Friday, October 29, 2010

J. Steele Olmstead Joins SWFBUD

SWFBUD is proud to announce that lawyer-bicyclist J. Steele Olmstead, of Spring Hill/Tampa, has joined SWFBUD.

Steele is a passionate bicycle advocate, and like fellow SWFBUD lawyers Christopher Burns and Tom Singletary, fights for the rights of bicyclists.

Steele's brother also owns a bicycle store in Tallahassee, where I met Steele last April at the Florida Bicycle Summit.

Look for Steele at the Bicycle Bash and I'm sure he'll be happy to chat with you.

Welcome, Steele to SWFBUD.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bicycle Bash Roster Is Growing By The Day

Every day, I'm fielding more and more phone calls from people interested about the Bicycle Bash at Flatwoods on Nov 7. SWFBUD is proud to put on the Bicycle Bash festival every year and I want to thank our presenting sponsor, Cure on Wheels; our co-sponsor, Hillsborough County; and our sponsors, HART, tbt* and Polar Bottle.

Our lineup is growing literally by the day. Our roster so far:

SWFBUD MEMBER BICYCLE STORES
Bicycle Outfitters
Just Ride Bicycles
Trek Bicycle Store
Suncoast Trailside Bicycles
Carrollwood Bicycle Emporium
Oliver’s Cycle Sports
University Bicycle Center
Chainwheel Drive
The Ironman Store
Street Fit 360

SWFBUD Lawyers
Tom Singletary
Christopher Burns
J. Steele Olmstead

VENDORS

Boomer Bents & Bikes
American Classic
Boston Bill Sunglasses
Buddy Brew Coffee
Just Marine Bargains
A.L. Saland Insurance Solutions
Running Center
Acupuncture and Natural Therapies
Tuck Away Tunes
Caleb’s Creations, Inc.
J&W Importers
Valrico Spine&Rehab Center
Celsius
AAA
Dew Cadillac
NOLA Cafe

GROUPS/EXHIBITORS
HART
Prodigy/University Area Community Development Corporation
SWAMP Club
WalkWise
Tampa BayCycle
Tampa Bay Freewheeleers
Hillsborough MPO
USF Bicycle Club
Tampa Police
Florida Bicycle Association
City of Tampa Trails
Trips for Kids Tampa
Seminole Heights Bicycle Club
Hillsborough County Public Works
All Children's Hospital (giving away free kids' helmets)

SWFBUDDY Award Winners
Tampa Police Maj. John Newman
HCSO Cpl. Troy Morgan
Ed Collins
State Rep. Janet Cruz
Selena Glass
Tampa Councilwoman Mary Mulhern
Christopher Chow

If you want to be a vendor, contact Alan Snel at alansnel@yahoo.com

Bike Ride To The 2010 Bicycle Bash Nov 7


Jack Sweeney, the Ghost Rider of Seminole Heights, tells me that folks from the Seminole Heights Bicycle Club and Bikecommuters.com are partnering up to host a NOV 7 group ride out to Flatwoods Park, home of the 2010 Bicycle Bash.

Jack says riders will meet at 8 AM and roll out promptly at 8:30 from the Seminole Heights Garden Center, 5800 Central Avenue in Tampa. From Flatwoods, the group will leave for the return leg to the Garden Center at 2:30 PM from the SHBC tent. Distance will be roughly 40 miles roundtrip at a pace of 15-17 MPH.

As with all rides hosted by Bikecommuters.com and SHBC, helmets are strongly encouraged. See you there!

Check out Jack's post on bikecommuters.com

And many kudos to the folks at Florida Cycling Magazine for a nice Bicycle Bash preview in the current edition that arrived at my email this afternoon.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

SWFBUD Is Proud To Present 7 SWFBUDDY Awards At The Bicycle Bash Nov. 7

SWFBUD is proud to announce that seven individuals in the Tampa Bay area will be receiving SWFBUDDY Awards for their help to make the Tampa Bay area more bicycle friendly and to raise awareness about bicycling. The SWFBUDDY Awards will be given at 12 noon during the Bicycle Bash festival on Nov. 7 at Flatwoods Park.

