Currently viewing the category: "Accident"
Cartoon designed by Juan Navarro www.FWACATA.com

Cartoon designed by Juan Navarro www.FWACATA.com

The very naughty Cone Fairy has done it again. Last night she mischievously placed 7 orange traffic cones down the center of NE 76 Street in an attempt to calm traffic to protect children, parents with strollers, cyclists and pets from speeding drivers.

For the past 5 months my neighbors and I have been trying to get the city and county to do something about the reckless drivers that come barreling down our street everyday. Unfortunately, true to form, neither the county nor city has acknowledged that the fundamental problem with this road, as with the majority of our streets in South Florida, is the actual design of our roads that encourages speeding. It shouldn’t take five months to find a solution to this problem; this isn’t rocket science, it just requires a little common sense.

Operation Belle Meade Storm: To liberate Belle Meade residents from the oppression of speeding cars

Operation Belle Meade Storm: To liberate Belle Meade residents from the oppression of speeding cars

Last I heard, the only thing the county is willing to do  is add a crosswalk and erect one of these signs on 76th Street.

A crosswalk and this sign is the best the County can do calm traffic.

A crosswalk and this sign is the best the County can do calm traffic.

This silly sign won’t do anything to calm traffic. If this is the only solution the county can come up with, I have a feeling we may see a whole lot more of the very sassy and sexy Cone Fairy. It’s worth mentioning that all of Transit Miami’s recommendations to calm traffic on this street have been rebuffed by the county. In the meantime, cars continue to speed down my street and it’s just a matter of time before someone is struck by a speeding car.

impact-of-speed2

By the way- we don’t know the true identity of the Cone Fairy and we cannot condone this type of behavior. So remember…

urbanism

 

 

 

ped safety little havana

Everyone knows that Miami has a serious problem with pedestrian injuries and fatalities; not a week goes by without reading an article about another pedestrian struck by a car. Miami is the 4th most dangerous city for pedestrians and cyclists in the Country right now.

This must change!

We live in one of the most beautiful, perfect climates in the world, yet stepping out our doors for a walk can be fatal. With Emerge Miami, I began organizing walks for pedestrian safety last year in response to this ongoing crisis. The concept is simple, during the time that pedestrians are legally allowed to enter the crosswalk, we have people with educational signs and statistics about pedestrians injuries and fatalities walk back and forth through the crosswalk. We also have educational materials to hand drivers and pedestrians.

Our next walk is in Little Havana on June 29th, a lovely neighborhood that should be safe and walkable, yet speeding cars and infrequent crosswalks make it a extremely dangerous for walkers, especially the many more elderly residents who live there.

As part of our walk we are asking that pedestrians who have been injured, and their families, to come out and join our walk to help put a personal face on this epidemic of injury and death.

For more information or to get involved please contact Elsa Roberts at eroberts@mtu.edu. To RSVP to the event go to Meetup or Facebook.

Tagged with:
 

 

6th crash in three years at the same exact location. Brickell Avenue and 15th Road

6th crash in three years at the same exact location. Brickell Avenue and 15th Road

Here we go again… A few weeks ago there was another crash on Brickell Avenue and SW 15th Road.  This is the sixth incident in about 3 years that I have seen debris from crashes at the exact same location.  I’m not sure what FDOT and the city of Miami are waiting for, but apparently nothing will be done here until someone is killed. Sadly this will likely happen within the next three years.

Looks like the bench was launched about 50 feet.

Looks like the bench was launched about 50 feet.

The Echo Brickell project has just been announced and construction will begin soon at the very exact location where all these crashes have occurred.  This project will have 175 units with retail on the ground floor.  If the design of the road remains the same, we should expect a nasty accident with a lot of injuries once the project is completed. FDOT and the city of Miami have been put on notice. If nothing is done immediately both will have blood on their hands.

You can also send an email to FDOT District 6 Secretary Gus Pego and Commissioner Marc Sarnoff to see if they plan to do anything to address the design speed on Brickell Avenue.  I think it is evident that we have a problem here.

