The relentless siege on pedestrians and cyclists rages on in South Florida. In June alone, local media outlets reported on an embarrassing number of tragic accidents in the greater Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Pompano area. While the recent Miami Bicycle Summit touted many plans and accomplishments in bicycle infrastructure, the troubling frequency of high-profile accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists requires a more aggressive response from local agencies and leaders. Below is a summary of some recent accidents. (The dates correspond to the date of the coverage, not the actual accident.)

Is this a more appropriate warning for pedestrians and cyclists in South Florida?

June 14th, Ft. Lauderdale

Officials: Pickup Truck Hits Woman, Baby

A mother and her baby, who was in a stroller, were taken to the hospital after being struck by a pickup truck in Ft. Lauderdale.

June 13th, Lake Worth

Man Riding Bike Hospitalized After Being Hit By Tractor Trailer in Lake Worth

In what appears to be a classic ‘right-hook’ accident, a bicyclist is in critical condition after being struck by a tractor-trailer. No word on any charges facing the driver.

June 10th, Miami

Pedestrian Stuck and Killed

In this horrific accident, the innocent victim, who was on the sidewalk, was actually severed in two by a vehicle after it collided with another vehicle at an intersection in Miami.

June 7th , Hollywood

Dania Beach Man Questioned In Deadly Hollywood Hit-and-Run

On May 13th, Wilmar Galeano was riding his bicycle on the Sheridan Street Bridge, when he was struck from behind and killed by a speeding white van. The accident was caught on video, but the driver fled and the accident is still under investigation.

June 6th, Ft. Lauderdale

Police ID Man Struck by Car, Killed in Ft. Lauderdale

Jamie Valderrama of Miami Beach tried to leave the scene after striking and killing a pedestrian, Juan Herrera, with his Lexus. Charges against Valderrama are pending.

June 6, Lauderdale Lakes

Bicyclist Hospitalized After Collision With Car

June 2nd, Coral Gables

Pedestrian Dies After Being Struck At Gables Intersection

In this tragic accident, 4 pedestrians were struck when two cars collided in an intersection and careened into the sidewalk. One of the pedestrian victims, Olatz Conde Salcedo, who was head of human resources for Nextel in Bilbao, Spain, later died from injuries suffered in the accident.

Has South Florida actually become more dangerous for pedestrians? A recent Transportation For America Study showed Miami-Ft. Lauderdale to be the 4th most dangerous region in the USA for pedestrians. Is South Florida about to climb in this dubious list? Where is the vocal leadership on this most basic of issues that deteriorates our quality of life and the viability of our cities? How can a city thrive when it’s dangerous to simply cross the street or walk the sidewalks?

Of course, if you have money, you can drive recklessly and kill with impunity in these parts. Need proof? Read about the outrageously light sentence recently handed to Ryan LeVin who murdered two pedestrians in Ft. Lauderdale in 2009.

When are our public agencies and elected officials going to take pedestrians seriously? Streets are for people – not just cars.

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7 Responses to Epidemic of Pedestrian Accidents Continues to Plague South Florida

  1. brock says:

    We NEED safer streets! I don’t know how many letters and phone calls to FDOT it’ll take! This is sad and unacceptable.

       0 likes

  2. Steven says:

    Not only do we need safer streets but we need more citizens like you and all of Transit Miami to continue to raise awareness of these issues and push the complete streets agenda on to those who simply do not get it in City Hall.

       0 likes

  3. Craig says:

    Here is another one to add to the list, from today.

    http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/car-accident-in-jupiter-leaves-bicyclist-with-life-1546909.html

    The siege rages on.

       0 likes

  4. Jon says:

    When you have overly macho, overly aggressive and extremely stupid people on the roads and a lack of law enforcement, sadly this will only get worse. I’m talking about the idiots like you see in this YouTube clip:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqcEtFyvIgo

       0 likes

  5. Craig says:

    June rages on…

    Another cyclist killed in hit-and-run.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/06/28/2288642/driver-sought-in-broward-fatal.html

       0 likes

  6. MiamiMatters says:

    From reading these stories it does not seem like those bikers are what I call “proper Bikers”, but rather those who have no car and a beat up rusted bike is their only way to get around. We often plan for the hipsters and informed cyclists and forget about those other bikers who have no option, no money to buy lights, often have no idea what the correct way to bike is or where to bike, dont have the internet to find the best bike route, dont read English so have no idea how to read a English map etc. You can build all the bike lanes you want but just as if not more importantly is a public outreach and education program for all populations.

    Still no excuse for leaving someone to die.

       0 likes

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