Currently viewing the tag: "bikeway"

An estimated 4000 bicyclists and pedestrians showed up this morning for the Key Biscayne Memorial Bike Ride to pay their respects to Christophe Le Canne, the bicyclist that was killed last Sunday by a hit and run driver.

Bicyclists came from as far as the west coast of Florida, Broward and Palm Beach Counties. I hope our elected officials are listening to us. Our unified voices will only become stronger. We will be writing more about what this means for the cycling community in Miami and South Florida.

A special thank you to the County Public Works Department and the Miami Dade, Key Biscayne and Miami Police Departments; without them this event would not have been possible.

We expect a large turnout for the Key Biscayne Memorial Ride on Sunday. The County Public Works Department along with the Miami Dade, Key Biscayne and Miami Police Departments have been working tirelessly over the past few days to ensure our safety. We expect between 1000-2000 bicyclists and possibly more. Cyclists from as far as Broward and Palm Beach County have confirmed that they will be attending this event to pay their respects to Christophe Le Canne, the bicyclist that was killed last Sunday by a hit and run driver.

We need everyone’s cooperation to make sure no one gets hurt. The police will be on hand to help us and are providing an escort for the large group that will be meeting across the street from the Mast Academy at 9:00 a.m.  We will leave promptly at 9:15 a.m., stopping at the Christophe Le Canne memorial sign which the County Public Works Department has very thoughtfully placed on Bear Cut Bridge where the accident occurred.

After a twenty minute stop we will proceed to the entrance of Bill Bagss Florida State Park on Key Biscayne.  We will turn around before the entrance to the park and head back towards the mainland. At this point the police escort will effectively end.  Please use caution after the escorted ride is over; regular vehicular traffic will be present. Remember we must also follow the rules of the road; share the road works both ways.

*The Miami Seaquarium has invited us to use their parking lot as a staging area for the 9am ride. They ask participants to use the main Marquee entrance to enter the parking lot and park as close to the causeway as possible.

Family & friends of Le Canne are asking those who wish to help to donate funds to Haiti Relief instead.

Make checks payable to:
American Red Cross
P.O. Box 37243
Washington, DC 20013
Notation on check:
AP 2885 – Haiti Relief – IMO Christophe Le Canne

According to the Key Biscayne Times, a young girl was struck by a car while riding her bicycle in Key Biscayne. The car was making a right hand turn and hit the bicyclist. Luckily the girl seems to be doing alright.

Today’s article in the Miami Herald suggests that fire-rescue took too long to arrive to the aid of Christopher Lecanne, the bicyclist that was killed on Sunday morning on Bear Cut Bridge. Although I agree that the response time was not good, there was very little fire-rescue could have done to help Christopher Lecanne.

Unless you are Superman, the chance of surviving an impact at 60 mph is close to zero. The chance of surviving an impact at 45 mph (posted speed limit on the Rickenbacker) is about 10% (see below). So let’s stop pointing the finger at fire-rescue, there is absolutely nothing they could have done to save his life.

The County Public Works Department should be held responsible and liable for this accident.  They designed and approved an unprotected bicycle lane next to a highway where cars often travel in excess of 60 mph. Our most popular cycling route in the county is a ticking time bomb. More deadly accidents will occur. By designing an unsuitable roadway for all users the County Public Works Department effectively gives cyclists a false sense of security. Fast moving cars and unprotected bicycle lanes do not work.  It never has and it never will. I cannot be more emphatic about this point!!!

Of course, Carlos Bertonatti also needs to be held responsible.  There will be more accidents like this on the Rickenbacker Causeway if the fundamental design flaw is not addressed.  Distracted drivers are a fact of life. The very least we can do is give our bicyclists a chance of surviving.  This can be done by designing a roadway which encourages cars to slow down and by putting protective barriers between bicyclists and cars on our bridges.

Let’s point the finger at the County Public Works Department.  They have neglected bicyclists and pedestrians for too long.

