A total of five cyclists were injured in two separate incidents on December 31-both incidents involved cyclists being struck by cars.

Before we go any further the buck stops with MAYOR CARLOS JIMENEZ- we are holding him accountable for the existing unsafe cycling conditions on the Rickenbacker Causeway. There have been too many broken promises by the County and he needs to be held responsible.

The first incident occurred on the William Powell Bridge at 6:05 am . A group of about 20 cyclists were riding up the bridge when a drunk driver struck 4 of the cyclists from behind. Luckily no one was killed, however one of the cyclist suffered two broken ribs. The driver admitted to drinking and driving and was arrested at the scene. He was so drunk that he was throwing up at the scene. See picture below.

Driver was drunk and throwing up.

Driver was drunk and throwing up.

About two hours later another cyclist was struck in front of Mast Academy according to CBS4. Fire Rescue took the cyclist to the hospital and there is no word on the cyclist’s condition. The driver stayed on the scene.

As many of you know, we have been advocating for safer cycling condition on the Rickenbacker Causeway for the better part of half a decade and the County has done virtually nothing to make it safer. There have been at least 3 deaths on the Rickenbacker Causeway and countless other serious injuries that have not garnered any media attention whatsoever, such as this incident involving the drunk driver.

Every time someone is killed on the Rickenbacker, the County comes up with some half-baked idea (i.e. placing mile markers, rumple strips) in a failed attempt to say they have done something to make this urban highway safer; all  the so-called “safety improvements” have proven to be a  complete failure. Quite frankly, I’m tired of all political grandstanding that happens every time a cyclist is killed. I don’t want more bike summits, meetings and broken promises of improvements to come.  How many more cyclists need to be killed before Mayor Gimenez does something to make the Rickenacker Causeway safer for everyone?

Once again, here are our recommendations. They were made nearly 4 years ago:

Short Term Goals for the Rickenbacker Causeway
• Enforcement of the 45 mph speed limit and regular DUI checkpoints
• Reduce speed limit to 35 mph
• Close the right lane of traffic in both directions on Saturday and Sunday mornings from 6:00 am to 10:00am.
• Better signage
• Motorist and bicyclist education campaign

Long Term Goals for the Rickenbacker Causeway
A major capital improvements project needs to happen and all users must be considered. Below are a few of the major improvements that need to occur:
• Paint bicycle lanes green (see below: intersections should include peg-a-traking and Chevron arrows)
• Create a 3 foot unprotected buffer between the roadway and the bicycle lane
• Major road diet. Narrowing of traffic lanes to discourage speeding (11 foot lane)
• Proper crosswalks, with stop lights, that can be activated by pedestrians.
• A separate path for pedestrians (pedestrians and bicyclist should not coexist)
• Consider physical separation as a feature in dangerous areas such as bridges and marked buffers along trajectory of bike lane
• Motorist and bicyclist education campaign

Speeding is clearly an issue that has not been adequately addressed by the County as is clearly demonstrated by this video:

As long as the design speed of the Rickenbacker Causeway exceeds 35 mph we can expect many more deaths and injuries.

impact-of-speed2

btw: Several months ago friend of Transit Miami, June Savage,  invited both Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Commissioner Xavier Suarez to join her for a bike ride after she met with them because she was nearly run over on Bear Cut Bridge and threatened to sue. Both agreed to ride, but so far have not.  I double-dog dare them to ride and I would invite them to bring their children and grandchildren to join them. After the ride, I’d like to see them to tell the cycling community that the Rickenbacker Causeway is safe for biking and that they would encourage parent’s to bring their children along with them. As an experienced cyclist, husband and father, I no longer ride the Rickenbacker Causeway because I feel it’s too dangerous.

Miami Dade County is  the 3rd most dangerous metropolitan area in the US for pedestrians and cyclists and our elected officials are doing virtually nothing to make conditions safer;  in fact the County is doing the opposite-they are doing an excellent job of discouraging even seasoned cyclists like myself from riding. The whole situation is just embarrassing. There is no leadership at the County level when is comes to making our streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

My last suggestion:  Call former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  He just launched an urban consulting firm, Bloomberg Associates, which will dish out free advise to communities looking to make their streets safer. We can use all the help we can get.

