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. ”