Key Biscayne Bridges Getting Bike Lane "Rumble Strips" to Protect Cyclists

Categories: Bike Blog
Would rumble strips have prevented Carlos Bertonatti from killing a cyclist?
When Carlos Bertonatti slammed into cyclist Christophe LeCanne on the Rickenbacker Causeway in January 2010, killing the 44-year-old on the spot, advocates begged the County to make the bike lanes safer. Nothing happened. This past February, almost the exact same tragedy repeated: This time, the driver was Michele Traverso and the dead cyclist was Aaron Cohen, but otherwise the story was all too similar.

This morning, the County finally began modifying the popular bike lanes -- with a new strip of "vibratory ridges." Will that really be enough to protect cyclists, though?

Crews are scheduled to start adding the new strips on Tuesday morning, the Miami Herald reports. They'll be added to both sides of the Bear Cut and William Powell bridges, and to the westbound side of the first bridge after the toll booths on the Miami side of Biscayne Bay. (The eastbound lane already has enough separation from traffic, city engineers say.)

The point is to warn drivers when they're drifting into bike lanes, Jeff Cohen, the county's assistant director of traffic engineering, tells the Herald.

"It reinforces the message that you're not supposed to cross the line," he says.

But bike advocates have been pushing for two much more significant changes to the bridges: A bike lane separated by rails or barriers, and better enforcement of the speed limit on the bridge.

As Miami Bike Scene blogger Rydel points out this morning, the new lines do "nothing to discourage speeding, which seems to be the primary concern for recreational users of the Rickenbacker."

The County acknowledges the strips are a short-term fix, and says engineers are looking into longer-term changes including a lower speed limit. Let's hope those discussions move as quickly as half the drivers rocketing over the bridges.

As for Bertonatti and Traverso, their trials are still pending. Bertonatti's is scheduled for now to start on June 11; Traverso's is due to start July 9.

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5 comments
Club Space customers
Club Space customers

Carlos the killer got drunk and/or drugged at Miami downtown club Space. Why don't peoe shut down that 24/7 drug den? Sue?

Alejandro
Alejandro

I agree with greater traffic enforcement. However as a fellow cyclist, we also mist do our part, too many times fellow cyclist ride side by side putting themselves at risk for being struck. We should also obey traffic laws. I see many cyclist breaking traffic laws riding thru traffic and sidewalks that are reserved for walkers and runners. Lets do our part so we can request the county do more for us.

Count L.F. Chudzikiewicz herb.
Count L.F. Chudzikiewicz herb.

 Two people dead and the GOVERNMENT DOES NOTHING! A few people want UNLEASHED DOGS in a PARK WITH CHILDREN and the City of Miami Beach's Mayor and Commissioners go into OVERDRIVE to GET UNLEASHED DOGS in the Children's Park! Doesn't this indict the voters in all of Miami-Dade County as people who value NOTHING INCLUDING HUMAN LIFE let alone the QUALITY OF LIFE? And people ask why I refused for a decade to buy a home in Miami-Dade County and especially the Beach or Key Biscayne. There are no decent words to describe the Government and the VOTERS of Miami-Dade County.

KeyResident
KeyResident

Maybe this will keep the bikers from riding in packs of 5 side by side and prevent THEM from crossing over into the driver's lanes.

Oscarjr
Oscarjr

POLICE PRESENT GIVING TICKETS TO SPEEDERS IS A GREAT DETERENTTHIS HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR MORE THAN TWENTY YEARS I PERSONALLY KNOW AT LEAST FOUR PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN KILLED IN VEHICULAR CRASHESon key biscayne MAYBE SPEED HUMPS WOULD HELP

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