According to the NYT:

“The organization, to be called Bloomberg Associates, will act as an urban SWAT team, deployed at the invitation of local governments to solve knotty, long-term challenges, like turning a blighted waterfront into a gleaming public space, or building subway-friendly residential neighborhoods.”

 

Click here to send Mayor Carlos Gimenez an email and let him know that the Rickenbacker Causeway needs to be made safer for everyone.

 

 

 

9 Responses to Another Bloody Week for Cyclists on the Rickenbacker Causeway

  1. Maria says:

    I noticed that the speed limit filmed is right at the exit of the William Powel bridge. This is a very tall bridge, and as cars drive down they do gain speed. In the film it seems like on average the speed of cars is only about 5 miles above speed limit of 45 mph. Although not justifiable, cars then reduce speed limit once out of the bridge.
    The problem is the drunk drivers. The current condition with the construction is not only bad for bicyclist but also for the everyday driver. There is a specially designated bicycle lane which is hardly used by any of the bicyclists. The use is a choice of safety so if there accidents its is also because bicyclist have not taken the right precautions.
    You also said that the Rickenbaker Causeway is an “Urban Highway”!!!!! Do pedestrians and cyclist cycle on urban highways is other cities of the US??? I don’t think so, it is dangerous. This is why there is a designated lane for bicycles which are not used by bicyclists. They share the road and don’t respect the traffic laws, many unconscious cyclist cross all three car lanes in their bikes. This is dangerous not only for them but for the drivers.
    Maybe bicycles should pay tolls and be forced to circulate with a license plate. This perhaps will bring some senses to the bicyclists since most don’t respect traffic nor pedestrians laws.
    The last thing to mention, who in their right senses goes cycling at 6:05 am of new years eve, on an urban highway which is under construction?????? Also, I’m sure and not to justify the drunk driver, that the 20 bicyclist were not riding one behind the other on the bicycle lane. Most likely, and as usual the 20 cyclists were occupying also car lanes.

       2 likes

  2. Edwardo says:

    The solution, BAN bicycles and all other non-motorized “vehicles” from this road. Hopefully we can get a county-wide vote to ban bikes from main highways. Make these bike people stay on the sidewalk and neighborhood roads. What are these people thinking riding their bikes out there!

       1 likes

  3. Steve says:

    Just like the tragic Aaron Cohen….these people are bike riding in the dark! 6AM near the winter solstice? Are you shitting me? What time did they start their ride? 5:30?

    As much as it is horrible that people are getting killed or injured, how about bike riding in the daylight?

       1 likes

  4. Craig says:

    Wow Edwardo…say nothing of incessant drunk drivers?

       1 likes

  5. Joe says:

    These people are DRIVING in the dark! 6AM near the winter solstice? Are you shitting me?

       2 likes

  6. Gables says:

    I’m a little disappointed in the comments people left. Here are my thoughts. First, Maria, you are correct, pedestrians and cyclists in other cities do not use urban highways. However, I think the larger point is that the bridge to Key Biscayne should not be designed as an urban highway (neither should Biscayne Blvd or Brickell Ave for that matter). People are advocating for FDOT to design roads for ALL users, especially a bridge like this because so many people do use it on foot and on bike. If you do some research, you’ll see that in other cities, more roads are being retro-fitted for all users, not just cars. This is the point and this is where Miami is falling behind. Recently FDOT has painted bike lanes on the shoulders of I-195, which is an urban highway. I appreciate that you feel it is unsafe to cycle on an urban highway. This is part of what cyclists are trying to explain to FDOT. We need safer streets for all.

    Second, if you read the State of Florida laws, you’ll see that cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities to use the roads. If a cyclist wants to use a traffic lane, he/she is permitted to do so. Drivers many times are inexcusably ignorant of this. Moreover, a cyclist has every right to ride at whatever time of day he/she wants, just as motorists are allowed to drive any time of day.

