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Monday, March 2, 2015

Governor Scott proclaims March Florida Bicycle Month

March is Bike Month in Florida and Governor Scott issued the following proclamation.


Sunday, March 1, 2015

March 2nd: Upcoming walking/running/biking events




Upcoming events
Running/walking:

·         Sunday, March 8: Second annual 5K Run/Walk and Health Fair, to raise funds for Golisano Children's Hospital’s ”Mission Nutrition” program. Race starts at 9 a.m., health fair runs 9 a.m.-1 p.m.(http://fortmyerschurch.com/5khealthfair2)

·         Saturday, March 14: 5th annual Scope for Hope 5K run, 2-mile walk and kid's fun run. Century Link Sports Complex at Hammond Stadium, Fort Myers. Registration opens 7 a.m. (www.fortmyerstrackclub.com)

·         Saturday, March 14: The Shrimp 5K Run, presented by Cypress Lake High School Athletics. 9 a.m. start from Key Estero Plaza (www.active.com)

·         Saturday, March 21: Lehigh Spring Festival Race in the Park 5K. Veteran’s Park, 55 Homestead Road South, Lehigh Acres. (www.fortmyerstrackclub.com)

·         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:
·         Saturday, March 21: 7th annual Miracle Limbs ride, to benefit Miracle Limbs- Courage in Motion. 10-, 28-, 42- and 62-mile rides starting from north Collier Regional Park, Naples. Includes breakfast and lunch, registration opens at 6:30 a.m. and first ride starts at 7:30 a.m. (www.miraclelimbs.org)

·    
Sunday, March 22: 17th annual Royal Palm Classic. Starts/ends at Fort Myers Brewing Company, 12811 Commerce Lakes Dr, Suite 27-28, Fort Myers. Ride starts at 8 a.m., 62-, 30- and 15-mile distances. (www.royalpalmclassic.org or www.caloosariders.org)
·         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/.
·         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)

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Court: Fla. must prove hit-and-run drivers knew about crash

Last year the Florida Legislature passed the Aaron Cohen hit-and-run law (named after a Miami cyclist who was killed by a hit-and-run driver), strengthening the penalties.  This year FHP has been pursuing enforcement of these cases, and just two weeks ago launched an awareness campaign, which we applauded in our blog.  Now the Florida Supreme Court has issued a ruling that represents a setback for enforcement of hit-and-run cases, requiring proof that the driver knew they had hit someone. As the parent of the victim stated, "This allows everyone to flee the scene and use that as an excuse and say, 'Wow, I didn't know I was in a crash.'" Below is the article about the court decision.

Court: Fla. must prove hit-and-run drivers knew about crash

By GARY FINEOUT

Feb. 27, 2015

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Drivers in Florida can't be prosecuted for leaving the scene of an accident unless there is proof they knew they were in a crash.

The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously agreed with a lower court's decision to throw out the conviction of a South Florida man charged after he hit a skateboarder while driving in the rain.

Zachariah Dorsett was driving his truck down Florida's famed A1A highway in Boca Raton when he struck a then-15-year-old skateboarder who had fallen into the crosswalk.

Dorsett maintained that he did not know he had hit Nicholas Savinon when he was pulled over by police about 3 miles from the accident.

There was no evidence of damage to the truck, braking or any skid marks in the 2007 accident. Dorsett, who was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs, said he had his radio, windshield wipers and air conditioning on at the time.

Savinon was dragged nearly 90 feet under his truck. One witness testified seeing the truck back tire go up and down over Savinon, while another saw the skateboard get spit out from underneath the truck and split in two.

A jury convicted Dorsett of leaving the scene of a crash that caused an injury. He was sentenced to two years in prison. An appeals court in 2013, however, overturned the decision and ordered a new trial because jurors were never asked to decide whether they thought Dorsett knew he had been involved in an accident.

The state Supreme Court in its ruling sided with the appeals court. In the decision, Justice Charles Canady wrote that felony convictions require proof that someone "willfully" broke the law and knew what they were doing.

"The state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver had actual knowledge of the crash, an essential element of the crime of leaving the scene of a crash," Canady wrote.

Michael Savinon, the father of Nicholas Savinon, said the decision means that other hit-and-run drivers in the state may be able to get away with the crime in the future.

