The FDOT has officially entered the “Transit Miami No B.S. Zone”
Several weeks ago I received the below email from Kenneth Jeffries, Transportation Planner Florida Department of Transportation District Six. This email came in response to an article about the benefits of protected bicycle lanes that appeared in the Economist, which I sent to Mr. Gus Pego, FDOT District 6 Secretary, over a month ago.
Thank you for your interest in bicycle facilities on state roadways. The Department seeks to provide the safest possible facility for all users of the transportation system. Our statewide design standards do not preclude the construction of protected bicycle facilities.
Our designers have evaluated protected bicycle facilities as part of roadway projects in the past where they can be designed to within Department standards. The recently completed Resurfacing, Restoration, and Rehabilitation (RRR) project on SR A1A/MacArthur Causeway was designed per FDOT Design Standards, which includes on-road bicycle lanes. Providing protected bicycle lanes would likely require reconstruction and widening, which would incur significant costs beyond the scope of the RRR project. If you are interested in a protected bicycle facility along this roadway, I recommend that you contact staff at the Miami-Dade Metropolitan Planning Organization to plan, program, and prioritize funding for such a facility.
Thank you again for your interest in this subject. Please feel free to contact me directly with any future questions/comments regarding bicycle facilities on state roadways.”
Oh boy (deep breath).Where do I even begin?
Well, for starters, Mr. Jeffries stated that the Department seeks to provide the safest possible facility for all users of the transportation system? This was clearly not the protocol on the MacArthur Causeway, Biscayne Boulevard , Brickell Avenue, Coral Way or…..the list goes on and on…you get the point. How can the FDOT honestly say that these aforementioned state roadways are safe for anyone to ride a bicycle, especially a child? What a joke.
On a positive note, I’m glad to hear that the FDOT’s statewide design standards do not preclude the construction of protected bicycle facilities, but I have yet to see them wholeheartedly embrace this facility type. Actions speak louder then words, we have yet to see any action-just lip service.
Contrary to what Mr. Jeffries stated above, providing protected bicycle facilities on the MacArthur Causeway would not require reconstruction and widening. How about reducing the travel lanes? The current design speed of 50+ mph would be reduced with narrower lanes (accidents that seem to shut down the MacArthur Causeway on a monthly basis would also drop) and the extra few feet taken from the travel lanes could then be allocated to a protected bicycle lane. Sounds like a no brainer eh? Looks like I managed to find a solution that is inexpensive (paint), which does not require a road expansion project (expensive), and will actually achieve the FDOT’s stated objectives to make the transportation system as safe as possible for all users (drivers, cyclists and pedestrians). The BS and the reindeer games must stop FDOT.
We need your help on this one TMers! Please take a second to write a quick email to Mr. Gus Pego and invite him and his family to take a bike ride with Transit Miami on the MacArthur Causeway. I’ll bet the ranch he won’t take us up on this offer. The existing bike lane on the MacArthur Causeway essentially leads cattle on bicycles to slaughter. No sane person should ride a bicycle on the MacArthur Causeway unless they must.
*It should also be noted that I requested the MacArthur Causeway design plans from the FDOT over a month ago. They provided me with these illegible plans.I submitted a second request for the plans, but have not heard back from them.
- FDOT: “MacArthur Causeway is safe for cyclists”
- FDOT Responds to Transit Miami: “Design Speed on MacArthur Causeway is 45 mph”. Does that make it safer for cyclists? No.
- MacArthur Causeway Project Public Information Meeting
- Port Tunnel Work (Unofficially) Begins; MacArthur Causeway to be Expanded
- MacArthur Causeway Quote of the Day
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