Congratulations to cycling advocates, EMERGE MIAMI, Miami’s Bicycle Pedestrian Coordinator, Collin Worth, as well as Miami Mayor Manny Diaz for efforts being made to improve bicycling safety. There is no question it’s needed. According to the report entitled, “Dangerous By Design”, by Transportation For America, metro Miami area is the fourth most dangerous urban area for pedestrians and cyclists in the United States. From 2000-2009, Miami had 1,555 pedestrian deaths! Almost 22% of Miami’s traffic deaths were suffered by pedestrians. Cyclists are also suffering, and the death rate seems to be on the rise. In 2009, Miami Dade County had 12 bicycling fatalities, Broward had 11, and Palm Beach had 13. In the same year, Miami Dade County had 65 pedestrian deaths, Broward had 44, and Palm Beach County had 37.
Miami Dade County suffered 8 cycling deaths in 2005, 8 deaths in 2006, 12 deaths in 2007, 5 deaths in 2008, and back up to 12 deaths in 2009. This is an epidemic. From 2008 to 2009, the death rate more than doubled. It can be only be curtailed through hard work and concentrated effort on safety.
As a Miami cycling attorney, I feel strongly that bicycles must be seen as more than purely superfluous, recreational vehicles by citizens of Miami. Motorists there must learn to share the roads safely with Miami cyclists.
EMERGE MIAMI deserves credit for hosting bicycle safety seminars and bringing well-deserved and needed attention to the plight of cyclists attempting to ride safely. A Bicycle Action Committee, comprised of residents, commuter cyclists, business owners, the bicycle coordinator, and others, created a Bicycle Action Plan. The Plan was adopted on October 16, 2008, and has as its goal to make Miami a more safe and bicycle friendly city. The Plan designates a series of safe connected cycling routes.
As a bicycling attorney who represents cyclists injured in Miami and throughout the State of Florida, I congratulate those for their advocacy in Miami.