BY ROBERT SAMUELS AND ANDRES VIGLUCCI CRLINE AVIGLUCCI@MIAMIHERALD.COM
About 2,500 Miami cyclists joined two memorial rides Sunday to honor Christophe Le Canne, the cyclist killed by an alleged drunk driver on the Rickenbacker Causeway.
Le Canne’s family appeared alongside a bike spray-painted white and a wreath set up in honor of their 44-year-old relative.
The rides were organized to call attention to what organizers say is the need for improved safety measures for cyclists along the popular Rickenbacker and Crandon Boulevard routes into Key Biscayne.
“We’re trying to honor Mr. La Canne and at the same time we want to bring attention to the safety issue,’’ said Dr. Allan Levi, chief of neurosurgery at the University of Miami Hospital, an organizer of one of the rides.
Among measures Levi said need to be considered: Lower speed limits on the causeway, as well as some sort of barrier or physical separation between motorists and bicycle lanes.
Cyclists are also asking for a solution to a gap in fire-rescue coverage for a large swath of Key Biscayne and Virginia Keys.
Witnesses said it took more than 15 minutes for fire-rescue to arrive after La Canne was struck, a delay blamed in part on the reduction in operating hours of a nearby Miami-Dade firehouse. Emergency operators also apparently failed to call closer Key Biscayne and City of Miami firehouses.
The man who allegedly hit Le Canne, Carlos Bertonatti of Key Biscayne, has been charged with multiple felonies, including DUI manslaughter. Bertonatti, who according to his attorney is a legal U.S. resident born in Venezuela, was released from jail on bail.