Friday, November 17, 2017

In case you missed Dan Moser on Gulf Coast Live

In case you missed Dan Moser's interview on Monday's Gulf Coast Live re: Lee County's ranking as most dangerous place in the country for pedestrians, click here to listen and/or read. Thanks, Dan.

Cape Coral-Fort Myers Area 'Most Dangerous' For Pedestrians In U.S.

Jan 11, 2017


Pixabay/Public Domain

A recent national study rates the Cape Coral-Fort Myers metropolitan area the most dangerous in the country for pedestrians. And Florida was labeled the worst state, overall.

The nonprofit group Smart Growth America said pedestrians in Cape Coral and Fort Myers are at most risk based on the number of people struck and killed by cars between 2005 and 2014.

Dan Moser is with the local advocacy coalition Bike, Walk, Lee. He’s not surprised with the latest report. Moser said Lee County’s roads are designed like highways, which he said induces speed. Plus, he said there’s a lack of sidewalks and amenities for walkers and cyclists.

"But even where they do exist, and they're up against a highway, you gotta cross a 6, 8,12-lane intersection that's not very friendly to you-- doesn’t matter how many sidewalks you have or crosswalks. It's just not conducive to people wanting to use them," said Moser.

But the study’s data stops at 2014, and Moser said a lot of improvements have been made by the county in the last couple years.

Donald Scott, with the Lee County Metropolitan Planning Organization, said they’ve adopted a master plan looking into pedestrian and cyclist needs. In 2015, they got $40 million from state and federal funds, alone, to make Lee County streets pedestrian-friendly. But Scott said it’s not just about infrastructure.

"One of the things we'd like to see also from the education side of it is more attentive driving, avoid distraction" said Scott. "Quite a few of these fatalities happen at night-- about 40 percent. And wearing bright clothing and flashlights and reflective clothing would help."

Scott hopes to see some more changes within the next five years. But Lee County is not the only one with the problem. Eight out of the top 10 worst metro areas in the country were in Florida, placing the state as the most hazardous for pedestrians.

More than 5,000 people died walking on Florida roads between 2005 and 2014. Alex Dodd is with the group that released the report. She said overall, people of color in low income communities and older adults were most affected.

"For people of color and low income communities, we know those populations walk more. So the more that you walk, as a pedestrian, the greater your exposure is to being struck and killed or just being struck and injured," she said. "For older adults... they move more slowly, have lower eyesight and sometimes pedestrian infrastructure is just not built to accommodate those types of impairments."

Dodd said she hopes the Florida Department of Transportation uses this study to improve the state’s roads for walkers, especially those at higher risk of being hit by a car.

This story answers a Curious Gulf Coast question from Dan Moser asking, "What are the reasons for our area being deemed the most dangerous place in the US to be a pedestrian (cyclists don't fare well, either?"


Article link: http://wgcu.drupal.publicbroadcasting.net/post/cape-coral-fort-myers-area-most-dangerous-pedestrians-us

Monday, November 13, 2017

November 13: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling/tri events

Upcoming events

Running/walking:
  • Sunday, Nov. 19: Naples Fall Classic Half-Marathon and 5K. The Naples Fall Classic Half Marathon features miles of scenic waterfront views, brand new paved nature trails, bridges and so much more.  The scenic course will showcase the brand new Isles of Collier Preserve neighborhood and Sugden Regional Park while finishing in front of the lake front stadium amphitheater full of fans.7 a.m., Sugden Regional Park, Naples (napleshalf.com
  • Thursday, Nov. 23: 37th annual Turkey Trot. Proceeds from the event will help construct Cape Coral Hospital’s Pathway to Discovery and benefit Fort Myers Track Club youth scholarships. 6:00 a.m. Check-in; 7:30 a.m. - Start. Wellness Center, 609 SE 13th Ct., Cape Coral (leehealth.org, ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Thursday, Nov. 23: Thanksgiving Day 5K Run/Walk, Germain Arena, Estero (eliteevents.org)
  • Thursday, Nov. 23: Gulf Coast Runner’s Thanksgiving 5K, Cambier Park, Naples (gcrunner.org
  • Saturday, Dec. 2: 39th annual City of Palms River 10K Run and 2-mile fun run/walk. 8 a.m., Centennial Park, Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, Dec. 2: Run for Hannah 5K, 8 a.m., Rotary Park, Cape Coral (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, Dec. 2: Collier County Public Schools Wellness Fun Run, 5K competitive race, 5K fun run and 1 mile fun run. 8 a.m., Barron Collier High School (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Dec. 9: Babcock Ranch Jingle Bell 5K/10K, 7:30 a.m., Babcock Ranch (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, Dec. 9: QBE Shootout 5K, 7:30 a.m., Tiburon Golf Club, Naples (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Dec. 16: Citygate Ministries Downtown Christmas Run 5K, 6 p.m., downtown Fort Myers (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, Dec. 16: Christmas Santa Stroll 5K Glow Run, 5:30 p.m. (eliteevents.org)
  • Saturday, Dec. 23: Marco 5 Mile Hill Run, 8 a.m., Wesley United Methodist Church, Marco Island (gcrunner.org)
  • For more running events visit gcrunner.org/calendar.html; ftmyerstrackclub.com/race-calendar; and 3dracinginc.com/

