Monday, April 26, 2010

Bike Lanes Planned and Unplanned

Alan Snel and our biking Mayor Pam (Photo from Bicycle Stories)
[Charles] It must be really expensive to paint a bike lane... The cost of a bicyclist's life must seem really small in comparison to a crew of painters and an occasional parking space in front of one's house. We just can't seem to get our city committed to making a safe network of bike lanes for our locals. We "Semhis" love riding our bikes to downtown on Tampa St. from Seminole Heights, but then we have to meander and zig zag over to find the lanes pick back up on Nebraska. We're lucky because at least there are SOME lanes. According to Alan at Bicycle Stories, we just can't seem to get lanes for our fellow bikers on Euclid in South Tampa. Please don't let our leaders weasel out of this commitment they've made. I'd even attach that photo of Mayor Pam in her bike helmet from the Crit a few weeks ago to help get the point across. Thanks Alan for the reporting - it was good to see you out at the Earth Day Tampa Bay event at Lowry Park!

Here's the article Reprinted from Bicycle Stories -

"Word is out that the city of Tampa is breaking its commitment to stripe bike lanes on Euclid Avenue as part of re-paving the road. Seems some residents are upset that they are losing parking on the road and won't have space for friends who come over for book club meetings (that's an actual example).

Well, the city of Tampa, always looking to accommodate the convenience of book club meeting participants over the safety of bicyclists, has reneged on its initial plan to stripe bike lanes.

Councilwoman Linda Saul-Sena found out about this and wrote a letter to Mayor Pam Iorio, Council Chairman Tom Scott and council members and Transportation Planning Director Jean Dorzback:

"Yesterday I became aware that the City Administration removed a proposed bicycle lane planned for Euclid Avenue. This is contrary to what was conveyed to City Council by the Administration at a recent public meeting.

"Also, yesterday my deputy campaign manager was hit by a car while riding her bicycle home from the office. Fortunately, she suffered only minor injuries, but her bicycle was destroyed.

"Our community must improve our behavior to make bicycle-riding a safe mode of transportation. We must educate motorists to respect the rights of bicyclists to share the road and we must create a network of bicycle lanes to allow bicyclists safe routes community-wide.

"I will request our Transportation Department to appear and report on May 20 under Staff Reports on how we will address these safety needs and why the commitment to bicycle safety on Euclid Avenue is being broken."

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