Yesterday afternoon I took off the suit and put on the spandex for an afternoon ride on the Rickenbacker Causeway. This is what I witnessed:
- About a hundred cyclists enjoying the afternoon
- Several dozen pedestrians and runners exercising
- At least 15 cars cruising in excess of 50 mph
- At least 3 cars doing about 65 mph on the bridges (Motorists love to speed on the bridges, it is very difficult to enforce the speed limit on the bridges)
- One parked car in the bike lane
- A Miami Dade Transit bus overtake me, only to cut me off to drop off a passenger. The bus partially stopped in the bike lane, forcing me into the traffic lane as I passed the bus.
- A large white van came within 2 feet of me while doing about 50 mph.
- One decoy police car used to calm traffic
Believe it or not, but this was a particularly calm day on the Rickenbacker Causeway. Conditions continue to remain unsafe for all users; unfortunately cyclists do not have any better or safer options.
Several months ago I had lunch with Chief Press and Deputy Chief Jose Monteagudo from the Key Biscayne police department. Chief Press invited me to meet with him after I posted a blog regarding the ticketing of cyclists on Key Biscayne. We agreed on mostly everything, even the fact that bicyclists needed to be ticketed because most were riding their bicycles through Key Biscayne as if it were the Wild West.
Education and enforcement is certainly working on Key Biscayne. Recently I have noticed an increase in the number of cyclists that are stopped at red lights on Key Biscayne. Chief Press explained to me that along with enforcement his officers have been educating cyclists. Most cyclists who are caught breaking the law are cited. I was shocked to hear that the Key Biscayne Police department had cited several cyclists for repeated infractions. This is unacceptable. Cyclists which regularly break the rules of the road are the very same ones that give all cyclists a bad name. Grow up. This ain’t the tour.
Yesterday I went for a bike ride on the Rickenbacker Causeway. This is what I witnessed:
- Several hundred bicyclists
- Hundreds of pedestrians
- Two Miami Dade Police cruisers enforcing the speed limit
- At least 7 cars driving in excess of 50 mph
- Five cars driving in excess of 65 mph on the bridges
- A SUV swerve into the bicycle lane while doing about 45mph
- Two cars parked in the bicycle lane
- A driver aggressively accelerating towards me as I overtook another cyclist. The driver then yelled at me and told me I only belong in the bicycle lane.
It’s been nearly three months since the tragic accident that killed bicyclist Christope LeCanne, yet no additional safety measures have been implemented on the Rickenbacker Causeway. All the dangerous existing conditions still remain there. I would like to remind everyone that over the past 5 years we have averaged about a death every 2.5 years on the Rickenbacker Causeway, in addition to many other serious injures. Please reach out to County Commissioner Carlos Gimenez and ask for a safer Rickenbacker Causeway for everyone. Commissioner Gimenez is one of our greatest allies, but he needs your support. Please also suggest to him that we close a lane of traffic every Sunday for cyclists and pedestrians to enjoy the best South Florida has to offer.
For those of you that will be able to attend, please be sure to ask FDOT if they feel like the new bike lanes on the MacArthur Causeway are safe. Ask them if they would feel comfortable if their children rode in this bike lane. A completely unprotected bicycle lane on a major highway, that starts and ends abruptly, is not safe nor is it a very good idea. The minimum standard that was applied to the MacArthur Causeway bike lanes are better suited for a road that has a design speed of 25 mph, not 70 mph.
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), District Six, will conduct a public information meeting about a roadway project on State Road (S.R.) A1A / 5th Street / MacArthur Causeway from West Avenue to Collins Avenue on Wednesday, April 14, 2010, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., at the Miami Beach Police Athletic League, 999 11th Street, Miami Beach, FL.
The proposed scope of work includes: repaving of the road; replacement of damaged sidewalks, curbs and gutters; reconstruction of pedestrian ramps; median closure at Euclid Avenue to improve safety conditions; addition of bicycle lanes; minor signalization improvements; and new signs and pavement markings.
Graphic displays of the project will be showcased at this meeting and FDOT representatives will be available to discuss the project and answer questions. Please contact Marta Rodriguez, Public Information Specialist, if you have any questions about this project at 305-470-5203 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear City of Coral Gables Commissioners, Manager, & Public Works Department:
I am writing to voice my concern that the City Beautiful is not doing enough to serve the growing demand for simple bicycle and pedestrian improvements. I would like to make you aware that Miami-Dade County has monies currently allocated for striping existing county roads adding bike lanes at no cost to the municipality. Coral Gables should be taking advantage of this FREE money and infrastructure improvements. Specifically, Alhambra Drive should be considered to connect UM to Downtown and Miller Road for students.
