In an attempt to promote good health and a cleaner environment, Bike To Work Day is taking place tomorrow, March 1st. Miami residents are encouraged to start off the month of March by riding a bike to work and leaving their car at home. Several Bike to Work events are taking place in Miami, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, and Palmetto Bay.
The Bike to Work Day distance is 7.6 miles and the ride starts at the University Metrorail Station on 5400 Ponce de Leon Boulevard. Participants are expected to arrive by 6:45 AM and the ride will start at 8 AM tomorrow. The ride will be on the Underline to the Government Center in downtown Miami; cyclists can choose ride in the 7-mile bike ride or to take the Metrorail to their final destination.
The first 200 participants will receive free Bike305 shirts if they arrive on bicycle. Participants will also receive a one-way Metrorail Pass. The bikers will also have a police escort throughout the duration of the ride. This may cause travel delays for drivers.
Both drivers and cyclists will need to take caution tomorrow. Miami is considered to be one of the most dangerous cities for cyclists, due to lack of safety and traffic congestion. According to Dolman Law Group, Florida is the worst state when it comes to cyclist deaths. 16.5 percent of all U.S. bike deaths took place in the Sunshine State. With more cyclists on the road than usual, this can cause more danger.
In Florida, Miami ranks as the fourth deadliest city for cyclists. Miami ranks behind Jacksonville, Tampa, and Orlando, respectively. From 2012 to 2014, cyclists' deaths increased 260 percent and injuries increased by 34 percent.
There are many reasons for the high number of bike deaths in Florida. From under-equipped bicyclists to bad drivers and a lack of safety education, Florida is not the best place for cyclists. Many roads still do not have a designated bike lane.
And not only is Florida a dangerous place for a cyclist, but Miami's traffic congestion is also just getting worse and worse. While Miami isn't considered as bad as places like Los Angeles or San Francisco, Miami is the sixth most congested city in the U.S.
According to TomTom, Miamians have an extra 35 minutes of travel time per day and 132 hours per year.
And in times of emergency, traffic situations are even worse. Miami has gone through many hurricanes and hurricane evacuations. And both evacuating the city and coming back after a hurricane can cause extreme congestion. Extreme congestion paired with an emergency evacuation is a very dangerous combination.
For participants of the Bike to Work events and drivers tomorrow, remember to take caution and stay safe on the road.