 

National news continues to cover the tragic death of four local men killed in the Doral parking garage collapse. International news, Twitter and the campaign trails of both Presidential candidates keep returning to the tragic killing of four Americans in Benghazi.

Where is the outcry over continuous deaths of men, women and children who die on Miami roads all the time?

In just the last few days, at least 5 people have lost their lives on Miami’s roads and sidewalks. Speed has been blamed in all three incidents:

A police officer in an unmarked car crashed into a young couple’s SUV at a Hialeah intersection, killing a college student.

A driver cut off another in Miami Gardens, clipping a third car and careening into a group of people sitting at a bus stop, killing at least one of the 5 maimed or otherwise critically injured by the speeding driver.

A third speeding driver killed his passenger as well as a boy and his father in a separate vehicle on Saturday morning.

Five people killed in Miami in three days. Where is the outcry?

A 29 year old man, also waiting for a bus, was killed by a man trying escape the scene of a separate, relatively minor rear-end collision in West Miami. This actually happened two weeks ago but apparently made news when The Miami Herald determined the driver was an icon of Miami’s culinary scene. No charges - not a traffic ticket - have been filed for leaving the scene or killing a pedestrian on a sidewalk in that case.

These are not “accidents.” These are not “cars” killing our neighbors, our friends, innocent people. This is a culture, particular to South Florida, that makes it unsurprising to be passed dangerously close by a car, often an off-duty* police car, on all kinds of streets. Here in South Florida, we don’t expect cars to stop before the crosswalk at intersections - pedestrians are lucky when all the cars stop on the red light. Do you disagree?

The lack of truly pedestrian and bicycle-friendly infrastructure is part of the problem. The fact that our streets are notoriously Dangerous by Design is another critical part. But the piece most easy to dismiss is just as important- enforcement.

The City of Miami Police Department employs around 1,400 people. 17 of them are in Traffic Enforcement. Given the City and County’s exceptional fatality rate in traffic, isn’t about time we do more to enforce our laws?

Who Wants More Traffic Tickets?

Not the Police. No one wants more traffic tickets, your local police department, most of all. See, several years ago, Florida state legislators got ‘tough’ on traffic-related crimes, raising the fines for all kinds of infractions. Unfortunately for our safety as a state, this backfired, because your local cops already have it hard when it comes to giving tickets. 1) It’s more dangerous than Special Ops and far less sexy. No one’s family wants them to be the guy pulling over Joe with a gun.** 2) Police are average people, too. They don’t really enjoy hearing your sob story about how this $250 ticket will keep you from making rent and make your kids homeless. 3) Okay, maybe one or two don’t mind that part, but they hate going to court only to have a Judge fall for said sob story and throw out the case.

Not Politicians. So, Dr. So-and-so gets a ticket, gets upset, calls our Commissioner and threatens all kinds of drama. It’s a hassle. Plus, there aren’t statistics on how many people were not stopped by an officer and then immediately killed someone’s child or dog (that really would get on the news!). In other words, it doesn’t win sound bites or votes.

Not the Public. Most people seem to think traffic tickets are just some excuse for your local politicians and police to make easy money. It’s not ‘easy’ money**.

And yet, hardly anyone speeds in the Village of Pinecrest! That’s not because the lanes are narrower (no) or because there are fewer texting-calling-children wrangling-pompous drivers (no). It’s because everyone knows you’ll get a ticket. New to the area? Everyone else is abiding the law so chances are, you will, too.

If you really want to live in a safer place, where businesses benefit from local traffic and your neighbors and tourists don’t get killed waiting for the bus, then all of us need to drive more safely, follow the speed limit, put down the phone. Always change lanes to give those pulled over a full lane of space. Do the same for people on bicycles, too.

Call your commissioners and PDs and tell them you WANT more traffic enforcement. Do it today. Call 311, give them your address and they can tell you how to reach your elected officials. Do it.

Because your life depends on it.

====

*You know they are off duty when the car says Bal Harbour and you are on I-95, for example.

