Meeting held on Critical Mass concerns in Miami

Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa says many cyclists don't follow traffic laws, disrupt drivers

MIAMI – Every month, dozens of bike riders take to the streets of South Florida for Critical Mass, but city leaders in Miami are debating its future due to safety concerns.

Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa spoke out about the city's concerns during a meeting Wednesday.

"There is no order. There is no clear direction, there is no control," said Orosa. "Everybody just shows up and takes off."

On the last Friday of the month more than 1,000 cyclists hit the streets of Miami for a multi-mile ride for bikers' rights on the road.

"We're just trying to raise awareness basically, because it is important," said Andres Deque, a Critical Mass cyclist. "If Miami's going to grow to be a bigger city we need to learn to coexist – bikes and drivers."

But police point out that many Critical Mass cyclists do not follow the rules of the road, causing a traffic nightmare.  Police claim cyclists even pound on cars and disrupt drivers.

"Critical Mass runs red lights, runs stop signs, and basically makes everybody wait for them, which is usually around 45 minutes," said Orosa.

Orosa sent Critical Mass' leader a notice to sit down and talk about how they can take steps to make future events safe, but he has yet to respond to that request.

If he doesn't respond, police say they will start issuing citations to cyclists who violate traffic laws.

The next bike ride is Friday. 

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