Please send Esther Calas, Director of the County Public Works Department, an email demanding a safer Rickenbacker Causeway @ ecalas@miamidade.gov

According to the Sun Sentinel, two children were hit while riding their bicycles in Ft. Lauderdale on 1000 block of E. Sunrise Blvd on Monday. The children were taken to Broward General Medical Center with minor injuries. The driver remained at the scene.

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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/

This morning at around 8:40 a bicyclist was struck from behind by a hit and run driver in the south bound bicycle lane on Bear Cut bridge. The driver was apprehended about 4 miles away from where he struck and killed the bicyclist; the bicycle still underneath the car.

I don’t know all the facts of the accident yet, but I can assure you there is not a single factor that contributed to the death of this bicyclist. There will be plenty of blame to be shared; especially by the County Public Works Department which designed the dangerous and inadequate bicycle facility on the Rickenbacker Causeway.  There are 1000’s of bicyclists that ride the Rickenbacker Causeway every weekend. Accidents like this can be prevented be designing proper bicycle facilities.  This is the second fatality in the past three years on the Rickenbacker Causeway. Numerous other bicyclists have been injured here too.

Our condolences go out to the family of the bicyclist.

Askmen.com just released its Top 10 bicycle-friendly cities in the world and Miami did not make the list. Hopefully this will change soon.  The Miami Bicycle Master Plan was created last year, now we need to implement it.

Last night, after several bottles of wine the conversation turned to the Metromover. At the table were several colleagues from my office. We all have at the minimum college degrees, so I think it’s fair to assume that we are of at least average intelligence.   Dario, a Londoner, explained to me that the first time he rode the Metromover he ended up where he started from.  Issiac, a New Yorker, also got lost the first time he used it. He figured out something was very wrong after he passed the same building twice. Mind you, he has ridden the subway in New York his entire life and has never gotten lost!

Most every time I use the Metromover, I find a lost soul seeking directions.  Even as a veteran of the Metromover, I often have to study the map before getting on to ensure that I get off at the right transfer station.  Or I have to strategically think about which station I need to walk to in order to avoid riding the Metromover aimlessly.

I do like the Metromover, it works for me.  However, it is poorly designed. You need a Phd. in order not to get lost. Transit should not be complicated; the Metromover is. In order for transit to work efficiently, a first time user should have a clear understanding of how the system works right off the bat. So this got me thinking last night, maybe we need to abandon the Metromover?

However, before we abandon the Metromover, we need to replace it with a well thought-out streetcar. So what to do with the elevated infrastructure from the Metromover once it is replaced with a proper streetcar? Well, it should not be torn down. Instead we should consider converting it to an elevated bicycle path, a greenway in the middle of the city, much like the New York City High Line.  In many ways it would become a bicycle highway in the middle of our city. Imagine the possibilities. What do you think?

Dear Santa,

Transit Miami and its readers have been good boys and girls this year. So below are just a few things that we would like from you:

  • Miami 21
  • Bike Miami Days
  • Well designed bicycle lanes
  • A protected and separated bicycle facility on the Rickenbacker, MacArthur and Julia Tuttle Causeways
  • Implementation of the Miami Bicycle Master Plan
  • A complete streets approach to designing our public right of way
  • Safer, better, and more crosswalks
  • Bay Link
  • Streetcar
  • Yield to Pedestrian signs around Brickell and Downtown Miami

With Love,

Transit Miami

p.s. Santa has been watching us and he knows who’s been naughty or nice. If you have any special requests for Santa please let him know in the comments section.  Santa reads Transit Miami on a regular basis.

Here’s your chance to speak to an FDOT representative about the recently released Dangerous by Design report that ranked the following four metropolitan areas within Florida as the most dangerous for pedestrians in the United States.

