Since 2012, the City of Sanibel has promoted itself as a "walkable and bikeable" community, and its weekly "special events" press releases, as well as its emails to Sanibel residents, encourages people to bike or walk rather than drive to these special events. Over the past 4 years, the City has continuously emphasized and enhanced this message.
This year they developed a special logo that appears on the city's weekly special events press release, with message "Bike or Hike Sanibel and leave your car behind!"
It's gratifying to see that the Sanibel message is resulting in more people biking and walking as a mode of transportation, esp. to special events on weekends. As City Manager Judie A. Zimomra reported to the City Council on Feb. 18th:
"This past weekend when we hosted three public events (the Rotary Art Fair, the Farmers’ Market and the Outdoor Boler Garden Jazz Concert) over two days in our public space we did experience a noticeable increase in biking and hiking to, from and between events (see attached photos). The Rotary Art Fair was attended by just over 4,000 on Saturday and 2,600 on Sunday. Though we did experience heavy Periwinkle vehicular traffic on both days we never did reach gridlock on either day. We are continuing to adjust our bike and hike friendly special event accommodations for further improvement."
|Biking to Sunday Farmer's Market on Sanibel|
|Many people also walk to the Farmer's Market|
This year, the City started including a shared use path safety message from the Police Chief in most of the weekly press releases. Here's a sample of some of the safety messages:
- The City of Sanibel Chief of Police Bill Tomlinson reminds cyclists if you choose to bike to this event, State Law Statute No. 316.2065, Subsection 8 requires your bike be equipped with lamp on the font exhibiting a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front and a lamp and reflector on the rear exhibiting a red light visible from a distance of 600 feet to the rear. A bicycle or its rider may be equipped with lights or reflectors in addition to those required by this section.
- Sanibel Chief of Police Bill Tomlinson reminds everyone that auditory distractions inhibit safe driving. Florida law, Statute 316.304(1), prohibits the use of headphones, earbuds, headsets and other listening devices, other than hearing aids, while operating any vehicle, be it a car, motorcycle, truck, or bicycle. Be safe!
- The City of Sanibel Chief of Police Bill Tomlinson reminds cyclists if you choose to bike to the event, State Law requires children 15 and under to wear a helmet while riding a bike...and it's a smart idea for all!
Sanibel Island Special Events Weekend Alert Thursday, March 3rd through Sunday, March 6th
When you bike on Sanibel bike like your neighbor Marty Arnowitz.....
When you Leave the Car Behind and Bike, Bike like Marty!
|Shell Fair this weekend--city ready for bikers and walkers!|
The City's home page now highlights the various parts of the traffic message, and includes the excellent "Cycling on Sanibel" You-Tube video, a recent successful project spearheaded by the Sanibel Bicycle Club.
|Link to City's home page|
Last week, the City launched the next component of their traffic communications strategy--four PSAs for broadcast on the HD screens in waiting areas of Sanibel restaurants and business lobbies operated by Blue Ash Media. Since the Fall, these same screens have been playing shared use path safety PSAs.
Click here to view the 12 slides being used around Sanibel to amplify the "Cycling on Sanibel" video.
Here's the City's traffic PSA with their biking and walking message:
|New buttons that City is now distributing!|
So, if you are a resident, a visitor, or a worker on Sanibel, try biking or walking to your next Island activity. You'll find that it's not only the quickest and healthiest way to get around (esp. during season), but also the most enjoyable as you can experience the unique Sanibel environment and community "up close and personal."
Report by Darla Letourneau
Links to related articles/blog posts:
- City of Sanibel Website Homepage, featuring Traffic Communications Strategy
- City of Sanibel 3/17/16 press release: Real-time "Sanibel Street Cams" Activated thru Pilot Project
- Sanibel 3/3/16 Weekend Events Alert email
- Santiva Chronicle 2/25/16: Sanibel paths busier than ever...
BikeWalkLee Blog, January 24, 2016: FBA Board Impressed by Sanibel Bicycle Club's Bike Safety Programs
- BikeWalkLee Blog, November 19, 2012: Something all local governments can do to promote biking and walking to special events