Downtown Miami has new project underway to protect bicyclists on roads

South Florida ranks as dangerous places for bicyclists

MIAMI – A stretch of Southwest First Street between Second Avenue and Biscayne Boulevard is where a pilot project aimed at making streets safer for bicyclist is underway.

The Streets for People initiative is an effort by the city of Miami to promote the sharing of streets between drivers and cyclists.

Now, whether anyone is aware of the lanes and the need to stay in them is a different story. 

Bikes and buses were regularly using each other’s lanes when Local 10 News went out to see how the program was working.

The lane-sharing campaign comes at a time when mass transit is facing budget cuts, transit routes are being scaled back and more people are using bikes to get around.

"I think the current situation for this bike lane on First Street, it's not there yet," bicyclist Collin Worth said. "I think when they put paint and make it a little more clearer to drivers, then I think everyone will kind of behave a little more appropriately."

The new lanes follow the release of a comprehensive report by Florida International University and Florida  transportation officials.

The study captured how dangerous it is to bike in the state, showing that between 2011 and 2014, there were 22,146 injury crashes involving a bike and, of those, 503 were fatal.

Less than 6 percent of all traffic-related deaths involved a bicyclist in Florida.

The same study found nearly half of crashes were the fault of drivers and that, while bike lanes reduced the number of accidents, at-fault bicyclists resulted in more deaths.