This morning I reported that a bicyclist was killed on Bear Cut bridge.  This is the 2nd bicyclist that has been killed while riding on the Rickenbacker Causeway in the past three years.  The Rickenbacker Causeway is unquestionably the most popular biking route in Miami, and on any given weekend morning thousands of bicyclists of varying abilities descend upon it to ride their bicycles.

Much will be written about who’s at fault for this accident. I would not be surprised if the driver was drunk or under the influence. Most people will blame the driver for the accident. I for one believe the driver should share the blame with the County Public Works Department. The County PWD should be held accountable for designing such poor bicycles lanes. Unfortunately, it was just a matter of time before this happened and to be quite honest I am surprised accidents like this don’t occur with more frequency.

About two years ago, the County Public Works Department began resurfacing the Rickenbacker Causeway.  The PWD modus operandi with regard to bicyclists seems to be “Do as little as possible for bicyclists”. This is exactly what they have done on the Rickenbacker Causeway-as little as possible.

Anything less than a protected bicycle path should not be accepted by the bicycling community. By protected bicycle path I mean there should be a concrete barrier that physically separates the cars from the bicycles. If the County Public Works Department is going to encourage bicyclists to ride the Rickenbacker Causeway, they have the responsibility to make sure that the bicycle infrastructure they design is safe first. Putting a bike lane next to a roadway in which cars are traveling at speeds in excess of 45-65 mph creates an extremely unsafe and all to often deadly situation for bicyclists. The Rickenbacker Causeway (and frankly all our Causeways) are long overdue for an overhaul which insures the safe travel of all, including bicycles and pedestrians.

Physically Seperated Bicycle Path: Wilson Bridge Bike Path. Photo courtesy of http://joeholthaus.com/id69.html

Physically Seperated Bicycle Path: Burrard Bike Lane, Vancouver Canada. Photo courtesy of www.news1130.com

Below is a graph which shows the likelihood of surviving a collision with a car. Bridges typically happen to be areas where cars like to speed.  If the County Public Works Department continues to encourage bicyclists to ride here without the correct bicycling infrastructure, accidents like this will sadly continue being a fact of life.  I for one have been discouraged from biking here, but my passion for riding on two wheels will have me back on the Rickenbacker tomorrow morning.  I just hope I don’t become another Rickenbacker Causeway statistic.  Be safe.

Source: http://peds.org/2009/01/

45 Responses to Why Bicyclists Keep Dying on the Rickenbacker Causeway

  1. Yaniel says:

    i’m a miami cyclist, and was out on the Rickenbacker this morning a little after this tragedy happened. While i agree that it would be nice to have protected bike lanes, I’m satisfied with what we currently have there which is 10 times better than what the rest of miami has. I feel that in almost any other city/town that isn’t miami, those lanes would be safe. Miami drivers are selfish as can be and i’m tired of telling drivers that the bike lane in key biscayne is not a designated area to stop and text message people or eat your lunch.

    The death today was 100% the fault of the intoxicated driver and he should be punished to the full extent of the law and be made an example of.

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  2. Felipe Azenha says:

    It will only be a matter of time before this happens again. Next time it may be a distracted driver. Most other cities provide a seperated bicycle path on bridges. There is absolutely no reason we cannot develop safer bicycle infrastructure. The driver should accept most of the blame, but this accident could have been prevented if there were a physically seperated bicycle path. Speeding cars and vulnerable bicyclists is a recipe for disaster.

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  3. Ry says:

    The majority of roadies will not ride in a bike lane with a protected barrier. There is already a protected barrier on the south side of the William Powell Bridge… it’s full of slow cyclists walking their bikes up & rollerbladers, walkers & joggers going in all directions. At the speed a lot of these cyclists ride 25mph+ it is not wise to have them enclosed with other cyclists/pedestrians etc.

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  4. Yaniel says:

    the protected part of the william powell bridge also has a sign that says you can’t ride bike on it, and will be fined if you do.

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  5. Felipe Azenha says:

    Ry,
    I no longer ride in packs, it’s too dangerous. If pack riders want to ride as if it’s the tour de France then they need to wait until race day or doing organized events. The weekend pack riders are becoming a nuisance. This small minority is giving the majority of us bike riders a bad name. It’s not a race, therefore they need to begin respecting the rules of the road too.

