News from the County Public Works (and something else) Department …

We received the following email from Miami Dade County. It took some time after we were told that “no option is off the table”, but it appears that a small chance is finally coming. Thank you to those making biking safer in the county.

 

MODIFICATION TO PAVEMENT MARKINGS ON RICKENBACKER CAUSEWAY

BEGINS ON TUESDAY, MAY 22, 2012

 

(MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Florida, May 18, 2012) – The Public Works and Waste Management Department will modify the pavement markings on the Bear Cut Bridge, William Powell Bridge and West Bridge of the Rickenbacker Causeway to provide a safety improvement.  The marked separation between motor vehicles and the bicycle lanes will be upgraded to a double white line with the left of the two lines incorporating vibratory ridges.  This will have the combined effect of reinforcing the prohibition of motor vehicles entering the bicycle lanes as well as providing a vibrating effect to alert drifting vehicles.

This work is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at approximately 9 a.m., and should be completed by the end of the day, weather permitting.

During the installation of the pavement markings, a partial roadway closure will be in effect. The timing of the work is being scheduled to avoid the rush hour periods; however, motorists may experience traffic delays.

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For the Love of (Free, Public) Bike Racks

How lovely would it be to ride somewhere – anywhere – and be able to park your bike safely and securely at your destination? For some, this is a given, but for others, it can be so challenging as to make them reconsider bicycling as transportation.

A variety of cities and counties across South Florida are addressing this problem. If you think your neighborhood / favorite cafe / office needs better bike parking, here are some people you can help score you one in the public spaces near you.

Getting a new, quality bike rack installed in the public right of way  may be free or, at least, heavily subsidized by your local government. We invite you to cc: us in your request so we can follow up and keep track of those that come from the same places.

To keep you inspired, here are some cool, functional bike racks made by our new fans at DERO:

and then, the wonderful Bike Station in Washington, D.C. – an admittedly bigger ‘ask’ that could be great in West Palm Beach? Ft. Lauderdale beachfront? Downtown Miami? …?

Click for more info on bikestation

New Bike Racks on Miami Metrorail

New racks for Metrorail train cars

Thank you, Miami-Dade Transit!

Thanks to Jason for sending these in: pictures of new vertical racks inside Metrorail cars. It’s great to have a safe, secure place to put your bike on the train. Vertical racks are not the ideal for everyone, but they mark a real improvement to the status quo. This rack was installed on the second car – does this mark a change regulating where people can bring their bikes on the train?

How did this happen? Well, we don’t take credit – this is the result of more people riding and decision makers responding to you and us. It’s true that opportunities for improvements like these can come and go. We’re grateful to SFBC member and friend, Miami-Dade’s Bike/Ped Coordinator for seizing this opportunity and for his leadership on bike improvements throughout County facilities.

We’re going to send MDT and David letters of thanks: Please put your name in the comments if you would like your name added to the letter or e-mail David directly here and Transit Director Harpal Karpoor here.

Keep riding, keep talking up why you ride and thank those who are doing it ‘right’!

Thank you, MDT!

 

Florida Could Do More for Active Transportation

The South Florida Bike Coalition partners with groups like the Sierra Club and Smart Growth Partnership to promote bicycling across our region and with particular focus on those new to our favorite form of transportation, recreation and fitness. Our partnership with the Sierra Club is tied to their own state-wide campaign to increase ‘green transportation’ by making bicycling and walking safer. The Smart Growth Partnership is among our lead partners in bringing Meet Your Streets, a ciclovia-style event, to Broward County on April 10th.
More on both to follow but just to share, here is their recent joint press release on Florida’s (hey, she’s got potential!) transportation policy.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 14, 2010
Florida’s Transportation Policies Obstruct Reaching Climate Goals
New study reveals more could be done at the state level to reduce carbon emissions and boost the economy 

 

 

CONTACT: Alex Goldschmidt, Smart Growth America, 202-207-3355 x112,
Gloria Katz, Smart Growth Partnership, 954-614-5666
Marti Daltry, Sierra Club- Ft. Myers Office, 239-313-7202
Fort Lauderdale and Fort Myers, FL – Significant conflicts exist between Florida’s transportation policies and broader efforts to reduce carbon emissions according to a new study out today by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Smart Growth America (SGA). “Getting Back on Track: Climate Change and State Transportation Policy” examined transportation spending decisions and policies in all 50 states to determine what impact state decisions have on carbon emission rates.
According to this extensive, first-of-its-kind analysis, Florida’s transportation policies and spending decisions are not doing enough to reduce statewide emissions rates. This means not only that Florida is missing opportunities to protect clean air; it means we are wasting a huge economic opportunity as well. 

