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Miami Beach Police Gave Tickets To 108 Lincoln Road Cyclists in Two Days

Miami Beach Police Gave Tickets To 108 Lincoln Road Cyclists in Two Days

Postby smix » Fri Apr 08, 2016 12:19 pm

Miami Beach Police Gave Tickets To 108 Lincoln Road Cyclists in Two Days
Miami New Times

URL: http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/miami ... ys-6529476
Category: Legal
Published: December 4, 2014

Description: Joseph Gagliardo, a longtime South Beach resident, returned home last week from a long trip. As he had for years, he cycled from his home on the Venetian Causeway over to Lincoln Road. For a block or so he slowly pedaled east down the virtually empty mall, only to be suddenly stopped by a police officer. The cop pointed to a small blue sign several feet away and high above Gagliardo's sight line. Then he politely issued him a $129 citation. Gagliardo was far from alone. In just the first two days of ticketing for the brand new offense, MBPD issued a total of 108 citations. The city says it worked to educate residents about the change, but some longtime riders like Gagliardo complain the new signs are tough to spot. "It just says 'Pedestrian Friendly Zone', Gagliardo says. "It doesn't say 'It's illegal: You're going to get a fine.'" The first hint at the new rules came about a month ago, when many Miami residents and tourists were shocked to see two massive electronic signs on Lincoln Road announcing bicycling was prohibited between the hours of 9 am and 2 am. For a few weeks, the Miami Beach Police Department handed out verbal and written warnings to cyclists who violated the rule; MBPD issued 663 verbal warnings and distributed 616 fliers between October 28 and November 25, data shared with Riptide shows, presumably all before the actual citations were first issued on November 24. "The goal is to change the behavior of those in violation and to keep the pedestrians on Lincoln Road safe," Detective Vivian Thayer, a police spokesperson, told Riptide when the police began issuing the fines. But many cyclists don't think the department's enforcement has been fair, or that the new, permanent signs attached to street corners -- small and easy to miss even for pedestrians strolling down the street -- provide adequate warning. Gagliardo, who hadn't noticed any sign at all, was floored. Even as he realized he had technically broken a rule he didn't know existed, he also hardly posed a safety hazard: The mall was empty, and he was riding slowly and carefully. He says the officer issuing the citation even admitted to him that the fine seemed heavy-handed, but said he was under direction to give out the citations indiscriminately, with no leeway or further warnings allowed even for the most minor-seeming cycling offense. "I thought it was extremely unfair," said Gagliardo, who has since avoided the road altogether as a boycott. "How could something that was encouraged all of a sudden be enforced with this iron fist?"
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Miami Beach Police Are Now Handing Out $129 Tickets To Cyclists on Lincoln Road

Postby smix » Fri Apr 08, 2016 12:31 pm

Miami Beach Police Are Now Handing Out $129 Tickets To Cyclists on Lincoln Road
New Miami Times

URL: http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/miami ... ad-6554003
Category: Legal
Published: November 25, 2014

Description: Last week Riptide reported on the new digital signs on Lincoln Road announcing that riding bicycles on the pedestrian mall is prohibited between 9 am and 2 am. But at that point, police weren't actually issuing citations to offenders of the rule passed a few months ago. That changed yesterday, according to Miami Beach spokesperson Detective Vivian Thayer. Along with new, permanent signs on the Lincoln Road, cops have been directed to start handing out tickets. In an email, Thayer confirmed that a department major on Monday instructed officers to begin issuing $129 non-moving violation Uniform Traffic Citations to anyone violating the law by riding a bicycle, segway, or skateboard along the pedestrian mall during the prohibited hours. (Which is, of course, anytime except in the middle of the night.) "MBPD, New signage has been placed along Lincoln Road clearly warning not to ride bicycles, Segway's, other motorized vehicles and skateboards," the email said. "We are starting strict enforcement ... Please take enforcement action when you observe any of these violations." For several days until yesterday, Thayer told Riptide, officers had been issuing verbal and written warnings to offenders, but not actual citations. "The goal," the spokesperson said, "is to change the behavior of those in violation and to keep the pedestrians on Lincoln Road safe." When we chatted with cyclists on Lincoln last week, many were tourists with slim understanding of the signs or the new rules. The nearby DecoBike stations and the racks on Lincoln with dozens of locked up bikes didn't help the confusion. Will MBPD really hand out fines to the dozens of befuddled tourists biking around Lincoln every day? We'll check in later this week to see how many citations were handed out. In the meantime, keep your wheels off Lincoln Road unless you want to risk a $129 hit to your wallet.
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