    Lastly, not matter how you feel about cyclists, driving drunk is against the law and dangerous. No matter how many cyclists were in a lane or what time of day it was or where it took place, a drunk driver should be held accountable. Please don’t blame the victim.

       3 likes

  7. Gayle R. Love says:

    The safety of all users of the Rickenbacker Causeway is a priority to Miami-Dade County (County). I have reviewed all the emails resulting from the blog posts along with the proposed short and long term goals outlined in Mr. Azenha’s posts of January 5, 2014 on http://www.transitmiami.com and, most recently, Ms. Fabiola Santiago’s Miami Herald column on January 10, 2014. We have been working hard to keep the public informed of the improvements being made along the Causeway, but before outlining the County’s efforts, I would like to clarify information regarding the three (3) recent accidents involving cyclists on the Causeway, which have been misrepresented:

    1. The police report detailing the accident that occurred on the William Powell Bridge in the pre-dawn hours of December 31, 2013 indicated that the driver was operating his vehicle under the influence of alcohol, and was therefore arrested. There was no roadway or traffic engineering defect which contributed to this tragic accident.

    2. The second referenced accident occurred on Wednesday November 6, 2013, not two (2) hours later on December 31, 2013 as reported in Mr. Azenha’s post. That accident involved two (2) cyclists who were struck by a driver making a left turn into MAST Academy. The police report indicated that the driver failed to yield the right-of-way to the cyclists, and was therefore cited for the accident. Again, no engineering defect or roadway design created conditions which contributed to the accident.

    3. The third accident was referenced in Mr. Azenha’s second post and Ms. Santiago’s column regarding a BMW striking a cyclist on Monday January 6, 2014 while leaving Key Biscayne. County staff has not been able to identify any records of an accident report filed by either the Village of Key Biscayne, City of Miami or Miami-Dade police departments for this date and alleged by Mr. Azenha or the other resident who wrote to the Herald.

    Unfortunately, there is no amount of roadway design or safety improvements that can be implemented to mitigate a driver’s failure to follow basic road rules or to address reckless, irresponsible behavior on the part of a motorist.

    Please be advised that over the last several years, the Public Works and Waste Management Department (PWWM) has taken proactive steps to improve cyclist and pedestrian safety on the Causeway, and other major roadways throughout the County. The County’s commitment to cyclist and pedestrian safety is clearly evidenced by the inclusion of new 14-foot wide bicycle/pedestrian paths at a cost of approximately $8.5 million as part of the ongoing repairs to the Bear Cut Bridge. To implement these improvements the bridge is being widened by 20 feet. Additionally, all new roadway improvement projects include dedicated or shared bicycle and pedestrian paths where possible in compliance with the Miami-Dade County Comprehensive Development Master Plan (CDMP) and State and Federal guidelines.

    Finally, with respect to the short and long-term goals outlined by Mr. Azenha, the County offers the following:

    Short Term Goals for the Causeway
    • Enforcement of the 45 mph speed limit and regular DUI checkpoints – Over the last year the Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) has conducted periodic traffic enforcement in conjunction with the City of Miami and Village of Key Biscayne Police Departments. This has been done utilizing speed control signs and uniformed and motorcycle officers to conduct traffic enforcement and education. During this period, MDPD has issued more than 1,447 citations and more than 500 verbal warnings. MDPD will continue its efforts to ensure the safety of motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians alike along the Causeway in partnership with the City of Miami and the Village of Key Biscayne.

    • Reduce speed limit to 35 mph – PWWM proactively reduced the speed limit on most of Crandon Boulevard inside Crandon Park from 45 mph to 40 mph many years ago. Also, based on a PWWM speed study conducted approximately 5 years ago, PWWM requested regular enforcement of posted speeds from the Police Departments referenced above and installed 14 speed feedback signs to assist motorists in self-policing their speed. In addition, staff reviewed all of the speed limits along the causeway in preparation for the construction of the Bearcut and West Bridges and as a result adjusted the speed limits to 35 mph and 25 mph in the construction areas.

