KEY BISCAYNE (CBSMiami) – Police were pulling over drivers Friday morning, two days after a cyclist was struck and killed by an accused drunk driver. Cycling safety advocates, however, say they want a proactive approach to protecting bicyclists.
Miami-Dade police officers pulled over several drivers who appeared to be speeding Friday morning. Key Biscayne officers patrolled up and down the causeway right near the area where 51-year-old Walter Reyes was struck and killed by an accused drunk driver. Reyes’s friend, Henry Hernandez, was seriously hurt.
Rick Fuentes, driver and lifetime resident of Key Biscayne, applauded police efforts. He believes drivers should obey the rules of the road, drive the speed limit and slow down.
But cyclists are speaking out since the death of Reyes’s death. They are demanding safer roadways for cyclists like it is for pedestrians in parts who have a concrete barrier protecting them.
June Savage, a cycling safety advocate, said she was not impressed by the increase in police presence.
“Every time there’s been a death, there’s been a reactive police presence out here. There’s never been a consistent, proactive police presence,” said Savage.
She and other cycling community leaders are calling for safety improvements on the Rickenbacker, including DIU checkpoints overnight, reducing the causeway to two lanes, and slowing down the speed limit to 35 mph.
The thought of a slower speed limit, however, doesn’t thrill Fuentes “…we’ve all got to get to work,” he said.
But Savage insists only tougher measures will prevent the names of future fallen cyclists to be added to this ghost bike memorial.
Jose Rocha is a cyclist and also drives daily on Key Biscayne. He believes all can do their part to improve safety here, whether on two wheels or four.
“I think we have a unique opportunity to make of this tragedy something good, from everybody,” said Rocha.
Cycling leaders, like Savage, are demanding politicians improve safety in the Key or are threatening to mobilize voters to elect others who will. They are even considering forming a political action committee to put some money behind that threat.