Smart transportation spending could save money, create jobs and help rebuild the economy while curbing emissions at the same time. Adopting smart transportation strategies would help Florida attract more businesses and create more jobs out of each dollar we spend. Rebuilding the economy and creating new jobs are the most important issues of this generation and each of the transportation policies highlighted in this report can help us get there.

 


“Florida’s Department of Transportation needs to recognize that every decision about how we get around has huge implications for the environment and our economy,” said Marti Daltry from Sierra Club. “We need to reduce oil use, and provide transportation choices for all Floridians, especially our growing elderly population.”
“Policymakers have the power to save money, protect the environment, create more jobs for each dollar we spend, and effectively lower transportation costs at the same time, but policies need to change in order for that to happen. FDOT has been making certain policy changes, but needs to do a better job in others,” said Gloria Katz from Smart Growth Partnership. 

Florida is not alone in needing to improve, and the new report calls for changes at the federal level as well. Without action at both levels of government, the United States will almost certainly fail to meet current carbon reduction goals.

 

“Better gas mileage and alternative fuels aren’t enough to stop carbon emissions at the rate they’re rising,” said Neha Bhatt, deputy policy director at Smart Growth America. “It’s going to take policy changes at both the state andfederal levels to achieve the emissions reductions we need. American households need the option to spend less money to get around, and these low-carbon policies help get us there too.”
Changes to federal policy could encourage states to use their transportation money more effectively. The overdue authorization of a federal transportation bill will be a key moment for leadership from the Obama Administration to reduce carbon emissions and continue to rebuild our economy.
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Sierra Club is the oldest environmental organization in the United States. Since 1892, the Sierra Club has been working to protect communities, wild places and the planet itself.  Sierra Club has been engaged in numerous campaigns that deal with phosphate mining, red tide, coal mining, the Florida panther, clean energy and green transportation.
Smart Growth Partnership is a nonprofit based in South Florida whose mission is to lead, support, advocate and educate the public by promoting livable, sustainable and green communities in South Florida
Smart Growth America advocates for people who want to live and work in great neighborhoods. Smart growth solutions support thriving businesses and jobs, provide more options for how people get around and make it more affordable to live near work and the grocery store. Our coalition gives communities a fighting chance against sprawl. Together, we are making America’s neighborhoods great. Visit SmartGrowthAmerica.org to learn more.

Catch a Bike Thief

Bike Theft is a huge problem in South Florida – but what would you do if you caught someone taking another’s bike

Yehuda Moon: Bicycle Thief

Many of us – myself included – have had the strong desire to catch a thief in action but, what would you do?

Here are some tips:

  1. Resist the urge to be a hero. You can confront the thief/ves (wouldn’t that feel good!?) but if you are not completely confident that the thief won’t turn around and clock you with the bolt cutters, it’s not worth risking a lifetime of rides to save just one.
  2. Be calm but assertive. IF you have to confront them: One story we have heard works is from someone who just went up to the thieves and said, “hey – that’s my bike.” They mumbled and then quickly motorcycled away. The added perk is if you’re wrong, you’ll know right away by the look on the guy’s face. How would you respond if someone went up to you and claimed your saddle belonged to them?
  3. USE YOUR PHONE. Take a picture. Write down a description of the guy/s. Get video if you can. Call the police right away – you might get lucky and save the day.
  4. Leave a note: If you witness a theft and are unable to stop it, leave your contact information for the poor soul. S/he will want the photos and description you took.

These are the tips that I have heard and collected since becoming director of the Bike Coalition last May. I’m sure there are other smart tips and hope you’ll let us know what you think we’re missing.

