Is it just me? Over the past week, so many stories have popped up in my Google Reader about people being hit by cars while riding bikes in South Florida. Of course all the bike/transit blogs have been reporting this for awhile, but even Rick from SFDB posted on how he no longer bikes in South Florida because of how dangerous it is. I mean, this week children were hit by cars in Fort Lauderdale, a man was killed on Key Biscayne and every other week, someone else is being hit.
Honestly I have been mulling over this post for awhile. Reason being, el Hombre and I take our bikes out for rides in our neighborhood, and I have taken my bike to ride to my karate school a few times. Even with the bike lanes, I am still forced to ride on the sidewalk. Why? Because the streets are poorly lit, overgrown and the bike lanes will start and end with no rhyme or reason. That's just not safe. Even if they were lit, people are constantly speeding to get everywhere (in fact, we saw a girl turn on a right without stopping and hit a biker on the crosswalk a few weeks ago), and everyone is now texting and driving. Seriously! Put the f*****g phone down, slow down, stop at designated spots (for example, red lights and stop signs) and watch where you are going!
The fact of the matter is, unfortunately Miami is not ready to be a bike-friendly town. Critical Mass can ride through Brickell all they want, but that's not going to change anything. Until bike safety is highly regarded by the majority of the people living across Miami-Dade County, a once-a-week bike ride en mass is not going to cut it.
Oh yeah, and anyone who tries to use South Beach as an example of a pedestrian-friendly area, don't even try. I lived there for years and have been hit by cars ignoring red lights and stop signs three times, in three totally different parts of town.