MacArthur Causeway Biking Is Crazy Dangerous -- Kevin Culp's Tale

Categories: Broward News

BikeDanger.jpg
Courtesy of Kevin Culp
South Florida cyclists have been vocal for years about the dangers of riding down here, what with wet grates and unruly drivers hitting people, but those aren't the only dangers. Kevin Culp, a 43-year-old cyclist who moved here from New York two years ago, says South Florida is the most dangerous place he's ever ridden. Culp has put in miles on his bike in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia and even rode BMX as a kid.

Last month, Culp took a ride from Brickell to Bal Harbour and back, something he's done more than 100 times. But after he ran into a construction site that had no warnings and nowhere for him to go, he landed on his head and sliced open his fingers. He wrecked his bike and doesn't remember parts of it, he fell so hard.

Fast-forward a month and Culp is speaking out, trying to change the way cyclists are treated. And he'll file a lawsuit if he has to, he says. What follows is his account, told to New Times.

See also: Wet Bridge Grates and Cyclists Are a Dangerous Combination



It was on the 17th of last month, a Saturday, and I had gone out for a ride around 11:30 a.m. or noon. Since moving into Brickell I tried to ride the Rickenbacker Causeway and quickly found that bikes are not welcome in Miami in general, but especially not on bridges here. After the recent construction started on the Rickenbacker Causeway, it wasn't safe the way they designed the lanes for anyone -- especially bikers. So I switched my ride to the MacArthur Causeway and had done that ride maybe 100 times, so I knew the ride very well. Due to the construction at the port, they, as you know, have shut down the eastbound sidewalk and bike path, forcing riders to enter into oncoming traffic, protected in some cases by a thin concrete wall. And once you get past Jungle Island if you're going east, you then ride around a blind corner at the Marina.

If you go up and over the MacArthur Causeway, there's a blind little bend right, probably 200 to 300 yards before you get to the end of the bridge where you can come off and go down the stairs where Jungle Island starts. So I came around that crest doing, I don't know, maybe as much as 10 miles an hour. I wasn't booking it at all. There was no signage whatsoever, there was no flagman whatsoever, there was no orange cone; there was nothing to indicate something was around the corner.

rsz_photo_1.jpg
Courtesy of Kevin Culp
I simply crested and started to enjoy the way down with my hands on the bars and two fingers on both brakes, and at that instant, I saw what I would estimate to be a 15- to 20-foot railing section with the tines (welded brackets that connect the railing to the nuts and bolts that go into the wall) turned to the wall raising up the railing a few inches off the ground, smack dab in the middle of the pathway. And then my mind processed what I saw in front of me: total blockage with nowhere to go. On the right, past the railing, was a completely full shopping cart full of workers' tools, a big orange water cooler like you'd see mounted to the back of a construction truck or on TV, when they splash a coach for winning a game was on the left, and to make matters worse, a few workers were there too. I'm fuzzy on how many, because I'm missing about a minute or two after the crash, memory-wise.


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4 comments
freddy
freddy

quote;

I simply crested and started to enjoy the way down with my hands on the bars and two fingers on both brakes,

...

 smack dab in the middle of the pathway. And then my mind processed what I saw in front of me: total blockage with nowhere to go. "


/quote


OR, IN OTHER WORDS, HE WAS GOING TOO FAST TO STOP.  OR UNABLE TO CONTROL HIS VEHICLE....


SORRY HE GOT HURT, AND THE WORKERS SHOULD HAVE HAD A BARRIER TO WARN OR STOP ANYONE FROM PASSING WHILE THEY WERE WORKING.


BUT, SOME OF THE  RESPONSIBILITY DOES FALL TO THE BIKE RIDER TO 1) BE IN CONTROL, AND 2) USE THE PROPER LANES OF TRAVEL (ASSUMING THAT AREA IS CONSIDERS A SIDEWALK)... 


what did the reporter find out about that area from MDC?  (or FDOT)?  


fredd
fredd

WAS HE REALLY ON A BIKE PATH, OR A SIDEWALK?  that is the real question.


- It appears he was riding on the sidewalk, not the road where vehicles are suppose to ride.  (bikes are vehicles, and need to obey all road laws).


sidewalks are for pedestrians.   it appears there is a white line marking the end of the road way and the beginning of the bike path.  


What did MDC say about the 'bike lane'

kevinjculp
kevinjculp

@freddy Freddy are you a rider?  I was on a bike NOT in a car and you clearly have no concept of what I''m talking about or have been to that area.  Before making such a a comment you might want to educate yourself a bit.  Two fingers on each brake IS in control and 10 mph on a bike can be stopped in feet.  Take a look at the pictures again.

kevinjculp
kevinjculp

@fredd Fred - I task you to ride on that road against oncoming traffic lol.  Have you actually been there or are you just commenting to comment without any actual knowledge at all?  In addition, you might want to actually go to that area and the sidewalk IS the place that is designated to ride.

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