Dear Mayor Iorio,
I am writing in support of cyclists, and our right to ride on the road. Cyclists and pedestrians are being hit and killed with startling regularity in the Tampa area in the past several months.
Many of the drivers at fault were guilty of hit and run, running a red light (causing the incident) or some other form of reckless driving. The result of their actions in these cases was someone losing their life.
As of now, almost NONE of these people are being charged with anything more serious than leaving the scene of an accident. I can think of no other instance where a person's reckless actions can cause the loss of someone's life, and the offender not being held accountable for that loss.
We never want to be confrontational about it and cause bad feelings between drivers and cyclists, but I am ,quite honestly, tired of people responding that bikes "shouldn't be out there", or "shouldn't be riding early", "shouldn't be riding late", "shouldn't do this", "shouldn't do that."
Cyclists have just as much "right" to be on those roads as any car out there. I don't LIKE stopping at a million red lights. I don't LIKE going 20mph in school zones.
But I don't do those things because I like them, I do them because it's the LAW to KEEP PEOPLE SAFE. I don't necessarily care if drivers don't think bikes should be on the road. IT'S THE LAW THAT THE CAR DRIVERS GIVE CYCLISTS 3 FT, etc.
I'm sick of this all being about one side vs. the other. It's the law and it's not being enforced.
Mayor Iorio, please do not leave office without having done something real to change the fact that Tampa, your city, is the most dangerous one in America to ride a bikein. I saw you, Mayor Pam at the downtown rally in April, riding your bike. You are not a stranger to cycling.
I have participated in County Commissioners meetings on thesubject of safer ways for cyclist and pedestrians to get around our great city, well before all the cycling related deaths in the past 2 months.
All I ask is that you PLEASE IDENTIFY BICYCLE AND PEDESTRIAN SAFETY AS A PRIORITY, and that these interests be REPRESENTED. There are many cyclists out here, and we want to be protected, and heard! Thank you, Mayor Iorio, for this opportunity to speak my peace, a small cry for your help in this very important matter
Jackie M. Eckman, co-owner
CARROLLWOOD BICYCLE EMPORIUM