Kelly Benjamin, who is running for a District 6 city council seat, contacted me to commit his support for bicycling.
Here is Kelly's comments:
"I grew up in Tampa risking my life riding my bike. I remember when HARTLINE first started the bikes on buses program and I eagerly waited in line to purchase my bike pass. During college, I mastered the art of defensive riding as I made the commute from my home in Ybor City to USF and back through suitcase city, Sulphur Springs, Seminole and Tampa Heights. I know bike riding in this city. I still ride my bike daily throughout the Heights.
"After the 6th bicycling death on Tampa Bay's roads I suggested to Josh Holton and Ryan Iacovacci that we hold a memorial ride that morphed into the "Ride to Honor the Fallen." I actively promoted the ride, brought numerous people to it, and took part in the ride! I didn't see any other City Council candidates there.
"Furthermore, I've traveled and lived in cities that have incredible bike cultures: Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Portland, Austin, San Fransisco, and Detroit (yes, as the Motor City has been depopulated, biking on it's empty streets has become more popular than ever). I understand the great need for the recognition of bicycling as an alternative form of transportation in this area and I'm incredibly disappointed that it has taken this many deaths to advance the issue in the public consciousness. Have no doubt, I will be a staunch advocate for bicycling and bike lanes on the Tampa City Council."