This news is a few days old, but we wanted to post it in case anyone didn’t see the article in the Miami Herald. A bus driver hit a bicyclist and didn’t even bother to stop, ignoring the cries of his passengers.

The bicyclist escaped with some scrapes as an early Christmas present. Fortunately for him and the rest of us, the driver has been suspended, so we have one less bus driver out there trying to maim bicyclists. He’s still getting paid, though. MDT wouldn’t want to let him miss that hefty salary paid by your sales tax.

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11 Responses to MDT Hit and Run

  1. Felipe Azenha says:

    There is a Bal Harbour Ordinance that strictly prohibits bicycles on sidewalks. However this bourgeois city does not provide any safe alternatives (i.e. bike lane or paths). I hold the city of Bal Harbour partly responsible because it forces all cyclists to travel on a dangerous section of A1A.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    I don’t understand how the bus driver was arrested at the scene, and there is still a pending internal investigation. Meanwhile the driver who left the scene continues to get paid. It doesn’t jive.

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  3. KidBass says:

    counting down my time left in this piece of sdghsdhjsenfqwifuvsndgiwjeg city. this city always makes me angry. no respect for anything.

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  4. Robert Mann says:

    I loce these “off the sidewalk” rules for bicycles. Has any city leader anywhere ever done the math on these two questions?

    1. Bike -vs- Automobile/Bus = DEATH or MAIMED bike rider.
    2. Bike -vs- family walking = Some bumps and bruises and ill tempers.

    GO FIGURE? The solution is so damn obvious, where ever there are not business doors letting out on the walk, bikes should be welcome to get off the mean streets.

    BOB
    http://jacksonvilletransit.blogspot.com/

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  5. Ellen says:

    Acutally, studies show that cyclists are safer on the streets as opposed to sidewalks. When you’re on the sidewalk, drivers don’t register your presence and turn suddenly in front of you or they are looking at traffic in antother direction and again, don’t see you. If you are out in the street, conscientious drivers will give you the 3 feet and other drivers hopefully will speed on without incident, albeit close. When we retreat to the sidewalk, we are surrending our right to the road and our own safety. This would be a good opportunity for Miami Transit to remind all bus operators to give bicyclists at least three feet of clearance when passing. I’m thankful that the cyclist was only minimally injured.

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  6. Felipe Azenha says:

    Ellen,

    I agree with you that riding on the sidewalk is more dangerous in most instances. But I do not feel that riding on A1A is any safer, particularly on this section of roadway where there is no shoulder or bike lane. In fact, I would argue the ordinance that Bal Harbour created forces all cyclists to ride on A1A, in essence placing many people in harms way.
    You are not gonna tell me that you would rather have your kid ride on A1A then on a sidewalk?

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  7. Michele says:

    I have heard it said before that bicyclists are safer on the streets, but don’t believe it. I think that there might be something to it about intersections. I commute by bike about half the time, and ride in mostly suburban South Miami/Pinecrest.

    I ride the sidewalk whenever possible, unless on totally deserted side streets where there are no sidewalks anyway.

    On smaller two lane roads like Ludlam Avenue, I can’t believe it is safer on the road then on the sidewalk. You just have to be careful at the intersections.

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  8. Ellen says:

    I gently disagree with both Felipe and Michelle. I am a regular street rider with my 11.5 year old daughter in front of me. I ride at least two feet out into the lane [on Ludlam Road, Michelle, which is quite near where I live] and she’s in front of me, not as far out into the lane as I am. And even though we get yelled at/honked at/buzzed, I do not concede the lane. Perhaps we can enjoy a nice ride south on Ludlam one day and I can demonstrate? And I would do the same on A1A but that’s too far from where I live. My daughter and I ride on Flagler and Calle Ocho Streets to Bike Miami and Critical Mass rides frequently. My secret is to show NO FEAR.

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  9. JM Palacios says:

    Good job, Ellen, on training your daughter to ride on the road. It’s good that you’re with her, as I don’t think kids without driver’s licenses know the rules of the road well enough to be bicycling on the road.

    I would agree that Bal Harbour’s no-bicycling-on-sidewalks rule is unnecessarily strict, and places bicyclists who are wary of the road in an uncomfortable position. Plus, as another fearless road rider I’ll even get on the sidewalk if I deem it quicker than crossing the street, doing U-turns, whatever.

    They really should provide bicycle lanes or something if they’re going to enact such laws. That said, I would continue to encourage anyone riding on the sidewalk to consider braving the road. Riding on the sidewalk is like an act of submission. Despite the fact that the law says otherwise, you have to slow down and yield the right-of-way at every intersection. Drivers pretty much never see you there. So you are really limited to walking or jogging speeds on the sidewalks.

    On the road (vehicle lane or bicycle lane) drivers are much more likely to see you as they approach. Yes, there are some insane criminals like this bus driver who want to hit bicyclists. I didn’t refer to this as an accident because anyone who saw you and still hits you is doing it on purpose. Even carelessness is on purpose, because one doesn’t mind if they hit a bicyclist. But I digress. This guy wasn’t the first to get hit by a bus with only scrapes. My “accident” was similar and all I had was some scrapes. Given the same speed, collisions with two vehicles going in the same direction are going to be less painful than colliding at right angles with someone. I’ve seen countless such near collisions when I was riding on the sidewalk, and a couple actual collisions. The most damaging collision I’ve had was with a car hitting my back tire at a right angle as I was crossing the street from a shared use path (a.k.a. sidewalk) into a driveway. After that, I rode on the road and made a proper left turn into that driveway. It’s much safer all around when bicyclists and cars are behaving the same way, and that only happens on the road.

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  10. PR says:

    Hello,

    Today I was rammed by a city bus on Biscayne 19st southbound. The Driver stop almost a block away. She hit me with the whole side of bus without yielding a inch, I was riding on the far right of the lane almost on the sidewalk gutter.

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  11. Bill C. says:

    People should ignore the Bal Harbour rule because it is unlawful. Your right to operate your bike on the sidewalk is a right protected by state statute.

    Section 316.2065 (10), Florida Statutes, expressly provides that “A person propelling a vehicle by human power upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, has all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances.”

    It is well established under Florida law that municipalities cannot remove rights granted by state statute. In Rinzler v. Carson, the Florida Supreme Court declared:
    Municipal ordinances are inferior in stature and subordinate to the laws of the state. Accordingly, an ordinance must not conflict with any controlling provision of a state statute, and if any doubt exists as to the extent of a power attempted to be exercised which may affect the operation of a state statute, the doubt is to be resolved against the ordinance and in favor of the statute. A municipality cannot forbid what the legislature has expressly licensed, authorized or required, nor may it authorize what the legislature has expressly forbidden. In order for a municipal ordinance to prohibit that which is allowed by the general laws of the state there must be an express legislative grant by the state to the municipality authorizing such prohibition.”

    Bring the state statute to court with you if you get a ticket for riding on the sidewalk. Sue Bal Harbour if you get hit by a motor vehicle because you were following their illegal ordinance.

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