**In the last decade, nationwide, more police were killed in cars or by cars than were shot or killed by terrorist attacks, combined.

Hey, at least we’re not Texas!

 

This is not a bad joke, but an actual Miami Herald headline from this morning. Let’s put aside this insensitive headline.

I’m working on the assumption that the “dead man that is blocking traffic” was a pedestrian that was struck by a vehicle.  The Herald is reporting that Northeast 79th Street from Biscayne Boulevard to Miami Avenue has been blocked off.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with 79th Street it is another classic FDOT road that is designed to move cars as quickly as possible without considering the safety of pedestrians or cyclists-an urban highway if you will. Case in point: 79th Street has three lanes going west to east and one lane going east to west.  Needless to say, west to east traffic is moving in excess of 50 mph through the middle of our city! This is not an acceptable safety standard; never has and never will be.

There are approximately 10 blocks between Biscayne Boulevard and Miami Avenue; however we only find crosswalks at three intersections within these 10 blocks. This is also not an acceptable safety standard for pedestrians either; we need crosswalks at just about every one of these intersections. Does the FDOT expect pedestrians to walk six blocks out of their way just to get across the street? It’s no coincidence that Florida has the highest pedestrian fatality rate when you have streets designed like NE 79th Street.

The Miami Herald later updated the article and headline “Person in wheelchair hit by car and killed on Miami street”. Clearly this road is not suitable for a person in a wheel chair.

Please send an email to the FDOT District 6 Secretary Gus Pego and Commissioner Sarnoff and let them know that this street is not suitable for pedestrians and cyclists. Click here to send an email to both gentlemen.

Tagged with:
 

Crash on NE 57th and Biscayne Blvd on Aug. 25, 2012. Third crash in the past 10 days in a 10 block stretch of Biscayne Boulevard. Clearly speeding is a problem.

Just this past week two more crashes occurred on Biscayne Boulevard in the MiMo Historic District. That brings the total crashes to three in the past ten days and 14 in the past two years. Ten days ago I reported about a crash that occurred near NE 54th Street and several MiMo residents sent emails to the FDOT District 6 Secretary Gus Pego and to Commissioner Sarnoff. You can read their emails here.  I wonder if they received a reply from either gentleman?

Crash on Biscayne and NE 60th (8/24/2012). Three crashes in the past ten days within 10 blocks.

Ignoring the problem of the design speed of Biscayne Boulevard is no longer an option. It is only a matter of time before a fatality occurs and it is clear that something needs to be done. Biscayne Boulevard isn’t safe for pedestrians, cyclists or drivers, nor is it a business-friendly street.

Crash on Biscayne and NE 48th Street. This previously unreported accident occurred on June 15th. Source: Transit Miami informant known as agent “B”.

This situation will only get worse if the flawed high-speed design of this road is not immediately resolved. Fourteen crashes, in a two year period, within a twenty-five-blocks isn’t an acceptable safety standard.

Please send an email to the FDOT District 6 Secretary Gus Pego and Commissioner Sarnoff and ask them to make Biscayne Boulevard safer for everyone. Click here to send an email to both gentlemen.

Check out how Biscayne Boulevard should look. Can you imagine a business and pedestrian-friendly MiMo with on-street parking?  Wouldn’t it be nice if cars moved slower through the historic district?  This is all possible- a team from the University of Miami developed three alternative streetscape designs for Biscayne Boulevard. Which alternative do you prefer?

 

Tagged with:
 

For the past two years I have lived in the Upper Eastside of Miami and since moving here I have documented numerous crashes that have occurred along Biscayne Boulevard in the MiMo Historic District. (NE 50th-NE 76 Street)

Just this past weekend another light post was struck on Biscayne Boulevard just north NE 54th Street. No word if there were any injuries.

Eleventh crash in the past two years in MiMo.

Three weeks ago a pedestrian was critically injured at a bus stop on Northeast 64th Street and Biscayne Boulevard.  It was a hit and run, but the driver was caught several blocks away.

