BWL's column informs about the new innovative pedestrian education program being offered (for free) in Lee County (just contact Dan Moser), and reports on some interesting stats on biking participation, from Bikes Belong.
Dated music references aside, WalkWiseLee is a new pedestrian safety effort that is working to make Lee County a safer place to take a stroll. A joint undertaking by the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) at University of South Florida and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), WalkWiseLee provides innovative pedestrian safety education to any group at no cost.
Traffic safety affects everyone, since 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 10 counties in Florida being targeted due to its poor traffic crash, injury, and fatality record.
WalkWiseLee offers an informative, interactive 15- to 30-minute presentation (with time for discussion) for anyone living or working in Lee County. All that’s needed is an invitation from you and an appropriate place to hold the presentation. Any club, association, business, church, or other group interested can make the request and they’ll schedule it to fit your needs.
Interested? Contact at Dan Moser firstname.lastname@example.org or (239) 334-6417 for more information and to request a presentation.
A bicycling benchmark
People For Bikes, a national bicycle coalition promoting cycling, safety and support, released a benchmark participation study last month that offers some interesting statistics:
•Thirty-four percent (or 103.7 million) Americans rode a bicycle in the past year. Out of those, about half road twice a month or less.
•Thirty-two percent (or 95.5 million) Americans rode a bicycle for recreation in the past year. Out of those, about 60 percent rode twice a month or less.
•Fifteen percent (or 45.1 million) Americans rode a bicycle for transportation in the past year. Out of those, almost 65 percent rode twice a month or less.
•Fifty-four percent report bicycling is convenient and 53 percent would like to ride more often. But 52 percent are worried about being hit by a motor vehicle.
•Forty-six percent of adults would be more likely to ride if bicycles were physically separated from cars, but only 31 percent are satisfied with the bike lanes, paths and trails now available to them.
•Availability of a working bicycle also poses a challenge: Forty-eight percent of adults don’t have a working bicycle in their household.
The full report is available at http://www.peopleforbikes.org/pages/u.s.-bicycling-participation-benchmarking-report.
Bike/ped season winds down
With the end of tourist season in sight, the season of weekly runs, walks or rides is beginning to wane as well. Some of that comes with the uptick in temperatures, in concert with the departure of winter residents.
However, for those of you still ready to hit the roads or paths, you can still find a 5K for the next few weekends (check out www.fortmyerstrackclub.com or www.active.com), along with a selection of organized bike tours of varying lengths and causes (www.caloosariders.com is your best one-stop source).
And don’t forget the monthly SWFL Critical Mass ride is Friday, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Riders gather at the open lot near the downtown Publix (off West First Street) for a 8-10 mile fun family ride.
•Want to support the “6ft Flag” Safety Movement — Bike Lights Campaign, a grassroots movement to help improve the safety of cyclists in Southwest Florida? Go to http://www.gofundme.com/SWFL6ftflag_lights for details and to donate.
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 www.BikeWalkLee.org.