Since the hit and run collision that killed cyclist Christoph LeCanne in January, the Transit Miami Eye has noticed that the Miami Dade Police Department has wholeheartedly stepped up enforcement on the Rickenbacker Causeway. This morning I noticed a small army of Miami Dade police officers pulling over speeding cars. Well done MDPD, your efforts have not been overlooked.
Unfortunately, even with the additional enforcement, many hazards still remain. Additional enforcement certainly helps, but is not a long term solution for the Rickenbacker Causeway. We still have a roadway that is designed to encourage cars to travel in excess of the posted 45 mph speed limit, which in and of itself is too high. Even with all the additional enforcement, I saw several cars traveling in excess of 60 mph today. Speeding is particularly prevalent on bridges, where it difficult for the police to set up speed traps. Drivers are aware of this and take the opportunity to rev-up their engines. For this reason, bridges are the most dangerous sections of the Rickenbacker Causeway for cyclists.
What we really need to do is design a roadway that polices itself. If we were to construct a roadway with a design speed of 35-40 mph, we would not require the coveted services of our police department. Instead the valuable resources of the Miami Dade Police Department could be allocated to deal with the more pressing issues of our community. Please do not misconstrue what I am trying to say, I really am grateful for everything the Miami Dade Police Department has done for the cycling community. They have been very supportive of us, but enforcement is only part of the solution to the many issues that plaque the Rickenbacker Causeway.
Today I also saw a Miami Fire Department truck parked in the bike lane. A bike lane that also doubles as a shoulder creates a major conflict for cyclists when motor vehicles are parked in it. You can also see several other pictures of Miami Dade County employees parked in the bike lane that Transit Miami reader Yaniel Cantelar sent to us last week.
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