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Thursday, June 06, 2019

Do we need bike paths?

My friend the other day asked me what the purpose of the bike paths/lanes were. I had to laugh because we know what they are for, but then we started talking.

Early on weekend mornings, we go to the gym, get breakfast and I try to race home in order to bypass the cyclists. If I get the timing wrong, I'm behind 50 or so cyclists who control the road. They don't ride to the side and share the road and they are never on the bike path.

Even if there are only a few in a group, they also take over the road.

We were discussing the fact that neither of us have ever seen a cyclist on a bike bath or bike lane, even though we are sure riders use them.

The county has been adding bike paths/lanes, such as the one on Bird and 32nd, which by it's design, cut off the turning lane, which made car drivers angry. To be honest, I don't think I have ever seen a cyclist on Bird, although I am sure there are many at times.

If you ride on Old Cutler or Ingraham Highway, you see cyclists, but they are never on the bike path, they are in the road. I've seen a father and child on the bike path, but the majority of cyclists use the street rather than the bumpy path. I myself was riding on the path a few years back, and it was so bumpy and full of roots, that I fell off the bike, and I went flying forward, over the handlebars, landing on my hands, which broke my fall.

I was wondering if bike paths/lanes are needed at all. 

And then I saw this story in Fast Company, which says that, "good protected bike infrastructure makes cars drive slower," which makes for safer cities.

They also ask, "Why should a city invest in something that only a small fraction of the population will benefit from?"

Here in the Grove and Miami, there are many cyclists who could benefit from the bike lanes if they used them.

“Bicycling-heavy cities are some of the safest cities around,” says study co-author Wesley Marshall, professor in the College of Engineering, Design, and Computing from the University of Colorado Denver, which did the study.

He says that even if the lanes aren't being used, it still makes the city safer. Safer, and slower, if you're behind them in a car - on the street and not in a bike lane.

For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing - only through social media. Not copying and pasting.


Anonymous Nancy said...

I had to laugh when I read that bike riders on the road make people drive slower!! That may apply to other cities but definitely not to Miami. We have some nasty angry drivers that are constantly beeping their horn’s and screaming at bikers. Please don’t forget that we have been on the top of the list for the worst drivers in the US. Bike lane or no bike lane it’s not going to change the mentality of the drivers here.

June 06, 2019 7:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The bike path on Old Cutler has been reworked and is so much better. I ride it several times a week. The bumps and roots are long gone and there is a divider line. I use bike paths all the time.

June 06, 2019 12:29 PM  
Anonymous Paco Diaz said...

The majority of the cyclists that you see on the roads on Saturday and Sunday are riding ROAD bikes. Road bikes are for riding roads not bike paths. A great example or a bike path exists in Key Biscayne where cyclist can ride at will without interrupting vehicular traffic. Unfortunately South Bayshore drive is not wide enough to accommodate the cars and a safe bike lane/path.

June 06, 2019 4:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only place I will ride my bike with any confidence is on a bike path. I seriously do not trust any drivers enough to get on a road with them! I'm super careful going the two blocks I need to ride in the Center Grove to get to the path. It is the groups of bikers that take over the roads, not the individual riders.

June 06, 2019 4:40 PM  
Blogger Hank Resnik said...

We need bike lanes, and we also need bike paths. We especially need the Commodore Trail to be repaired, improved, and completed. It has the potential to be the jewel of Coconut Grove and a way for a great many people to get around on their bikes (and on foot) without fearing for their lives.

June 06, 2019 5:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think bike riders, especially the mass of them on weekends, have no respect for other people. They don't even try to move to the side, they run the stop signs, run the red lights. If they want to go in the car lanes, they should follow all the traffic rules and also drive faster, not cruising, barely pedaling.

June 06, 2019 6:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I observed an aged lady driving her car SLOWLY, I think down Flagler heading West. So slow it caused me to fall behind her out of curiosity. It took a mile or two and I realized she & I were the only two who passed each light as it was green. All other drivers, stop/go, stop/go, stop/go. Years & years ago bicyclist on the roadways, bike path or not, I thought slowed me down as if I were the primal consideration - - - - then I realized those bikers, for the most part moved faster than all traffic in & out and about the Grove, so I relaxed & enjoyed the ride and noticed that the bikers, for the most part tranquilized motorist. Drivers seemed to respect the bikers and most traffic slowed somewhat & became safer. Jobie Steppe

June 06, 2019 7:04 PM  
Blogger Bruce said...

You are usually a perceptive observer.
It almost seems like this post was designed to provoke.
Here's a thought... Bike paths are designed for commuters and families cycling.
The early morning pelletons you refer to could never survive on a cycle path.
Two different animals.

June 06, 2019 9:05 PM  
Blogger Tom Boyce said...

The bike trail along Old Cutler or Ingraham Highway is good for a putter like me, (3,000 miles a year at 60 miles a weekend) that rides alone or with a friend, or families, etc but not for bike groups. We also use the bike trail, not bike lane, out to Key Biscayne which we love.

I agree that the big bike groups are dangerous and inconsiderate and in fact break Florida law that says no more than 2 people may ride abreast and there is no need to take more than one lane which is allowed by law. These dangerously large groups should be ticked or require a police escort as they piss off motorist, with good reason, who take it out on other bikers.

These big groups overtake other bikes and by the wedge type formation force other bikes off the road or come dangerously close and cause disorientation as they sweep loudly by.

Then there are the speed demons that think they are in the Tour de France and race by dangerously close to recreational bikers and almost never with a front light if any light at all.

We bike at a 6 am just to avoid these big groups and the drunk drivers coming home after 5 am close. Motorist, remember, bikers pay their road taxes too and have the right to use a lane and not have you come within at least 3 feet.

It works both ways: You are an inconvenience to bikes too and you are in a KILLING machine and MUST give the right of way regardless and one moment of inattention and distracted driver and bikers are dead, not the other way around and bikers are acutely aware of their surrounding due to thier open vulnerability.

Share the road, respect others, and all is well.

June 07, 2019 5:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom Boyce, You're correct 100%, and correct about these pack bikers, like a pack of cowardly wild dog wolves with one or two alfa males and their subservient followers. There's only one way to deal with this mentality.

June 07, 2019 9:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the bike paths you talk about are not safe for a road bike that is doing 20 mph. what concerns me more is the little electric scooters that go almost as fast. i saw people last week wobbling on their rent scooter in the lane down bay shore, i have seen them nit stop and run into cars they are far more dangerous than a bicycling. At least a bicyclist know how to brake

June 10, 2019 9:19 PM  

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