Unfortunately, we here at Transit Miami were unable to attend the Cycling Town Hall meeting hosted by Commissioners Ralph Cabrera and Carlos Gimenez.  If you were able to attend please use the comments section and let us know how it went. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

A special thanks to Commissioners Ralph Cabrera and Carlos Gimenez, as well as the County Public Works Department, for holding this very important meeting.

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9 Responses to Cycling Town Hall Meeting Recap

  1. Prem says:

    they’re planning on dumping over 800k a year into improving the rickenbacker. there’s really no way this can be a bad thing for cyclists
    but I’m concerned about how much money they’re spending on individual projects
    and how much research and foresight they’re actually using as they move forward.

    I mentioned this at the meeting when I noted that while the Federal Highway bike lane may be a “win” to some, it’s a slap in the face of cyclists and I hope that these projects don’t also slap us around, paying lip-service without actually helping us out.

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  2. Gabrielle says:

    The planned improvements are good: phased because of money: they have to collect these quarters. If the County was serious about this, they would construct these projects through funding tools they use for other roadway projects that involve cars or parking: bond it out and repay the money thru FUTURE tolls collections….untill the powers that be treat bicycling projects and facilities as transportation not recreation, all we will do is wait and wait and wait.

    This is a great plan for helping out one of the great recreational corridors we have. I would like to see this much attention paid to all active transportation enhancements.

    Finally, unless the County, the Park and The Village all get their act together and really get serious about the speeding, by say, reducing the speed along the whole run to 25 MPH and enforce that…there will still be conflicts galore. It is the speed that kills. I mentioned that last night. Here is what I could find from Orlando re fines and points: (every County sets their own fines?)

    MPH Over Limit Traffic School No Traffic School
    6 to 9 MPH $76.00 $80.50
    10 to 14 MPH $137.50 $155.50
    15 to 19 MPH $158.50 $180.50
    20 to 29 MPH $178.50 $205.50
    30 MPH & Over $260.50 $305.50

    So, if the speed limit was 25 and you were going 55, it would cost you between $260.50 and $305.50. Now, that is a deterrent! That would make the roadway safer for everyone. The Ric needs to be designated as a recreational causeway, where except in emergency situations, cars come in second place. Lets try it on weekends and holidays first!

    ******

    My! It was good to see all the folks out. With lots of babies too! But this meeting was preaching to the choir. People need to start coming to more meetings where bike facilities should be on the menu and are not, or when the bike improvements are getting cut out of the planning process because of NIMBY Boo Birds. It is there, in committee and at Commission, bicycling voices need to be heard to make change happen. Join BASIC at BikeMB@gmail.com to help out! Thanks to the Commissioners and County Staff for hosting the meeting. The free water was fine!

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  3. Prem says:

    Gabrielle,
    I don’t personally like using speed limits specifically as a safety measure. I think when roads are designed properly for the type of movement expected/hoped for danger to cyclists is minimized regardless of what the speed is.
    Myself a few other bicyclists take to Biscayne Blvd every day without any trouble. It’s not the speed of passing motorists but their control over the car which kills cyclists. A car going 25mph is no guarantee of safety.
    In the two big cases I can think of over the last year, Christophe Le Canne and Rodolfo Rojo, one was hit by a drunk driver the other at night.
    In both situations there’s no indication that speed is the necessary culprit.

    While i can agree that control decrease with speed I don’t think 45mph is the point at which most drivers have little to no control over their vehicle.
    These horrible accidents that I mention above are outliers, I think most cyclists can agree. I ride biscayne still because tens of thousands of cars have passed me by without any issue, often exceeding 50mph.
    Speed limits would have done nothing to save Christophe Le Canne. He was going well over the speed limit, didn’t bother him a bit.
    And likewise I often break speed limits, although only when I think I can get away with it. (I don’t drink and drive)

    Perhaps I just haven’t seen the evidence yet, but I think safety can be better maximized in other places than speed limits

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  4. Bicyclists should also get involved in shaping the Virginia Key Master Plan, like assuring safe bike lanes and paths throughout the island, including the North Point as well as making sure the island isn’t overdeveloped - last year’s proposal included up to 12 new parking garages. A revised plan developed by the City of Miami Planning Department is scheduled to go back to the City of Miami Commission July 22 and will go before city advisory boards throughout the month of July. More info at http://www.viewfromvirginiakey.com/2010/06/wish-list-for-virginia-key-that-keeps.html

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  5. Felipe Azenha says:

    Really Prem? You can’t be serious. Speed kills! The faster cars move the less chance a cyclist or pedestrian has of surviving a collision. This is a fact. Also, the reaction time of motorists is reduced when travelling at higher speeds. You should care how fast cars are moving and we should all be advocating for reduced speed limits in areas which are heavily used by pedestrians and cyclists. Sorry, but the faster a car moves, the less contol motorists have over their cars.

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  6. Tony Garcia says:

    I agree with Prem to a certain degree…lowering the speed limit to 25 is not going to accomplish much because it is an unrealistic limit to enforce. Too many people live on Key Biscayne and use the Rickenbacker as a highway. Now thats not to say that speed does not kill - it does. But we have to acknowledge that lowering the speed below 40 mph is unlikely. There needs to be a balance between car users and everone else who uses the bridge.

    Va Key Observer - you know very well that the revised plan has been developed by a broad group of people (including yourself) and the rest of the UEL/UM coalition. The planning department is going to present our plans per the Mayor and City Manager’s direction…

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  7. Felipe Azenha says:

    There is no way in hell that the Rickenbacker Causeway should have a 25mph speed limit, nor should we be advocating for 25mph. I can live with a 40 mph speed limit, as long as the design speed of this roadway is also 40 mph. As it currently stands the speed limit on most parts of the causeway is 45 mph, but the design speed is probably closer to 50 mph. Ten mph can make a big difference for a pedestrian or a cyclist. Perhaps we could also double speeding fines in this area much like we do in work zones? This would be a great speed deterrent.

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  8. MrSunshine561 says:

    Prem, while I share your feelings on the issue of the Federal Hwy lanes, as Collin explained even before the meeting, some of the funding for these projects do come with strings attached. I believe he had already mentioned somewhere that the money was for installation (striping) of the lanes and did not include milling or resurfacing. Again, this was prior to the meeting.

    Of course, it would be wonderful if everything was done at once, but that’s not quite how it works, since the cash is coming from different places. Let’s look at the bright side and be glad the lanes are there now so both motorists and cyclists grow accustomed to each other on that road.

    Speed is a factor. I don’t believe it should be 25mph either, but I find it hard to believe that the county must still conduct further studies and bureaucracy for this. They should already have this data at their disposal. Given the sense of entitlement of the residents of Key Biscayne, I personally do not care at all if they’re inconvenienced or not. If it were up to me, I would charge them to use *our* causeway both ways, in and out. The causeway belongs almost in its entirety to the City of Miami and the county, *not* the Village of Key Biscayne. So as far as I’m concerned, the people of the key are the “visitors” not us.

    Lastly, I agree that we must be consistent. We can’t attend this or that meeting just because some politician organized it and ignore the other meetings which may not be a media show. We all know what politicians are best at: lying.

    So on this matter, until it’s actually passed by the full county commission and I start seeing work being done, I’ll stick with my motto: “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

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  9. To Tony Garcia: The first public meetings on the proposed Virginia Key Master Plan are scheduled before city advisory boards throughout the month of July, according to the City of Miami’s planning department website, culminating with the July 22 City Commission meeting. This will be the first opportunity for the general public to see what plans are and participate.

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