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  6. Felipe Azenha says:

    Bicycles and pedestrians don’t mix. The entire roadway needs to be redesigned to accomodate all users. There is no cheap solution, but if we keep the current design more people will be killed. That’s a fact.

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  7. Kurt says:

    A separated, properly designed cycle highway is not feasible in this area – there are too many intersections to make anything of the sort safe.

    A separated lane would only increase the chances that a cyclist will get right-hooked by a motorist turning left through the so-called separated lane. Why? The motorist – now “freed” from having to think about cyclists between intersections, won’t remember to consider cyclists when turning AT the intersections.

    Furthermore, such a highway would also deprive cyclists of making legal left turns, and reinforce the bogus stereotype that cyclists are sidewalk objects.

    A cycle highway as you describe is only feasible when it parallels a long highway with no intersections. For instance, such a highway would be ideal down the entire length of the Everglades Parkway – with suitable cycling facilities, of course.

    That said, even a separated highway is not free of intrusion by an out-of-control vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed. Better protected, perhaps. Infallible, no.

    -Kurt

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  8. Christos says:

    Somebody posted some pictures:
    http://miamibikescene.blogspot.com/

    I ride that 20 mile loop almost everyday, that could have been me. This seemed like the safest place to bike ride in Miami; now, I am not so sure.

    I have lived in Miami for only a little more than a year and what has struck me from the beginning has been the disregard the majority of drivers demonstrate for the traffic rules. I have yet to see a traffic light intersection where cars don’t drive through even after the light has changed to red, I have noticed that hardly anybody uses directional signals, and that speed limits are rarely observed.

    Though I ride alone, I have seen the pack riders and honestly I often think it would be nice to be a part of one. Not only they derive strength and visibility in their numbers but also for some reason the cars in the road respect them and give them ample room (which they do not give for individual riders)…

    Btw, on weekends there are more cyclists than automobile drivers on the causeway in the morning hours, why not split the road more evenly to accommodate all road users and not only the cars?

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  9. Felipe Azenha says:

    Kurt,
    Sorry, but I disagree. With proper planning and a complete redesign of the causeway, a protected bicycle path can be introduced. We just need to think out of the box.
    Doing nothing will lead to another accident, this I can guarantee you. A bicyclist or pedestrian hardly stands a chance if hit by a vehicle going 60mph.

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  10. Felipe Azenha says:

    Christos,
    I would not recommend riding with the large packs. I have done it, and no longer choose to take that unnecessary risk. For the most part they don’t obey most traffic laws. I was involved in a accident about 6 months ago while riding in a peloton and have witnessed several other accidents while riding with the pelotons. They create a dangerous situation for all users of the road, including other bicyclists.
    You are right, on Saturday and Sunday mornings cyclists outnumber motorists. Provisions need to be made. Temporary closing of a travel lane for bicyclists must be considered immediately.

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  11. Ronbo says:

    I have been riding on the Key for 10+ years and have been struck by a car myself. However a barrier is not the answer, and in my opinion would cause a different set of problems as already described. In general auto traffic seems to have become acclimated to the increased cycling (and police) presence on the ‘Key’, but you can never prepare anywhere for the random jerk behind the wheel. I never ‘ride the white line’ and always stay as far away from traffic as the paved surface will allow. In doing so I’m adding a margin of personal safety while allowing faster cyclists to pass without going out, around, and into traffic. Cycling by yourself can be dangerous, more so in large packs, and even more so next to a roadway. Living is a calculated risk. My condolences to the unfortunate cyclist and his family.

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  12. Felipe Azenha says:

    Ronbo,

    A protective barrier, particularly on the bridges (Rickenbacher and Bear Cut) where cars tend to speed up should have a protective barrier, as for the the rest of the causeway a protective barrier may not be the solution.

    The first thing that needs to be done is to reduce the designed road speed of the causeway. Currently most cars travel in excess of 45mph (current speed limit). Enforcement is not the solution, designing better roads that encourages cars to slow down rather than speed up is the answer.

    Please provide other solutions to the current problem. Simply saying that protective barriers are not the solution is not going to make the problem better. We would like to hear your ideas about how things can be improved here.

