Bicyclists make use of the bicycle-only tollbooth lane, a hard fought and deserved concession.

The Miami Herald finally caught up to the bicyclists vs. motorists battle that’s been brewing since Commissioner Carlos Gimenez announced a plan to convert the Rickenbacker tollbooth into a SunPass speedway.

The Herald  makes it known that the greater Miami-Dade bicycling community will have to band together so that conditions for cyclists-of all abilities- will not be  compromised by the Commissioner’s plan. Thus, if you bicycle on the Causeway with any frequency, please consider speaking up and out about the two proposals. Offering  a line of support for the County’s option to keep at least a few vehicle-stopping cash booths in place would be particularly helpful. This would allow motorists and bicyclists to continue to share the Rick’s entrance somewhat safely. Without an unexpected gift of cash to  not just redesign the tolling, but the whole Causeway-mainland intersection (see our Complexity Visualized post), this seems to be the most prudent option.

To be sure, recent improvements to the toll booth, bicycle lanes, and signage have improved conditions, but exiting the Causeway and navigating the SW 26th Road/Brickell/South Miami  intersection remains dangerous.  The only reason it seems more pedestrians and bicyclists aren’t injured here is that traffic is usually backed up, allowing for easy eye contact and motor vehicle concessions to forlorn pedestrians and bicylists making all sorts of invented manuevers to cross the intersection.

Of course, whether on foot or bicycle, the Sunpass would only heighten the danger for those attempting to cross the street.

Both Transit Miami and Spokes n’ Folks have been following this issue closely and will continue reporting on what seems to be a one step forward, two steps back approach to  South Florida’s signature recreational destination.

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