-- Maj. John Newman of Tampa Police, District 2. Maj. Newman deployed electronic message board signs showing bicycle safety messages in District 2 locations such as Bruce B, Downs Blvd. and in Seminole Heights. Maj. Newman also deployed bicycle officers to help keep the Hub Grub Bicycle Ride bicyclists safe during bike rides.

-- Cpl. Troy Morgan of Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. Cpl. Morgan also deployed portable message boards with bicycle safety messages on main county roads such as Fletcher Avenue and North Dale Mabry Highway.

-- Tampa City Councilwoman Mary Mulhern. Councilwoman Mulhern was instrumental in getting her fellow council members to approve the creation of a bicycle safety action plan in light of seven Tampa Bay bicyclists who have been killed in a 2 1/2-month period. Councilwoman Mulhern also got her council to agree to staging a bicycle safety workshop.

-- State Rep. Janet Cruz. Rep, Cruz has thrown her support behind a proposal to build a paved bike trail along the By-Pass Canal from Morris Bridge Rowd to Tampa and was the sole elected official to appear at a Memorial Bicycle Ride on Oct. 1 to remember those bicyclists who have been killed recently in Tampa Bay.

-- Ed Collins. Ed showed great leadership to voice his support for bicycle safety reform after his dad, Admiral LeRoy Collins, was killed while bicycling in Tampa on July 29. Ed appeared before the Tampa City Council and spoke at the Memorial Bicycle Ride on Oct. 1 to call for improved bicycle conditions in Tampa Bay.

-- Selena Glass. Selena showed great courage on Oct. 1 when her mother, Diane Vega, was killed while bicycling to work early in the morning in Tampa. Fourteen hours after her mom was killed, Selena met bicycle riders returning from a memorial Bicycle Ride in Tampa while carrying a lit candle to remember her mother.

-- Christopher Chow. Christopher showed great love for bicycling when he organized a bicycle memorial and ghost bike for bicyclist Kayoko "Kay" Ishizuka, a USF health researcher who was killed by a hit-and-run driver on Bruce B. Downs Blvd. near USF on Sept. 25.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hillsborough County Commissioners Proclaim Nov 7 as Bicycle Bash Day

It was an honor for SWFBUD to appear before the Hillsborough County Commission this morning to hear the commissioners proclaim Nov 7 as Bicycle Bash Day.

Thank you County Commissioner Mark Sharpe, a friend of bicyclists who led the charge to get his fellow commissioners to approve a bike safety action plan.

The Tampa City Council will also be voting on a bike action plan for the city tomorrow. Please attend and tell Tampa council members to make the city more bicycle-friendly.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bicyclist Shelton Quarles -- Bucs Former Linebacker -- Invites You To The 2010 Bicycle Bash Nov 7

I met Shelton Quarles a few years ago when Shelton was chairman of the TBARTA light rail board and I was attending meetings to tell TBARTA to include bicycling as part of any light rail plan.

I learned from Shelton that he's a bicyclist and loves to bike from his neighborhood on local streets very early in the morning.

He and his family are bicyclists and he's inviting everyone to the 2010 Bicycle Bash at Flatwoods Park on NOV. 7.
video

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Ghost Rider Purchases First Sharrow Vest

It's hard to find a sharper-dressed veloman than Jack "The Ghost Rider" Sweeney, my fellow Seminole Heights bicycle man.

Tonight the Ghost Rider swung by SWFBUD headquarters to pick up his reflective sharrow safety vest, which Jack plans to use for night riding and even on the job.

SWFBUD is working with Caleb's Creations on these sharrow vests and look for Michael Ploch of Caleb's Creations at the Bicycle Bash on NOV 7 at Flatwoods.




Saturday, October 16, 2010

SWFBUD Hangs With Publix Greenwise To Promote The Bicycle Bash

This morning I represented SWFBUD at the Four Green Miles running race at Al Lopez Park, where I joined Steve Ellis and the Publix Greenwise promotions crew which gave away free bananas, organges and ice tea. I met Steve at a clean air event in downtown Tampa several months ago and he invited me to hang with his crew at the road race today and hand out Bicycle Bash fliers and bicycle safety booklets and materials.