    • Close the right lane of traffic in both directions on Saturday and Sunday mornings from 6:00 am to 10:00am – This would not be feasible since the daily placement of cones each weekend would create new falling hazards for bicyclists and present significant maintenance challenges. Furthermore, the causeway is mostly made up of two lanes going each direction and therefore shutting down a lane during the weekend would cause traffic delays and more safety issues.
    • Better signage – In 2007, PWWM milled and resurfaced the Causeway from the Crandon Marina west to the mainland. The work included the installation of bicyclist height handrails on the north side of the three (3) bridges and the conversion of the roadway shoulders into bicycle lanes with appropriate bicycle related traffic signage and pavement markings, in compliance with State and Federal standards. As new federal traffic sign and pavement marking standards are developed, PWWM reviews them to determine appropriate locations for implementation of the new standards. For example, as a result of updated standards, PWWM modified the markings on Hobie Island alongside the eastbound bicycle lane. In 2012, PWWM installed wide vibratory lines to alert drivers moving into the bicycle lane. More recently, new signage has been implemented on the Bear Cut and West bridges and updated frequently based on construction conditions and feedback from the Causeway users including bicycle groups.

    • Motorist and bicyclist education campaign – Information for motorists and cyclists can be found by visiting PWWM’s websites (www.miamidade.gov/publicworks) or (www.bearcutbridge.com). These websites provide real-time traffic information regarding the ongoing improvements to the Bear Cut and West Bridges. More specifically, the link includes information on the “Sharrow” markings which are being utilized on certain lanes of the Bear Cut Bridge during construction. Additional education and outreach efforts are managed through the Metropolitan Planning Organization. Interested residents can visit the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s website at http://www.miamidade.gov/MPO for information, or to learn more about the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

    Long Term Goals for the Causeway

    • Paint bicycle lanes green (intersections should include peg-a-traking and Chevron arrows) – PWWM has recently obtained authorization from the Federal Highway Administration to use green as a background color for bicycle lanes. As such, the use of green backgrounds will be analyzed for all future bicycle lane projects.

    • Major road diet. Narrowing of traffic lanes to discourage speeding (11 foot lane) – All vehicular travel lanes on the Causeway are no wider than 11 feet. The only 12 foot vehicular travel lanes are along Crandon Boulevard within Crandon Park. PWWM is currently designing a project which will narrow these lanes to 11 feet and simultaneously widen the bicycle lanes. This work will be scheduled once the repairs to the Bear Cut and West Bridges are completed.
    • Proper crosswalks, with stop lights, that can be activated by pedestrians – PWWM will upgrade the pedestrian push buttons and Walk/Don’t Walk indications at the Virginia Beach Road intersection in coordination with the Bear Cut Bridge project. Additionally, the crossing of the Causeway’s Bicycle Route 11 from the south side of the road to the north side will be shifted from the un-signalized Marina crosswalk to a signalized crosswalk at Virginia Beach Road. Furthermore, PWWM will construct a path on the north side of the Causeway from the Bear Cut Bridge to Mast Academy, in order to provide connections to the signalized intersections at both Virginia Beach Road and Mast Academy. This work will be scheduled once the repairs to the Bear Cut and West Bridges are completed.

    • A separate path for pedestrians (pedestrians and bicyclist should not coexist) – When determining non-motorized path width, both pedestrian and cyclist volumes are considered. Furthermore, the majority of paths in the United States do not physically separate bicyclists from pedestrians. Currently, the path along the south side of the Causeway is 8 feet wide, which was the standard at the time of its construction. Moving forward, the paths on both the north and south side of the Bear Cut Bridge will be 14 feet wide once construction is complete later on this year. Additionally, the new path north of the Causeway from the Bear Cut Bridge to Mast Academy is proposed to have a 15-foot width with pavement markings to differentiate pedestrian space from bicycle space.

    • Consider physical separation as a feature in dangerous areas such as bridges and marked buffers along the trajectory of the bike lane – PWWM has analyzed the implementation of physical separations such as barrier walls on the bridges along the Causeway, but concluded that the cost for this work would be several million dollars. Nonetheless, path widening and physical separation will be included as part of the engineering analysis whenever major bridge reconstructions are contemplated. As a result, the reconstruction of the Bear Cut Bridge includes the installation of the two (2) 14-foot wide bicycle/pedestrian paths on each side of the bridge.

