More safety measures are being put in place on the Rickenbacker Causeway in the wake of recent deadly crashes involving bicyclists.
A bicycle pilot program was launched early Tuesday morning, which Det. Luis Sierra of the Miami-Dade Police Department said was done in an effort to better protect bicyclists and pedestrians while making the roadway safer for all.
“There have been a few accidents,“ Sierra said. "There have been issues with bicyclists and drivers. Our motors unit is here to ensure that the cyclists can have a safe ride with other units that are blocking strategic intersections.”
The program comes less than two months after Yaudys Vera and Ogniana Reyes were struck and killed by a Jeep on the causeway.
According to the crash report released May 20th, the 42-year-old driver of the Jeep was "inattentive" and "asleep or fatigued" at the time of the crash.
Miami-Dade County began the process of trying to make roadways safer for those on two wheels as well as four wheels.
Barriers were in the process of being placed along sections of the roadway, a decision made in mid-May and announced by county Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.
Junior Peña usually rides along the causeway and took part in the program, saying police blocked both right and left lanes but they still had the same issues.
“There is always a front leader and a back leader called sweeper and that sweeper can connect with the officer to let them know when we will change lanes," Pena said. "That is usually the only risk factor we have in the morning when we are changing lanes to make a U-turn.“
Police will be assisting riders for the next two weeks and hope to collect enough data to find a solution. Peña said he is hopeful.
“There will be a little education on the cyclists' side and on the drivers' side where we can come to better agreement," he said.
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