1.         Orlando-Kissimmee, FL

2.         Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL

3.         Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL

4.         Jacksonville, FL

The MPO Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee will hold their monthly meeting on Wednesday Dec. 16th on the 18th Floor (room 18-3) of the Government Center. This will be the first meeting since the Dangerous by Design report was released. Please come out and express your concerns to the FDOT representative that will be present. We need to work together with FDOT and encourage them to design complete streets that address the needs of all users and not only those of cars.  We deserve better streets.

Darlington Media Group and the Darlington Cycling Campaign produced a short video about overcoming social stigmas in order to encourage women to ride bicycles in the UK. A few months ago Scientific American reported that that best lead indicator for bikeability are women riders. As you may know, we here at Transit Miami are big fans of women on bicycles.  So check this video out ladies.  All the trendsetting women are on bicycles nowadays. We hope to see you out there on your new bicycle soon!

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Its official folks, Miami has officially been ranked the 3rd most dangerous city in the country for pedestrians. Dangerous by Design, a report produced jointly by the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership and Transportation for America has concluded that:

The Miami metropolitan area is one of the nation’s most dangerous for pedestrians because the roads here generally have been designed to speed up — not slow down – traffic”.

Although the blame needs to be shared with the County Public Works Department (i.e. broken pedestrian signals), FDOT deserves an honorable mention for this shameful award. If they keep designing roadways, crosswalks and bike lanes like the recently completed Coral Way resurfacing project, Miami should be able to clinch #1 spot in a few years. This is pathetic at best and should be of no surprise to anyone.

You can find the full report here.

It’s been about a month since I first reported on the new Coral Way bike lanes. Since I have not seen any progress during the past 4 weeks I will assume that  FDOT has officially completed this project. Sadly, I think this may be the finished product. It’s unfortunate to see that what we were left with is as good as it gets.

I would like to reiterate my suggestions for improvement for the bicycle lanes:

  • Paint the bicycle lanes green at all intersections and all conflict areas (i.e. driveways).
  • Paint three bicycle symbols per block.
  • Paint two white lines instead of a single white line to more clearly define the bicycle lanes.
  • The bicycle lanes should continue through the intersections with dashed lines in addition to being painted green; this keeps the continuity of the lane while also making bicyclists aware that motorists will be turning through the lane.
  • Add more signage: “Share the Road” and “No Parking in Bicycle Lane”
  • The Coral Way bicycle lane needs a seamless transition to the already existing SW 15th Road bicycle lane.
  • Road diet. Narrowing travel lanes to ensure motorists travel at slower speeds.

Pedestrians also needed to be considered more carefully in this project. Below is what appears to be the finished product for the crosswalks. Both of these crosswalks are not safe enough for pedestrians. Particularly the crosswalk on Coral Way where cars are usually traveling at about 40 mph in this area.

This crosswalk isn’t safe for pedestrians. The yield to pedestrians signs are not effective alone, traffic calming devices need to be included with the design.

This crosswalk isn’t safe for pedestrians. The yield to pedestrians signs are not effective alone, traffic calming devices need to be included with the design.

How about a couple of yield to pedestrian signs and a more clearly marked crosswalk?

How about a couple of yield to pedestrian signs and a more clearly marked crosswalk?

Check out this video from Streetfilms.  They did a piece on this sweet ass crosswalk in Seattle, Washington; yellow flashing lights are activated with a tap of the foot.  FDOT must consider using this type of crosswalk for Coral Way and all other crosswalks were pedestrians are put in the unlucky position of crossing 4 lanes of traffic where cars travel at high speeds.

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Sign says "No Bicycle Allowed on Sidewalk"

Sign says "No Bicycles Allowed on Sidewalks"

Although we do not encourage bicycling on sidewalks, the Village of Bal Harbour has made it illegal to ride a bicycle on their sidewalks. Unfortunately, the Village of Bal Harbour has not provided any safe bicycling alternatives. Bicyclists are therefore relegated to riding on the road, on heavily traveled A1A, where there are no bicycle lanes.  As a relatively young and experienced cyclist I don’t mind riding on the road. But if I had a ten-year-old kid, I would not want him riding on A1A.

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