Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ride For Safety : In Honor of Aaron Cohen



Saturday, February 18th
8:30am

Cyclists are asked to meet at 8:30am at the Bayfront Park Fountain on Biscayne Blvd & Flagler Street in downtown Miami, pedals up 8:45am. We will be riding as a group in honor of fellow cyclist Aaron Cohen who was struck and killed by a hit & run driver this week. The group will ride towards Key Biscayne via Brickell Avenue and up the William Powell Bridge were Aaron and his friend Enda Walsh were hit. Between 9:00am-10:00am the police will have the south side of the Rickenbacker Causeway closed to motor vehicles. Aaron Cohen, 36, was an avid cyclist, married and father of two. It's very unfortunate that we have to come together under such tragic circumstances to honor his life.

Please remember to ride safe & courteous. All are welcome.

Event info on Facebook, please spread the word to the cycling and running community.

Please read: We were just informed that the 12th Annual Walk for the Animals is also taking place at Bayfront Park on Saturday morning. Registration for the event starts at 8:30am but the actual walk doesn't begin until 10:00am. Remember, pedals up at 8:45am, we do not wish to interfere with the dog walk. On the morning of the ride if we feel that we are in the way, we will move about half a block south and congregate on the corner of Biscayne Blvd & Chopin Plaza. If you feel uncomfortable with this feel free to meet the group at the top of William Powell Bridge at 9:00am.



ONE VOICE IN SOLIDARITY—A MESSAGE TO BICYCLISTS, RUNNERS, TRIATHLETES, AND OTHERS PLANNING TO ATTEND THE MEMORIAL EVENT FOR AARON COHEN ON SAT., FEB. 18

This message was prepared and agreed to by members of several organizations that represent bicyclists, runners, pedestrians, and other users of Miami’s streets and roadways. All were involved in a meeting to plan the event with County and City staff. We are grateful to the County and City representatives who are working hard to make the event go smoothly and without incident.

Time and location: The event will take place between 9-9:45 a.m. on the southbound side of the William Powell bridge (the “high” bridge). This is the side going toward Key Biscayne. The bridge will be closed to motor vehicles during this time, and traffic will be redirected to the other side of the causeway.

Riding to the event: Cyclists are asked to meet at 8:30 a.m. at the Bayfront Park Fountain on Biscayne Blvd. & Flagler St. (Biscayne & Chopin Plaza due to Dog Walk event) in downtown Miami, pedals up 8:45 a.m. The ride will proceed south on Brickell to the Rickenbacker Causeway. Two toll gates will be reserved exclusively for bicyclists. This ride will be led by the Esserman bicycling team in their yellow jerseys—Aaron Cohen was a member.

Traffic and parking: To minimize traffic and parking problems, please avoid driving to the event. If you must drive, please try to park either before you get to the Powell bridge or on the U.S. 1 side of the toll plaza.

Respect other users of the roadway: Because of the event, the multi-use path on the bridge is likely to be crowded with pedestrians and others. Please avoid bicycling on the multi-use path, and please be courteous to others if it’s crowded.

Please behave with the respect this event deserves—all of Miami will be watching. We are saddened and angered that this event is necessary. We intend to follow up with discussions about ways to prevent such incidents in the future. But this is not an occasion for angry demands and political grandstanding. Let’s show all Miamians that we deserve their respect and attention.

10 comments:

  1. I will plan to ride in memory of Aaron, and of all the others who have recently lost their lives in this tragic circumstance
    ....but I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND that we ride from Bayfront Park to Key Biscayne using South Miami Avenue instead of Brickell Ave. We cyclists should ABSOLUTELY ALWAYS use South Miami Avenue, which has a beautiful bike lane relatively recently built by the city, instead of the much-less-safe Brickell Ave. Hopefully this most unfortunate occasion will be used to familiarize or introduce many cyclists to the South Miami Avenue bike lane, which we will use to celebrate something which was of importance to Aaron and his way of life !!

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  2. I disagree with Jimao. Brickell Ave. is a much better venue for raising awareness on the part of motorists of their obligation to share the road...

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  3. Jimao, I also disagree but respect your opinion. While using South Miami Ave is safer when riding alone or in very small group due to the bike lane, it may prove to be too narrow for a larger group. Also, it's easier to make a left onto the Rickenbacker via Brickell than it is via S Miami Ave because Brickell Ave has two left turning lanes. If we turned left onto Rickenbacker via S Miami Ave, we would then need to cross Brickell at the next intersection anyways. An additional intersection to deal with which could've been completely avoided. Follow me?

    Either way I took the time to map a route utilizing roads with bike sharrows & bike lanes, see here http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/fullscreen/69535206/

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    1. the issue is not that this memorial ride is to "raise awareness of motorists' obligation to share the road;" cyclists and motorists have to co-exist ... and if we can make each others' lives easier, all the better; it's not that we are to avoid each other, but there must be mutual understanding and consideration. (OBS: we most probably all are both cyclists and motorists. And just as a pedestrian may have right of way crossing a street ... that right will not make anyone feel any better if one were hit by a car.) When I see a cyclist riding onto Brickell instead of South Miami Ave ... my respect for that person goes down a notch (assuming the cycist does not live on Brickell or is not aware of the South Miami bike lane) because that person is NOT being considerate of motorists' obligation.
      As a final comment: I have for many years been riding Crandon early mornings; it is rare to see a police car at "peak time" for returning drunk & drugged partiers returning home. ALL deaths have occurred early morning on eastbound Crandon; the last two with smashed up cars cruising into Key Biscayne. Would be nice if there were more visible control of motorists between 5:30AM-8:30AM !

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  4. The ride should go to the courthouse, city hall, police headquarters and department of transportation. That's where the ultimate responsibility needs to be put. Change must happen. Otherwise, get used to doing memorial rides on a regular basis.

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  5. Rydel- did you see the email that Jimmy M put out? You may want to make sure that your info matches what is "official" or at least plan so your ride gets to the official start on time. Oh and one vote for S Miami Ave, remember according to Florida law, cyclists can take the "rightmost" lane (or the whole lane when there is only one) but if you come down Brickell you will inevitably take up both lanes thereby breaking the law. We all do that at Critical Mass, but this is a different type of ride and should be respectful to Aaron's memory, fellow cyclists, and the law. Thanks for all you do. John Voss

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  6. John, this is not "my ride", it's a group ride with various organizations involved. The group leading the ride will be wearing yellow Esserman jerseys, they are Aaron's team.

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    1. Rydel-no worries. thanks for spreading the word and fighting the good fight.

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  7. Jimao:

    I don't live on Brickell Ave., but I frequently ride there in the course of my working day as a bikemessenger. Perhaps you can accept that, not that I care.

    However, if I'm traveling from the north, it is frequently more expeditious to use Brickell Ave.

    I have every right to use the public road and do so in a manner that respects the rights of others, regardless of their means of transportation.

    I have been doing so for about half a century. Not to mention nearly three decades of bikemessenger work.

    Your presumptous dogmatism is irritating; but your concommitant disrespect isn't hard to laugh off...

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  8. I went to the ride last year to support the riders. Yesterday I got HIT by a car & couldn't join the ride last night :( fracture arm. Could you believe it, on bike safe day

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