Parking in the Bike Lane in South Florida is a relatively new problem – we haven’t had many bike lanes for a long time. It’s not the biggest problem people riding bicycles face, but it can be very dangerous and is against the law.
So, what do you do if someone parks in your bike lane? Call the police and let them know! Sometimes, you don’t have to call them because they are right there, right next to his car!
“I’m about to move it.”
“Oh, okay, thanks.”
But then, he’s CAUGHT! by a fellow officer…
You can tell by the cars that these are high-level police officers. The kind that oversee other officers and tell them what is acceptable behavior. I came by in about 15 minutes to see if they had moved their cars and I found this:
I wonder if these were the same mounted officers whose horses left their mark all over the sidewalk by the ArtMiami Show… Anyway, this was on NW 22 St and 1st Avenue – right by the sweet new SOFLO piece below.
The South Florida Bike Coalition is concerned by what seems to be a growing trend, across rank and department, city and county, of police officers to isolate, intimidate and criminalize people who bicycle. Just days prior to this, another local advocate was ticketed by the City of Miami Police for… wait for it… riding in the street. I am confident that we will get that ticket dismissed – but how many other people are ticketed for bicycling safely who we don’t know and thus can’t help?
We got the plates of the officers above and are trying to figure out how these officers explain their behavior to their own superiors. We’ll let you know. Until then, we leave you with the reason we were hanging out on NW 22nd to begin with, checking out the message on our friends’ art wall:
UPDATE: Collin Worth, Bicycle Coordinator for the City of Miami, was the first to respond to our complaint. He noted tactfully that “the bicycle lane is a travel lane and it is a violation of the State Uniform Traffic Control 316.1945 – Stopping, standing, or parking prohibited in specified places. Bike lanes and cycling are a relatively new and rapidly expanding phenomena in Miami, there will be a learning curve for both the public and our police. I have spoken to Commander David Sanchez about bicycle issues and he offered to have myself or someone else speak to officers during a roll call in the near future.“
This is a positive response in a short period of time. We are eager to work with Mr. Worth and the Police on any necessary curricula related to these issues – though there are many, many officers within the department well versed on the subject already. We are meeting with Miami-Dade County Commissioner Gimenez
‘s staff directly to discuss a similar protocol for Miami-Dade Police officers.