Thursday, December 09, 2010

Play it cool on the causeway, riders

The traffic law enforcement that some bicyclists ran into on the Rickenbacker Causeway over the past weekend is just the beginning. Miami bicycle coordinator Collin Worth reports today that enforcement will be greater over the next few weeks -- especially when police see pelotons spreading across multiple lanes of the road.

Capt. Martha Singleton of Miami-Dade Police will be at the Bicycle-Pedestrian Advisory Committee on Wednesday, Dec. 15, to discuss this new development and answer questions. The meeting is scheduled for the Transportation Trust conference room on the 10th floor at 111 NW First St.  Starting time is 5:30 p.m.

The causeway's popularity as a place to ride has contributed to this situation.  It's not unusual to see as many as a thousand riders on the causeway over the course of a weekend day in nice weather.  The tall William Powell Bridge provides one of the few climbing challenges for South Florida riders who seek a strenuous workout, and competitive cyclists especially like to train here.

Among Key Biscayne residents, though, we cyclists are often thought to be a colorful nuisance. An aide to County Commissioner Carlos Gimenez, widely considered cyclists' best friend at County Hall, said complaints about road-hogging by cyclists have been steadily growing.

If you're going to keep on riding the Rickenbacker, I urge you to be on your best behavior. Riding two abreast should be OK but you definitely shouldn't let your group fill the road. Stop signs do mean stop. As a class of Floridians who long have traveled under the slogan "Share the Road," let's show our neighbors that we actually mean it.


Anonymous said...

The bike lane was built for cyclists to use it and not the entire road. As a cyclist myself, I only ride on bike lanes. If you want to have the right to complain about commuters not following the law then I suggest cyclists do the same. The peloton is not as respected as they may feel. And it was not an aide who was spoke to I believe. Those who follow the law while on their bike will have no problems. I have yet to ever be reprimanded.

Leah said...

Nice! Have a pleasant holiday shopping season.

Ralph Cabrera said...

Law enforcement professionals are going to aggressively continue to enforce traffic laws on Key Biscayne. If that means giving tickets to cyclists, that’s part of their plan. You all can certainly continue to write about it as much as you like. In the meantime, M-DPD is tired of receiving complaints from Key Biscayne residents and have consciously decided to allocate resources to the area until cyclists obey traffic laws or go elsewhere. Therefore, govern yourselves accordingly. I hope I didn’t offend anyone.

K.C. Boutiette said...

Being in the large group on the Key once in a while, I've also tried time and time again telling people to stay in the bike lane, be careful and don't cut people off when you pass them. But there are some real hotheads here in Miami. And the draft in a crosswind is valued like gold on the Key and people will spread from gutter to gutter to stay in it.

On my last Saturday-of-the-month ride when we have a large group we do our best to stay "legal" but it is difficult. And when the Pinecrest group is coming past us I get to the front left of my group, stay a little wide and make it known that I'm there. I'm the one being cut off by 50 or so really nice guys shouting really nice things at me just because someone wants to stay in the ever-so-golden draft.

We also need to look at how people drive in Miami. I have never seen anything like it. People will cut you off to be the first person at the stop light, only to drive slow when the light turns green. It seems to me that a lot of people in Miami want get one up on anyone in almost anything, especially when they are driving a car. So now imagine these drivers on a bike?

Solution? Maybe shave out divots in the road like on most freeways to shake the living hell out of you and keep not only the texting drivers in their lanes but keep the cyclists safe. This might throw the larger pelotons out in the middle of the road but possibly help control the majority of the smaller groups.

Thank you.