A special “thank you” to the County Public Works Department for relocating the Christophe Le Canne Ghost Bike. The County Public Works Department has been working with the cycling community to find an appropriate place for the ghost bike. I think most will concur that they have found an agreeable location. Please send Esther Calas, Director of the County Public Works Department, an email to thank her. (email@example.com)
The Miami Dade Police Department has provided Transit Miami with their Rickenbacker Causeway enforcement statistics for 2009 and January 2010. As you can see below the Miami Dade Police Department has been enforcing their jurisdiction on the Rickenbacker Causeway. They are issuing approximately 7 hazardous moving violations per day to motorists. Enforcement is clearly present. What we need is a roadway that is designed to discourage people from speeding. Even with police enforcement motorists continue to speed on the Rickenbacker Causeway. More enforcement may help, but is not the ultimate solution. Designing a roadway for all users is the answer.
|Month||Hazardous 1 Moving Violations||Non-Hazardous2 Moving Violations||Verbal Warnings||Total|
|Total 2009 Hazardous Moving Violations||2,424|
|Average 2009 Hazardous Moving Violations Issued Per Day||6.64|
|Average January 2010 Hazardous Moving Violations Issued Per Day||8.71|
|1. Hazardous violations are those which have the immediate potential for bodily injury|
|and property destruction; for example, running a red light or stop sign, or careless driving|
|2. Non-hazardous violations are those not likely to expose persons to injury or result in property damage;|
|for example, expired tag or defective equipment.|
For what must be the 3rd or 4th time in the past year and a half the same Brickell bus stop on Brickell and 15th Street has been wiped out by a speeding car. The problem here is that the bus stop is located on a dangerous curve and when cars come barreling down Brickell Avenue at night they head straight for the bus stop. I’m pretty sure drunk driving has something to do with this problem, but speeding is certainly a major factor in these accidents. The way Brickell Avenue is designed encourages speeding; we need to design this road to discourage speeding. Moving the bus stop should also be considered. Sooner or later someone waiting for the bus will get struck. If you are familiar with the area please feel free to suggest other improvements in the comments section below.
We have some good Rickenbacker Causeway news to report this week.
A Transit Miami Shout-Out goes to Commissioner Carlos Gimenez. Commissioner Gimenez has proposed a resolution to conduct an analysis of the current expenditure of toll revenue generated by the Rickenbacker Causeway and to develop a work plan to allocate 25 cents of every toll collected to projects promoting pedestrian and bicyclist safety along the Rickenbacker Causeway. This proposed resolution will go to the full County Commission next month.
This is a great fist step Commissioner Gimenez! Keep up the good work. Commissioners Jose Diaz, Sally Heyman, and Rebeca Sosa co-sponsored the resolution. Please contact Commissioner Gimenez and thank him for his initiative.
The Miami Police Department also deserves a Transit Miami Shout-Out. Ever since the deadly accident on Bear Cut Bridge last month, the Miami Police Department has been noticeably present on the Rickenbacker Causeway. They have stepped-up enforcement in a major way; increased enforcement plays an important role to ensure the safety of all users on the Rickenbacker Causeway. Thank you MPD! Keep up the great work. Check out the pictures of the MPD in action on the Rickenbacker Causeway this morning
According to the New Times Carlos Bertonatti is back in the slammer. Apparently Betronatti lied about only having a Venezuelan passport. It seems he forgot to mention that he also posses an Argentinean and a Romanian passport. Based on his past history of not showing up to court dates, Judge David Miller deemed him a flight risk and revoked his bail. He was sent straight to jail. Judge Miller has set an initial trial date for Bertonatti on May 3.
Thanks to Tim Elfrin from the New Times for following up on this story.
Please check out the editorial in the Miami Herald regarding the accident which occurred on the Rickenbacker Causeway two weeks ago that killed bicyclist Christopher Le Canne. Three residents ring in with their opinions.