Cycling:
  • Friday, Nov. 17: Roll Estero. Meet at Tropical Smoothie, 10011 Town Commons Drive #104a, Estero, at 7:30 p.m. for a 8 p.m. roll out on an easy 10-miler. Lights required, helmets recommended. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Friday, Nov. 24: Cape Coral Critical Mass ride. Gather at 7:30 p.m. at 4706 SE 11th Place for a family-friendly ride through the Cape. Lights required, helmets recommended.  (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Friday, Nov. 24: Turkey Leg Century, details to come at caloosariders.org.
  • Saturday, Nov. 25: Saturday Slow Roll. 8 a.m. meet-up at 2160 McGregor Blvd. Recommended for inexperienced/young riders. Distance is 6 miles, includes group ride instruction. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Sunday, Nov. 26: Iron Joe Turkey Ride, 62-, 30-, 20- and 5-mile rides, starts and ends at Fit & Fuel Bicycle Café, Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples (caloosariders.org
  • Friday, Dec. 1: SW Florida Critical Mass ride. A family-friendly slow ride through Fort Myers starting at a special time: 7:15 p.m. Front and rear bike lights required. Grab your helmet, bring all your friends and meet in the open field next to Publix at First Street Village, 2160 McGregor Blvd. Fort Myers (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Ongoing: Join the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club on one of their many weekly rides for members and potential members, with an array of paces and routes to choose from. Check them out online at www.caloosariders.org.
  • For more Lee County cycling and tri events, visit Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club (caloosariders.org); Florida Mudcutters (mudcutters.org); and SW Florida Biking Meetup Group (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL).
Triathlons:
  • Sunday, Dec. 17: Christmas Sprint Duathlon & Triathlon, 7 a.m., Sugden Regional Park, Naples (eliteevents.org)
  • Check trifind.com to find regional and state tris.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

BWL's Dan Moser on WGCU's ‘Gulf Coast Live’ this Monday

BWL's Dan Moser will be on WGCU's Gulf Coast Live call-in show on Monday, 11/13, at approx. 1:30 p.m. to discuss the League of American Bicyclist's report card on our bicycling environment. The report featured in this week's Dan Moser column. Florida State Senator Kathleen Passidomo, a supporter of our cause and a sponsor of vulnerable road user bills, will also be a guest.

BWL Column: The case for walking

BWL Column
The News-Press, 11/8/2017
by Ken Gooderham

Image: health.usnews.com
It’s one of the simplest and most accessible exercise regimes around, yet it’s also an essential skill that can have a tremendous impact on both the quality and quantity of life you enjoy. It can help you lose weight, gain insights and reduce stress.

Sound miraculous? Not really… it’s just walking, the exercise everyone takes for granted (until they can’t).

Walking is a pathway to both fitness and to wellness. Let me explain.

Walking for fitness typically means to improve your health by reducing weight, building muscle, improving cardiovascular function, etc. You set goals and track progress with a regular routine designed to challenge your body – albeit in a low-impact way that makes this an ideal entry point for exercise.

Walking for wellness means maintaining your health and mobility, to help your body combat aging and infirmity and to keep both your muscles and your mind better toned. It keeps you moving mentally and physically, a benefit you probably never fully grasp until you have those mobility skills challenged.