The only thing the FDOT has done in a failed attempt to make Biscayne Boulevard safer is add these silly speed loop-back signs that do almost nothing to make the MiMo Historic District safer for pedestrians.

If a car moving at 47 mph strikes a pedestrian he/she/they will most likely die.

The FDOT has also added a mid-block crosswalk on Biscayne Boulevard between NE 72 Terrace and NE 72 Street. It’s great that we have “1 new crosswalk” in the area, but this really isn’t progress. I fail to understand why we don’t have a crosswalk at every intersection. Pedestrians should not have to walk 6 blocks just to get across the street.

Biscayne Boulevard has a design speed of 40+mph without any protection (i.e. on-street parking) between the speeding drivers and pedestrians. Until the design speed of Biscayne Boulevard is addressed crashes will continue to occur. It’s just a matter of time before someone is killed.  The City of Miami and the FDOT continue to turn a blind eye to the dangerous design of Biscayne Boulevard and as a result at least 11 crashes have resulted in less than 2 years in a twenty-five-block stretch along Biscayne Boulevard.

All that separates pedestrians from 3 tons of steel moving in excess of 40 mph is a 6” curb and a few feet. THIS IS NOT SAFE. IT IS A RECIPE FOR DISASTER.

Check out how Biscayne Boulevard should look. Can you imagine a business and pedestrian-friendly MiMo with on-street parking?  Wouldn’t it be nice if cars moved slower through the historic district?  This is all possible- a team from the University of Miami developed three alternative streetscape designs for Biscayne Boulevard. Which alternative do you prefer?

Please send an email to the FDOT District 6 Secretary Gus Pego and Commissioner Sarnoff and ask them to make Biscayne Boulevard safer for pedestrians. Click here to send an email to both gentlemen.

 

A recent Sun Sentinel investigative report revealed deeply disturbing data on police driving behavior on South Florida roads. The three-part series investigated an idea that many south Floridians already believed to be true - police officers sworn to uphold the law are amongst the worst speeders on our roads and are not held accountable for their behavior, even when deadly. The data the Sun Sentinel revealed is a telling story of entitlement, danger, tragedy and a nauseatingly pervasive, dysfunctional culture.

By collecting data from SunPass Records, the Sun Sentinel reporters gathered a stunning array of unnerving facts, including:

Since 2004, Florida officers exceeding the speed limit have caused at least 320 crashes and 19 deaths. Only one officer went to jail — for 60 days.

The three-month investigation found almost 800 cops from a dozen agencies driving 90 to 130 mph on our highways.

Miami officers were among the most chronic speeders, with 143 of them driving over 90 mph — all outside city limits. More than 50 Miami cops broke 100 mph — one more than 100 times.

Data via the Sun Sentinel

What struck me about the investigation was that it only took SunPass data into account - meaning only highway driving was measured. The nuisance and danger speeding drivers (civilians and police) represent on our on our local and secondary roadways is well-known to South Floridians - pedestrians, cyclists and motorists alike.

Take for example the Miami officer that inexplicably managed to drive up a utility pole on a quiet neighborhood street earlier in December. Many in our community laughed and shrugged it off as a bizarre accident. I wasn’t so quick to chuckle. This example of negligence and monumental stupidity are the type of things that erode public confidence towards police departments.

No caption necessary.

The investigation challenges another myth that pervades in South Florida - that we’re known as ‘terrible drivers’ because of our diverse citizenry importing driving habits from around the globe. While there may be elements of truth to that claim, it is not the sole reason the particular brand of driving in South Florida often resembles a demolition derby.

Take the ‘broken window’ theory into consideration. Coined by Kees Keizer of the University of Gronigen in the Netherlands, Keizer’s research focused on the idea that witnessing disorder and petty criminal behavior leads people to perpetuate such actions. (Like how broken windows on a vacant house invite litter, graffiti, etc.)

On South Florida roads, the ‘broken windows’ and litter are represented by the speeding police officers that pass you at 110 mph, screech around corners, roar through intersections, drive up poles and run over innocent beachgoers lying on the sand.