"This allows everyone to flee the scene and use that as an excuse and say, 'Wow, I didn't know I was in a crash,'" Savinon said.

Nicholas Savinon, who is now 22, had a traumatic brain injury as a result of the accident and spent weeks in a coma. His mother, Lydia Savinon, said he still lives at home with his parents and just recently began working at a Publix grocery store.

She said she remains convinced that Dorsett did know that he hit her son.

"In my opinion, there's no way he couldn't have known," Savinon said.

The ruling by the court means that the case could wind its way back to prosecutors in Palm Beach County. An assistant state attorney said Thursday that until the case is officially remanded back to them they cannot decide whether they will push for a new trial.

Questions about the case were emailed to Dorsett's attorney, but she said she could not comment until she had spoken first to her client.

Lydia and Michael Savinon said they are more concerned now about taking care of their son instead of focusing on whether Dorsett is charged again.

"We're surviving," said Michael Savinon. "Our whole focus as parents is just to help him be part of our family."

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Feb. 23rd: Upcoming running/walking/biking/tri events



Upcoming events
Running/walking:

·         
·         Sunday, March 1: Hooters Half Marathon. 7 a.m. start, course starts/ends at Hooters (Edison Mall), winds through McGregor neighborhoods to downtown then south on U.S. 41. (www.fortmyerstrackclub.com)
·         Sunday, March 8: Second annual 5K Run/Walk and Health Fair, to raise funds for Golisano Childrens Hospital’s ”Mission Nutrition” program. Race starts at 9 a.m., health fair runs 9 a.m.-1 p.m.(http://fortmyerschurch.com/5khealthfair2)
·         Saturday, March 14: 5th annual Scope for Hope 5K run, 2-mile walk and kid's fun run. Century Link Sports Complex at Hammond Stadium, Fort Myers. Registration opens 7 a.m. (www.fortmyerstrackclub.com)
·         Saturday, March 21: Lehigh Spring Festival Race in the Park 5K. Veteran’s Park, 55 Homestead Road South, Lehigh Acres. (www.fortmyerstrackclub.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 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)

Cycling and other events:

·         Saturday, Feb. 28: Fourth annual Cycling for Fallen Heroes. 10-. 28-, 42- and 62-mile rides, staggered starts at 7:30 a.m. from the Estero Trek store. Benefits the Brotherhood Ride, to honor first-responders killed in the line of duty. (www.active.com)
·         Saturday, March 21: 7th annual Miracle Limbs ride, to benefit Miracle Limbs- Courage in Motion. 10-, 28-, 42- and 62-mile rides starting from north Collier Regional Park, Naples. Includes breakfast and lunch, registration opens at 6:30 a.m. and first ride starts at 7:30 a.m. (www.miraclelimbs.org)
·         Sunday, March 22: 17th annual Royal Palm Classic. Starts/ends at Fort Myers Brewing Company, 12811 Commerce Lakes Dr, Suite 27-28, Fort Myers. Ride starts at 8 a.m., 62-, 30- and 15-mile distances. (www.royalpalmclassic.org or www.caloosariders.org)
·         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/.
·         Sunday, April 19: Immokalee Ride for Literacy, details soon. (www.caloosariders.org)

Friday, February 20, 2015

Lee MPO sends letter to Lee Legislative Delegation in support of Rep. Passidomo's bike/ped safety bill (HB 231)


At today's 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.


P.O. Box 150045, Cape Coral, Florida 33915-0045 (239) 244-2220 www.leempo.com
February 20, 2015

RE: MPO Board letter to the Lee County Legislative Delegation

As the Florida Legislature begins this legislative session, the Lee County MPO Board is writing to urge your support of HB 231, a bill introduced by Rep. Kathleen Passidomo. The proposed legislation strengthens and clarifies current laws and toughens penalties, to make our roads safer for all road users, especially vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians.  We are pleased that a member of the Lee delegation, Rep. Passidomo, is sponsoring this important bill.

For most of the past decade, Florida has consistently been the most dangerous state in the country for pedestrians and cyclists. Lee County's pedestrian fatality rate is almost twice the national average, while the cyclist fatality rate is a startling four times higher than the national average. Due to these alarming statistics, Lee County has been one of the 10 communities included in FDOT's comprehensive bike/ped safety initiative launched in 2011.