    • Motorist and bicyclist education campaign – Educational efforts are outlined in the short term plan bullets above.

    Finally, PWWM staff has been attending the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) meetings for more than a decade, and since the Bear Cut and West bridge reconstruction project began. PWWM and MDPD have also been meeting with a group of concerned bicycle advocates on a monthly basis. During these meetings, issues such as police enforcement, maintenance of traffic layout, signage, and educational material for both motorists and bicyclists have been discussed extensively resulting in many of the suggestions being implemented both in the field and on the County’s project web-sites.
    I want to reiterate that safety on the Causeway is of upmost importance. The improvements mentioned will improve bicycle safety, but unfortunately will not mitigate a driver or a bicyclist’s failure to follow basic road rules. The County, wherever feasible, has accommodated bicyclists’ requests and engages regularly with the bicycle community to understand its needs.

    The County staff is committed to working with all parties to create a safe environment for all users of the Causeway and constructive feedback is always welcomed. Please feel free to contact Gayle Love, Senior Division Director of the Public Information and Outreach Division at PWWM at 305-514-6607 with concerns or questions.

    Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez

       0 likes

  8. Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez says:

    The safety of all users of the Rickenbacker Causeway is a priority to Miami-Dade County (County). I have reviewed all the emails received as a result of this website postings along with the proposed short and long term goals outlined in Mr. Azenha’s posts of January 5, 2014 on http://www.transitmiami.com and, most recently, Ms. Fabiola Santiago’s Miami Herald column on January 10, 2014. We have been working hard to keep the public informed of the improvements being made along the Causeway, but before outlining the County’s efforts, I would like to clarify information regarding the three (3) recent accidents involving cyclists on the Causeway, which have been misrepresented:

    1. The police report detailing the accident that occurred on the William Powell Bridge in the pre-dawn hours of December 31, 2013 indicated that the driver was operating his vehicle under the influence of alcohol, and was therefore arrested. There was no roadway or traffic engineering defect which contributed to this tragic accident.

    2. The second referenced accident occurred on Wednesday November 6, 2013, not two (2) hours later on December 31, 2013 as reported in Mr. Azenha’s post. That accident involved two (2) cyclists who were struck by a driver making a left turn into MAST Academy. The police report indicated that the driver failed to yield the right-of-way to the cyclists, and was therefore cited for the accident. Again, no engineering defect or roadway design created conditions which contributed to the accident.

    3. The third accident was referenced in Mr. Azenha’s second post and Ms. Santiago’s column regarding a BMW striking a cyclist on Monday January 6, 2014 while leaving Key Biscayne. County staff has not been able to identify any records of an accident report filed by either the Village of Key Biscayne, City of Miami or Miami-Dade police departments for this date and alleged by Mr. Azenha or the other resident who wrote to the Herald.
    Unfortunately, there is no amount of roadway design or safety improvements that can be implemented to mitigate a driver’s failure to follow basic road rules or to address reckless, irresponsible behavior on the part of a motorist.

    Please be advised that over the last several years, the Public Works and Waste Management Department (PWWM) has taken proactive steps to improve cyclist and pedestrian safety on the Causeway, and other major roadways throughout the County. The County’s commitment to cyclist and pedestrian safety is clearly evidenced by the inclusion of new 14-foot wide bicycle/pedestrian paths at a cost of approximately $8.5 million as part of the ongoing repairs to the Bear Cut Bridge. To implement these improvements the bridge is being widened by 20 feet. Additionally, all new roadway improvement projects include dedicated or shared bicycle and pedestrian paths where possible in compliance with the Miami-Dade County Comprehensive Development Master Plan (CDMP) and State and Federal guidelines.
    Finally, with respect to the short and long-term goals outlined by Mr. Azenha, the County offers the following:

