There is a growing movement to reduce the speed on the Rickenbacker Causeway and a formal petition is set to be submitted to local leaders today. The petition reads as follows:

PETITION TO IMPROVE SAFETY ON THE RICKENBACKER CAUSEWAY
To improve safety for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians, the undersigned petitions Miami-Dade County, the
Board of County Commissioners, to implement a policy that would:
1. Enforce a Safe Speed Limit, not to exceed 35 mph, on the Rickenbacker Causeway (from the Toll Plaza to the Village of Key Biscayne), with visible police presence throughout peak hours to guarantee strict compliance with the speed limit and sobriety laws.
2. Dispatch the nearest emergency/rescue vehicles and personnel to the scene of an injury accident, regardless
of municipal / jurisdictional boundaries.
Signature: ___________________________________________   Date:_______________
Full Name: ___________________________________________    Age: _______________
[Print Legibly]
Address: _____________________________________________________________________
City, State, Zip: _____________________________________________________________________

Telephone No.: _____________________________________________________________________
E-mail address: _____________________________________________________________________
Mail Signed Original  to: Zensah Team Lifeline, 201 South Biscayne Blvd., Suite 1330, Miami, FL 33131
Fax copy to: 305 377 9937   or    Email copy to: SafeSpeedLimit@Yahoo.com

The cyclists who put together this petition are asking that anyone interested please fax or email it to them TODAY and then mail the original, as well. You can also email them for a PDF version.

There are lots of methods available to local planners, engineers and politicians to improve safety along our causeways and the easiest one is to reduce speed. Another, simple measure - just narrowing the lane a foot or two, causes motorists to ease up on the gas, and would also leave room to widen the heavily used bicycle lane along each side.

Thousands of cyclists came out last Sunday to remember Christophe Lecanne and pay tribute to all cyclists killed on our roads while riding safely and legally. Momentum is growing to prevent another tragedy like this from happening again.

TransitMiami.com encourages you to get involved in our community and be proactive in sharing your ideas with policymakers.

13 Responses to Petition to Lower Speed on Rickenbacker, Shorten Emergency Response Time

  1. Grayson Peddie says:

    I don’t think I’m allowed to sign the petition through e-mail since I live in Orlando, can I?

    I’d love to help, if I can.

       0 likes

  2. TM reader says:

    This is crazy!!! Are you serious 35 mph- this is not a city street its a connector road. Just like the argument above that barriers will impede the bicycle movement I would add this in the same category. How about we get rid of all interstates? Sounds good, but that would mean hundreds of thousands of cars on our neighborhood streets. Simular to lower speeds on all streets is to create road rage and a reason for cars to be pissed. Your not going to change everyones views or ideas, get your slice of the pie and lets make regional plans that allow transit, expressways, sidewalks, bike lanes, etc. Each area needs to be looked at individually.

    Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water just to say you did something.

       0 likes

  3. luis a says:

    I don’t think that lowering the speed limit, which recognizably has benefits, is the best way to approach this.

    It is of help to lower speed limit, and Transitmiami has done a good job of showing graphics involving fatalities rates in association with higher vehicle speeds.

    However, we need to look at all at other costs, including vehicle usage, and all of the traffic patterns involved.

    Drivers in Miami drive past limits posted routinely, so the more effective initial approach is to ask the police to police speed limits. Bertonatti was going much faster than the speed limit, no matter what limit was posted.

    What’s next? Lower speed limits to 35 mph on all roads in Miami where bicycles travel, which is every road except highways?

    Why not 25 mph? Transitmiami’s research shows that lowers fatality rates even more? At 15 mph posted limits, we are assured of even higher survival rates.

    On the other hand, it impedes normal traffic flow and has deleterious effects on car/truck travel times; the present speed limit conforms to safety guidelines.

    Accidents typically happen when the driver (most of the time), or the cyclist do not follow the rules of the road, regardless of speed.

    Instead, how about including an enlarged section on bicycle safety and rules when taking the driver’s licence test; 1 hour on bicycle rules and courtesy driving mandatory for driver’s school if you got a ticket; police handing out tickets if drivers are within the 3-foot rule of passing cyclists, along with a handout on bicycle safety?

    A higher posted speed limit did not cause this tragic accident.

    Let’s act, not react.

       0 likes

  4. Tony Garcia says:

    Luis,

    Regardless of whether you agree on lowering the posted speed in this area or not, as you note, there is ample evidence that shows that people routinely speed on this road. If we want people to go 55 mph, then we should design the road for 55 (not 75!). If the speed limit were changed, the result would be the same as it is now - because people drive as fast as they feel comfortable -whether because of law enforcement or road design. There are many traffic calming mechanisms that would make the design speed of the road correspond to the posted speed, without the need to ‘demand’ more enforcement (which is more costly in the long run because of personnel costs, retirement, health care, etc.)

