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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Update on HB 231: Rep. Passidomo's bike safety bill

One of BikeWalkLee's legislative priorities for the upcoming 2015 FL Legislative session is the passage of Rep. Kathleen Passidomo's bill (HB 231) focused on cycling safety.  The legislative session is well underway so you need to hurry to ask our state elected officials to support HB 231 (and SB 903 sponsored by Senator Altman). Click here for the text of the bill, and click here to track the bill as it winds its way through the Florida Legislature.

Update on HB 231/SB 903)
Advocate Tish Kelly (wife of Chuck Kelly, the cyclist seriously injured who is Passidomo's law partner) has spent much of the March up in Tally pressing for action on this bike safety bill, working closely with the bill's sponsor, Rep. Kathleen Passidomo and her co-sponsor, Heather Fitzenhagen (both part of SWFL delegation).  The bill has made it through 3 House committee and 1 Senate Committee as of yesterday.  Tomorrow (3/26) it is considered by the Senate Transportation Committee.

L to R: Senator Altman, Tish Kelly, and Rep. Passidomo
Tish has been keeping us up-to-date via Facebook posts and emails.  Here's her FB 3/24/15 post:
"HB 231 (bike safety bill) passed in the House Criminal Justice subcommittee in an unanimous vote today !! They got it. Nice caring people. All of you that emailed and called in with support made a difference . Thank you! On to the next round !"

 To contact the state legislators, see list and contact info at the end of this editorial: News-Press Editorial: Cyclists deserve to be protected, safe.
Previous BikeWalkLee posts on topic:

BWL Blog: March 7, 2015: News-Press Editorial: Cyclists deserve to be protected, safe   As part of NP editorial that accompanied their 3/8 feature on biking safety, they strongly supported the Passidomo bill and urged citizens to contact their elected state legislators.

BWL Blog: February 20, 2015:Lee MPO sends letter to Lee Legislative Delegation in support of Rep. Passidomo's bike/ped safety bill (HB 231)
At 2/20 Lee MPO Board meeting the members approved sending a letter in support of HB 231 to the Lee Legislative delegation, asking them to enact the bill this legislative session.  BikeWalkLee spoke in support of the proposal and applauds the Board for taking action.

BWL Blog: February 10, 2015:Editorial: Naples lawmaker's bill helps address cycling conflicts


"Safer Streets, Stronger Economies" report--making the case for complete streets

Great ideas and data from other communities that can be helpful to Lee County communities as they initiate and/or implement their complete streets policies.
On 3/24/15, Smart Growth America's National Complete Streets Coalition released their new report, Safer Streets, Stronger Economies. The new report analyzes data from 37 Complete Streets projects across the country, and explores the outcomes communities got for their investment.  

What have communities gotten for their investments in Complete Streets? Fewer automobile collisions and injuries, and more people biking, walking, and taking transit. These projects were inexpensive yet can be effective, and were related to broader economic gains.  Here's the bottomline:  whether it’s planting trees or adding crosswalks, making travel lanes narrower or creating space for people on bikes, hundreds of communities are changing how their streets look and work—and getting a great return on public investment in the process. Read the full findings of the new research.

These are the findings in simple graphics:

Streets were usually safer: Automobile collisions declined in 70 percent of projects, and injuries declined in 56 percent of projects.
This safety has financial value: Within our sample, Complete Streets improvements collectively averted $18.1 million in total collision costs in just one year.
The projects encouraged multimodal travel: Complete Streets projects nearly always resulted in more biking, walking, and transit trips.
Complete Streets projects are cheap: The average cost of a Complete Streets project was just $2.1 million—far less than the $9 million average cost of projects in state transportation improvement plans. 
They can be an important part of economic development:Our findings suggest that Complete Streets projects were supportive of increased employment, net new businesses, higher property values, and new private investment.

Here's also a link to the Streetsblog 3/25/15 story: Making the Case for Complete Streets

This complete street redesign in Hamburg, New York, decreased collisions 57 percent. Photo: Smart Growth America
This street redesign in Hamburg, New York, decreased collisions 57 percent. Photo: Smart Growth America

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Introducing WalkWiseLee

Part of an organization, service club, church, business, or neighborhood association and looking for an informative (and free) presentation to your members? Here's your chance to have Dan Moser come and make a presentation on the new FDOT initiative called WalkWiseLee that provides innovative pedestrian safety education.

Dan Moser (R) gears up for his new role in WalkWiseLee

The Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) at University of South Florida and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) announces a program new to Lee County that you may be interested in taking advantage of for your residents, clients, or organization's members.

WalkWiseLee is an initiative that provides innovative pedestrian safety education to any group at no cost. As you know, traffic safety affects everyone, being that we are all part of it at some point during our day, particularly as pedestrians when we walk for practical purposes, exercise, or recreation. What you may not know is that Lee County is one of ten counties in Florida being targeted due to its poor traffic crash, injury, and fatality record.

