If you think it's dangerous to ride a bicycle in the Tampa Bay area consider the perils of the oldest form of transportation: walking. Tampa Bay ranks as the SECOND most dangerous place to walk in the country, according to a report released Monday.
Places that are dangerous to walk or ride a bicycle do not thrive as quality-of-life communities and there are economic consequences for cities such as Tampa that are not committed to building adequate infrastructure for pedestrians and bicyclists. People do not use businesses as much as they would if it's unsafe to bike or walk to them.
Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio is a nice lady who says all the right things publicly, but the bottom line is that she has failed to financially support public works-transportation projects that would make Tampa a safe place to walk and ride a bicycle. She gets an F for pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure.
Kudos to Hillsborough County Commissioner Mark Sharpe who posted the pedestrian report on Facebook. Sharpe -- along with Tampa City Councilwoman Linda Saul-Sena -- is the only politician in Hillsborough County who understands that cities only flourish when they embrace, design and build infrastructure that accommodates pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users -- and not just cars.