Michael Muench from Miami calls for improvements to the design of the Rickenbacker Causeway, which include physically separated bicycle lanes. Physically separated bicycle lanes may not necessarily be the best solution as Mr. Muench suggests. One thing is for sure, as long as we insist that it is OK to have a highway next to a bicycle lane accidents will occur. Road design certainly contributed to the accident and will continue contributing to future accidents. We cannot allow the current roadway design to remain. Major improvements need to be made; the current design is too dangerous for all users of the Rickenbacker Causeway.
Bruce Nachman from Miami, correctly points out that the Fire-Rescue response time needs to be improved. Unfortunately, this will not solve the underlying problem. If a pedestrian or bicyclist is hit by a car going 60 mph the chances of surviving are less than 10%.
Lastly Janis Ball from Miami Lakes is outraged by the fact that the driver was set free on bail. Carlos Bertonatti should never have been driving in the first place, but to set bail so low for such a horrific crime is unacceptable. We need to start taking hit and run crimes a lot more seriously.
If you believe that the design of the Rickenbacker Causeway contributed to the accident please send Mrs. Esther Calas, Director of the County Public Works Department, an email asking for a safer Rickenbacker Causeway @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Today was my first day back on the road bike since the deadly accident two weeks ago on Bear Cut Bridge. Quite frankly, I was a little spooked by the accident and it has taken me a couple of weeks to build some courage to ride again.
As usual hundreds of bicyclists and pedestrians were on the Rickenbacker Causeway enjoying the gorgeous day. I noticed that there were more police officers present on the Rickenbacker Causeway than usual. This is certainly an encouraging sign. Both Miami Dade County and Miami Police officers were noticeably present. Enforcement certainly is a step in the right direction, but it is not the solution for our speeding problems on the Rickenbacker Causeway. As long as we have a roadway designed to induce speed, the speeding will continue and bicyclists and pedestrians will continue to get hurt. Even with increased enforcement I noticed several cars on the William Powel Bridge traveling in excess of 65 mph.
My ride was going fairly well until I caught up to a small group of riders on Virginia Key. I was ridding in the back of the group (10-15 bicyclists) when all of the sudden a bicyclist in the group clipped the rear tire of the rider in front of him. He took the rider behind him down with him; somehow I avoided crashing too.
The first cyclist to crash landed head first into the asphalt. Although he remained conscious he most likely has a slight concussion, his helmet was cracked in half. The second cyclist to crash walked away from the accident with a little road rash, but was OK. Fire-Rescue was called and within 10 minutes they arrived.
In all fairness, this group was riding slowly and they were not ridding aggressively as some groups do. This really was just an unfortunate accident. Nevertheless, it was the 6th accident in the past 6 months that I have personally witnessed while riding in groups/pelotons. I will no longer ride in large groups and quite frankly I believe something needs to be done regarding aggressive groups/pelotons which ride irresponsibly. I am not sure what can be done. If you have any suggestions please let us know. This problem needs to be addressed asap.
About ten minutes after witnessing this accident and still a little shook up, I was nearly t-boned by a car that was attempting to turn into the Marine Stadium. I was traveling in the bike lane heading north back to the mainland, when a car traveling south bound on the Rickenbacker Causeway attempted to make a left turn into the Marine Stadium entrance. Rather than waiting for me to pass, the driver tried to make the left turn; I yelled and he stopped halfway through his turn. Luckily for me there was a Miami Police officer right behind him. He witnessed the entire incident and pulled the car over. I turned around to thank the officer and then continued back home. I’m not sure if the police officer gave the driver a warning or a ticket. My hope is that he was ticketed. Regardless, I am happy to see that the Miami Police department is being proactive and is pulling over drivers for reckless behavior.
After the second incident I decided to call it a day and cut my ride short; too many close calls for a Saturday morning.
fyi: A little road rash makes you look tough.
Earlier this evening, around 6:15pm, my fiancé and I decided to ride our bicycles to Miami Beach from Brickell. While riding on north on NE 1st Ave we were nearly sided swiped by two cars within a 30 second period. The first car got away. The second driver wasn’t so lucky. I caught up with him and we exchanged a few words. I told him he almost ran me off the road. He literally came within a foot of hitting me. He proceeded to tell me that I had no idea about what I was talking about because he was a lawyer. My fiancé informed him about the three foot law, and his response was to say that we should be riding on the sidewalk. When my fiancé countered that statement with the fact that riding a bicycle on the sidewalk was in fact illegal he decided to roll up his window and speed off. All the while I proceeded to take a photograph of his SUV and write down his tag number down.