The WalkWiseLee campaign provides an informative and interactive 15- to 30-minute presentation with time for discussion for anyone living or working within Lee County. All that's needed is an invitation from you and appropriate place to hold the presentation. Any club, association, business, church, or other group interested can make the request and we'll schedule it to fit your needs.

Please contact at Dan Moser dan@bikepedmatters.com or (239) 334-6417 for more information and to request a presentation.

News-Press and BikeWalkLee brought community conversation on bike safety solutions to Royal Palm Classic

As reported in our March 17th blog post, Groups seek bike safety solutions at Caloosa Riders event ,
News-Press reporters and officials along with the BikeWalkLee team, brought the community conversation about bike safety solutions to Sunday's Royal Palm Classic.  Below are some of the photos from Sunday.  Thanks to everyone who participated in the conversations!

BikeWalkLee's bike lights campaign initiated by Cindy Banyai...here are her photos and message (posted on BWL Facebook page:

 #‎6ftFlagSWFL2015‬ out spreading the word on safety and raising funds for our Bike Lights Campaign. You can help us too! http://de.gofund.me/SWFL6ftflag_lights

Darla's photos from the News-Press and BWL conversations (posted on BWL's FB page):
BikeWalkLee added 14 new photos to the album: Royal Palm Classic 2015 — with Steve Rodgers and Jennifer Bowen at Fort Myers Brewing Company.

 'BWL's Dan Moser and Cindy Banyai at our booth.'

 'Steve Rodgers was one of Caloosa Riders organizers of event.  GREAT job!!'

News-Press has a great online photo album gallery from the 17th annual Royal Palm Classic, with dozens of photos.  Check it out!

Coastline Cyclery joins BikeWalkLee coalition

Join BikeWalkLee in welcoming Coastline Cyclery, a new Lee County bike shop, to our network of supporter organizations, for a total of 67.

Coastline Cyclery is the newest bike shop to arrive on the Lee County landscape, located at
12951 Metro Parkway, Ste 15
Fort Myers, FL 33966

We met them at the March 22nd Royal Palm Classic where they hosted rest stop #2.  Riding team BWL (aka Darla and Kelly) not only had refreshments at the stop, but talked to Team Coastline Cyclery about BikeWalkLee and invited them to join our network, which includes many of the county's bike shops. So, we're delighted that they are now a BWL supporter organization.

Owner Ben Eastburn is a longtime cyclist and turned his passion into becoming a bike mechanic, where he trained at the prestigious Barnett Bicycle Institute for Bicycle Mechanics.  Ben says, "I want to bring that passion for the bicycling to others.  So, through Coastline Cyclery I hope to meet other bicycle enthusiast and introduce others to the freedom that bicycling offers."

Coastline Cyclery is a full service bike shop, with bikes to sell and rent, and a focus on repairs.  They have a Mobile Repair Unit, so if you want your bike repaired while you're at work, just drop it off or they can pick it up and return.  Or they can do most repairs at your home.

We hope you'll welcome Coastline Cyclery to the bicycle shop community and to BikeWalkLee.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

March 23rd: Upcoming running/biking events

Upcoming events 

Royal Palm Classic on 3/22/15

·         Saturday, March 28: The Chocolate Fantasia 7K Night Run, 117 Herald Court, Punta Gorda. Race starts at 8:30 p.m. and course includes the city waterfront. Benefits 1-2-3 Runners Inc. and The Tender Hearts Partnership. (www.active.com)
·         Saturday, March 28: Lipman’s Run for Backpacks, 5K and Junior Fun Run. Kickoff for the Celebrate Immokalee festivities, starts at 165 Airpark Blvd., Immokalee. Registration opens 6:30 a.m., 5K starts at 8 a.m. (www.lipmanproduce.com)
·         Saturday, April 4: 9th annual Harbour Heights 5K, and a new half-marathon. Harbour Heights Park • 27420 Voyageur Dr Punta Gorda. Proceeds benefit  Autism Speaks and local facilities. (www.active.com)
·         Saturday, April 11: African Aid 5K, to support World Vision. New Hope Presbyterian Church,  3825 McGregor Blvd. Race starts at 7:30 a.m. (www.fortmyerstrackclub.com)
·         Saturday, April 18: Verot Viking 5K paint run/walk. Bishop Verot Catholic High School. Registration 6:30 a.m., run 7:30 a.m. (www.fortmyerstrackclub.com)
·         Saturday, April 18: The Fast and the Furriest 5K Run & 1 Mile Walk, Hammond Stadium, Fort Myers. Support the Gulf Coast Humane Society. Registration with and without dogs. Race starts at 8:05 a.m. (www.active.com)
·         Saturday, May 9: 10th annual Turtle Trot 5K at Lovers Key, to support The Friends of Lovers Key, Inc. Trail course on shell paths (no sand). Registration 7 a.m. (www.fortmyerstrackclub.com)

