Planners working toward the proposed River of Grass Greenway, a cross-state path linking Miami and Naples, will be holding the first of a series of community workshops Jan. 29 through Feb. 2 at Edison State College in Naples (click for map). For a two-page flyer with workshop times and location details, click here. You can learn more about the project, and give feedback online, by visiting this site.
The year in jail that Miami-Dade Circuit Judge William Thomas sentenced Michele Traverso to is far too insignificant for killing Aaron Cohen last year.
We share the outrage of the cycling community and sympathize with the Cohen family for what certainly seems a continuation of this awful tragedy. Aaron Cohen’s death was, unfortunately, one of many on Florida’s roads, as our state was the top-ranked state for bicyclist and pedestrian deaths in 2012, according to the Alliance for Biking and Walking.
Florida should be doing more to protect vulnerable people from this careless violence. The Legislature needs to pass better laws so that police and prosecutors can charge criminals appropriately for such death and injury. Judges should realize that society benefits when dangerous drivers have strong incentives to respect the wellbeing of others. The small risk of getting caught, and small penalties if convicted are out of line with the excess of deaths by motor vehicle and the horrible consequences for victims’ families and all of Florida.
Normal responsible drivers know to keep a safe distance away from bicycles, drive at reasonable speeds, obey signals and signs, and give up the steering wheel when necessary. Irresponsible drivers make it necessary to adopt more specific laws and strong penalties in order to keep us all safe on shared roads.
At the local level, Aaron Cohen’s memory can best be served if we, as a community, join together to improve the safety of our roadways in his honor. By supporting efforts to improve conditions for cyclists, pedestrians, and all users of our roadways with a renewed sense of urgency, we help to diminish the utter senselessness of his death. One important step would be for Miami’s leaders to implement the city’s Bicycle Master Plan, which was created in 2009 but is still far from being a reality. Continue reading Let’s Channel the Anger Over Traverso
Michele Traverso will serve time in a county jail, not a state prison, for the hit-and-run death of bicyclist Aaron Cohen last Feb. 15. Judge William Thomas sentenced him to 364 days, followed by two years of probation.
The prosecutor, Jane Anderson, asked for six years in prison and five years’ probation. The defendant, a 26-year-old aspiring masseur, had already pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of a fatal accident and to driving with a suspended license. Today he addressed the Cohen family, acknowledged that “what I have done is unspeakable,” and promised to dedicate his life to helping others. “I beg for the opportunity to do that,” he told the crowded courtroom as he stood in Miami-Dade Jail orange.
Traverso said he was not drunk, as many have assumed, but asleep at the wheel when he plowed into Cohen and riding buddy Enda Walsh on the Rickenbacker Causeway’s Powell Bridge. Continue reading Hit-run Driver Gets A Year, Almost
In this prime bicycling season in Florida, one is tempted to hit the road before sunup or squeeze in one more round after dark. The sensations are delicious — fresh air, motion, and a cool breeze. But is your bike lighted? It needs to be, for your night-riding safety as well as that of other road users. Send us a photo of your bike lighted for the road and we’ll use it to help remind other cyclists to Be Safe, Be Seen.
New bicycle lanes are being added on the Lehman Causeway, a major road linking Aventura with Route A1A. Download the FDOT document and map.
Green Mobility Network has been actively involved in advocating for, monitoring, and supporting the construction of two new bicycle-pedestrian bridges during 2012-13.
The first to open is the bridge across the entrance to the Snapper Creek Expressway just north of Dadeland. Previously, bicyclists, pedestrians, and runners had to cross one of the most dangerous intersections in Miami-Dade County at grade level. The second, which will open early in 2013, crosses the Coral Gables Waterway at Cocoplum Circle. Both of these important projects will help to ensure the safety of future generations of bicyclists, walkers, and runners who use the M Path and the Commodore and Old Cutler trails. Both projects required many hours of our volunteers attending meetings and participating in reviews and discussions—the kind of behind-the-scenes work at the heart of our advocacy efforts.
Photos: Top, Snapper Creek Expressway bridge north of Dadeland soon after opening. Bottom: Bridge at Cocoplum Circle under construction, fall 2012, opening early in 2013.