Additionally, Miami-Dade County is resurfacing Sunset Drive and Coral Way from Red Road eastward. These county projects could easily add bicycle lanes and reduce vehicle speeds on these residential roads by reducing the lane widths to 11′ with a 4′ bike lane. This would not require the removal of any trees or change the character of the roadway while making these routes safer for cyclists and vehicles. Again these improvements would not cost the city. Please coordinate with Commissioner Gimenez (Sunset Dr) and Commissioner Sosa (Coral Way) offices.
Lastly, FDOT is reconstructing Bird Road and Red Road. Florida State Law requires that FDOT add pedestrian ADA improvements and bicycle improvements. The city should be requesting FDOT add bicycle lanes for safety purposes. Again vehicle lanes can be slightly shrunk and a few extra feet of pavement would allow bicycle lanes. Again this would not cost the city. Please contact District 6 FDOT and request bicycle lanes be added.
These 7 projects would add over 10 miles of bicycle lanes and more than quadruple the existing bicycle infrastructure in Coral Gables for free. This would provide safer roads for all commuters, take vehicle traffic and greenhouse gases off the roads, provide recreational routes to see our many city treasures and move Coral Gables Bicycle Master Plan forward into implementation. The Manager should request in writing to the responsible agencies immediately.
I would be happy to meet with anyone individually to discuss these routes, contacts, or organizing a bicycle action committee of residents and cyclists. This could be an offshoot of the city’s “Green” efforts. Thank-you for your immediate attention as many of these projects are beginning construction and the County money is only available now.
I’m a big fan of red light cameras, but I’m not a fan of putting them in the middle of the sidewalk. Not much consideration was given to people with disabilities or parents with strollers when they stuck this pole on the NE corner of 71st Street and Indian Creek Drive. We shouldn’t place a large red light camera pole in the middle of a sidewalk. The Transit Miami Eye is looking at the details.
You can read more about the red light cameras on Miami Beach here.
Traffic going to and on the Rickenbacker Causeway this weekend was dreadful. Cars were backed up about a mile on the I-95 and there was bumper to bumper traffic all the way past the roundabout on South Miami Avenue and SE 15th Street. A friend of mine told me it took him more than an hour to drive the 6 miles from Crandon Park to Brickell Avenue.
The Old Cutler Road bike path is in shambles. Below is a fire hydrant that has been placed in the middle of bike path. There are dozens of other obstacles that cyclists need to avoid on this path. The Old Cutler Road bike path is long overdue for a makeover. Root rot, dangerous intersections, poor placement of signs, and oncoming cars are just a few other examples of obstacles that cyclists need to avoid when riding here.
This afternoon I stopped by Kennedy Park in Coconut Grove to check out the new fitness area which was completed in January. Take a look at the pictures below; I think you’ll agree that the $24,500 investment has paid itself off already. The fitness area was packed with people of all ages. Again congratulations to Commissioner Mark Sarnoff, for allocating quality-of-life funds for this initiative. The fitness area is undeniably making our community healthier.
Today was my first day back on my road bike since the fatal accident on Bear Cut Bridge nearly three months ago. I don’t think I could have picked a worse day to ride my bicycle on the Rickenbacker Causeway; the Sony Erickson women’s semi-finals.
Here’s what I observed this morning:
- Hundreds of people riding bicycles
- Average speed of cars 45-50mph
- About 10 cars doing at least 65 mph
- A motorcycle doing about 75 mph
- A police car (department will remain nameless) overtake another car in the right hand lane while encroaching the bike lane going about 70 mph before the Rickenbacker Bridge. This was a non-emergency, illegal pass; the police cruiser did not have lights on.
- At least 5-6 cars cut me off as they accelerate in order to overtake me so they could make a right hand turn.