Steve gets bicycle safety and importance of bicycling in the Tampa Bay area.


It was a pleasure to hang with Steve's Publix Greenwise crew.


Steve is a great guy and would like to team up on future bicycle events.


Contact me if you'd like to but a sharrow reflective safety vest. Proceeds will help local bicycle advocacy.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bicycle Bash Trailer Rolls Saturday To Al Lopez Park In Tampa


It's that time of the year -- time to roll out the world-famous Bicycle Bash billboard trailer to promote the Bicycle Bash.

On Saturday, I will be biking the buillboard trailer to Al Lopez Park in Tampa where the Four Green Mile road race is being held to raise money for the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

I will be at the Publix tent and table hanging with my friend Steve Ellis of Publix and handing out Bicycle Bash fliers and bike safety booklets. I will be there from 7 AM to 12 noon, so stop by and say hey.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Bicycle Bash Proclamation At Hillsborough County Commission Oct 20

Hillsborough County Commission on Wednesday October 20 will present a Bicycle Bash Proclamation to get people stoked for the Bash on NOV 7 at Flatwoods.

Come at 9 AM at the county center at 601 E. Kennedy Blvd, Tampa.

Sharrow Safety Vests On Sale; Portion of the Profits Go To Local Bike Advocacy

Last night at a forum in Tampa, I debuted the sharrow safety vest, which shows a reflective sharrow on the back with a "Share the Lane" message. I got positive reactions to the brightly-colored vest, ideal for wearing when cycling around here.

If you ride a bicycle, make yourself seen to the motorist because it's clear that a significant number of motorists are not being alert enough to see bicyclists.

My friend Michael Ploch, a Riverview T-shirt maker and cyclist, is making these sharrow vests and I am trotting them out now as a soft opening. Mike will be displaying and selling a variety of sharrow-theme vests, jerseys, T-shirts and caps and other items at the Bicycle Bash festival at Flatwoods on NOV 7. SWFBUD puts on the Bicycle Bash every year.

Here, Brian Eckman, owner of SWFBUD store Carrollwood Bicycle Emporium, models the sharrow vest. This is a special SWFBUD model with SWFBUD lettering.

The vests sell for $30 and you can log onto http://www.sharrowshirts.bigcartel.com/product/premium-sharrow-safety-vest to buy one.

Michael is donating a portion of the profits made from these vests to local bicycle advocacy.




Look for Mike at the Bicycle Bash.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

SWFBUD Gets Bike Safety Messages In The Public Eye

I worked with HART, the bus service in Hillsborough County, to display signs that advise motorists to give bicyclists and pedestrians three feet when passing.





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Michael Ploch, a Riverview bicyclist and T-shirt maker, will be at the Bicycle Bash with sharrow-theme clothing and caps.

Here, he shows a jersey he made special for me -- Michael applied a sharrow to my blue bike jersey. It's reflective, which is good for my early-morning rides when the light is faint.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Sharrows Jersey Makes Debut At Flatwoods Park

This morning I bumped into bike pal and friend of SWFBUD Michael Plochman, who shows off his sharrows jersey at Flatwoods Park.

The Plochman will be at the Bicycle Bash on NOV 7 at Flatwoods as an exhibitor and promises to bring some sharrows-theme items.

Friday, October 8, 2010

SWFBUD Store Owner Talking Bicycle Issues On FOX News Tonight

SWFBUD bike shop owner Brian Eckman of Carrollwood Bicycle Emporium will be on FOX News tonight in Tampa discussing bicycle issues in the area.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

SWFBUD Prompts Tampa City Council To Join County In Bike Action Plan

The Tampa City Council signed on this morning to work with Hillsborough County on a countywide bike safety program that hopefully will be sweeping game plan to address bicycle education, awareness, road engineering and enforecment.

