Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tampa Council Tackles Bicycle Safety At Workshop

Thank you Tampa Councilwoman Mary Mulhern for leading today's bicycle safety workshop at this morning's council meeting.

Gena Torres, of the MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization), presented a summary of the bicycle safety action plan strategies. There will be a public meeting next month on the bike safety action plan and the Hillsborough County commissioners probably will get a look at it in March.

SWFBUD supports the bike safety action plan strategies as a positive first step in a broader move by Tampa and Hillsborough County to make this area more bicycle-friendly. It will require putting in shared road markings ("sharrows"), "bicycle-may-take-lane" signs, more paved trails, more bike lanes, education for motorists and bicyclists, a media campaign to create awareness and beefed-up police enforcement.

See the bicycle safety action plan proposals here.

Too many bicyclists have been killed in the Tampa Bay area and we need to take immediate action.

We cannot wait for sharrows and bike lanes to be striped only when roads are re-surfaced. We need Tampa to adopt a specific program that identifies roads and routes used by bicycles, with sharrows, bike lanes and sharrows on those roads.

Thank you to the bicyclists who attended this morning's workshop to speak out.

Jim Shirk, all-around bicycle volunteer and Bicycle-Ped Advisory Committee chairman, told the council members to act now and put the strategies into motion.

Myron told the council members that sharrows and connectivity are important, especially for linking downtown to the USF campus area and linking parks along the Hillsborough River.

Thank you Daniel for telling the council that he supports a police idea of putting pass bicyclists by 3 feet messages on the back of police cars' windows.

Kelly Benjamin, running for the District 6 Council seat, advises the council that safe bicycle infrastructure is part of the quality of life we need in Tampa.

Chip came from Seminole Heights to advise the council that forward-thinking cities embrace bicycling because gas, cars and roads are not endlessly sustainable.

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