The author complains of the SUV blocking the crosswalk, but any real biker would know you aren’t allowed to use to crosswalk unless you are off your bike and walking it. You aren’t suppose to bike on sidewalks either, which I see happening all the time in Miami. Sidewalks are for pedestrians, again if you want to use a sidewalk, you need to get off you bike first. If there are no bike lanes, cyclist are suppose to use the roads and follow the same rules of the road as a car, like stopping at red lights and stop signs. I also took out a cyclist once who took a stop sign and proceeded to yell at me. I told him to read up on Florida bicycle laws. And yes, cyclists can get a ticket for taking a stop sign or a red light.
That’s all technically true, Duran. But pedestrians? Give me a break — there AREN’T any. If I’m riding a bike down a street full of cars, bet your ass I’ll be on the sidewalk (except in Bal Harbor, where they have signs about it).
I’m with alesh on this one. Its easy to say bikers should keep to the street, but come on lets get real.
If I was to ride my bicycle on our “friendly “ streets, I would be at the hospital (if I’m lucky) or at the morgue in no time. Miami drivers don’t really care about cyclist(that’s no big surprise), so those of us who dare to ride our bikes have to really watch out for our agresive drivers, that btw : don’t follow the driving rules of the state either.
And don’t talk to me about pedestriasn, apart from miami beach- there are none.
The SUV blocking the crosswalk is a legit gripe, because that stretch of US-1 is paralleled by a dedicated bike path that in turn parallels the bus lane. That’s why those intersections have double sets of lights, to prevent vehicular traffic from blocking the dedicated lanes while waiting to enter US-1. Mr. Chrome Wheel SUV can keep sticking his snout out farther and farther, but one day it’ll be a multi-ton bus that clips him rather than a twelve pound bike frame.
None of this stuff matters. The only thing that matters is the attitudes of drivers. If drivers are careful and courteous you don’t need bike lanes and fussy rules. OTOH, if the drivers are bad, the bike lanes and bike-friendly rules don’t protect anyone. I think we might be better off if the civic-activist energy that goes to lobbying for bike lanes and 3-ft passing zones and the like were redirected toward educating drivers to take cyclists seriously, and to lobbying to get the police to do more ticketing of drivers who endanger cyclists (and prosecuting of those who do so intentionally). If the cost of such measures is tighter enforcement of traffic laws against cyclists, so be it.
Not that I’m against what Jonathan proposes, but the “it’s about educating” solution is always bandied around and it doesn’t work. Either there aren’t resources for a proper education campaign or people simply don’t give a damn. “It’s not about banning pitbulls, is about education owners”, “it’s not about gun control, it’s about educating people on gun safety” and so on. Cmon’, drivers won’t respect speed limits and stop signs, you think they will keep the 3 ft distance?
I use the sidewalks often, especially in Biscayne Blvd. I ride in front of cops all the time and never have gotten even a glance. I think the cops rather have you alive than having to pick you up after a bus flattens you and your bike. Yeah, Bal Harbour and Bay Harbor are the exception, but the cops there are also hawks with cars that go even 1 mile above 30.
Come on guys. Riding on the streets here is intimidating, yes, but once you get used to it, it’s not that bad. You want to make this town more bicycle friendly? The more people see bikes on the streets, the more they’ll have to learn to get used to them. Put your money where your mouth is and get off the sidewalk.
I don’t know dude, I’m not a real believer in using my hide to teach people behind a 3000 pound SUV the rules of the road -and I’m the type who will catch up to drivers at stoplights and yell at them. Don’t get me wrong, I stay on the street as much as possible, but in Biscayne that’s suicide.
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