Earlier in November, two Miami Police officers were involved in separate crashes while responding to the same scene.

This type of behavior by police trusted to uphold the law has a ‘trickle down’ effect, meaning average citizens eventually feel entitled to speed without repercussion, perpetuating the behavior they observe daily from the police. Who’s enforcing anything? The risk seems small. Combine this collective mentality with urban roads like Biscayne Boulevard designed with suburban design standards that practically encourage speeding, and you have a recipe for the motoring chaos we see everyday.

Three basic ways to begin addressing the anarchy on our roads is enforcement, education and infrastructure (traffic calming). Sadly, enforcement has to begin within our own police departments on a broad scale.

Though perhaps we reached the tipping point today - Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa was involved in a car crash that sent a person to the hospital this afternoon.

Here’s a snapshot of the local vehicular carnage in South Florida over the past weekend. Also, bear in mind there there were no reports of any injuries or deaths on Tri-Rail, Metrorail, MetroMover, DecoBike, b-Cycle or city busses this weekend.

Good Samaritans Save Man From Submerged Vehicle

MIAMI - An 81 year old motorist wildly loses control of his car on NE 106th St near Biscayne Bay. In spectacular fashion, the vehicle cartwheels into the water and begins to drift and sumberge. Some bystanders, including a Miami Beach detective, jump into the water and pull the driver to safety.

Motorcyclist Survives Hit and Run Accident

MIAMI - A motorcyclist is rear-ended by a reckless motorist on an SR 836 on-ramp. The driver then flees the scene while the motorcyclist lay injured on the roadway.

Despite the headline of the WSVN story above, leaving the scene of a crash, especially when you struck a vulnerable road user, is no ‘accident’. It’s time we retire that word to the dustbin of our vocabulary when referring to crashes like this.

Violent Collision in Allapattah

Twitter user @Sergio98um took this picture at NW 30th St & 22nd Ave after hearing the crash while watching football at home on Sunday afternoon

Car Crashes Into House, Residents Unharmed

LAUDERHILL - In another crash worthy of an acrobatic score, a driver in a Toyota Corolla plows through a fence in reverse, propels airborne over a swimming pool and crashes into the back of a house in Lauderhill. Miraculously, the homeowner, three children in the house and the motorist were not seriously injured, though the home suffered significant damage.

Theives Crash Car Into Business, Steal ATM

MIAMI - Thugs ram a stolen Nissan Maxima into the front doors of Nail Bar in Midtown early Saturday morning. They steal an ATM machine from the business and speed away in a waiting getaway vehicle, leaving the crashed Nissan at the scene.

Picture via The Huffington Post

West Palm Beach Cabbie Struck and Killed

WEST PALM BEACH - According to deputies, Juan Diego Martinez, a 26 year old motorist, plowed into 3 vehicles in a parking lot outside a local nightclub shortly after midnight Saturday. Luis Jimenez, a West Palm Beach taxi driver was struck and killed by the reckless driver as he was chatting with friends outside. Two other innocent bystanders were also injured.

Cop Car Catches Fire During Pursuit of a Subject

FT. LAUDERDALE - A Fort Lauderdale police car burst into flames during the search and pursuit of a subject early Monday morning.

Three Killed After Car Plunges Into Pit Off I-95

JUPITER - Three elderly people were killed Sunday afternoon after their car veered off Interstate 95 and went into a drainage ditch full of highway runoff water.

Tagged with:
 

This picture was taken this morning on South Miami Avenue and 11th Street in Brickell - the same intersection I reported on previously on November 23rd.

I did not personally witness the crash, but given the significant damage to the car and the way the debris was scattered, it’s safe to assume a high rate of speed was a factor.

Brickell’s new ‘Triangle Park’ is under construction just to the right of the picture. Let’s add some basic traffic calming measures around the park so we can all enjoy it without having to dodge flying shards of plastic, glass and metal on our way there.

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.