You see, walking is not just the means to get around. It strengthens balance and endurance, enabling you to stay independent longer – ever more critical as we live longer and have less support systems around on which to rely.

So if walking is so easier and so good for you, why don’t more people do it? There are a variety of reasons/excuses:
  • It’s inconvenient. Everyone drives everywhere, then cruises the parking lot to find the closest parking spot. Or there’s nowhere nearby where it’s safe to walk, with so many local streets lacking sidewalks or even decent shoulders.
  • It’s inclement. The summers here are hot and humid, and it’s too easy to get caught in the rain. When the weather gets better, the traffic gets worse – and shorter amounts of daylight further curtail your chances to take a stroll.
  • It’s uninspiring. Frankly, you’re more likely to walk when there’s something to walk to and when that’s the faster way to get somewhere. But our roads and development patterns revolve around cars, so unless you are in a more densely populated area (think downtown) or a place where traffic makes you think twice about jumping in your car (think the islands in season), walking is not likely your first choice.
Well, it should be (your first choice, that is) for all the reasons above.

You can combat inconvenience by making walking more of a habit, by parking further away from your destination and letting your legs do some of the work. You can look around your neighborhood for safer routes (or go where it’s easier to walk as a last resort. While you’re doing that, look at who else is out walking… if it’s some you know (or should), maybe you could join them for a walk (one of the better ways to motivate yourself.

Inclement? In the summer, walk early or late when both the heat and rainfall chances are lower. In the winter, make time to walk – or get yourself some lights and reflectors and walk when it’s a little darker.

Uninspired? Get over it! Put on a good pair of shoes and hit the bricks… and inspiration may just come when you least expect it. Maybe it will be a better mood, or a few less pounds and a few more muscles. Maybe it just be how good you feel after a good walk.

Finally…


Looking for a different place to run? How about the Midpoint Bridge?

Midpoint Madness is back, in the annual 5K put on by the YMCA. This year, both the calendar and the weather are on your side, with a Saturday night race (starts at 7 p.m.) and moderate temperatures (thank you, cool fronts) making this an ideal event. The only downside? The ups and downs of the bridge itself, a possible shock to those used to our flat terrain.

Interested? Look for the link at ftmyerstrackclub.com and join the crowds this Saturday night rallying at Royal Palm Square.

Ready to ride or run?


Run? Besides the Midpoint 5K, you have plenty of choices and distances: The Olde Naples 10K is also this Saturday, while the Coconut Run 5K is Sunday. The following weekend brings you the Naples Fall Classic Half Marathon and 5K. Find out more at gcrunner.org, 3dracinginc.com and napleshalf.com respectively.

Ride? Upcoming Critical Mass rides are NE Lee (Friday) and Sanibel (Saturday), with Estero on Nov. 17. For night rides lights are required, helmets recommended, and details and sign-up info is online at meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events. For a more traditional group ride, there’s the Tour for Epilepsy next Sunday, with 21-, 32- and 62-miles rides starting from Coastline Cyclery in Fort Myers; details at caloosariders.org.

Both? You’ve got time to train for the Dec. 17 Christmas Duathlon & Triathlon set for Sugden Regional Park in Naples. Otherwise, check active.com or trifind.com for statewide events.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR RIDE:

Have a favorite route you like to bike, or a unique walk you’d like to share with others? Tell us about it at info@bikewalklee.org, and maybe we can feature it in an upcoming column.

# # #

Ken Gooderham writes this on behalf of BikeWalkLee, 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 www.BikeWalkLee.org. 


 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Florida’s bikeability report card a mixed bag


Florida Weekly 'Outdoors' column, 11/7/17
danMOSER
bikepedmoser@gmail.com

Editor's Note: Dan Moser will be on WGCU's Gulf Coast Live call in show on Monday, 11/13, at approx. 1:30 p.m. to discuss LAB's report card. Florida State Senator Kathleen Passidomo, a supporter of our cause and a sponsor of vulnerable road user bills, will also be a guest.

If you came home with a report card similar to the one Florida just received from the League of American Bicyclists, grading the bicycling environment, you might be happy but confused. While we received a solid “B” there are so many negatives noted that it would make you wonder how that “B” is possible.