With Councilwoman Mary Mulhern leading the charge, the council voted to be part of the countywide bike safety plan.

I was there to give a bike infrastructure presentation to city council (set weeks ago before the recent string of bicyclist deaths. But I re-shaped my presentation to tell the city council that the county just approved a bike safety program yesterday and I asked the city sign on. Mulhern made the motion and off we go.

The city of Tampa already has a bike-ped study going on, being done by Seminole Heights resident Demian Miller of Tindale Oliver consulting company. I've asked the city to funnel his ideas also to this new bike safety program.

In addition, Karen Kress of the Tampa Downtown Partnership said her TampaBayCycle program is also working on an action plan and that perhaps it can also be dovetailed into the countywide action plan so that we move forward in a coordinated fashion.

It was also a sad day knowing that as I addressed the Tampa City Council family members of Diane Vega were putting her to rest. Diane was killed at Himes and Spruce while biking to work last Friday morning.

Her family members -- and the also the loved ones of other local Tampa Bay area bicyclists killed recently -- should know that out of such sadnesss is growing a movement to try and avoid these tragedies.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

SWFBUD Prompts Hillsborough County To Create Bike Safety Program

After several weeks of bicyclist death tragedy in Tampa Bay, some good news today. Hillsborough County commissioners -- led by Commissioner Mark Sharpe -- agreed to create a bicycle safety action plan.

Kudos to Sharpe for saying enough is enough -- that the loss of life on bicycles in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties has to end. Six bicyclists in two months have been killed.

I will join others such as Gary Tait in Hillsborough County government, John Marsh of Tampa city government and Theo Petritsch and Jennifer Bartlett at Sprinkle Consulting to work on a multi-faceted plan to turn things around in the Hillsborough County area. I hope it includes education programs for drivers and bicyclists, public awareness campaigns through TV spots and other media, new design of roads in problems spots and stepped-up police enforcement. It has to be a wide-ranging, comprehensive and sweeping program -- not just the sheriff's office giving out free helmets to kids.

Channel 8 and Channel 10 did reports today, while the Tampa Tribune filed this report.

After the county commission meeting, I bicycled from downtown Tampa to Ballast Point Park where I joined the family members and friends of the late Diane Vega, killed while cycling to work Friday, to celebrate her life with a gathering of people who cared deeply about her. Diane, as you might recall, was waiting to cross Himes at the Spruce corner when a car ripped through a red light and caused a pinball accident where a car caromed into Diane and killed the 53-year-old woman during her commute to her FedEx job.

It was wonderful to see Diane's daughter, Selena, who I met Friday night when I returned from the memorial bike ride at the Seminole Heights Bicycle Center. Selena was holding a lit white candle in her mom's memory as bicyclists returned from Monday's ride -- just 14 hours after her mom died.

There was JoAnn Vega -- Diane's sister, who still can't believe the red-light running driver who caused the crash that killed Diane won't face criminal charges because she wasn't showing signs of reckless disregard.

I met Diane's brother and Selena's dad, Scott, and Selena's sister, Genevieve, and a host of Diane's wonderful friends.

I gave helmets to both Selena and JoAnn, and they both said they will ride. Here's Selena with her helmet. I just need to suggest to Selena that she slide her helmet front over her forehead to fit it better.

A touching obituary includes this passage about Diane: "Diane chose to be a cyclist, commuting between her places of employment at FedEx, Macys and all her beloved destinations she loved to visit daily. She loved the freedom of cycling and the feeling of the wind in her face and sun on her tan soft skin."

Here is Diane's complete obituary.

Thursday morning is another big day.

It's off to Tampa City Hall where I'm scheduled to present a powerpoint presentation on bicycle infrastructure based on photos I took of the bicycle road scene in metro Denver. I have shared many of those photos on this blog and with three committees of the local MPO -- Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Diane's two daughters, Selena and Genevieve, said they plan to attend Thursday's council meeting to share their thoughts about improving bicycle safety in Tampa.

And Ed Collins, who would have spoken to the county commission today except a broken-down car kept him away, said he plans to attend, too, to offer a few comments. His dad, LeRoy was killed was bicycling in Tampa on July 29.

Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists, has also weighed in with wonderful essay previusly posted and a a terrific League blog post.

The city council meeting begins at 9 AM. Hope you can attend -- and speak, too.

SWFBUD Appreciates League President Andy Clarke Issuing Statement On Tampa Bay's Recent Bicyclist Deaths

I'm proud to be a member of the League of American Bicyclists. The president of the League -- Andy Clarke -- wrote a compelling and authorative letter to the Hillsborough County commissioners in light of the recent string of bicyclist deaths in Tampa Bay. I spoke on behalf of SWFBUD at the commission meeting this morning and Andy's letter was sent today. The commission will also discuss this matter at 2:15 PM if you care to attend.

Here is Andy's letter:

Bicycling Safety in Tampa and Hillsborough County
A Statement from the League of American Bicyclists
By Andy Clarke, LAB President

The tragic deaths of six area bicyclists in recent weeks is an awful reminder of the terrible toll – and excruciating personal loss – caused by traffic crashes in the Tampa area. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the victims and to all those touched by these fatalities. There is nothing we can do to bring these loved ones back.


Perhaps the best we can hope for is that their deaths serve as a wake-up call to the community: a clarion call to the cowardly hit-and-run drivers and red-light runners who show such disdain for human life; a clarion call to the Mayor, city council, and county commissioners striving to create safe, livable communities; and a clarion call to every bicyclist, pedestrian and driver on area roads. Please – take care, pay attention, and show some respect for each other.


Part of the tragedy unfolding in Tampa is the fact that crashes like this are generally on the decline nationwide, even as more and more people in cities across the country get back on their bikes and enjoy the healthy benefits of active transportation. One out of every six bicyclists killed in the United States each year loses their life on Florida roadways; the recent spate of fatalities in Tampa alone is one percent of the annual national total.


Our plea to the elected leaders of and the entire Tampa Bay community is that you decide today that this is unacceptable and must stop. The way communities react to tragedies such as this truly defines their commitment to bicyclist safety and to their “bicycle-friendliness”. Three years ago, the leading bicycling city of Portland, Ore., suffered two bicyclist deaths just a couple of weeks apart. The immediate response of Mayor Sam Adams in pulling together the law enforcement, traffic engineering, public safety, and bicycling communities to coordinate a powerful and effective response clearly demonstrated their true commitment to ensuring their city streets are safe for bicycling. Nothing short of that will suitably honor the lives of these Tampa cyclists.


Our plea to the residents of Tampa, especially those behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, is to stop treating cyclists like animals. The callous disregard for human life shown by the driver who won’t even stop when they hit someone is inexcusable; as is the level of vitriol towards cyclists on display in the on-line newspaper comments that follow every such incident. We understand that many cyclists flout the rules of the road and that such behavior is irritating – the organized bicycling community, including the League, tries hard to change that dynamic through our education and club programs. But not only are the recent deaths NOTHING to do with cyclist misbehavior, the last victim was on the sidewalk when they were hit by a car involved in a red-light running crash.


As this last fatal crash highlights, traffic safety in Tampa is really not about bicyclists, or bicyclists versus motorists. It is much bigger than that and deserves a much bigger response. The temptation to crack down on bicycling as somehow inherently unsafe must be resisted. People out riding and walking are the indicator species of a healthy, vibrant, safe and livable community. Street design, community development, and driving behavior that discourage people from bicycling and walking should not be tolerated – not least because it makes everyone vulnerable and unsafe. Distracted, drunken and drugged driving is a scourge that affects every motorist as well as every cyclist and pedestrian. Speeding and red-light running, turning without slowing or stopping, failing to yield or signal will catch up with us all whether we are behind the wheel of a car or simply trying to get across the street. For the last several decades, more than 40,000 people a year have been killed in traffic crashes in the United States – mostly car drivers and passengers. That simply wouldn’t happen if we were all following the rules.


