I completely agree with Fabiola Santiago’s Jan. 10 column, Gimenez absent on Rickenbacker cyclist safety, but I’d like to provide additional information that was not included in her column.
We must stop the type of reckless behavior on the part of motorists that Santiago references. That’s why I have consistently instructed the Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) to work closely on such programs with police departments across the county. But it is just as important for cyclists to adhere to the rules of the road and obey traffic laws.
With regard to the safety of all users of the Rickenbacker Causeway, this has been, and continues to be, a top priority for my administration. Over the last several years, we have taken proactive steps to improve cyclist and pedestrian safety on the causeway, as evidenced by a number of projects and an investment of approximately $5.3 million, including: resurfacing and pavement markings, electronic speed feedback signs, speed-control signage, replacement of bridge joints, installations of hand-rails, shoulder widening and audible vibratory markings.
It is important to note that we’re also including two new 14-foot-wide bicycle/pedestrian paths on each side of Bear Cut Bridge at a cost of approximately $8.5 million as part of ongoing repairs.
Additionally, all new roadway improvement projects include dedicated or shared bicycle and pedestrian paths where possible in compliance with the Miami-Dade County Comprehensive Development Master Plan and state and federal guidelines.
A commitment to enforcement will also continue. Over the last year, MDPD has issued 1,447 citations and more than 500 verbal warnings, while maintaining a more-visible presence at critical locations.
Moving forward, and working in partnership with the city of Miami and Key Biscayne, we’ll continue our efforts to ensure the safety of motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians alike along the causeway.
Carlos A. Gimenez, mayor, Miami-Dade County, Miami