Monday, November 24, 2008

Tampa lawyer and bicyclist Thomas Singletary Joins SWFBUD

I am happy to report that SWFBUD has a new member -- Tampa lawyer and bicycle advocate Thomas Singletary. Many of you know Tom as a active cyclist and runner. He's also a tremendous longtime supporter of bicycling in the Tampa Bay area and SWFBUD is proud to count Tom among its members.

In 2009, SWFBUD will be holding a public meeting on bicycle insurance and legal issues -- an area Tom is well versed on. If you see Tom around town, thank him fo joining SWFBUD.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

SWFBUD Responds To Friendship Trail Closing

You're looking at the Gandy Bridge and its parallel Friendship Trail. As you know, the Friendship Trail was closed a few weeks ago because an engineering inspection of the Friendship Trail bridge under the auspices of the state Department of Transportation showed structural damage. Hillsborough and Pinellas counties then shut down the trail bridge to users, leaving bicyclists with the sole option of crossing the Bay on the Gandy Bridge and sharing that bridge with motorists who are known to zoom 60 mph and faster.

SWFBUD is extremely concerned about this situation and will:

-- contact the DOT and Hillsborough and Pinellas counties and request that all agencies deal with remedying and repairing the Friendship Trail with a heightened sense of urgency.

-- advise agencies to post electronic signage on the Gandy Bridge advising motorists to be aware that bicyclists are sharing the bridge with motorized vehicles.

-- I plan to bike the Gandy Bridge on Sunday at 10 a.m. to check out the shoulders for debris and also find out what it's like to bike on the main span of the bridge. I bike the Courtney Campbell Causeway and know the span sections have very little shoulder room if any at all and I suspect that's the same for the span sections of the Gandy Bridge.

If you are interested in joining me to check out what it's like to bike the Gandy Bridge, I will be pedaling across the bridge starting at 10 a.m. Sunday.

Bill Addler, the owner of SWFBUD member store Revolution Bicycles on North 4th Street in St. Petersburg, met with the city of St. Pete yesterday and the pedestrian advisory board and the city. Bill reports that "the city was going to also make sure that additional signage (share the road etc) would be added onto Gandy Blvd. as well as the bridge. They also were going to try and get the portable message board sign put up to alert motorist of cyclist using the bridge."

Folks, be careful and be alert out there. It's getting darker earlier these days and be vigilant to your right to the road while also being smart. No more bicyclist fatalities.