MIAMI – In a memo sent to commissioners Tuesday, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava outlined new safety measures coming to the Rickenbacker Causeway spurred by the deaths of two cyclists struck and killed by a vehicle on the causeway in May.
The causeway, which connects Miami with Virginia Key and Key Biscayne, has long been seen as a danger spot for people riding bicycles.
County officials made several temporary changes following the deaths of Yaudys Vera and Ogniana Reyes, including increased traffic enforcement and temporary barricades. The county also installed additional signage and reduced the speed limit.
According to the memo, the county began implementing additional safety measures Tuesday, including removing U-turns west of the William Powell Bridge at the conflict point where the fatal crash occurred, conducting a short-term demonstration pilot to improve safety for cyclists and motorists during Peloton group rides and closing an access point to vehicles crossing the bike lane east of the William Powell Bridge.
They’re part of the mayor’s $250,000 plan to improve safety on the busy thoroughfare.
Read the full memo, with illustrations, here:
In the six-page memo, Department of Transportation and Public Works Director Eulois Cleckley outlines how the changes will work.
Cleckley said the county will install delineators at the the U-turn conflict point preventing vehicles from turning across the bike lane to access the park area, costing roughly $35,000. That’s expected to be finished by next Wednesday.
The short-term pilot demonstration will take place July 12, July 17, July 19 and July 25 during Peloton group rides from 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. DTPW crews will place signage and message boards informing motorists and cyclists of the event and Miami-Dade police officers will provide an escort.
After closing the access point east of the William Powell Bridge, the county plans to reestablish a new access point at Hobie Beach allowing more space for vehicles to slow down before turning.
“It’s important to note that these additional measures represent phase 1 of our long-term safety improvements on the Rickenbacker as DTPW explores further safety enhancements including creating greater permanent delineation of bike lanes to protect cyclists,” Levine Cava said in the memo.