LAB’s 2017 Bike Friendly State Report Card (bikeleague.org) ranks Florida 15th out of 50 states, up from 24th in 2015, the date of the last report and 28th in 2014. We fare very well in most categories, ranking 8th best for infrastructure and funding; 6th for education and encouragement; 3rd for policies and programs; and 10th for evaluation and planning. Much of those good marks can be attributed to Florida Department of Transportation’s commitment to Complete Streets, both in policy and practice, something that’s trickling down to county and other local governments, at least to some degree.

Anyone who has a disability, rides a bike, walks or runs should be thankful for this major change of approach to infrastructure planning and construction by FDOT. It’s due to the herculean efforts of Billy Hattaway, our area’s former FDOT district secretary. And he made it happen not just in our district but statewide. However, there remain key weak points that even he could not affect.

Florida is near the bottom in legislation and enforcement, ranking 42nd. The report stated, “Florida has a long and sustained record as one of the most dangerous states for bicyclists. Florida has the highest per capita bicyclist fatality rate by two standard deviations and this rate is increasing. This extraordinary safety crisis deserves extraordinary actions by FDOT and all communities in Florida to improve traffic safety, particularly for people who bike and walk.”

At the state level, Florida fails to enact legislation to make our roads and paths safer for all users. In particular, LAB points to the lack of any real distracted driving laws or penalties and the legislature’s obsession with banning all local governments from using photo-enforcement of traffic laws. Ironically, the few laws that have been put in place have made it less safe for cyclists and pedestrians.

LAB notes the need to rescind the relatively recent change to the law that now requires bicyclists use bike lanes when they exist. While this may seem like a no-brainer, the fact is that far too many bike lanes are poorly designed, not adequately maintained, or made unusable by illegally parked vehicles and other obstacles. Florida Bicycle Association (floridabicycle.org) has been a strong opponent of this law, legislation that was slipped into a catchall bill at the end of the session a few years ago.

Another area needing to be addressed is Florida’s lack of a statewide bicycle plan. We have a state trail plan, something that has allowed local governments to tap into funds they’d otherwise not have access to. An on-road bike plan would do the same, as well as assist local jurisdictions when developing their own plans, as has been the case with the SunTrail Plan. Funding is also a shortcoming, according to the report, which gives us a low mark for policies that limit the ability to fund bicycling and walking infrastructure. Finally, other than counting bike/ped crashes, injuries, and fatalities — for which we have far too much experience and opportunity — data collection on users and latent demand needs to be significantly improved. In Lee County we essentially have no such data collection ability or programs other than when consultants are called in for specific projects.

Florida did well on advocacy and FDOT’s education efforts but not so good on driver education. Local efforts led by BikeWalkLee, Lee County Injury Prevention Coalition, Stay Alive…Just Drive!, Lee Trauma Services and others are always working to fill those vital needs.

Local governments should also heed the LAB report. The urgent call to take immediate and significant action to reverse our record of being the most dangerous place in the U.S. for non-motorists is the loud and clear message. For more about these matters visit BikeWalkLee’s blog at bikewalklee.blogspot.com. ¦

- Dan Moser is a long-time bicycle/pedestrian advocate and traffic safety professional who cycles, runs and walks regularly for transportation, recreation and fitness. Contact him at bikepedmoser@gmail.com and 334-6417. 

For Lee County cycling and tri events visit Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club (caloosariders.org); Florida Mudcutters (mudcutters.org); and SW Florida Biking Meetup Group (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL). The Florida Bicycle Association (floridabicycle.org) is your source for statewide happenings. BikeWalkLee’s blog site has all the information you’ll need to stay abreast of advocacy efforts in Southwest Florida as well as statewide and nationally.