He was driving a white BMW X6. I believe the tag number is D59ZE on a Miami Dolphins license plate. My fiancé and I would make two good witnesses.
Boy, it sure would be nice if us bicyclists could do something about this.
The Miami Herald is reporting that 2 boys died in separate bicycle accidents in Hillsborough County, Florida.
Twelve-year-old Mitchell Bowers, died Tuesday evening. He was riding in the bicycle lane when he reportedly turned left in front of a car and was hit. He later died at the hospital.
The second boy, 11-year-old Bryan Lebron Jr., was hit while trying to cross a busy street Wednesday to catch up with his father and another sibling. Lebron also died at a hospital
Neither driver has been cited. Our condolences go out to the family.
Dear Fellow Cyclists:
I read with great interest your involvement in this past weekend’s memorial ride for Mr. Christophe Le Canne. I am a native Miamian and grew up cycling Key Bicayne for many years so I know the area very well. I currently live in Palm Beach County and serve as a National Board Member for the League of American Bicyclists, Executive Director of the South Florida Bike Coalition and as well as Director of Government Affairs of the Florida-based zMotion Club, a 600-member cycling organization in South Florida.
Though the memorial ride was well deserved, I pause with concern over the demand in the paper to create “some sort of barrier or physical separation between motorists and bicycle lanes.” Based upon our collective national experience, such a demand will have adverse and unintended consequences throughout the region and the state.
First, the continued demand for some sort of barrier or physical separation between vehicle and bicycle lanes highlights the stereotype of the cyclist as a ”vulnerable user” of the roadways and that cycling is a dangerous activity that has no place on the public rights of way. We believe that the more people who elect to ride a bike and leave their cars at home will begin to enlighten the public that cycling is a superior form of transportation, a health benefit, and a mode of mobility that tends to reconnect communities. A physical barrier on Key Biscayne will undermine that argument.
Second, a barriered bike lane is the antithesis of good public policy. There is a national movement for “Complete Streets“, and the demand for segregated bike lanes is a push in the opposite direction.
South Florida is undergoing a slow, long effort to change both the behavior of cyclists on the roads and the attitudes of the non-cycling public towards bicyclists. We are one of the largest metropolitan regions in the entire country and are somewhat unique in our anti-cycling problems due, in part, to the absolute and exclusive reliance upon motor vehicles for personal mobility; there is no real public transportation system and no more land with which to create one. This, combined with our repeated designing of our roads to move only single-occupant cars as fast as possible, and the conflict between motorist and cyclist over use of limited public right of way is unavoidable, inherent, predicable, and effectively programmed.
Also, a barrier relieves motorists, cyclists, and law enforcement of their responsibility when using (and policing) the roadways. Cyclists, motorists, and law enforcement officers do not know the laws establishing the rights of cyclists to use the roads, and equally, cyclists do not know (or respect) the laws that govern their behavior when operating a bicycle on the public rights of way. Even with such education, the existing laws have no real ”teeth” to change cyclists or motorists behavior towards each other.
Third, if safety is the issue, the most expedient way to protect cyclists from motorists is to remove cyclists from the Key. The repeated demand for a barrier is going to force the City’s hand to “do something” for the “safety of the cyclists”. The likely outcome of that cry to help - limit bicyclists access on the Causeway. Or, if a barrier is developed (with public money), the public is going to demand that it be the exclusive road used by cyclists and prohibit cycling elsewhere. A barrier would kill cycling on Key Biscayne as we have historically enjoyed it and will have elevated the motor vehicle to the “supremacy” that our society current views it as. Cycling on the road is not a right, it is a privilege (very much like driving a car). It can easily be taken away from us “for our own safety.”
Fourth, and from a practical perspective, a barrier is actually going to cause more accidents than prevent them. All cyclists, travelled at all different speeds, would all be herded like cattle into a chute which would cause a much larger number of conflict points than the admittedly rare and infrequent car v. cyclist crash.