Tagged with:
 

As we reported last week, a man on a bicycle was nearly killed while crossing Brickell Avenue at 14th and eyewitnesses suggested he had the right-of-way. However, three eyewitnesses with whom we did not discuss the crash told police that the motorist had a green light. While the nature of driving a car lends itself much more to not paying attention than does bicycling, the evidence in this case does suggest the cyclist was the one who failed to yield.

The cyclist had just entered the crosswalk - so any motorist focused on the road ahead and traveling at 40mph would not be expected to anticipate the cyclist or be able to stop in time. Of course, this supports our campaign to reduce the posted and design speeds on Brickell Avenue but at any speed, it seems clear that the motorist had the right-of-way. The motorist was ticketed for an expired license and failure to have his registration but not fault in the collision. He very well may be a terrible driver but he had a green light and the cyclist was not behaving predictably, safely or legally, if reports are accurate.

I regret not posting this on Friday as soon as the Police gave us the full report- it’s a sad day for our community and this brings up the issues that are even more complicated than common sense design. All we know about the victim was that he was riding a 20 year old cruiser, was wearing no helmet, lived in a non-affluent section of Little Havana and was hispanic. Question: where or how did this person learn to ride a bicycle in traffic?

The bicycling and pedestrian advocacy movement feels almost segregated. There are many strong, bilingual advocates but the ‘critical mass’ is disproportionately white and/or young. The super rich or truly poor who cycle don’t step up the way Emerge Miami, Green Mobility Network, the MIAFixed crowd do. As more people bicycle, that will change - but for everyone? The South Florida Bike Coalition was successful at getting a large pro-bicycling billboard up in Miami, facing Little Havana. We had no say where it would go and the wonderful image was clear in itself, but it begged the question of whether a spanish-language message would have been better.

If more people rode bicycles (safely, predictably), Miami would be a cleaner, more human place to live, work and visit. More and more people are riding, which I hope reminds those of us who have been riding longer to ride responsibly and take the time to talk safety with the ‘new’ people we see on rides.

The only place where I ride that I am surrounded by more bikes than in Overtown is Critical Mass. I’ve spoken to some leaders within Overtown and promoting safe, legal bicycling just isn’t a priority. Interestingly, this is also the neighborhood where I feel most safe riding in traffic. The number of bicyclists and pedestrians being more than cars, motorists rarely speed through here, in my experience. Second only to that is Little Haiti - where I find that motorists speed but they always seem to see me.

Forgive me for what is really just some random thoughts but you all deserve the update. I hope to read your responses and will work on something more coherent. Ride Safely.

Tagged with:
 

No tickets.

Not one.

The City of Miami Police Department cannot say if they have ever given a ticket for “Failure to Yield” to any motorist for driving through crosswalks when pedestrian or cyclists have the right-of-way. While this doesn’t mean it has never happened, the video we posted just this morning (and others, plus pictures) makes it clear that this is not a priority for local law enforcement. All we have right now is speculation as to what led to a motorist hitting a man on a bike in broad daylight, in the middle of the road yesterday - but it’s lead to a lot of reader questions about the State mandated ‘right-of-way’ on city streets that feel more like ‘might is right.’

The South Florida Bike Coalition has submitted a public records request but it will take time (and police charge by the hour, of course) was denied to look at each and every written citation over the last year to see how many people have ever received the $80.00 fine for failing to yield at a crosswalk. UPDATE: our request was denied because even in the written records, these stats are not records. No one keeps track of how many people are caught nearly hitting people walking or biking in the City of Miami. We are now talking to Miami-Dade County Clerk of Courts.

Some clarification on the law is provided by a Florida Department of Transportation Online Pedestrian Safety Guide that states:

A driver is obliged to yield the right of way to a pedestrian lawfully crossing in a crosswalk. Safe yielding requires stopping if the crossing pedestrian is in the driver’s lane, the lane into which the driver is turning, or an adjoining lane. A condition for crossing “lawfully” is that the pedestrian began crossing when it was legal to do so.  A crosswalk is legally present on each leg of an intersection except where crossing is prohibited by signs. Crosswalks are left unmarked at most unsignalized intersections. [Yes, that means an intersection has a crosswalk even when FDOT won't give you one in paint.] 

