A Tale of Two Million Phone Calls

SFBC is about ACTION! We believe in civic responsibility and advocating strongly, civilly for our right to ride. That’s why, even when it’s inconvenient, we report collisions with cars and debris in our roadways. We listen to good ideas and then aggressively bring them to the attention of policymakers and bureaucrats alike.

… which brings us to Miami-Dade 311.

One of you (our superhero in this story) called to report debris in the bicycle lane on SW 127th Ave between SW 88th St and SW 42ndSt. The way operators USED to input complaints lead to someone from public works driving along the road, seeing nothing to impair normal motor vehicles and essentially dismissing our superhero! Very miffed, he even sent pictures demonstrating what was giving him flat tires. Armed with his story and pictures, the SFBC action began.

Yes, ma'am. This is debris.

Now we were on a mission to figure out what happened and how to make sure your time isn’t wasted again. We spoke to the County MPO Bicycle Coordinator, the County’s Public Works Maintenance Department Right-of-Way Aesthetic and Assets Management Division and the Government Information Center People/ 311. This is what we learned:

When you call 311, the person on the other end inputs all the information that you give using a ‘drop-down’ menu on their computer screen. Until we called, e-mailed and explained what we wanted, there was no clear way for the operator to get the word to Public Works that debris was impeding traffic in the bicycle lane. So while someone did hear our hero the first time, driving along in his motor vehicle did not present a county supervisor with anything in front of his windshield that would need to be moved.

Today, however, when you call and demand some love for your Miami-Dade bicycle lane, you should get it. Please share your photos and experience with us here. We’re talking to Broward and Palm Beach next…

Also: comment with your thank yous; we’ll be sending this link to all public servants involved in resolving this issue and following you superheroes to make sure this solution works like we think it should. Thank you!

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About Kathryn Moore / South Florida Bike Coalition

I'm the President of the South Florida Bike Coalition - a 100% volunteer organization of people dedicated to using their skills and experience to effect more, better bicycling from the Keys to Martin County.

6 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Million Phone Calls

  1. Hi Richard! Let’s make it happen together. I have less experience with Monroe County. Do you know who you call already to report road hazards?

    To Prem: yes, it is. However, the county is run by people, too. Sadly, most of them never seem to leave the desk, much less walk/ride/talk to other human beings. It can be really gratifying to collaborate with public servants, as it was in this case. My deepest thanks to standout David Cardenas from R.A.A.M. who explained the 311 process to me and introduced me to all the other key players.

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