    Doing nothing is not an option any longer.

    I’ve also been riding the key for the past ten years, and was struck by a drunk driver.
    Stay safe,

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  13. Fpn says:

    I bike every day at 7 AM. And I must say I risk my life daily.
    Too many drivers leave the key on a rush as well the do texting, brush their hair and put make up while driving.
    Bus drivers, rubbish drivers are as well a danger, they go very fast on the Rickenbacker bridge they get thrown top the right hand side and they come very close to you, but very close.
    It si so sad what is happening and how many more dead we need to have until the community becomes more responsible.
    Police; please fine drivers; peloton all that are braking the law.
    Fernando Nicholson

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  14. tjblaze says:

    Most of Key Biscayne is already equipped with a multi-use path that is separated from the roadway. Lots of more casual cyclists use the path along with walkers, joggers, skaters, etc…

    I can’t see how the infrastructure you propose is feasible at this time. It took a huge effort on the part of Miami-Dade staff to get the bike lanes on the Key to where they are now. Remember, only a few years ago, there were only paved shoulders. To be designated bike lanes, the County had to add higher guard rails on the north side of the Powell bridge.

    I think the infrastructure you propose would be better for the MacArthur. My opinion is that Key Biscayne is an enforcement and policy issue.

    March is bicycle month here in Florida. We should call for it to be recognized with wider enforcement of motor speed limits in areas popular with cyclists. And cycling laws should also be enforced so that motorists don’t face as much unpredictable behavior. In the March enforcement effort warnings should be issued along with copies of the law for motorists and copies of “Street Smarts” for the cyclists.

    While I agree that better infrastructure would be ideal, I also think it is an unrealistic expectation given the economic environment. We can, however, use the suffering of these two families as the impetus for and enforcement and education campaign that will have immediate impact.

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  15. Yaniel says:

    like has been mentioned, redesigning everything might be feasible in distant future but its not going to happen any time soon. it would be a major construction project, which would require lane closures, probably closed bike lanes for a while or no bicycle traffic. and we all know how long miami construction plans take.

    putting up those little plastic barriers on the bridges to seperate the cyclists from the cars might be a good idea, spaced out enough for a cyclist to be able to move through in case of an emergency but not gapped wide enough for a car to fit in. but whenever you see those barriers, you always see them missing sections where they have been hit by bad drivers, so nothing is fool proof.

    another good idea posted here by someone else is to close the right traffic lane to motor vehicle traffic on saturday and sunday mornings until 8:30 or 9. traffic is light enough at those hours that it wouldnt cause an inconvenience and implementing it would be cheap. just put up a couple of LED signs advising drivers of the lane closures in multiple languages. after 9 when traffic starts picking up, it goes back to normal.

    anything beyond that would have to be a long term plan, and shouldn’t be rushed into on account that someone was killed. rushing into action will result in bad decisions, what this tragedy should do is inspire the government to start working on a well thought out plan even if it takes a few years.

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  16. E Vey says:

    I must say how heartened I am to read the replies here.

    I was expecting to read replies agreeing with the bloggers waxing poetic about how engineering and spending zillions will somehow save us from the catatonic driver, but that’s not what I am reading here. I notice that the official advocates are a little quiet. Last time they were saying the breakdown lane just had to be extended and lanes put in. See the Spokes n’ Folks blog.

    The posted pictures appear to be of bridges, where there are no intersections, not of causeways. When I first saw separated facilities in Germany, I was enthused, until a car almost broad-sided me at an intersection and just because a line is painted doesn’t mean that pedestrians won’t stray.

    Just like cars stray over a white line. I have read here and elsewhere that some people thought that when the bike lanes were installed, they felt that things were safer. They tend to give cyclists a false sense of security.

    If a painted line worked so well, then there would be no need for the “rumble strips” being installed around here in the wide shoulder they have also been adding for the bad driver’s benefit. But even with the wide shoulder and the rumble strips, drivers are still running off the road and usually just killing themselves.

    –from the Orlando area

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  17. Grayson Peddie says:

    Would speed bumps be the solution for the causeway?

    I thought speed bumps would slow the cars down.