Monday, November 6, 2017

November 6: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling/tri events

Upcoming events

Running/walking:
  • Saturday, Nov. 11: Old Naples 10K. The Old Naples 10K registration starts at 6:30am, the 10K will begin promptly at 7:30 a.m. The KIDSCAN 2K Fun Run/Walk will start at 8:00 a.m. Registration will take place for both at the Gazebo located on Third Street South/Broad Avenue in downtown Naples. Food and beverages will be available following the race beginning at 8:30am at the Gazebo. There will also be other great restaurant promotions and activities following the run on Third Street South.7:30 a.m., 1161 3rd St S, Naples 3402 (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Nov. 11: Midpoint Madness 5K. This run will begin on Colonial Blvd a top the McGregor flyover you will run on the bride over the Caloosahatchee River towards Cape Coral and then return to the finish line back at the entrance to Royal Palm Square Shopping Center. All Proceeds to benefit the YMCA Youth programs. 7 p.m., Royal Palm Square, Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Sunday, Nov 12: Achieva Credit Union’s Coconut Run 5K. Support local Cape Coral schools and enjoy a unique racing experience! You’ll enjoy a two-loop course through the Festival grounds with a festive luau finish line celebration! All participants will receive a commemorative race shirt and FREE pancake breakfast for our Veterans and runners. 7:30 a.m., Sun Splash Family Water Park, Cape Coral (3dracinginc.com
  • Sunday, Nov. 19: Naples Fall Classic Half-Marathon and 5K, 7 a.m., Sugden Regional Park, Naples (napleshalf.com
  • Thursday, Nov. 23: 37th annual Turkey Trot, Cape Coral Hospital (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Thursday, Nov. 23: Thanksgiving Day 5K Run/Walk, Germain Arena, Estero (eliteevents.org)
  • Thursday, Nov. 23: Gulf Coast Runner’s Thanksgiving 5K, Cambier Park, Naples (gcrunner.org
  • Saturday, Dec. 2: 39th annual City of Palms River 10K Run and 2-mile fun run/walk. 8 a.m., Centennial Park, Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Saturday, Dec. 2: Run for Hannah 5K, 8 a.m., Rotary Park, Cape Coral (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, Dec. 2: Collier County Public Schools Wellness Fun Run, 5K competitive race, 5K fun run and 1 mile fun run. 8 a.m., Barron Collier High School (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Dec. 9: Babcock Ranch Jingle Bell 5K/10K, 7:30 a.m., Babcock Ranch (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, Dec. 9: QBE Shootout 5K, 7:30 a.m., Tiburon Golf Club, Naples (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, Dec. 16: Citygate Ministries Downtown Christmas Run 5K, 6 p.m., downtown Fort Myers (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, Dec. 16: Christmas Santa Stroll 5K Glow Run, 5:30 p.m. (eliteevents.org)
  • Saturday, Dec. 23: Marco 5 Mile Hill Run, 8 a.m., Wesley United Methodist Church, Marco Island (gcrunner.org)
  • For more running events visit gcrunner.org/calendar.html; ftmyerstrackclub.com/race-calendar; and 3dracinginc.com/

Cycling:
  • Friday, Nov. 10: NE-Lee Critical Mass ride, gathers at 7:30 p.m. at the Winn-Dixie, 14600 Palm Beach Blvd. Lights required, helmets recommended. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Saturday, Nov. 11: Sanibel Critical Mass ride, gathers at 7:30 p.m. at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Sunday, Nov. 12: Tour for Epilepsy, 21-, 32- and 62-mile rides, Coasline Cyclery, Fort Myers (caloosariders.org
  • Friday, Nov. 17: Roll Estero. Meet at Tropical Smoothie, 10011 Town Commons Drive #104a, Estero, at 7:30 p.m. for a 8 p.m. roll out on an easy 10-miler. Lights required, helmets recommended. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Friday, Nov. 24: Cape Coral Critical Mass ride. Gather at 7:30 p.m. at 4706 SE 11th Place for a family-friendly ride through the Cape. Lights required, helmets recommended.  (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Friday, Nov. 24: Turkey Leg Century, details to come at caloosariders.org.
  • Saturday, Nov. 25: Saturday Slow Roll. 8 a.m. meet-up at 2160 McGregor Blvd. Recommended for inexperienced/young riders. Distance is 6 miles, includes group ride instruction. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Sunday, Nov. 26: Iron Joe Turkey Ride, 62-, 30-, 20- and 5-mile rides, starts and ends at Fit & Fuel Bicycle Café, Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples (caloosariders.org)
  • Ongoing: Join the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club on one of their many weekly rides for members and potential members, with an array of paces and routes to choose from. Check them out online at www.caloosariders.org.
  • For more Lee County cycling and tri events, visit Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club (caloosariders.org); Florida Mudcutters (mudcutters.org); and SW Florida Biking Meetup Group (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL).
Triathlons:
  • Sunday, Dec. 17: Christmas Sprint Duathlon & Triathlon, 7 a.m., Sugden Regional Park, Naples (eliteevents.org)
  • Check trifind.com to find regional and state tris.