to share his perspective on Earth Day. Read his commentary on page 24.
Our cover feature is “The Changing Face of US 1” over the past few decades. In just a few short blocks we cover a good bit of change. And with this issue we complete our Chronicling of South Miami History. However, it is history that has yet to be written. As we approach the centenary year of 2027, what advances will have been made to bring greater prosperity to our community.
SOMIartwalk© finished up its Tenth Anniversary 2017/18 season last month. I’d like to acknowledge the businesses which have participated in the event since October, our host sponsors and businesses contributors, the visual and performing artists who have shared their talent with us and our ArtWalk Ambassadors, members of the South Miami Senior HS JROTC, who assist visitors to our community.
Our thanks to County Commission Xavier Suarez for finalizing the landscaped median and pedestrian crosswalk at Red Road and 73 and 74 Streets. This has been a long time coming, and I’d like to acknowledge property owner Brandon Lurie for his tenacity in seeing this project through. (And I won’t have to write about it and call it out every year anymore.)
In closing, welcome to our new businesses which have recently opened in town. Read more about these businesses and others in our What’s New in Town feature, found on page 40.
Please let us know what you think about your SOMI experience and how it can always be improved. And I welcome you to do that, thanks.
Enjoy the spring, and spring into SOMI. It’s SHOP SMALL IN SOMI all year ‘round – support your locally owned businesses.