Thursday, May 13, 2010
Tonight's Transit Tax Message: Bicycling Is Transportation
Bicycling is transportation -- that was the message I delivered tonight at the county's transit tax hearing.
I led a SWFBUD bike ride to the hearing at the All Peoples community center next to King High School off Sligh Avenue. There was a nice bicycle turnout among the more than 125 speakers, including Jim Shirk, Julie Bond from Tampa Bay Cycle, Jessica Brenner from the University of South Florida and big Tom, a bike-commuting maven who attends many bike events.
When I addressed the commission, I invited Commissioner Jim Norman to ride a bike. He gave me the thumb's up -- so I'm going to hold him to that.
My message was simple: bicycling effectively and efficiently blends into the tax proposal's three parts -- light rail, buses and road improvements.
Here's Jim Shirk, who is amazing and selfless bicycle volunteer who was honored this week by the Florida Bicycle Association as "Volunteer of the Year" in Florida. That's Mayor Light Rail Iorio in the background.
While Jim is chatting to the county commission, check out Commissioner Kevin White. He doesn't seem to be paying much attention to the speaker. That's because texting is far more important.
There here is, more texting during the meeting.
We had a great bicyclist turnout tonight. Here's Jessica from the University of South Florida advising the commissioners on the importance of bicycling.
On the way home, Bridget, Dale, Jim, Margaret and I biked along Hanna Avenue back to Seminole Heights. We all had front lights to safely navigate home. I liked this shot.
In the end, the county commissioners approved putting the penny sales tax transit proposal on the November ballot. Light Rail Pam as happy about that.