Call me a dork, but I decided to take five minutes out of my morning ride to shoot a video of the Rickenbacker Causeway on Saturday.  The video shows about 180 cyclists riding within this 5 minute period. Amazing!

It seems like every weekend there are more and more cyclists riding. Bicycles easily outnumber cars. When are we going to begin closing down a lane on the Rickenbacker Causeway on weekend mornings for cyclists, runners, and rollerbladers? Please ask Commissioner Gimenez by sending him an email.

We here at Transit Miami are really happy about the initiative the County has shown to improve safety on the Rickenbacker Causeway.  The suggestions for improvement are much appreciated and we look forward to seeing them implemented. Our only hesitation is perhaps the actual implementation of the improvements.  We must have a long term vision and a master plan for the Rickenbacker Causeway. We will discuss all of this in an upcoming post. Regardless, we are very encouraged and would like to thank Commissioners Ralph Cabrera and Carlos Gimenez and the County Public Works Department for their excellent work.

Below is a summary of suggested improvements:

  • “Bike Only” lane at toll plaza will be 365 days a year, no longer available to motorists during hours of high volume traffic.
  • PWD will conduct and evaluate results of speed study in order to determine whether the speed limits need to be modified and implement necessary signage changes. Volume and speed test will commence after July 4th.
  • Installation of permanent electronic ”Your Speed” information signs/speed radar light boards along causeway, which will alert vehicles to their traveling speeds.
  • Re-design width, and restripe Crandon Boulevard vehicle travel lanes, from the east end of Bear Cut Bridge to the Village limits, inbound and outbound (north/south side), widen existing width of the dedicated bike path. Both 12′ car lanes will be reduced to 11′ thus widening the 5′ bike path to 7′.
  • Multi-use trail along north side of causeway from Bear Cut Bridge to William Powell Bridge. Cyclists can use Mast Academy signal to cross causeway, then use aforementioned path to reach Sewer Beach Road. (Rusty Pelican / Marine Stadium)
  • Re-design, widen to 12′, stripe, and sign the existing ped-path/bike lane beginning at the north side (outbound travel) of the West Bridge bike underpass (along condominium wall/I-95 north/south flyover ramp) to Brickell Avenue.
  • SunPass only lanes will be added with a barrier at the entrance to Key Biscayne. The county emphasized that SunPass lanes would not encourage speeding and stated “the Rickenbacker is a causeway NOT an expressway”.
  • Modify lanes leading into the toll plaza on SE 26 Road/Rickenbacker Causeway from Brickell Avenue through the toll facility to Hobie Island, to accommodate and improve access to bicycle lanes.
  • Design and install a cyclist/pedestrian traffic light crossing at Hobie Island (Windsurfer Beach). The installation of a traffic light, striping, and signage will allow cyclists to turn from Eastbound to Westbound prior to reaching the toll plaza. (Cyclists will no longer be allowed to make a U-turns near the toll plaza, they will be expected to make U-Turns at new light crossing or under the West Bridge. Expect this enforced Winter/Spring 2011.)

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4 Responses to Five Minutes on the Rickenbacker Causeway

  1. Carlos Paez says:

    As “amazing” as your video was, equally amazing was the 57 cyclists who ran the stop sign right in front of your video camera. Only one cyclist stopped and he did so only because if he had continued he would have been struck by a car. Where you were at (Arthur Lamb Jr. Rd & Rickenbacker Causeway is a posted stop sign (not a yield sign) along with a painted stop bar on the ground. This video is emblematic of the mindset of most cyclists, especially those riding in pelotons. Cyclists want motorists to obey traffic laws, but, as evidenced by this video, feel they don’t have to. The video only showed the running of the stop sign in a five minute period, imagine all morning long how many do it. And this blatant disregard for the law is not only limited to that stop sign. The red lights at Mast Academy Dr and the Bearcut Bridge are ignored by cyclists on a regular basis and cyclists cut across a total of six lanes of traffic, to turn around at the toll plaza, believing that the fact that they stick their hands out, traffic will stop/slow for them and then get angry if it doesn’t. There are other violations of trafic laws, commited by cyclists, but there is no need to list them…you know what they are. This behavior is not limited to Key Biscayne. It occurs on Biscayne Blvd, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove…etc. If you want to be taken seriously and respected then stop being hypocritical and obey the laws of the road…they apply to you too. If you don’t want to follow the laws of the road then ride your bikes on the sidewalk or off road.

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  2. Felipe Azenha says:

    Carlos,
    For the most part, you are right on. Bicyclists need to respect the rules of the road as well. You won’t find any disagreement from me. Hopefully the county pwd will design a more bike friendly roadway which addresses some of your concerns.

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  3. Liz says:

    I have to agree with Carlos. Many cyclists I see on the road practically cause accidents. Sometimes - they put their hand signals out but don’t take into consideration the traffic flow at all and just blindly assume the bike has the right of way. Many times, I have almost been in car accidents to avoid bikers swerving into traffic lanes to turn without sufficient time for stopping. Further, it seems that the bikers wearing their little outfits believe every Sat. am is the tour de france miami and that all traffic must just get out of their way….well the roads need to be shared and this is a major metropolitan area and that kind of attitude causes accidents. More often than not it is the bikers I see screwing up - not the cars. A stop sign is a stop sign for EVERYONE. Yield means just that - yield. Hand signals are good but you should use them with time for the driver to adjust to where the biker is going not - hand signal out then turn in one second. that is not enough time to yield for a car traveling at 35 mph.

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  4. Felipe Azenha says:

    I’m not gonna disagree with you Liz. Bicyclists and motorists need to learn to share the road. The rules are the same for both.

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