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  18. Yaniel says:

    Speed bumps would result in a traffic jam the length of key biscayne all day everyday. You can’t put speed bumps on a highway like that.

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  19. Prem says:

    I’m not personally familiar with pack rides on the causeway,
    however in other areas I always feel safer riding with others than by myself.

    As others have mentioned–and I would appreciate some details, Felipe–when you ride in a group people may not like you any better, but they’ll generally give you more space and pay more heed.
    When by oneself cars pull up behind me, sometimes honking because they’re too ignorant to realize they should go around, or they pass me very close, rather than the required three feet.

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  20. Felipe Azenha says:

    Tjblaze,

    The multi-use path is also a disaster. You have cars cutting across it and bicyclists, pedestrians, joggers and roller bladders all fighting to use a 10ft wide path.

    The County PWD did not do the job right the first time and at some point they will have redo what they should have done correctly in the first place. If not, bicyclists will continue to be critically injured on the Rickenbacker Causeway. This will not be a one time fluke event. So regardless of how the economy is doing, the job needs to be done correctly.

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  21. Felipe Azenha says:

    Yaniel,

    Yes, it will be a major project. But it needs to get done. The cycling population grows larger by the day and the situation will only get worse.

    A temporary solution should be sought, particularly for the bridges as they are the most dangerous sections. Giving bicyclists their own lane on Saturday and Sunday mornings really needs to be considered.

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  22. Felipe Azenha says:

    E Vey,

    Agreed. A fully protected bicycle path should perhaps only be used on the bridges. On the rest of the causeway a semi-protected bicycle path would be suitable if a major road diet is given to the causeway. By that, I mean reducing the design speed of the causeway to 35-40 mph.
    Thanks for checking us out.

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  23. Ronbo says:

    Here are the particulars from the police report regarding the person arrested for the death of the cyclist. Name: CARLOS G. BERTONATTI, dob 2/11/1981/6’0″/170lbs. Case #10001742 & 10001743. Booked on 17 Jan 2020 @21:00. Charges: Vehicular homicide/ failure to stop/ Driving under the influence/ Manslaughter/ resisting arrest w/o violence/ fleeing-eluding a police officer/leaving the scene of an accident/ no valid drivers license. He lives at the Mar Azul condo which is located at the end of Grapetree Drive. His picture along with the police report is available at Miami-Dade.gov/corrections, from there click on inmate search.

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  24. MrSunshine561 says:

    I agree that the protected path, realistically, could only be implemented on the bridge parts of the causeway… It would be nice to have it separated from the pedestrian path as well. There was only one time when I happened to use the off-road path and it was a nightmare negotiating with the pedestrians there. In fact, there was no negotiation at all, since they are totally unaware of their surroundings listening to their iPods. I have a little bell as required by law and it’s useless there.

    The protected path along with speed bumps in the sections between the bridges and from Crandon Park to the official entrance to Key Biscayne would be a major improvement. Having regular enforcement of the speed limits via deputies or speed cameras could finance the whole thing and pay for themselves.

    Unless change is effected, tragedies like this will happen again. This area needs attention ASAP. Simply stepping out to live a healthy life biking, rollerblading or jogging should not entail such a huge risk to lose one’s life.

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  25. E Vey says:

    TRAFFIC

    CARLOS GUILLERMO BERTONATTI 1981 Infraction 2650YUF CLOSED 31610011 – FAIL TO PAY TOLL 9/08/2009 13TR0002650YUF00 $0.00
    CARLOS GUILLERMO BERTONATTI 1981 Infraction 9002DTA CLOSED 322151 – DL NOT CARR/EXH 7/18/2009 13TR0009002DTA00 $0.00
    CARLOS GUILLERMO BERTONATTI 1981 Infraction 9003DTA CLOSED 3166144B – SBELT/DRIVER 7/18/2009 13TR0009003DTA00 $0.00
    CARLOS GUILLERMO BERTONATTI 1981 Infraction 7830SMP CLOSED 3166461 – NO PROOF OF INS 5/01/2009 13TR0007830SMP00 $0.00
    CARLOS GUILLERMO BERTONATTI 1981 Infraction 7829SMP CLOSED 31629522 – REF MAT/WINDSHIE 5/01/2009 13TR0007829SMP00 $0.00
    CARLOS GUILLERMO BERTONATTI 1981 Criminal 9120GEP CLOSED 32008487 – PARK PERM FRAUD 4/18/2009 13TR0009120GEP00 $0.00
    CARLOS GUILLERMO BERTONATTI 1981 Infraction 4800SMK CLOSED 3160894 – IMP LANE USAGE 11/12/2008 13TR0004800SMK00 $0.00
    CARLOS GUILLERMO BERTONATTI 1981 Infraction 1877SML CLOSED 3162953 – WINDOW SUNSCREEN 11/12/2008 13TR0001877SML00 $0.00
    CARLOS GUILLERMO BERTONATTI 1981 Infraction 1876SML CLOSED 31629522 – REF MAT/WINDSHIE 11/12/2008 13TR0001876SML00 $0.00
    CARLOS GUILLERMO BERTONATTI 1981 Infraction 1165CCC CLOSED 320073A – REG EXP/LESS/6MO 8/30/2008 13TR0001165CCC00 $0.00

    CRIMINAL AND CIVIL
    M-00-020734 04/13/2000 06/21/2001 &nbspMANATEE/SPEED ZONE
    B-00-036302 06/27/2000 12/20/2000 &nbspASSAULT OR BATTERY
    B-00-073063 01/02/2000 07/29/2002 &nbspBATTERY
    F-10-001743 01/18/2010 &nbspFLEE/ELUDE PO
    F-10-001742 01/18/2010 &nbspVEH HOM/FAIL TO STOP

    These are public records and are available at:
    http://www.miami-dadeclerk.com/dadecoc/

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  26. Anonymous says:

    memorial ride for Christophe Lecanne Posted. Please show your support
    http://miamibikescene.blogspot.com/2010/01/key-biscayne-memorial-ride.html

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  27. Anonymous says:

    Florida Statute:
    Manslaughter and Vehicular Homicide-s. 316.193 (3), F.S.

    DUI/Manslaughter: Second Degree Felony (not more than $10,000 fine and/or 15 years imprisonment).

    DUI Manslaughter/Leaving the Scene: A driver convicted of DUI Manslaughter who knew/should have known accident occurred; and failed to give information or render aid is guilty of a First Degree Felony (not more than $10,000 fine and/or 30 years imprisonment).

    Vehicular Homicide: Second Degree Felony (not more than $10,000 fine and/or 15 years imprisonment).

    Vehicular Homicide/Leaving the Scene: A driver convicted of vehicular homicide who left the scene of an accident is guilty of a First Degree Felony (nor more than $10,000 fine and/or 30 years imprisonment).
    a Statute

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  28. key says:

    If the county makes concrete barriers available, will the cyclists use them? It is my understanding that there is a concrete barrier for cyclists on the east bound lane of the Rickenbacker Causeway (William T. Powell bridge). Not all cyclists use this concrete barrier.

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  29. Yaniel says:

    the east bound lane does have a concrete barrier, but its only for foot traffic. you’d have to walk your bike up.

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  30. Jose Gonzalez says:

    Was the driver at Club Space before he got in his car?

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  31. Luis A says:

    The driver was up all night, which impairs reaction time analogous to almost or at drunk driver levels, had alcohol, was speeding,(yes, left Club Space after dawn),and was texting when he inadvertedly swerved into the cyclist.

    It is unlikely that anything but a concrete barrier would have helped to save his life, and the problem is that you cannot put concrete barriers in bike lanes all around miami. Even if there were money, resources and no logistical problems with that could not be overcome, intersections cannot be barriered.

    See the girl who was hit on the corner this week in KB while a driver was making a turn.

    If the driver had been reasonable with driving dynamics, which would have started by following his girlfriend’s lead and taking a taxi, the bike lane protection would have sufficed.

    That is part of the reason I rode my mountain bike and trails in KB as much as possible, or found quiet roads, to lessen percentages.