- A cyclist riding against traffic
- Safety cones encroaching the bicycle lane rather than encroaching or being placed in the travel lanes to calm down traffic
It’s been nearly 6 months since FDOT completed its auto-centric resurfacing project on Coral Way. Our readers may recall that I did a thorough analysis on the poor quality of the bike lanes which were striped on Coral Way. We were told that FDOT would go back and re-stripe the bike lanes correctly as they should have done in the first place. Well, it’s been 6 months and we’re still waiting…
Yesterday I was driving down this section of roadway and noticed all the cars overtaking me as they cruised in excess of 50 mph. This roadway has 14ft lanes which only encourages cars to speed. As I’m driving down the street I noticed a woman pushing her husband in a wheel chair while trying to cross Coral Way in front of the St. Sophia Church on Coral Way and SW 24th Road. Unfortunately, this vulnerable couple doesn’t have safe options to cross Coral Way. The closest crosswalk to them is one block away on SW 25th Street. The next closest crosswalk is 10 blocks away on SW 15th Street. To make matter worse, the crosswalk on SW 15th Street is on a treacherous curve, making it very dangerous for even a healthy individual like myself to cross.
This signature FDOT project is just another fine example of their auto-centric mantra. The time is now to begin designing complete streets for all users.
Last night my wife and I took the Metromover from the 10th Street Station in Brickell to the Omni Station to check out Mama Mia at the Adrienne Arshet Center. As is usually the case when we ride the Metromover, we had to help several people make sense of the Metromover.
Transit needs to be user-friendly in order for it to work well. Unfortunately we make it difficult on ourselves when we can’t keep the Metromover maps consistent. The maps at Metromover stations are clearly marked with 3 distinct colors (blue, orange, pink); each color distinguishes the three different routes (Omni, Brickell, and Inner loop).
However, once you enter the Metromover car the colors of the map change completely. The easily distinguishable blue, orange, and pink routes become less discernible shades of grayish/blue. I can’t think of a good reason why we have two different maps; we need to have one easily understood map, not two.
One of our readers, TM Reader, suggested identifying each of the Metromover cars more clearly too. I’d like to take this good idea a step further. The Metromover cars should be painted blue, orange, or pink to reflect the color of each route. This would make transit easy to use.
Enough is enough. Cyclists in South Florida are sick and tired of FDOT’s antics. FDOT chooses not to include or even consider bicycle lanes in most of their resurfacing projects in District 6. Last night about 35 cyclists attended an open house in which FDOT told the attendees that bicycle lanes would not be included in the Sunset Drive resurfacing project; so much for public participation.
Yesterday the newly energized South Florida Bicycle Coalition announced they would seek legal action if FDOT does not include bike lanes in the Sunset Drive resurfacing project without the required design exception, traffic and impact studies.
Well done South Florida Bicycle Coalition! Keep up the great work!
Our expectation is that FDOT should design a complete street that includes sidewalks, bike lanes, narrower traffic lanes, lower speed limits and additional traffic calming devices. We will no longer tolerate shoddy FDOT workmanship such as the bike lanes on Coral Way and the MacArthur Causeway. FDOT has a responsibility to provide safe bicycle infrastructure that exceeds their abysmally low minimum design standards.
It should be noted that this is a MAJOR route for cyclists traveling east/west. Trinity County Pineland Park and three elementary schools sit on Sunset Drive. These attributes make this stretch of roadway the perfect candidate for a complete streets initiative by FDOT.
LISTEN TO THE LATEST TALKING HEADWAYS PODCAST
Find us on Facebook
- Mike Arias on Car crashes into Miami sidewalk cafe, injuring at least 10. County and City Officials Are Guilty of Negligence.
- John Hopkins on City of Miami Public Hearing: Small Building Parking Exemption
- John Hopkins on City of Miami Public Hearing: Small Building Parking Exemption
- Melissa Gallo on City of Miami Public Hearing: Small Building Parking Exemption
- Anonymous on Does Miami Beach Mayor Matti Bower Hate Bicycles?
- Anonymous on Does Miami Beach Mayor Matti Bower Hate Bicycles?
Subscribe via Email
TagsBicycle Bicycle Infrastructure bicycles bike lanes Bike Miami Days Bikes bikeway biking Brickell bus Calendar Climate Change Coconut Grove complete streets Congestion Cycling Downtown Miami Downtown Miami FDOT MDT Metrorail Miami Miami-Dade County Miami-Dade Transit Miami 21 Miami Beach Miami Dade Parking Parks Pedestrian Pedestrian Activity Pedestrians Pic o' the Day Public Transit Rickenbacker Causeway Sprawl Streetcar Traffic Transit Transit Oriented Development Transportation Tri-Rail Uncategorized Urban Design Urban Planning