Please check out the editorial in the Miami Herald regarding the accident which occurred on the Rickenbacker Causeway two weeks ago that killed bicyclist Christopher Le Canne. Three residents ring in with their opinions.

Michael Muench from Miami calls for improvements to the design of the Rickenbacker Causeway, which include physically separated bicycle lanes. Physically separated bicycle lanes may not necessarily be the best solution as Mr. Muench suggests. One thing is for sure, as long as we insist that it is OK to have a highway next to a bicycle lane accidents will occur.  Road design certainly contributed to the accident and will continue contributing to future accidents.  We cannot allow the current roadway design to remain. Major improvements need to be made; the current design is too dangerous for all users of the Rickenbacker Causeway.

Bruce Nachman from Miami, correctly points out that the Fire-Rescue response time needs to be improved.  Unfortunately, this will not solve the underlying problem.  If a pedestrian or bicyclist is hit by a car going 60 mph the chances of surviving are less than 10%.

Lastly Janis Ball from Miami Lakes is outraged by the fact that the driver was set free on bail. Carlos Bertonatti should never have been driving in the first place, but to set bail so low for such a horrific crime is unacceptable.  We need to start taking hit and run crimes a lot more seriously.

If you believe that the design of the Rickenbacker Causeway contributed to the accident please send Mrs. Esther Calas, Director of the County Public Works Department, an email asking for a safer Rickenbacker Causeway @ ecalas@miamidade.gov

13 Responses to Who’s to blame for the biker’s death?

  1. brody says:

    What’s wrong with a separated bike lane? If they were to make the driving lanes more narrow and add a separated bike lane on either end of the Rickenbacker, cars would inadvertently slow down and bicyclists would feel safer with a wider, and more protected bike lane.

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  2. Grayson Peddie says:

    Having a separated bike lane is like telling bicyclists “get off the road and into the sidewalk.”

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  3. brody says:

    If it’s unsafe for bicyclists to be on the Rickenbacker, then we (bicyclists) shouldn’t be in the road. The Rickenbacker is not a city block where traffic moves much slower. Bicyclists should be separated from the fast-moving traffic to stay safe.

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  4. Thomas says:

    Brody,

    If the Rickenbacker is unsafe, then measures should be taken to make it safer. The most effective way of doing that is to reduce speed limits, and enforce the laws on the books. More barricading is not the solution, greater awareness and respect for all those using the infrastructure that everyone pays for through taxes for is.

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  5. Grayson Peddie says:

    True. We don’t need anything barricaded for bicyclists.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    I would not be against a protected bicycle lane if the bicycle lane was at least a 12ft wide. (Imagine a 12ft bicycle greenway connecting our parks). Anything less than 12ft would make it too dangerous for bicyclists. That being said reducing speed limits and enforcement will not solve our problems either. They are important and necessary steps to addressing the problem, but as long as we have a road designed to induce speed, the speeding will continue, particularly on the bridges. Some sort of protection should be considered for the bridges.

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  7. Felipe Azenha says:

    I posted the above comment. Tks.

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  8. […] but why so few women ride. Riding Miami’s life-risking Rickenbaker Causeway, two weeks after another rider is killed; and who is to blame. Are bikes expensive toys or serious transportation? A Kiwi Olympian is […]

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  9. bikes are traffic says:

    No Barricades for bikes! Bikes are traffic! The outer shoulder/ bike lane could be made larger as the speeds increase such as Rickenbacker but this is not Miami Avenue in a city, its a causeway. I wish we had bike lanes on the other causeways in Miami-Dade County.

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  10. L Brody says:

    I nominate Club Space as the reason a biker was killed. Didn’t the guy who killed the biker spend his morning drinking and doing who knows what at Club Space? Why is that place still open?

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  11. MrSunshine561 says:

    It won’t make justice for the dead and injured to point the finger at one single cause for the problem. The Rickenbacker presents multiple challenges, all of which contributed in this particular case. Trying to simplify or steer public opinion toward one cause undermines the other challenges which must also be addressed.

    An all-inclusive approach would be most beneficial. But let’s not be shocked if in typical Miami fashion, our politicians decide to bring the barrier out a few feet (enclosing everyone including racers, recreational cyclists, runners, skaters, pedestrians, etc. into a narrow path of chaos) just to appease those advocating for separation… Just to throw a little something at the cyclists, until the next accident occurs.

    Even if the barrier went up, how would that bring a positive, tangible change for users of other causeways or regular streets? Next thing we know, we’ll be yelled at to get off the street and go to the Rickenbacker.

    While the Rickenbacker was the scene of the latest tragedy and must be fixed for the safety of all its users, let’s not lose sight of the big picture. It was poor attitude, apathy and careless driving -all stemming from sucky driver education- which ultimately killed Christophe LeCanne, Rodolfo Rojo, Yasmany Alfonso and everyone before them.

    Somehow, I don’t see how the barrier will contribute to change that.

    Eddy.

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  12. @j2dahizzay says:

    I agree Eddy.. it is without a doubt the drivers education that kill cyclists. The driver in this case, which is so aggravating, should not have been allowed to be in a car. Otherwise, it is less about separation and more of a need for education. Portland, Long Beach, Copenhagen, are all examples of how we exist peacefully using the roads provided.
    The title of this article is easy..Carlos.. Let’s not forget HE is the one on trial. Lack of traffic enforcement and emergency care did not help. But let’s not pass the buck. DMV should have revoked this kids license a long time ago. PERIOD.
    Club Space should be fined for over serving. 24 hour alcohol license? Sure just take the keys of every patron and provide a free shuttle service at a fee. Who does this serve, really? Partying at 8am? is that necessary? So many other options to keep drunks off the road. But still not to blame.
    Putting a wall so speeding cyclists who train for triathlons in the same confined space as a grandma walking a poodle is not a solution. 30 miles an hour speed limit with police presence on high traffic spans for a limited part of weekend mornings is a great short term solution. I like the closing of right lanes on either side as well. And if your in rush to go to church on Sunday morning than God will forgive you if your late, just don’t hit somebody.
    For me I don’t trust Miami drivers and to enjoy my active lifestyle I have moved from South Florida and live in a much more friendly town. Until you guys get with it and keep criminal’s off the street, This will continue. I would suggest controlled rides with police escorts as your main objective. I know it’s not the freedom you would imagine for yourself, but you have a corrupt legislative community down there. Illegals with false papers and licenses litter the roads. Criminals out on bail on the road. Tourists in rental cars on the road. I would not subject myself to that mayhem ever. Come North to train. Pick up and straight up leave down there. As long as Miami values money more than human lives that town is doomed. If enough of you leave and Miami gets hit in the pocket from all your tax dollars, they are not going to budge. Take your fund raisers, take your celebrity Tri-events, take all that makes Miami hip and move it else where. Get the city’s attention and I suppose something may just happen. I pray for you all everyday. I really hope it gets better. I miss South Florida. I just won’t bike there anytime soon.

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  13. PL says:

    I say blame Club Space for selling drinks and drugs (booze) to kids. It is inevitable Club Space’s customers will kill bikers.

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