So, we have discussed what NOT to do. What CAN we do to effectuate change?
Up here in Broward and Palm Beach counties, we are doing something about that. We have been working with the zMotion Club under the astute leadership of their president, Pat Patregnani, to support their endeavors to create such change.
This is overwhelmingly an EDUCATIONAL endeavor. Until the non-cycling public begins to understand that bicycles are absolute rightful and equal users of the roadways, public sentiment will always sway towards keeping cyclists off of the roads, “for our own safety” and so they can get as quickly as possible to their destination, damn be the consequences for the rest of society. The demand for a separate barrier on Key Biscayne falls right into this argument.
So how does this begin to change? Rather than fight for separate facilities, help us to spread the word about zMotion’s “Ride Right/Drive Right” campaign and let’s get it into each and every city in Miami-Dade County.
And most importantly, let’s get ALL cyclists to support the organizations who are fight for you every day (FBA, LAB, zMotion, South Florida Bike Coalition, Green Mobility Network, to name a few).
We remain ready, willing and able to work with you in these endeavors. We have also copied the other community “leaders” in Miami-Dade County who share similar concerns. A small “bicycle summit” of the “thought leaders” in bicycle issues would be a great place to start.
For now, continue to organize yourselves and define the message. This can be the beginning of the “tipping point” for a true “mobility” culture in South Florida. But please keep always present and in the forefront that emphasizing the “vulnerable” status of cyclists as users of the roadways only serves as fodder for the anti-cycling crowd to underscore cyclists do not belong on the roadways.
After this past weekend, you have everyone’s attention.Jeffrey Lynne, Esq email@example.com
Tomorrow, Wednesday January 27 @ 5:30pm, the monthly BPAC meeting will be held. All of you that have concerns about pedestrian and bicycle related issues in Miami Dade County should attend this very important meeting. We need to keep momentum on our side. Our elected officials are listening. You can find all the information about the meeting here.
An estimated 4000 bicyclists and pedestrians showed up this morning for the Key Biscayne Memorial Bike Ride to pay their respects to Christophe Le Canne, the bicyclist that was killed last Sunday by a hit and run driver.
Bicyclists came from as far as the west coast of Florida, Broward and Palm Beach Counties. I hope our elected officials are listening to us. Our unified voices will only become stronger. We will be writing more about what this means for the cycling community in Miami and South Florida.
A special thank you to the County Public Works Department and the Miami Dade, Key Biscayne and Miami Police Departments; without them this event would not have been possible.
We expect a large turnout for the Key Biscayne Memorial Ride on Sunday. The County Public Works Department along with the Miami Dade, Key Biscayne and Miami Police Departments have been working tirelessly over the past few days to ensure our safety. We expect between 1000-2000 bicyclists and possibly more. Cyclists from as far as Broward and Palm Beach County have confirmed that they will be attending this event to pay their respects to Christophe Le Canne, the bicyclist that was killed last Sunday by a hit and run driver.
We need everyone’s cooperation to make sure no one gets hurt. The police will be on hand to help us and are providing an escort for the large group that will be meeting across the street from the Mast Academy at 9:00 a.m. We will leave promptly at 9:15 a.m., stopping at the Christophe Le Canne memorial sign which the County Public Works Department has very thoughtfully placed on Bear Cut Bridge where the accident occurred.
After a twenty minute stop we will proceed to the entrance of Bill Bagss Florida State Park on Key Biscayne. We will turn around before the entrance to the park and head back towards the mainland. At this point the police escort will effectively end. Please use caution after the escorted ride is over; regular vehicular traffic will be present. Remember we must also follow the rules of the road; share the road works both ways.
*The Miami Seaquarium has invited us to use their parking lot as a staging area for the 9am ride. They ask participants to use the main Marquee entrance to enter the parking lot and park as close to the causeway as possible.
Family & friends of Le Canne are asking those who wish to help to donate funds to Haiti Relief instead.
Make checks payable to:
American Red Cross
P.O. Box 37243
Washington, DC 20013
Notation on check:
AP 2885 – Haiti Relief – IMO Christophe Le Canne
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