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Activists’ Warnings About Miami’s Brickell Avenue Prove Prophetic

11:25 AM EDT on April 8, 2011

Around the Network today: An avoidable tragedy shakes Miami, and reformers make progress in Seattle, but suffer a setback in Annapolis.

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Miami's Brickell Avenue Claims Another Victim: A cyclist is in critical condition after being hit by a driver on Miami's Brickell Avenue, a notoriously dangerous road. Felipe Azenha at Transit Miami reports that the cyclist is battling for his life. Miami bike and pedestrian activists have waged a passionate campaign to bring safety improvements and a reduced speed limit to Brickell. Meanwhile, the Florida Department of Transportation has done little to address the issue and in some cases its interventions have actually increased the danger to people walking or biking.

"When are our elected officials and the FDOT going to acknowledge that we have a serious problem on Brickell Avenue?" writes Azenha. "How many more people need to be critically injured or must die before they act? Where is our enforcement?"

Seattleites Fighting Highway Tunnel Get Measure on the Ballot: A group that is working to stop the Seattle deep-bore tunnel highway project has collected 28,000 signatures, enough to take the issue to the August ballot. Protect Seattle Now seeks to use the voter referendum to overturn right-of-way agreements between the city and state on this $4.2 billion traffic-generating underground highway project. A legal challenge to the group's effort has emerged from City Attorney Pete Holmes, PubliCola reports, while Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has said he supports the public's right to referendum.

Setback in Push to Reform Maryland's Vehicular Homicide Law: A bill that would have broadened the definition of vehicular homicide to encompass deaths caused by distracted driving and other negligent activities in addition to speeding and intoxication suffered a setback in Maryland Thursday. Senator Brian Frosh (D-Bethesda) told the media he is "ambivalent" about the new law and "opposed to creating criminal sanctions against drivers who kill someone as a result of socially acceptable forms of distracted driving, such as attending to a child in the back seat of a car," according to Wash Cycle. Frosh this week rejected the language that has been approved by the state's attorney general and has not indicated what would be necessary to win his support. Without his approval, the bill cannot be advanced to the Senate floor. Frosh did not respond to a Wash Cycle email seeking comment and time is running out. The Maryland legislature will adjourn on Monday.

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