Wednesday, February 24, 2010

SWFBUD Asks Tampa To Allow Bicycling In Curtis Hixon Park

Dear Karen Palus, director of parks and recreation, city of Tampa:

It's come to my attention that several bicyclists have been told by security at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park that it is not legal to ride a bicycle in this park.

I am writing on behalf of SWFBUD (South West Florida Bicycle United Dealers), a consortium of nine Tampa Bay area bicycle stores representing thousands of bicyclists, to suggest to you that the city should ALLOW bicycle riding in Curtis Hixon Park. Unfortunately, the city government's reputation for not being friendly, hospitable and accommodating to bicyclists as depicted in several national reports only gets worse when security tells people to stop riding a bicycle in this new big park.

Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park is an important transition area from the city's riverwalk where people can ride a bicycle to the city's downtown and Ashley Street. The city of St. Petersburg has many waterfront parks that compare favorably to Curtis Hixon and it's a common sight to see bicyclists pedaling through the parks that border St. Petersburg's waterfront.

I hope the city of Tampa's government can take steps to change its unfortunate reputation as a city not friendly to bicyclists and allow bicycle riding in the park. I contacted your department via the TampaGov Customer Service Center regarding this issue, but never heard back.

I also recommend you add more bike racks to the park. On the park's opening day in January, I saw many bicycles locked to the riverwalk railing and also lying on the grass in the park. Bike racks are a good way of getting people to ride their bikes to the park and surrounding businesses while allowing bicyclists to lock their bikes in a secure area.

Thank you,

Alan Snel

Director of SWFBUD -- South West Florida Bicycle United Dealers
A nationally-recognized consortium of 9 Tampa Bay-area retail bicycle stores committed to bicycle advocacy
Organizer of the Bicycle Bash festival, Florida's 2007 Bicycle Event of the Year


CyclerJim said...

I rode to the downtown library and made a stop to check out the park. I cracked up laughing when I saw the "bike racks" near the dog area. The design is right, but they are obviously meant for very little bicycles. Perhaps they were thinking of clown bikes. I could only find a total of FOUR racks. That is ridiculous. I take photos of bike racks all over the bay area, and I just checked one of them. In just one location on Clearwater's Beach Walk there are TWENTY racks. And of course they are large enough to accommodate any size bike. There are ten at the Clearwater Library. And the John F. Germany library bike racks are placed as far from the building as possible, which is standard procedure for Hillsborough County libraries. I'm surprised they didn't place them on the other side of Ashley Drive.

GhostRider said...

In defense of the bike racks at JFG, the staff is looking into having the racks moved closer to the front of the building...there have been a rash of bike thefts and the feeling is that the racks are too "out of sight" -- therefore the talk about moving them.

Gordon said...

We were there Sunday 2/21 when two city workers in a golf cart stopped a man with two small children and asked them to stop riding their bikes. I thought the children were going to cry. It wasn't like they were doing track stands and skid stops through the middle of someone’s picnic. Thanks for nothing City of Tampa!

Ellen said...

Hey, I have ridden through the park about 4 times now. I have not been asked to stop riding yet. Maybe I am just too fast.........nope.

SWFBUD said...

It seems some bicyclists are stopped. Some are not.