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Accidents In Miami-Dade's 'Bike District' Prompt Safety Campaign Focused On South Dade

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Courtesy of Miami-Dade County District 8 staff
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County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava and triathletes and cyclists from local clubs dedicated a Ghost Bike in memory of Bharath "Reddy" Narahari, who died following a collision near Black Point Marina in January.

South Miami-Dade County is a popular destination for cyclists because of its national parks, fruit stands and (by South Florida standards) open roads.

Recent bike-car collisions in the area have prompted a push to educate cyclists and drivers on how to share the roads safely.

Miami-Dade Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava, whose district includes Homestead, Cutler Bay and Palmetto Bay, created the "Dead Serious" campaign after the January death of a triathlete cycling near Black Point Marina and a recent accident in which her husband suffered a broken arm after being hit by a car while riding.

"South Dade is the 'bike district," Levine Cava said in an interview on Tuesday. "We are particularly attractive to bicyclists and also perilous to bicyclists, so it really is incumbent on us to do more."

Miami-Dade's Parks Department, the American Automobile Association and police from Miami-Dade County, Coral Gables, Pinecrest and Cutler Bay are among the campaign partners. Levine Cava said the groups will be redoubling their public education efforts, with a focus on drivers' and cyclists' rights and responsibilities.

"It is the bicyclists' right to be in the road," she said, but "they have to follow certain safety rules as well. They can't occupy the entire road."

The commissioner was among a crowd that gathered Sunday to dedicate a "ghost bike" memorial to Bharath "Reddy" Narahari, the triathlete who died in the January accident that also injured another cyclist. Friends of Narahari's have organized a monthly run at Black Point in his honor; event information can be found on Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #alwaysReddy.