IF YOUR BIKE IS STOLEN:

  1. Please report it. Your report goes into police databases and supports police stings that focus on bike theft. Police don’t try to prevent repeats of crimes they don’t have on file.
  2. Post a picture and the serial number on Craiglist with the subject: BIKE STOLEN. There are success stories of reunited bikes and owners this way.
  3. Tell everyone you know. If you send us the craigslist link, we’ll be sure to share it on our facebook and twitter. We can email it out to members and friends in your area, too.

PREVENTING THE WORST

  1. For the love of two wheels, please lock your bicycle correctly.

REGISTER YOUR BIKE: Take a moment to register your bike today with the National Bike Registry: http://www.nationalbikeregistry.com/ If your bike ever ends up in a police holding or with a reputable bike shop, you can get it back!

A Cyclist/Motorist Pact?

In a blog posted today on Runner’s World Daily and shared with us via facebook (Thanks, Eddie!), writer Mark Remy drafted a ‘truce’ between motorists and runners. Remy was responding to the tendency of people responding to news stories where runners are mowed down my motorists with anger directed toward the victims, rather than the motorists or, say, poor road design, unsafe streets, a culture of speed, etc.

Remy remarks in the comments that he wanted to keep the pact focused on runners and motorists and to the exclusion of cyclists because, well, he is writing for Runner’s World. So I wanted to offer an amended version for your consideration. My suggested changes are written in italics and enclosed in brackets. What do you think?

Motorists & Runners [People Who Bicycle]: a Pact for Peaceful Coexistence
WHEREAS the public roads are public, and whereas there is room for everyone — drivers, runners, cyclists, etc. — and whereas rage and hostility are counterproductive and only serve to endanger and agitate everyone, drivers included, and whereas absurdities and hyperbole are never conducive to progress, we, the undersigned do hereby embrace and agree to the following.

AS A RUNNER [PERSON RIDING A BICYCLE], I AGREE TO:
1. Obey all laws, just as I expect motorists to do.
2. Conduct myself with courtesy, and treat motorists with respect, knowing that they are human beings just as I am.
3. Run [
Ride my bicycle] with the understanding that, even if I am “right” or have the law on my side in a certain situation, motor vehicles are large, fast, and extremely heavy, and can kill or maim me if I’m not careful. (Or even if I am.)
4. Engage, whenever possible, with motorists in a cordial manner — e.g., offering a small wave and smile whenever a driver makes an extra effort to give me wide berth while passing.
5. Respond to anger or taunts with Zen-like calm, rather than with anger of my own.
6. Remember that when I am running [
riding my bicycle] in public, I am — like it or not — a representative of all runners [‘cyclists‘], and to behave accordingly.

AS A MOTORIST, I AGREE TO:
1. Obey all laws, just as I expect runners [
people on bicycles] to do.
2. Conduct myself with courtesy, and treat runners [
people on bicycles] with respect, knowing that they are human beings just as I am.
3. Drive with the understanding that, even if I am “right” or have the law on my side in a certain situation, motor vehicles are large, fast, and extremely heavy, and can kill or maim others if I’m not careful. (Or even if I am.)
4. Engage, whenever possible, with runners [
people on bicycles] in a cordial manner — e.g., making an extra effort to give them a wide berth while passing.
5. Pay attention to my surroundings while behind the wheel, and not to a cell phone conversation or a text message.
6. Acknowledge that there are millions of runners [
people who bicycle] in the U.S. — in cities, suburbs, and rural areas of all 50 states — and that it is therefore unrealistic to expect all of them to run [bicycle] “on the sidewalk” or on a “trail”; that runners [people who bicycle] pay taxes, too; that very few, if any, of them actually run [bicycle illegally] “in the middle of the road“; and that there’s no reason we can’t all share the road peacefully.

All of here at the South Florida Bike Coalition want to thank Remy and Runner’s World Daily for offering up such a pact with humility and an honest interest in critical feedback. Please take a moment to read the original piece on the website here. Do you think that such a pact could work for South Florida? What is missing from it? Would it be worthwhile for SFBC to engage local governments and individuals to embrace such a pact? What about the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV?) We appreciate your comments – good ideas are better shared! Thank you.