A Miami cyclist was killed this morning by musician Carlos Bertonatti along the Rickenbacker Causeway. Bertonatti, who was driving under the influence, sped away, dragging the cyclist’s bike underneath his car. It took 22 minutes before an ambulance arrived, and by then it was too late. Bertonatti is now being charged with vehicular homicide. (photo from the Miami Bike Scene Blog)
As a Miami native, I have found that the Rickenbacker Causeway is really the only place to ride (aside from the Everglades). Miami is a car dominated city, providing little in the way of walkable or bikeable streets. In fact, according to the Dangerous by Design report, Miami is the 3rd most dangerous city in the US for pedestrians. The roads are equally as unsafe for cyclists, with eight cyclist fatalities recorded in Miami-Dade in 2006.
And so it is especially disturbing that this man was killed while riding in a bike lane on one of the only stretches of road that is remotely safe for cyclists. Perhaps if speed limits were more diligently enforced, Bertonatti would have been stopped before the fatal crash. The Miami cycling community pulls together as they grieve the loss of a fellow cyclist.
Read “Miami Bikes (But it Isn’t Easy)” in the July/August issue of American Bicyclist:
League Policy Analyst