Our plea to the law enforcement community is to take these fatalities and crashes seriously. We understand that rarely does someone get into their car with the intent of causing harm, let alone death. The impact of killing someone must be devastating, and remarkably rarely do the families of the victims want revenge. They do want justice, and I believe they do expect the serious impact of a driver’s careless, inattentive or dangerous disregard for the safety of others to be taken into account. There may be new laws that are required to adequately prosecute “causing death by careless or dangerous driving”, so people take the everyday function of driving a little more seriously. By all means crack down on cyclist behavior that is a real threat to public safety or a common cause of bicycle-motor vehicle crashes, but please don’t assume that a cyclist is in the wrong simply for being on the road in the first place. We really don’t deserve that.


The Tampa area is blessed with numerous League Cycling Instructors, active bicycling clubs, bike shops and bike-related businesses that promote more and safer cycling. Our bicycle-friendly community program provides a roadmap for improvements. There are expert traffic engineers and planners who know how to design safer streets for ALL road users. There are examples across the country of where this is being done – even the formerly-mean streets of New York City are being transformed into complete streets that people can walk across, ride along, drive down, and park in safely and conveniently.


Even though the tools are there, that kind of transformation doesn’t happen easily or overnight. We urge Tampa Bay area elected officials to work constructively with the local cycling community, traffic safety experts, law enforcement, public health, business leaders and local neighborhoods to make the tough decisions to usher in a new era of safer streets and more livable communities – not just for a bunch of bicyclists or for the grief-stricken families of fallen riders, but for the good of the entire community.

Tell Elected Leaders To Bike A Mile In Our Shoes

Share your thoughts about bicycling in the Tampa Bay area today and tomorrow at the Hillsborough County Commission and Tampa City Council meetings.

Public comment periods are at the start of both meetings at 9 AM.

At today's Hillsborough County Commission meeting, just fill out a quick speaker form with your name. I believe the county commission will also discuss bike safety at 2:15 PM today as well.


Thursday is Tampa City Council, also at 9 AM.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bicycle Bash Parking Will Be At Branchton Park On NOV 7

This year, the Bicycle Bash festival will be in Flatwoods Park outside Tampa and we have a parking plan for you to know.

I hope that you can ride a bicycle into Flatwoods for the Bicycle Bash on NOV 7.

But if you plan to drive and are not a Bicycle Bash exhibitor or a Cure on Wheels rider, you will have to park in a designated parking area at Branchton Park on Morris Bridge Road.

You can either bike two miles along Morris Bridge Road to the Flatwoods entrance or take a county shuttle bus, which will drop you off inside Flatwoods Park. Either way, the county parks' regular $2 parking fee will be in affect.

Tampa's First Sharrows and SWFBUD Met Tampa Transportation Staff Monday

You're looking at the first "sharrows" in the city of Tampa -- shared-road markings just painted today on Euclid Avenue between Bayshore and Westshore. They have been in the works for several months now after Mayor Pam Iorio killed the plan for bike lanes on Euclid. City staff replaced the bike lane plan with sharrows and signs along Euclid that tell drivers that bicyclists will be in the traffic lane.






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I share everyone's concern over the recent string of bicyclist deaths in Tampa Bay and I believe there's no single way to fix things.

We need a multi-faceted action plan that includes driver and bicyclist education, a public awareness campaign explaining bicycles have a right to the road, many more bike lanes and shoulders, share the road signs, sharrows and a regional paved trail system that links up with key roads and business centers. I'm sure you have other ideas, too.

Yesterday afternoon, I spent 90 minutes with Tampa Transportation Manager Jean Dorzbeck and two department staffers -- Ben Money and John Marsh. John attends many local MPO transportation planning meetings and other local government sessions representing the city of Tampa's interest in bicycling and walking.

They want to convey that they do value bicycling as part of a multi-modal transportation system in Tampa and are looking for your opinions about what can be done to improve bicycling in three general areas: downtown, Westshore and the USF area.

They also shared information about an interesting road project that will help bicyclists.

It's reworking of North Boulevard from Main Street to Martin Luther King Blvd. The four-lane road will be reduced to three lanes with a southern stretch of the road including bike lanes, then transitioning to sharrows -- the shared-road markings you see in the photos above.