FDOT Online also takes efforts to promote state statues specifically related to people on bicycles, who are considered ‘drivers’ since bicycles are vehicles. That said,

 ”A bicyclist riding on a sidewalk or crosswalk has the rights and duties of a pedestrian [§316.2065(11)], as well as certain other duties.”

Please note: We do not yet have the Police Report from yesterday’s collision, so we want to be clear that all of this remains speculation, but we will update at TransitMiami.com as soon as we receive the details. If we assume that the cyclist was not in the crosswalk and was crossing like any other vehicle, then a different Florida Traffic Law / Statute is relevant:

§ 316.075  (a)Green indication.—   1.Vehicular traffic facing a circular green signal may proceed cautiously straight through or turn right or left unless a sign at such place prohibits either such turn. But vehicular traffic, including vehicles turning right or left, shall yield the right-of-way to other vehicles and to pedestrians lawfully within the intersection or an adjacent crosswalk at the time such signal is exhibited.

In this case, I want to thank the City of Miami Police Department’s Public Information Office for working on getting this to us and for taking the Bike Coalition‘s stats request. The country is following this. More to come soon.

Tagged with:
 

Another day, another pedestrian struck and killed by an oncoming vehicle. At this rate, we shouldn’t worry about advocating for safer streets because nobody in their right mind will ever risk their lives walking or cycling. The Miami Herald reports that a man was struck and killed attempting to cross Federal Highway in Dania Beach on Saturday night. While this story is clearly tragic - I would like to use the Herald’s article to shed some light on some blatant media bias against non-motorized modes of transportation. Our friends at streetsblog first turned me onto the concept back in February. Let’s have a look.

The article opens up with this statement (yes, I copied it verbatim. The missing word and lack of punctuation are part of the Herald’s new Mad Libs reporting strategy):

A man who tried to cross South Federal Highway and apparently stepped into the path of an oncoming ______ was killed in Dania Beach Saturday night

Let’s assume this poor fellow wasn’t struck by an oncoming dolphin but rather a Buick Lacrosse. Notice, the man tried to cross the street - well, yes, clearly he didn’t make it - but the context here is clearly belittling.

Kaufman stopped and waited at the scene for police to arrive. Broward police said in a release the 79-year-old driver did not appear impaired and had not been speeding.

Oh, he wasn’t speeding or impaired? What a relief. We’ll just scrape this guy off your hood and you’ll be running along in no time.

It is not clear why the man — who had just bought a Subway sandwich and a copy of the New York Post — tried to cross the highway amid traffic.

No, It isn’t clear why anyone would want to try (there it is again, did you catch it?) to cross a street. What a ludicrous concept.  After all with a name like Federal Highway, one would think this guy was on a suicidal mission to cross an interstate rather than a modest 4 lane commercial roadway (arterial) which bisects a residential community (please note the elementary school located just 1 block south of Subway).

Perhaps I’m reading into the language here too much or maybe I’m just appalled by the number of pedestrians who die in South Florida every year at the expense of motorists. Articles like these perpetuate the belief that non-motorized modes of transportation are secondary to vehicles. Maybe he was crossing dangerously. Maybe he did take his life into his own hands and exercised bad judgement. But the real point here is that another life was lost and with it went a great opportunity to make a broader appeal for safer streets.

 

image

Last week, I had the displeasure of traveling along the entire length of I-4 from Daytona Beach to Tampa. Along the way, I witnessed unbearable traffic, some routine and some the result of a horrific tractor trailer crash just west of Sanford (Note: another crash Sunday backed up traffic for over 5 miles). While not particularly high on the list for the most congested interstates in the US, the Daily Beast, using figures from the National Highway Safety Administration, finds I-4 to be the third deadliest highway in the United States. Take a look at number one on that list - Florida’s own I-95 - another highway slated to have a safer rail alternative, should HSR come to fruition…

Tagged with:
 
This site is protected by Comment SPAM Wiper.