Bicyclist Killed in Davie

Yet another bicyclist was killed today, apparently on an I-595 exit ramp at SR-7. The Sun-Sentinel and the Miami Herald both have brief reports on the subject. Our sympathies to the friends and family.

My first thought after seeing the Miami Herald headline was, What on earth was this guy doing on I-595? Bicyclists aren’t allowed on the freeway and all that. But then I remembered how the area around this interchange is configured. In the first place, even US-441/SR-7, an arterial with bicycle lanes north and south of the area, is set up like a high speed expressway here. There are no intersections in this part of the arterial, but just on and off-ramps that encourage cars to maintain high speeds and hit any bicyclist who dares to ride past those ramps.

Then there is SR 84, which is like a frontage road to I-595 with bicycle friendly features (the Broward County Bicycle Suitability Map has a multi-use path shown along SR-84), with the glaring exception of this interchange. SR-84 basically combines with I-595 between Florida’s Turnpike and SR-7, leaving bicyclists traveling east or west on SR-84 with no choice but to navigate the maze of ramps to get through the two interchanges. The multi-use path, which could be a good alternative in this area, dead-ends on either side of SR-7.

Now put these two roads together. I haven’t ridden through this area, and I imagine only the bravest cyclists would venture through it. Very high speeds, interchanges, and intermittent bicycle facilities make for a perilous ride. This poor guy tried to navigate these confusing interchanges and was hit by one of those high speed vehicles.

Accidents like these are the unfortunate result of the careless, half-completed construction of bicycle facilities which basically dump riders on the freeway. FDOT is planning to build a multi-use path paralleling I-595 when they add the express lanes and redo a lot of the interchanges, and we can only hope they do it right and do it all the way.

4 Responses to “Bicyclist Killed in Davie”

  1. 1 maaaty

    Thanks, JM, for posting this and especially for being the first commenter (commentator?) on the Herald’s story. That set the predictable hate-fueled rabble back a little bit — they didn’t really get their grunts in till page 2.

    Both papers reported the collision using these words:

    “…[the] bicycle … crossed into the path of an oncoming Toyota Scion.”

    Since when has a traveling car become like a freight train or an asteroid, blindly following an immutable path? Once again, the media report this as if the vehicle is on an unalterable track, unpiloted, and justified in extinguishing life.

  2. 2 Mike Lydon

    Well put maaaty. You know, I used to take sw 8th street east, to downtown on the commute home, but always disliked the on/off ramp at 8th and I-95. On the approach, I always merge all the way left. This is not the easiest maneuver, switching two lanes to the left between 6:00-7:00pm on calle ocho. But no doubt, I rather do that than get mixed-up with highway, rush hour addled drivers exiting the auto-sewer that is I95.

    I eventually gave up and starting taking SW 1st, and now take SW 3rd through a really active, interesting neighborhood. It is so much safer.

    It is not surprising this happened, given the design and your comments. However, it is truly tragic. JM, your points on safety and FULL design are well taken.

  3. 3 JM Palacios

    Actually, maaaty, the Herald’s comment threads are in reverse order. So my comments were the most recent, bumping the first posters to the second page.

  4. 4 JM Palacios

    huh. Just looked at the Herald page again, and my first, lengthier comment got removed. Weird.

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