The three lanes will include a center-turn lane and single-traffic lanes going in opposite directions.

If you have any questions, comments, concerns about bicycle infrastructure in Tampa, contact John Marsh at John.Marsh@ci.tampa.fl.us; Jean Dorzback at Jean.Dorzback@tampagov.net or Ben Money at Ben.Money@ci.tampa.fl.us

Monday, October 4, 2010

Thank You HART For Bicycle Bash Bus Ads

HART is a sponsor of the 2010 Bicycle Bash and SWFBUD appreciates HART placing an ad for the event on its buses.


Thank you HART!

SWFBUD Found Mayors Around The U.S. Take Action To Make Cities Safer For Bicyclists

Mayors around the country routinely identify bicycling as an issue. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa recently rolled out the city's new bicycle safety campaign -- posters reminding drivers to give cyclists a three-foot buffer. The campaign will also include TV commercials and it's part of his efforts to implement bike-safety measures after he held a bike summit in mid-August.

It took me only five minutes to find other typical examples around the country:

-- Former St. Pete Mayor Rick Baker extended the Pinellas Trail three miles to his city's downtown waterfront and had a mayor's bicycle advisory committee. I was there for the trail extension opening and saw Baker leading the pack.


-- Boston Mayor Thomas Menino hired a bicycle czar a few years ago and vowed to make his city more bicycle friendly. Check out this story. In fact, the Boston mayor even has a "Mayor Menino's Boston Bikes" Facebook page.

-- Former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz endorsed a Bicycle Action Plan in 2008 to kickstart that city's bicycle turnaround.

Bicycling Magazine said Miami was one of the best 5 bicycle turn-around cities in the country. It's because a mayor helped make it happen.

-- Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper announced major bicycle infrastructure improvements.

This is just a sampling I found in a few minutes. Why not Tampa too?

SWFBUD Store Owner Asks Iorio For Help

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

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Volunteers Needed For Bicycle Bash NOV 7 at Flatwoods


The Bicycle Bash is only 5 weeks away and this year it's in Flatwoods Park off Morris Bridge Road. It will be held in the parking lot area between the "Y" water station on the 7-mile loop and the Eubanks Trail.

SWFBUD will be hosting the Bicycle Bash and we will have:

-- 10 SWFBUD bike shops
-- Vendors and Exhibitors
-- SWAMP Club Demo Rides
-- Children's Area, including free helmets courtesy of All Children's Hospita;
-- Art and face paint area
-- SWAP Meet
-- Food and Music

Volunteers are needed. Contact Alan Snel to be a volunteer at alansnel@yahoo.com

Friday, October 1, 2010

SWFBUD Prompts County Commisioner To Set Bike Safety As Commission Meeting Agenda Item Wednesday

More breaking news:

Hillsborough Commissioner Mark Sharpe has set bicycle safety as a Hillsbrough County Commission agenda item for Wednesday's meeting on Oct. 6.

The agenda itrem will be heard at 2:15 PM.

But you the bicyclist can talk publicly at 9 AM when the public comment period begins.

Please attend.

Please speak out.

Please advise the county commissioners about what it's like to bike round here. Tell them we need better roads, better educated drivers (and bicyclists, too) and more trails.

Also, the Tampa City Council the next day will be meeting at 9 AM. Attend that meeting, too, and speak out for infrastructure improvements.

I will be giving a presentation about bike infrastructure during the meeting.

As for today . . .


You're looking at a Huffy bicycle and one of the damaged cars being transported from the corner of Himes and Spruce after a car ran a red light, collided with another car and ultimately one of he cars slammed into a bicyclist waiting to cross the road. The woman in her 50s was killed and no ID as of now.

It's the sixth person who has lost her or his life while on a bicycle since Adm. LeRoy Collins was killed on July 29 in Tampa.

Six different people from all walks of life.

Their lives lost simply for pedaling a bicycle.

FOX News ran this about today's Honor The Fallen Bike Ride.