The Lee MPO has placed a high priority on improving bicycle/pedestrian safety in Lee County.  In 2013, the MPO Board adopted a Bicycle Pedestrian Safety Action Plan which is aimed at greatly reducing bicycle/pedestrian injuries and fatalities through a wide range of recommended activities--from education, engineering to enforcement.  

As part of our commitment to improve bike/ped safety, we support the need for stronger laws and enforcement tools to make Florida roadways safer for pedestrians and cyclists.  We believe HB 231 helps clarify rules and responsibilities for cyclists, pedestrians, drivers, and people in wheelchairs.  There are several conflicts in the current law that need to be cleared up so that the laws are more enforceable.  We believe that the increased penalties for violation of the laws that protect cyclists and pedestrians are also warranted.  The provisions in the bill focused on education, such as creating a requirement for the state to include safety information regarding cyclists in driving handbooks and on driver's exams, is also part of the comprehensive approach needed to make Florida a safer place for walking and biking.

We urge you to support HB 231 this session to help make Florida roadways safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
Sincerely,

Councilman Tom Leonardo, Chairman
Lee County Metropolitan Planning Organization

Members of the Lee County Delegation:
Rep. Ray Rodriguez
Rep. Dana Eagle
Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen
Rep. Matt Caldwell
Rep. Kathleen Passidomo
Senator Garrett Richter
Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto

cc:  Governor Rick Scott
      FDOT Secretary Jim Boxold
      FDOT District 1 Secretary, Billy Hattaway

Thursday, February 19, 2015

BWL Column: Checklist gets you ready for next bike ride

 This week's BWL column gives you tips on what you need to do to get ready for your next ride...plus some research results that will encourage you to take a lunchtime walk.

News-Press "Go Coastal" Section--BikeWalkLee's 2/19/15 column

1. Tires, inflation: Check that they’re properly inflated… too low increases your risk of a flat, too high makes the ride rougher.
2. Tires, condition: Got enough tread to get a grip on the road?
3. Wheels: Check your quick-release skewer to make sure it’s tight…and if you don’t have one, then check your wheel nuts for the same thing.
4. Chain, lubrication: When was the last time you lubed it? Can’t remember? Then do it now.
5. Chain, condition: Is it tight enough, and not sagging (which can lead to slippage and worse)?
6. Brakes: Enough left on the pads to enable you to stop smoothly? Are they properly adjusted? Too loose and you’ll struggle to slow down, too tight and you might buck yourself over the handlebars.
7. Seat post: Tight and at the proper height?
8. Handlebars: Secure and properly adjusted?
9. Helmet, location: Hopefully, on your head. If so, is it tight and straight? If not, do you have any next-of-kin to notify?
10. Helmet, condition: Looks for cracks and frayed straps.
11. Visibility, day: Wear something that will stand out from the landscape and is also appropriate for the weather.
12. Visibility, night: Might be out after dark? Pack those lights (front and rear) and your reflective gear.

BikeWalkLee is a community coalition raising public awareness and advocating for complete streets in Lee County—streets that are designed, built, operated and maintained for safe and convenient travel for all users: pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Information, statistics and background online at BikeWalkLee.org.


Turtle wins the race
Good news for slower runners and mid-day walkers: Two recent studies suggest your habits might help you live longer and think better.

First, according to Danish research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, slow and steady wins the race for a longer life. While joggers in general live longer than those who don’t exercise, this study said that joggers who go slow (no specific pace was cited) and less (between 1-2.4 hours a week) lived longer than those who ran faster and more often. In fact, the study suggested the non-exercisers and faster/more frequent runner might enjoy the same mortality… but without enough explanation (or sample size) to make a convincing case.

A better case was made for the benefits of a lunch-hour walk, in a different study published in a Scandinavian medical journal (apparently that part of the globe is the go-to place for walk/run/bike studies). There, researchers compared the mood of noontime walkers.. no prescribed distance or intensity, just 30 minutes minimum.

Those who strolled said they felt “more enthusiastic, less tense and generally more relaxed and better able to cope” after their walks. Productivity was assumed to rise as well, although that was more difficult to measure. All the walkers also showed gains in fitness after their participation in the study.
So tell your boss you can’t work through lunch — you need to take a walk to be better at your job that afternoon. Maybe even try a little jogging… live longer and work better, what’s not to like?