Monday, July 12, 2010

SWFBUD Prompts HART Bus Service In Tampa Area To Install 3-Foot Bicycle Warning Signs

About six months ago a HART bus nearly struck me while I was cycling on Rowlett Park Drive in Tampa. It was the third time in two years a HART bus nearly hit me. I caught up with the bus driver, who informed me, "Bike on the sidewalk."

Wrong answer. I reported the driver to HART, which reviewed the videotape of the incident -- and yes, the driver was wrong and nearly hit me.

Clearly, the bus driver violated the Florida law requiring motorists to pass cyclists -- and peds -- by a minimum clearance of at least three feet.

In response, I attended a HART board meeting in January as SWFBUD director and I explained the near-hit incident. I told the board I did not plan to report the incident to police but instead I asked HART to start a public sign campaign to inform the public about the 3-foot buffer law. In addtion, I told HART that bus driver must be trained to pass cyclists by a minimum distance of three feet.

So, recently these signs held today by Luis Rivera, HART's operations superintendent, went up inside the bus above the seats along with signs showing bus schedules and other PSA announcements.

Thank you Katharine Eagan at HART for your help in producing the 3-foot warning signs.

Katharine also indicated that HART will be a sponsor of the 2010 Bicycle Bash Classic, Presented by Cure on Wheels on Nov 7 at Flatwoods County Park outside Tampa.

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