There are things that look nice, as if the government is thinking and taking care of us, but once you analyze it deeply, you can see it was (or is) just a waste of time and money.
The problem is not always the government, but the poor mentality of the users. For instance, the people that live or cut across Miami Beach everyday.
I suppose drawing bike lanes on 71 Street did not cost millions of dollars, however, I bet it has cost more than a person's yearly salary, considering the high price of public contracts. I remember the street being closed, trucks here and there, tons of possibly highly paid slow workers, police, inconvenience and all that. This deployment of equipment and people does cost money, taxpayer's money.
The idea is excellent, however, most of the people that do use bikes as a mode of transportation in Miami Beach do not use such lanes. They continue to ride their bikes at full speed, on the sidewalk.
When the sidewalk is wide, as in front of the theater, I reckon sharing it with a racing bike is not a problem. The trouble arises when you are leisurely walking on the bridge after Bay Road. The sidewalk there is narrow, and cyclists seem to love startling passersby. They will certainly curse and wave their hands at you (or give you the finger) if you point out there is a bike lane.
Maybe they have not been properly educated, or they fear being hit by a car. However, I have walked on that bridge many times, and have seem elderly folks, often carrying groceries, working through the bridge. Plus small children and small animals. One of these days, a raging Lance Armstrong wannabe will definitely hit an old lady and throw her down the bay. Then what?
Is the use of these bike lanes optional? If not, I suppose the police should start looking into these bikers, lest the city be hit with onerous lawsuits from injured pedestrians. Because that is what is going to happen
Talking about the elderly, small children, and small animals...There is a gym on 71s Street, a cross fit gym near Collins Avenue, which uses the sidewalks as its private race track. Part of the training, I suppose, is racing around the block once.
This is another accident waiting to happen. These people run, sometimes carrying weights, with no regard whatsoever for the people who are walking on the street. At the corner of Harding and Seventy First, they race very close to the wall when making the turn (see the picture below, taken from their own site!), and I have nearly been hit a few times. Some of these dudes are huge, and getting hit by one of them at full speed, carrying weight, is similar to being run over by a small truck!
Additional trouble is, there is a store at that corner, and I can surely envision another elderly lady carrying groceries being stampeded by people who care much for their bodies, little for anything (or anybody) else.
The restaurants at Collins Avenue, which, by the way, pay an arm and a leg for rental, must also love the sweaty, high speed people almost crashing into their patrons.
I could understand if this were a neighborhood without parks, or proper venues to practice sport. But the fact is, one short block away from the gym, there is a wonderfully wide promenade built for running, which could be used by these folks without endangering the lives of old folks, small children or just regular adults.
Will anything be done?
PICTURE FROM THE GYM'S SITE