I began biking on the Rickenbacker Causeway about 10 years ago. Back then no one knew who Lance Armstrong was and cycling was not nearly as popular as it is today. I have seen the Rickenbacker Causeway change significantly since 2000. Ten years ago there wasn’t as much traffic or the number of cyclists we have today. Unfortunately the infrastructure to support these changes has not kept pace with the increased demand by cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists.
About 3 years ago the County resurfaced the Rickenbacker Causeway. The resurfacing project was an improvement, but did not go far enough to protect all users. Today we find ourselves with a bike lane that is adjacent to a highway where many cars regularly travel in excess of 50 mph. Over the years I have witnessed several accidents during my rides. Below is a brief summary:
- February 2006: Omar Otaola, a 33-year-old cyclist, was killed by a motorist when he swerved to avoid a curb where the bike lane precipitously ended. This accident was caused by a design flaw which forced cyclists into the traffic lane
- April 2007: Cyclist (name unknown) hit by a car during the tennis tournament (Crandon Boulevard)
- May 2007: 30-50 cyclists were injured during the resurfacing project due to uneven pavement.
- January 2008 Cyclist (name unknown) falls and breaks her arm on the William Powell Bridge due to uneven pavement. I reported the design flaw (uneven pavement) to PWD and it was fixed.
- January 2010: Christophe Le Canne, a 44-year-old South Miami resident, is killed by Carlos Bertonatti in a hit and run DUI accident. (Bear Cut Bridge)
If you are aware of any other accidents which involved a motor vehicle or a design flaw, please share it with us in the comments section.
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