    There are some

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  32. Felipe Azenha says:

    Luis A,
    I am not suggesting that we put concrete barriers in between bikes and cars on bike lanes throughout Miami. Every street needs to be treated differently. When you put a bicycle lane next to a highway with lots of traffic, it’s probably a good idea to separate the two with a concrete barrier. High road speeds generally call for added protection for the bicyclist. In most cases, especially within our urban core, you would design a bike lane differently for a street with a 25mph speed limit then you would for a road with a 45mph speed limit. Although there is a state minimum standard for the design of bicycles lanes, the minimum standard shouldn’t be applied to all our roads; many streets call for a lot more protection for the cyclist, particularly when high speeds are present. There isn’t a one size fits all bike lane. You need to look at the existing conditions of each road to determine what type of a bike lane design should be used for that particular road.

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  33. minty says:

    I was hit by a car on the Rickenbacker causeway in 2007. I did survive.The MD fire rescue station was open. They were the first responders. I no longer ride. Clearly something needs to be done. What are the stats on how many bicycle injuries occur each year on that causeway. An uneasy relationship exists in this city between pedestrians, cyclists and automobiles with car drivers easily the most arrogant. There is no enforcement by police. This is not a problem only on Key Biscayne but elsewhere in this city. Miami Dade Public works, City of Miami public works whatever. Try as a pedestrian to cross Douglas Road, or Ponce de Leon. There are maybe two pedestrian crossings on Ponce de Leon – motorists have no idea what they should do at a pedestrian crossing. Police have never taken cyclists seriously. Oh this broke, corrupt, crumbling city, county. There are so many things wrong with this ; where does one start to fix it.

    1. Someone with 40 plus traffic violations needed to have been taken off the road.
    2. There was a time on Rickenbacker causeway when going 1 mph over the speed limit at any time guaranteed a speeding ticket.
    3. A serious public information campaign that needs to be enforced. I can’t tell how many people I know who are non-cyclists tell me what a nuisance cyclists are.
    4. Some serious planning on the part of the Public Works department to make this city pedestrian and cycling friendly at any time anywhere in the county. Try crossing Douglas road at any time. There are no pedestrian crossings. One takes their life in their hands.
    5. My last wish. Please god, let there be some politicians who run for office who actually care about their constituents and care about doing good for the city and the county and not just about filling their pockets. Forget expecting Regalado and his merry band of fools to do anything. Cycling does not rank up there with a useless baseball stadium in terms of importance to this county.

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  34. Yaniel says:

    yet another cheap/easy idea that can help if only by increasing awareness of cyclists, and cyclists rights is to put up those “share the road” signs that are up on a few roads in miami. put them on EVERY street every couple of miles so drivers can realize that we have the RIGHT to be on any street in miami, not just on the ones with bike lanes. it might help to ease up a bit on the road rage that a lot of drivers feel towards cyclist. also adding a 3 ft passing law message to the sign wouldnt hurt.

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  35. Felipe Azenha says:

    Minty,
    You are right; an uneasy relationship exists in this city between pedestrians, cyclists and automobiles Something needs to be done soon. FDOT, the City of Miami, and the County Public Works Department need to gets serious about this issue. Hopefully tomorrow’s memorial bike ride will be a wake up call for all of them.
    All your suggestions are good. US 1 in particular is a pedestrian’s worst nightmare.

    I have not ridden my road bike since the accident out of fear. Our planning policy is doing a great job discouraging people from walking and biking. There is something fundamentally wrong with this autocentric policy.

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  36. Luis A says:

    Felipe, you bring up points to consider. As a cyclist who lived in KB and rode from one end of the island to the toll gate and back numerous times, there are some challenges with simply putting up barrier walls at various places.

    The place where Christophe was hit, for example: put a wall to separate the bike line from the traffic lane and on a weekend morning you have casual cyclists going at 8 mph. Then the hammerheads coming from the C. Grove area, 40-50 of them coming through at speeds over 20 mph, sometimes in waves. Everyone squeezed in to around 3-4 feet of space even if the traffic lane has no traffic at that moment.

    You are going to have bottlenecks, and cyclists, likely the casual cyclists, being scrapped, falling or going over the barrier.

    Put two slow cyclists, including a child, taking up most of that narrow concrete barrier with a charging peloton and it’s bad news.

    90% of the problems usually start and end with the driver. I am not disregarding your useful comments; I merely point out that the dynamics can be more complicated that at first glance.