    Short Term Goals for the Causeway
    • Enforcement of the 45 mph speed limit and regular DUI checkpoints – Over the last year the Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) has conducted periodic traffic enforcement in conjunction with the City of Miami and Village of Key Biscayne Police Departments. This has been done utilizing speed control signs and uniformed and motorcycle officers to conduct traffic enforcement and education. During this period, MDPD has issued more than 1,447 citations and more than 500 verbal warnings. MDPD will continue its efforts to ensure the safety of motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians alike along the Causeway in partnership with the City of Miami and the Village of Key Biscayne.
    • Reduce speed limit to 35 mph – PWWM proactively reduced the speed limit on most of Crandon Boulevard inside Crandon Park from 45 mph to 40 mph many years ago. Also, based on a PWWM speed study conducted approximately 5 years ago, PWWM requested regular enforcement of posted speeds from the Police Departments referenced above and installed 14 speed feedback signs to assist motorists in self-policing their speed. In addition, staff reviewed all of the speed limits along the causeway in preparation for the construction of the Bearcut and West Bridges and as a result adjusted the speed limits to 35 mph and 25 mph in the construction areas.
    • Close the right lane of traffic in both directions on Saturday and Sunday mornings from 6:00 am to 10:00am – This would not be feasible since the daily placement of cones each weekend would create new falling hazards for bicyclists and present significant maintenance challenges. Furthermore, the causeway is mostly made up of two lanes going each direction and therefore shutting down a lane during the weekend would cause traffic delays and more safety issues.
    • Better signage – In 2007, PWWM milled and resurfaced the Causeway from the Crandon Marina west to the mainland. The work included the installation of bicyclist height handrails on the north side of the three (3) bridges and the conversion of the roadway shoulders into bicycle lanes with appropriate bicycle related traffic signage and pavement markings, in compliance with State and Federal standards. As new federal traffic sign and pavement marking standards are developed, PWWM reviews them to determine appropriate locations for implementation of the new standards. For example, as a result of updated standards, PWWM modified the markings on Hobie Island alongside the eastbound bicycle lane. In 2012, PWWM installed wide vibratory lines to alert drivers moving into the bicycle lane. More recently, new signage has been implemented on the Bear Cut and West bridges and updated frequently based on construction conditions and feedback from the Causeway users including bicycle groups.
    • Motorist and bicyclist education campaign – Information for motorists and cyclists can be found by visiting PWWM’s websites (www.miamidade.gov/publicworks) or (www.bearcutbridge.com). These websites provide real-time traffic information regarding the ongoing improvements to the Bear Cut and West Bridges. More specifically, the link includes information on the “Sharrow” markings which are being utilized on certain lanes of the Bear Cut Bridge during construction. Additional education and outreach efforts are managed through the Metropolitan Planning Organization. Interested residents can visit the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s website at http://www.miamidade.gov/MPO for information, or to learn more about the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

