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00000173-d94c-dc06-a17f-ddddb3f20000The Public Insight Network is all about listening to you. It relies on your personal experiences and expertise.Click here to sign up and tell us a little about yourself. Your knowledge informs the newsroom. We'll send you an occasional email asking if you have personal experience or expertise on a story we are covering. The information goes to our Public Insight Network analyst, Katie Lepri, who will look for coverage ideas as well as potential sources. You may then be contacted with further questions or for a formal interview. Any information you provide is confidential and is not used for marketing, fundraising or advertising purposes. Anything you tell us will only be published with your permission by the Miami Herald Media Company, which includes El Nuevo Herald and WLRN. Learn more about our confidentiality and privacy policy. Below, take a look at the stories network participants have helped inform.

Close Call At Hairy Intersection Shows Need For Bicycle Education

One particular evening will always stick with me. I was commuting home from work and at the intersection of U.S. 1 and Southwest 27th Avenue, which is a pretty intense during evening rush hour.

As I crossed the intersection, I was cut off by a driver who was clearly unaware of my presence, despite the bike lane. The car came within inches of my bike. Being familiar with this intersection, I know when and where I need to be watching. Had I not known where to look, I would not have been able to break in time.

Then a second person cut me off. This driver was aware of my presence but chose to speed up and swerve around me. This memory highlights a couple of things: the lack of awareness drivers have for people on bikes and the lack of concern for our safety. The fact that this person's time is so precious as to make them risk my life and safety is quite sad.

The development of bicycle infrastructure in South Florida is moving slowly, but I'm grateful it is happening. What local governments could do better is public education. There are too many people who think they don’t need to share the road with someone on a bicycle. Government outreach on the issue isn’t a panacea for this problem, but it's a good start – and certainly an important piece to the puzzle.

The fact that people are actually talking about transportation alternatives is a good sign. Everyone driving their own car for every trip won't be feasible for much longer, not to mention the inefficiencies and waste it creates. Riding the bus, your bike, or train shouldn't carry a stigma any longer.

A New Orleanian by birth, Ryan Shedd recently moved to Miami from upstate New York. Ryan lives in Coconut Grove and works as an AmeriCorps VISTA member with Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida.

This post came from a member of the Public Insight Network, an online community of people who have agreed to share their opinions with the Miami Herald and WLRN. Become a news source by going to WLRN.org/Insight.

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