Miami is one of the nation’s least safe cities on two wheels. Florida as a whole has the most bicycle fatalities in the nation and is the fourth deadliest cities for cyclists behind Jacksonville, Tampa and Orlando. Between 2010 and 2014, 47 cyclists died across Miami-Dade, and another 3,591 were injured. Fatalities also jumped a startling 260 percent between 2012 and 2014, while injuries increased 34 percent.
As state and local officials continue to emphasize cycling as a recreational sport and a means to reduce Miami’s road congestion, it’s vital that the proper infrastructure be in place to accommodate the influx of new riders every year.
One project that could alter the numbers is The Underline, set to utilize the land beneath Miami’s Metrorail line from the Miami River to the Dadeland South Station, creating a bike-friendly greenway. However, the project could take upwards of 10 years to complete and not all phases have received funding. The Underline is part of a larger vision that would connect to other transit systems and bike projects, including the Miami River Greenway and the Ludlam Trail in South Miami, through a ten-mile urban greenway and arts space. The first section beginning at the Miami River and extending several blocks south to the edge of Simpson Park, is scheduled to complete in June 2020.
The Underline would not only connect neighborhoods and improve the quality of life for the 125,000 plus people who live within a 10-minute walk of the trail, but also promote the use of public transportation by making it more appealing and convenient. However, doing so entails major design challenges. Engineers must ensure cars don’t collide with The Underline users at its numerous intersections, which include some of the busiest and most dangerous in the city.
Florida law provides bicyclist with the same legal protection applicable to motor vehicles, but cyclists must also follow the same rules of the road. Bicycle accident victims, are entitled to recover insurance benefits for personal injuries under their own auto insurance policy. Contact one of our expert attorneys who understands Florida motor vehicle accident laws, insurance policies, and how the applicable law may apply to your case. We’re here to make sure you receive full compensation, and your rights are duly protected.
In Part II of this blog series, we talk about precautions you can take to avoid common bicycle accidents.