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  37. Ronbo says:

    Luis A…I agree with you 100%. Well explained and thoughtful. I have been riding the ‘Key’ before there was a dedicate bike lane, and the current situation is a fantastic improvement. A wider lane bike lane to and from after Crandon Marina would help. Unfortunately nothing can protect you from the random jerk (aka Carlos) in any of life’s undertakings. The cost of business. By the way, why is this guy out on bail? Faced with jail time or going to back to Venezuela to live in freedom, it’s not too hard to see what’s going to happen. I mean, it’s apparent that he has never held the law in very high regard. Better enforcement (to include some of the airhead cyclists that I have seen), and more road signs warning that you are sharing the road with cyclists (speeding fines doubled when cyclists are present) is a good start toward a more reasonable solution.

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  38. Christos says:

    For me the KB bike ride is one of my favorite elements of living in Miami.
    I am not sure much more can be done to make the actual lane safer (except perhaps for a wider lane from Crandon Marina to the official entrance to Key Biscayne and back); however, police enforcement of the speed limits seems like a no-brainer (safer conditions for cyclists, pedestrians, and other motorists and revenue for the city).
    On the other hand, we as cyclists should make sure to follow the rules also:
    http://www.floridabicycle.org/rules/bikelaw.html

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  39. [...] Another rider is killed in the nation’s most deadly state for cycling; Transit Miami examines why it happened there. Austin’s planned bike boulevard hits some bumps. Anchorage holds a very frosty bike race. A [...]

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  40. Carlos Taborda says:

    It happened again. 2 years later. Why Miami? Why!? Why can we spend a tiny amount of money on this, but we can spend hundreds of millions on a fucking casino? WHY!?

    http://www.wsvn.com/news/articles/local/21006702304764/driver-flees-after-striking-2-cyclists/

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  41. luis says:

    can someone update on the proceedings regarding Carlos Bertonatti?

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  42. Frank says:

    I was one of the Everglades Bicycle Club members who was asked during the planning of the bridge what could be done for cyclists, and we suggested that a jersey barrier be installed to separate cyclists from motorists, however we were not asked what could be done for the causeway or Bear Cut Bridge crossing.

    From what I recall from that mid-1980′s meeting, most of our club cyclists did NOT want to be forced to ride the type of paths shown in the above photos, instead, they agreed that they wanted the right to “ride in the road”, so the jersey barrier was the only safety measure installed.

    When the causeway construction was completed in 1987, the amount of vehicle and cyclist traffic was MUCH lighter than today, and because of that the satisfactory design at that time has become outdated…

    Also – many of these deaths are due to either drunk driving or speeding on the part of the motorist, or improper cycling techniques on the part of the cyclists, so to blame the designers of the bridges and causeway is unfair – as the saying goes, any one item is only as good as the person who’s using it…

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  43. Heather says:

    How many cyclists have been injured? Where are those stats. I am one of the cyclists who was hit by a car while I was in the bike lane. The driver was turning left into crandon park. If it weren’t for the three seconds braking time on my part I would have been crushed. As it was I ended up with cervical spinal surgery (very very painful) to fuse my neck, and a knee replacement. Needless to say I can’t bicycle any more. I survived. I worked for the county. I lost my job. I am on the brink of foreclosure. The county can’t say it didn’t know about the dangers to cyclists because I worked for them. They knew what happened to me. Blaming the cyclists is just another form of blaming the victim. If there is a car-bicycle accident no matter who is at fault the bicyclist will always suffer. It is the entitled car culture. Where are the miami-dade cops who are supposed to monitor the speed limit? The cyclists can be a determined and powerful lobby and they should use that power. Demonstrate and close down the causeway a few times. Something. This city and county can drag itself out of the stone age it is in and become a enlightened cultural metropolis instead of a knuckle dragging hick town it currently is. Politicians should realize it is to their benefit to make this town somewhere people can enjoy themselves instead of a place where living here is just avoiding getting killed.

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  44. Frank,
    Having an unprotected bike lane adajacent to a highway with cars flying by at 65 mph is not safe. Also the bike lane is a bus stop. There are so many issues with the design I don’t even know where to begin. Better design would prevent a lot of the injuries that have occurred on he rickenbacker. If we had protected bike lanes on both bridges would Christoph and Aaron would be with us today.

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