    As you say, the posted speed of the road did not have anything to do with it, the design speed of the road did.

    Let’s stop acting and start thinking.

       0 likes

  5. MrSunshine561 says:

    What some seem to forget is that the Rickenbacker is not an expressway. In fact, most of it is a two-lane road (each way) including the Bear Cut Bridge which has been the scene of other deadly incidents before.

    The current speed limit is already pushing it, considering the lanes, some crossings lacking traffic lights, and most importantly, its wide use by cyclists, runners and other recreational users. The curvy areas with lots of vegetation between Bear Cut and the entrance to the Village are treated by some drivers as a place where “anything goes” due to the lack of law enforcement and traffic calming.

    In comparison, Kendall Drive, eminently designed for the use of motor vehicles, also has a speed limit of 45 MPH with three lanes, no curves or vegetation to interfere with visibility, plenty of traffic lights and one of the highest volumes of traffic in the county. There are only a few brave (or deranged) souls who would use Kendall for jogging or cycling.

    So in light of this, it seems justifiable to lower the speed limits on the Rickenbacker. The question is whether the county is willing to accommodate its own citizens *trying* to make use of the *county owned* facilities there or the minority, namely the residents of the Village of Key Biscayne and their fast cars.

    Note the petition is asking specifically for a lower speed limit in the areas controlled by the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County not the Village of Key Biscayne. “From the toll plaza to the Village of Key Biscayne.”

       0 likes

  6. dario says:

    From the toll booth to the intersection at Harbor Drive, the Rickenbacker Causeway runs 6 miles. Without stopping at lights, for other cars, runners, skaters, bicyclists, fascinated tourists, children or even iguanas it takes 7.5 minutes to cover this distance at 45 mph. At 35 mph, it takes 5.8 minutes. What we are talking about is an extra 1 minute 42 seconds which may make the difference between an injury and death. Slowing it down is not only good for cyclists but anyone traveling at high speeds.
    Beyond the intersection at Harbor Drive the speed limit already is 35 mph. Obviously, Key Biscayne residents see the dangers of moving too fast when in close proximity to other people. This is the same line of argument that has been used to promote school speed zone. Who would argue that moving 25 mph through a school speed zone is reasonable?
    dario

       0 likes

  7. Tony Garcia says:

    That sounds convincing to me Dario and Mr. Sunshine. I don’t see what the difference is to people between a minute and change, when it means that people will be safe.

       0 likes

  8. luis a says:

    Having lived in KB for years, and cycled the entire island numerous times, my experience is that the speed limits as they are are fine. Just enforce them.

    As others have pointed out, this is a connecting road. The Bear cut curve noted is not where the accidents have taken place, rather in the more open and visible areas.

    It serves little use to lower the limit if it is not enforced, and even if you impose a limit drivers who don’t follow the other rules end up hitting drivers.

    No one here has addressed the issue of rationality; if you want speed bumps on the causeway, why not on the other roads? Why not speed bumps in most major streets where you find bicycists?

    Lowering it to 35 mph costs a minute? Lower it 25, or 15, that is only two more minutes.

    You can reduce the argument to frivolous infinity, but the point is, where do you draw the line?

    My argument is that the line starts with driver education and changing their attitudes, especially in Miami.

    And many more lives will saved that way, including Mr. Lecanne’s, than a changed speed limit sign.

    We have the impetus now as a result of this tragedy, but only a short period of time and not that many bullets in the proverbial chamber.

    Lets go beyond reacting, or even acting or thinking, and plan.

    What single action would save most lives, not just in KB but in all of Miami/Dade County.

    If you have spent countless hours on a bike as I have, my sense is that it starts with changing driver attitudes and information (see previous email for suggestions), not just lowering a speed limit on 6 miles of road.

    Let’s plan for the benefit of the entire cycling citizenship, not just KB.

       0 likes

  9. tiana says:

    I faxed this over this morning.
    Would speed bumps help?
    I think they are very annoying, but they are effective.

       0 likes

  10. Luis A says:

    From RoadBikeRider website today:

    “Eighty percent of all crashes and 65% of near-crashes involve some type of distraction, according to a study done for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration”

       0 likes

  11. Let’s rename the road to better reflect its use: the Rickenbacker Park-way.
    It’s used as a linear park by the community and should be redesigned to reflect that. Lowering the speed limit is the first important step in that direction.

       0 likes

  12. Les Rames says:

    How about demanding that bars and clubs stop serving booze at 3:00 am?
    24/7 booze sales permitted now.
    That will make the causeway (or Park-way) safer.

       0 likes

  13. Rickenbacker Parkway says:

    I like this idea! Rickenbacker Parkway… Everyone’s facts are true but it remains a connector between cities and we can not slow all roads to 35 mph everywhere. I bike at times, take the train at times, etc but I also drive and drivers need to realize that driving is a privilege and getting a license should require knowing how to navigate the roads.

       0 likes

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