A few years ago Vice Mayor Lewis J. Thaler advocated for bike lanes and a pedestrian walkway on the Lehman Causeway but at the time it was difficult to convince the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) of the need. Then, back in October of 2011 I met with a resident of Sunny Isles Beach named Nilda Montoya who requested that the City Commission try again. Nilda was advocating for a pedestrian walkway and took it upon herself to contact key executives at FDOT, as well as Senator Gwen Margolis, to solicit their help for this project. Her purpose for meeting with me was to get the Sunny Isles Beach City Commission on board with the idea.
After our meeting I approached the City Manager who met with FDOT to see if the idea could be revived. FDOT agreed to look at designs for bike lanes only, however. On February 23, 2012 a Public Information meeting was held at Aventura’s City Hall to discuss the project. Subsequently, on August 3, 2012 the Sunny Isles Beach City Commission received a letter from Gus Pego, FDOT’s District Secretary, announcing installation of bike lanes on a test project basis.
We applaud FDOT’s willingness to expand the use of the bridge beyond just vehicles and we hope that the same courtesy will be extended to pedestrians in the near future.