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Cyclists Gather Over Concerns For Safety Amid Deaths

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- Cyclists in South Florida are demanding changes to make roads safer for them.

A group of cyclists met at Mack Cycle Miami located at 5995 Sunset Drive starting at 3:00 p.m.

The Executive Director of Florida Bicycle was at the meeting to hear concerns from the cycling community.

CLICK HERE To Watch Travell Eiland's Report 

The event comes more than a week after the death of a fellow cyclist, Walter Reyes, 51, who died after a driver slammed into him and another cyclist in the early morning hours of January 21st. Reyes died on the scene. The other cyclist, Henry Hernandez, 40, was taken to Mercy Hospital.

Police arrested 21-year old Alejandro Alvarez in connection to the deadly crash.

He is facing multiple charges, including leaving the scene of a crash involving death and DUI manslaughter.

Reyes's death adds to the number of cyclist killed in the area.

"The deaths on the causeway have become and epidemic we have 3 deaths in five years with the same set of circumstances," said cyclists Sue Kawalerski.

On January 17, 2010 Christophe LeCanne was struck and killed on the Rickenbacker Causeway by hit and run driver who later plead guilty to DUI manslaughter and is now facing 12 years in prison.

In February 2012, Aaron Cohen was riding along the Causeway with his friend when a hit-and-run driver slammed into them. Cohen was killed and the driver was found guilty and charged with Cohen's death.

Now the riders are calling on county leaders to make immediate changes to the Rickenbacker that would give more separation between traffic and bikers.

"We have a six-lane highway through a park system. Who would ever design a six-lane highway through a park system? It's because we built parks around it," said South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard.

Urban planner Bernard Zyscovich was at Saturday's cyclists meeting.

He has been working on an idea to make the causeway safer for runners and bicyclist.

He suggested redesigning the causeway from a six-lane highway into four lanes, and expanding the lanes for bikers and runners.

It's a long term safety plan for bikers and the county planners will have to approve it.

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