Cycling and other events:
CRBC's 3/22/15 Royal Palm Classic
·   Saturday, March 28: Pedal and Play, Punta Gorda. 62-, 30-, 15- and 10-mile rides, plus a City Manager’s History Tour. Includes breakfast and lunch, rest stops for the longer rides. Register and info online at www.facebook.com/PedalAndPlay or http://pedalandplayinparadise.com/.
·         Friday, April 3: Critical Mass Ride: Family fun slow ride through Fort Myers. Front & rear bike lights required. Grab your helmet, bring all your friends and meet in open field next to Publix at First Street Village, 2160 McGregor Blvd. Fort Myers, FL. (www.SWFLCM.com)
·         Sunday, April 12: Everglades Ride. 16- and 62-mile smooth rides, 27-mile bumpy (off-road) ride. Benefits Friends of Fakahatchee and the River of Grass Greenway. (http://raceroster.com/events/2015/4895/everglades-ride)
·         Sunday, April 12: Southwest Florida Tour de Cure for the American Diabetes Association.  Distances are 10, 35, 62 and 100 miles; registration $25 and fund-raising minimum $200. 8131 Lakewood Main Street, Lakewood Ranch, FL. (http://main.diabetes.org/site/TR/TourdeCure/TourAdmin?pg=entry&fr_id=10181)
·         Sunday, April 19: Immokalee Ride for Literacy, 15-, 30-, 45- and 62-mile rides starting at 8 a.m. Proceeds benefit The Family Literacy Academy of Immokalee. (www.caloosariders.org)
·         Friday, May 1: Critical Mass Ride: Join our May Day family fun slow ride through Fort Myers. Front and rear bike lights required. Grab your helmet, bring all your friends and meet in open field next to Publix at First Street Village, 2160 McGregor Blvd. Fort Myers, FL. (www.SWFLCM.com)

·         Wednesday, May 20: Ride of Silence, to honor cyclists killed or injured while cycling on public roadways. Leaves at 7 p.m. from Centennial Park, 2000 West First Street, Fort Myers. Riders are requested to wear black armbands, or red if they have personally been injured in a cycling vs. motor vehicle accident. Free, no registration necessary.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

City of Cape Coral joins USDOT Secretary's "Mayors Challenge for Safer People, Safer Streets"

Congratulations to the City of Cape Coral, Lee County's largest city, that also signed up for the Mayors Challenge yesterday! [See blog about Bonita City Council's action yesterday.] 

 Mayor Marni Sawicki attended the US Conference of Mayors conference in Washington in January and heard USDOT Secretary Anthony Foxx's launch of the Mayors Challenge and came back with a plan for the City of Cape Coral to be part of this national initiative focused on improving safety for people walking and biking.  Yesterday, with the support of the City Council and staff, Cape Coral made it official.  BikeWalkLee would like to thank Mayor Sawicki, Councilmen Jim Burch and Rick Williams for their leadership role, along with staff support from Steve Neff (who will be the team leader) and Persides Zambrano; and support from the Cape Coral Bike-Ped group.  BikeWalkLee is delighted that both cities have joined the campaign and is hopeful that the City of Fort Myers will be joining the effort shortly.

For the Cape, this initiative provides a way for the City to implement the MPO 2013 Bicycle Pedestrian Safety Action Plan that each jurisdiction is responsible for implementing.  It is also an opportunity to bring together and elevate the many activities underway in Cape Coral to improve safety.  Bike/ped safety took center stage in Cape Coral in 2014 as a result of several tragic bike/ped fatalities involving teens, which galvanized the community, with calls for action by elected officials, agencies, and law enforcement to make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists, esp. school age children.   

As a result, Cape Coral has many initiatives underway to make its streets safer:  

  •  The city, in partnership with bicycle/pedestrians advocates and other concerned community stakeholders completed 90 miles of interconnected bike routes with maps and signage in 2014. 
  • The city has focused on enforcement and community awareness, with a new police bike patrol and training program, an FDOT High Visibility Enforcement grant emphasizing safety education that is being implemented this year, created safety PSAs that are being aired on TV, set up large flashing mobile signs that say "give a bicycle a break, 3 feet is not a cushion, it is a law", and participated in school safety rodeos.
  • The City Council has been looking at ways to fix bike/ped facilities safety gaps and is exploring ways to reduce speeds and calm traffic. 

 Cape Coral and CCBP named 2013 Complete Streets Champion
The January visit by the Steve Clark, the national Bicycle Friendly Community (BCF) expert, spurred the city in partnership with Cape Coral Bike-Ped (CCBP) to begin the process of developing an application for Bicycle Friendly Community designation this summer.  At the same time, the MPO-funded development of a Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan for Cape Coral gets underway this Spring.  A complete streets approach is a common thread across the BFC application, the Master Plan development,  and this new Mayors Challenge for Safer People and Safer Streets.  We are hopeful that one of the first actions Cape Coral takes as it moves forward to implement this Challenge is to adopt a complete streets policy.

Report by Darla Letourneau