Miami is a city where public transportation is a punchline and where every major roadway turns into a parking lot from the hours of 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. And with gas prices soaring to Sell-A-Kidney-To-Fill-Up-Your-Tank status, owning a car is becoming a real pain in the ass.
Maybe that’s why so many commuters are opting to go the way of scooters, motorcycles and bikes to get around town? And I think that should be applauded. More people should consider going the greener, less expensive route of commuting around our fair city.
I mean, with Miami-Dade supporting bike-friendly initiatives like DecoBike on the beach, awesome groups like the Miami Bike Scene and with events like Critical Mass happening in our city, you would think that people would be ready for bikers on the roadways…
But guess what, Miami? They are not.
The thing is, and I say this with as much respect as I can muster…Miami drivers are real assholes.
I know that most of you already knew this from your experiences in the little game I like to call, “DRIVE IN MIAMI, TRY NOT TO DIE!” that we play each day on the Dade County roadways, but it’s a whole other jungle of WTF out there for civilians who are not protected by cars and airbags and steel and brawn.
That little old lady from Hialeah who almost sideswiped your car in traffic this morning might have missed you by an inch, but what if she hadn’t? You might have had yourself a car accident, your car might have been damaged, there would have been insurance to call and claims to make.
But what about our friends on bikes, scooters and motorcycles?
They can’t call Allstate and file a claim for a new arm or leg. They certainly can’t brush off a cracked skull or ruptured spleen with a casual, “There’s no real damage. Let’s not call the cops.”
Every time you casually apply makeup and drink coffee and eat your breakfast McMuffin on the road, each time you drive with your knee so you can text your friend that you are on your way, you are THISFUCKINGCLOSE to vehicular manslaughter. You could kill someone who is just trying to make their way home to their family.
I am talking to all of you out there in Miami, myself included. We are not being alert. We are not driving safely. We are injuring and killing people on the roadways here in the 305 and it ain’t right.
The statistics alone should make you worry, put your cellphone down and check your blind spots more than once while you drive.
According to the Department of Highway Safety, 12 cyclists and 65 pedestrians were killed by Miami’s shitaceous drivers in 2009. Not to mention that 454 people were injured, too.
That was three years ago. Imagine the statistics today. Just know that the amount of hit-and-run accidents in Miami is increasing by leaps and bounds. Just this weekend, seven people died in three different accidents were pedestrians being run over were involved.
And earlier this year the biking community was rocked by the death of one of their own, Aaron Cohen, when he and another biker where hit by Michele Traverso on the Rickenbacker Causeway. Traverso fled the scene, but later turned himself into police.
But wait, it gets worse.
Local artist and hero, Ahol Sniffs Glue was also the victim of a hit-and-run when an older woman struck his scooter on 71st and Biscayne, on June 20th. The woman, a pale-faced, orange-haired shitty driver, literally rammed into Ahol and then left the scene like a bad-trip phantom.
According to Ahol, “The car’s bumper was over me and the scooter was on my leg, and she backed up and it pushed the scooter off me, and she opened the door…I could swear she stuck her head out and said, ‘sorry,’ then she drove off.”
Luckily, Ahol only suffered minor injuries.
Not so for the latest victim of shitty Miami drivers, local artist Monica Travis from Right Angle Studios.
She was on her motorcycle on the morning of June 26th and was hit by a van and then subsequently run over by another car. She received multiple compound fractures in one arm, a broken hip, had collapsed lungs and her spleen has been removed. She will require multiple surgeries to recover.
Think about that.
One day you’re a burgeoning artist and sculptor, on your way to work, not a care in the world…and the next you are mangled and will be recovering for years from the mistake one driver made.
The thought of that should be terrifying and eye-opening to all of you.
As of today, a PayPal account has been set up for Monica Travis so that people can donate to her recovery. You can sign in and send money/inquiries through HelpMonicaTravis@gmail.com.
However, unless Miami drivers slow the fuck down and stop driving like comepingas, Monica won’t be the last accident we hear of this year, that’s for sure.
Miami, I leave you with this:
Driving is a privilege. It requires skill and ability, that’s why they make you take a goddamn test and issue you a license. Don’t abuse that privilege. Don’t drive like you are too fast and too furious, because you aren’t. Don’t get fucking wasted and get on the roadways because it’s irresponsible and dangerous. STOP MULTITASKING ON YOUR COMMUTES AROUND THE CITY! You wouldn’t update your Facebook status or text your mom while you were fucking, right? SO DON’T DO IT WHILE YOU ARE DRIVING.
Because while your own, personal safety is clearly not a concern, the safety of others should be. No man is an island and no man is alone on the streets of the 305. You share the roadways with pedestrians, motorcyclists, cyclists, rollerbladers, people on scooters and gentlemen selling 10 limones para un peso…KEEP THEM SAFE.
And if you need anymore convincing that driving like an asshole is not a good plan, take a look at Ahol’s crushed scooter up there. Take a long look at Aaron Cohen and his little girl, who will grow up without her daddy. Take a look at Monica Travis, who has a long road of surgery and recovery ahead of her.
These are real people who are being mowed down in traffic. That shit is unacceptable.
Hey, Miami…slow the fuck down.