At a set of two public meetings a few weeks ago, masterplan designers James Corner Field Operations and the Friends of the Underline laid out their initial vision for The Underline, the epic linear park planned to stretch underneath the Metrorail from Brickell to Dadeland South. Working with what is currently the M-Path, the designers envision two parallel paths, one with a minimum ten foot width for bicyclists and one with a minimum eight foot width for pedestrians, that would wind their way through a variety of settings and ecosystems. The Underline will transform the starck, underutilized Metrorail access road into a rich, verdant, and very long park.
At some points the paths would connect and at others would run on opposing sides of the park. Street intersections would be dealt with in varying levels of intensity, from a more prominent crosswalk at the middle of the block, to elevating the street to the park level and thus creating a 'hump' that would make drivers immediately aware of the crossing, to a full-on elevated crossing at a few heavy intersections. Landscaping, consisting of low-maintenance native species, would be divided into ecosystems reflective of South Florida's natural setting: a pine rocklands, hardwood hammocks, and wet prairies. The Underline would also be divided up into 'character zones', with uses suited to neighboring areas, that are highlighted by 'destinations' with more intense programming.