    Long Term Goals for the Causeway

    • Paint bicycle lanes green (intersections should include peg-a-traking and Chevron arrows) – PWWM has recently obtained authorization from the Federal Highway Administration to use green as a background color for bicycle lanes. As such, the use of green backgrounds will be analyzed for all future bicycle lane projects.
    • Major road diet. Narrowing of traffic lanes to discourage speeding (11 foot lane) – All vehicular travel lanes on the Causeway are no wider than 11 feet. The only 12 foot vehicular travel lanes are along Crandon Boulevard within Crandon Park. PWWM is currently designing a project which will narrow these lanes to 11 feet and simultaneously widen the bicycle lanes. This work will be scheduled once the repairs to the Bear Cut and West Bridges are completed.
    • Proper crosswalks, with stop lights, that can be activated by pedestrians – PWWM will upgrade the pedestrian push buttons and Walk/Don’t Walk indications at the Virginia Beach Road intersection in coordination with the Bear Cut Bridge project. Additionally, the crossing of the Causeway’s Bicycle Route 11 from the south side of the road to the north side will be shifted from the un-signalized Marina crosswalk to a signalized crosswalk at Virginia Beach Road. Furthermore, PWWM will construct a path on the north side of the Causeway from the Bear Cut Bridge to Mast Academy, in order to provide connections to the signalized intersections at both Virginia Beach Road and Mast Academy. This work will be scheduled once the repairs to the Bear Cut and West Bridges are completed.
    • A separate path for pedestrians (pedestrians and bicyclist should not coexist) – When determining non-motorized path width, both pedestrian and cyclist volumes are considered. Furthermore, the majority of paths in the United States do not physically separate bicyclists from pedestrians. Currently, the path along the south side of the Causeway is 8 feet wide, which was the standard at the time of its construction. Moving forward, the paths on both the north and south side of the Bear Cut Bridge will be 14 feet wide once construction is complete later on this year. Additionally, the new path north of the Causeway from the Bear Cut Bridge to Mast Academy is proposed to have a 15-foot width with pavement markings to differentiate pedestrian space from bicycle space.
    • Consider physical separation as a feature in dangerous areas such as bridges and marked buffers along the trajectory of the bike lane – PWWM has analyzed the implementation of physical separations such as barrier walls on the bridges along the Causeway, but concluded that the cost for this work would be several million dollars. Nonetheless, path widening and physical separation will be included as part of the engineering analysis whenever major bridge reconstructions are contemplated. As a result, the reconstruction of the Bear Cut Bridge includes the installation of the two (2) 14-foot wide bicycle/pedestrian paths on each side of the bridge.
    • Motorist and bicyclist education campaign – Educational efforts are outlined in the short term plan bullets above.

    Finally, PWWM staff has been attending the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) meetings for more than a decade, and since the Bear Cut and West bridge reconstruction project began. PWWM and MDPD have also been meeting with a group of concerned bicycle advocates on a monthly basis. During these meetings, issues such as police enforcement, maintenance of traffic layout, signage, and educational material for both motorists and bicyclists have been discussed extensively resulting in many of the suggestions being implemented both in the field and on the County’s project web-sites.
    I want to reiterate that safety on the Causeway is of upmost importance. The improvements mentioned will improve bicycle safety, but unfortunately will not mitigate a driver or a bicyclist’s failure to follow basic road rules. The County, wherever feasible, has accommodated bicyclists’ requests and engages regularly with the bicycle community to understand its needs.

    The County staff is committed to working with all parties to create a safe environment for all users of the Causeway and constructive feedback is always welcomed. Please feel free to contact Gayle Love, Senior Division Director of the Public Information and Outreach Division at PWWM at 305-514-6607 with concerns or questions. Thank you for your interest in bicycle safety.

    Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez

       0 likes

  9. Gables says:

    I have to respectfully disagree with Gayle R. Love and Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez who state, “Unfortunately, there is no amount of roadway design or safety improvements that can be implemented to mitigate a driver’s failure to follow basic road rules or to address reckless, irresponsible behavior on the part of a motorist.”

    I moved here from Tucson, AZ and the difference bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure between the two cities is stark. If our city and county looked at what other cities are doing, they would see that you can in fact design roadways that mitigate the impact of drivers who are dangerous, not paying attention, or not following the law.

    Further, installing dedicated bike lanes or shared bikes lanes (sharrows) is not a solution. Just because paint is added to the roadway does not make it safe, especially a shared bike lane. These can be underused because people don’t feel comfortable riding a bike in mixed traffic. Additional safety measures, including truly protected bike lanes, rumble strips, or even green painted lanes can improve safety for cars and bikes.

    The posts from the Gayle R. Love and the mayor suggest that they have not done their research and simply don’t get it. A quick internet search, a call to Tucson, AZ (or Washington, DC, San Francisco, New York, Seattle, etc.), or taking a bike ride across town and experiencing our roads first hand would do much to educate them. As I once heard someone say, “If you aren’t comfortable letting your 10 year old child ride on the streets, then they aren’t safe.” With that in mind I ask, is there any shared or dedicated bike lane in the city that you all would feel comfortable allowing a 10 year old to ride in?

       1 likes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current day month ye@r *

This site is protected by Comment SPAM Wiper.