Friday night bike ride could disrupt Venetian traffic

Here the path of Friday's ride.

Here’s the path of Friday’s ride.

An organized bike ride Friday night could cause serious traffic disruption on Miami Beach, particularly on the Venetian Islands.

The group Critical Mass has planned the ride — with between 1,000 and 2,00 participants — for 7:15 p.m. Friday.

According to a memo from Miami Beach Police Chief Ray Martinez to Acting City Manager Kathie Brooks, the group plans to ride from downtown Miami north on Biscayne Boulevard, across the 79th Street Causeway, south through Miami Beach, south on Collins Avenue to 17th Street, and then across the Venetian Causeway to downtown Miami.

On its website, Critical Mass advises participants to expect to ride about 12 mph and cautions them to ride safely.

Miami Critical Mass is not an “us vs. them” ride, it is not anti-car, it is not a protest ride, this is a ride that celebrates bicycles, encourages cycling & reminds drivers that they must share the road. There are a lot of new riders who just recently joined the group and we need to remind them of this. This is supposed to be a fun ride, you’re encouraged to smile, wave at passersby, ring your bells & have a good time.

But given the scale of the ride, it’s certain to slow traffic in the areas surrounding it. Traffic laws do provide bicycle riders with the right to share the road, and drivers will need to be patient as the group — which could stretch a good distance — moves through our neighborhood.

Police will be providing traffic control.

In an e-mail to residents warning of the ride, Commissioner Deede Weithorn said “please know this is NOT a city sponsored event and we cannot prevent it from taking place. ”

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15 responses to “Friday night bike ride could disrupt Venetian traffic

  1. It’s about as disruptive as an open drawbridge or two. Something Venetian residents should be familiar with .

  2. The disruption is incredibly limited and for a commissioner to send an email warning residents of any such thing strikes me as disingenuous given the very real gridlock her city suffers from on a very regular basis.

  3. it’s very disruptive, it is a bike ride of hundreds and hundreds of people on bikes and they stop traffic themselves — it’s ridiculous

  4. “…encourages cycling & reminds drivers that they must share the road.”

    It also means you people on bikes share the laws! If I’m in a car and have the green light at an intersection, that means it’s time for you on the bike to STOP!! You’re not entitled to continue just because you feel the need to flock together in this ride! If the laws we both share are an inconvenience to you, please take your riding to the everglades!

  5. close: you want disruptive, how about all the cars that jam traffic during New Years Eve and Superbowl? Would you want to ban those events? This is an inconvience of a few people for a few minutes, it’s not ridiculous.

  6. As a rider with critical mass in the past..we have rode thru the venetian islands and it has never caused a problem with traffic…the riders move thru very smoothly/fast

  7. Actually, it’s thousands of people.

  8. Why must people be so divisive? It was not a “warning.” It was a “traffic advisory” and these advisories are somewhat commonplace.

  9. How about ‘ Traffic advisory- Millionaires on yachts will cause Venetian drawbridges to open on-demand, creating traffic backups every 10 minutes.”
    Oh wait, that happens every day.

  10. “Police will be providing traffic control.”
    WOW! Is Critical Mass paying for the traffic control since it’s not a city sponsored event?

    If not, then it’s bad enough you hipster Lance Armstrong wannabe’s believing your part of Tour de France are going to disrupt traffic but now you feel you’re entitled to taxpayer funded protection!

    It’s no wonder drivers can’t stand you!

  11. No, James, we are not paying and we certainly didn’t ask for it…The nice policemen realize it’s in their best interest to make our entrance and exit into and out of your little hamlet as smooth and quick as possible. We don’t give a shit whether the po po is there or not,,,ride on…,

  12. Ed, the traffic at Alton and 17th has been blocked for almost an hour now, complete with lovely beeping and honking of all the traffic that is held up by the bikes. I couldn’t agree MORE with the comments above by James, the TRAFFIC LIGHTS are there for BIKES ALSO. Ed the traffic during those events stop at RED LIGHTS. The disruptive hour long traffic jam for bicycles to run constantly thru intersections is just ridiculous! An hour! that is not smooth and without disruption. so stupid.

  13. CRITICAL MASS BIKERS NEED TO RESPECT THE LAWS

    1. Events like the one Friday Nov. 30 in North Bay Village caused major traffic disruptions, if critical mass bikers want to have this type of event they need to apply for the necessary permits

    2. Especially they need to ask for permits and approved police escorts if they are going to disregard traffic control devices such as red lights and stop lights.

    3. Wether a planned event or spontaneous event, organized or dis-organized those individuals “leading” Critical Mass cycling need to register with the state licensing authorities and have proper insurance to sponsor these mass bike rides

    4. Warning to individuals who “lead” or sponsor these biking events they can be held responsible for any accidents or injuries that can occur during the ride

  14. So a crane struck an overpass today on 836, shut the road down for hours. People crash and are killed daily on stretches of 1-95 every single day, Millions of dollars of property damage is done to buildings by people crashing their cars into them. There are over 40,000 car crashes in Miami-Dade county ALONE in each year on average. And some people are concerned about BICYCLES slowing traffic? Wow. Talk about misguided angst.

  15. These aren’t a dozen or so people on little bicycle ride… there are hundreds of you (maybe approaching a thousand??) spread out and going 12mph tops per critical mass requirements. When you as a rider pass an intersection, you’re done! You think that was quick.. why are drivers so mad? Meanwhile, the hundreds behind you are running that intersection I’m stuck at while I have the green light – still doing 12 mph! Imagine having to stop for a mile long freight train doing 12 mph!! Did it ever occur to you someone 3 cars deep at that intersection is trying to get to a hospital, has groceries in the car that can’t wait an hour to get home, has a family emergency, etc that should not needlessly wait because of your unsanctioned joyride?? We share the road now share the laws too! If the laws are an inconvenience then we cannot share the road, don’t tell motorists to deal with it and take the ride elsewhere!

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