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Cyclists, Politicos Convene Bike Safety Summit

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Local politicians and cyclists meet to discuss safety on the Rickenbacker Causeway and surrounding area.  (Source: CBS4)

Local politicians and cyclists meet to discuss safety on the Rickenbacker Causeway and surrounding area. (Source: CBS4)

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A handful of cyclists and politicians are talking about safety on the Rickenbacker Causeway and surrounding areas at a special summit at the Miami-Dade Government Center.

The meeting was arranged after the tragic death of cyclist Aaron Cohen earlier this month who was struck and killed on the causeway by a driver who has been charged in his death. Cyclists have long complained that more needs to be done, both in the short-term and long-term, to protect them from drivers, especially those who exceed the causeway’s speed limit.

“There’s absolutely no police enforcement whatsoever,” said cycling enthusiast Jack Sherwood, “And it’s not on the agenda for police anywhere in Dade county.”

There’s also the perception that some drivers just don’t care about the cyclists with whom they share the road.

“We have the right of way,” said cyclist June Savage. “It’s just a lack of respect and a lack of enforcement on Key Biscayne.

More than a thousand cyclists rode the causeway on February 18th in memory of Cohen and to raise awareness of the problem.

One of the short-term solutions from Miami-Dade Public Works being discussed is re-striping the bike lane so it is separated from the traffic lane by a two foot buffer. Another suggestion would be put ceramic ‘buttons’ (essentially small raised discs) in the bike lane striping which would warn drivers when they stray into the lane. Both of these options could be implemented fairly quickly. A third suggestion, installing a rumble strip between the traffic lane and the bike lane, would take longer to complete.

The panel is also expected to discuss lowering the speed limit from the mainland toll plaza to Key Biscayne.

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