Make Old Cutler Road safe for cyclists

 

I enjoyed Andres Viglucci’s March 23 Other Views article, Biking to work a bust, Miami-style. I, too, would like to see Miami-Dade County become more of a bicyclist’s haven for commuting and recreation. Years ago, I managed to commute from deep South Dade to Coral Gables on my bike and loved every minute of it.

Would I risk it today? Absolutely not!

I still spend a good deal of time riding up and down Old Cutler Road. Some people shout at me and, in several cases, they have tried to run me off the road. I have had to stop my car and/or my bike to break up potential small riots between motorists and cyclists.

With the help of County Commissioner Lynda Bell I was able to have Share the Road signs placed in several locations along this beautiful road. Of course, most people ignore them. The problem stems from the fact that there are so-called bike paths all along Old Cutler Road. But few seem to realize that for the more devoted cyclists traveling between about 20 miles per hour, the bike path is a menace.

First, even on the recently paved portions, the ruts and bumps are tooth-shattering and extremely dangerous at the intersections and driveways along the road. I have begged over and over again for a slight widening of this sacred road to allow for a small but marked bicycle lane. Motorists would know where they must be on the road and cyclists would feel somewhat secure riding within the lane.

So far my appeals have fallen on deaf ears. Anyone who is not serious about cycling will not understand these needs until and unless a tragedy results. The city of Cutler Bay will be making efforts in the near future to make our streets safer for bicyclists. I urge the county to do the same.

Ernest N. Sochin, vice mayor, Cutler Bay

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