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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Moser Column: Everyone can benefit from WalkWiseLee



Dan's column this week introduces the new WalkWiseLee education program. Contact Dan to schedule your presentation!  The advocacy corner talks about BikeWalkLee's bike light campaign.
 
Florida Weekly April 1, 2015 Outdoors Section

 When it comes to traffic safety there’s little debate that Lee County — and all of Southwest Florida for that matter — leaves much to be desired. In fact, we’re among the worst of the worse in terms of risk for motor vehicle drivers, pedestrians and operators of bicycles.

But it’s also a fact that there’s an ongoing and robust effort taking place to make our dismal record a thing of the past. Many partners work tirelessly within coalitions and other groups and organizations on this important matter. Among the most dedicated are Lee County Injury Prevention Coalition, Stay Alive... Just Drive!, BikeWalkLee, Cape Coral Bike-Ped, Lee County Emergency Medical Services, the Lee County Metropolitan Planning Organization, Lee Memorial Health System, Florida Department of Transportation, and all of the law enforcement agencies that serve our communities.

With so many organizations and coalitions focusing on traffic safety I think it’s accurate to say things would be even much worse if they weren’t involved. At least that’s what keeps me and many of my colleagues doing what we do.
Education and awareness campaigns are among the tools employed, often in conjunction with enforcement and engineering efforts. The latest addition to our toolbox is WalkWiseLee (facebook.com/walkwiselee), an innovative education program that was developed by the Center for Urban Transportation Research at University of South Florida and funded by the Florida Department of Transportation. WalkWiseLee succinctly addresses all aspects of traffic safety and is based on techniques proven to be effective while it was being developed in the Tampa Bay area by CUTR, a nationally recognized research center that serves as a valuable resource for decision makers, transportation professionals, educators and the general public. They’ve provided their services here many times.

One example of the effectiveness of the WalkWise program comes from CUTR’s data that indicates that before the group’s presentation, only 65 percent of participants correctly answered that a pedestrian should walk against traffic when sidewalks are not available. Immediately after the WalkWise presentation, about 90 percent answered correctly. This may sound insignificant to some but I can confirm that it’s very common for folks to be confused about the direction they should walk as well as which direction to ride their bikes (always with the flow of traffic). CUTR also found that the interactive nature of the 15-30 minute presentations, which can be extended in length if the audience is engaged and interested in learning of others’ experiences and sharing their own, make the delivery technique very effective. Since its inception, Walk- Wise Tampa Bay has been presented to more than 20,000 people who have attended the more than 1,600 presentations CUTR has conducted in the Tampa Bay area, so it has plenty of data to back up its claims.

If you’d like to request a WalkWiseLee presentation for any size group all that’s required is an appropriate place to meet. All participants receive a reflective backpack and those completing an online post-presentation survey will be sent a WalkWise Florida T-shirt (while they last). Of course, there’s no charge for participants or those hosting it. To request a presentation, visit walkwiseflorida.com/pedestrian-presentation or contact me at dan@bikepedmatters.

Advocacy update
BikeWalkLee has launched the “Six- Foot Flag” campaign, but with a twist. You may remember seeing orange flags attached to the back of bikes to improve their visibility to motorists; unfortunately, due to unintended consequences, it turned out not to be as good of an idea as it sounds. That being the case, the new “Six-Foot Flag” that BWL is promoting are bike lights. With public support they’re seeking to purchase and distribute 2,000 lights to make bike riders more visible. They’re also encouraging people on bikes to use flashing lights even during daylight hours to make others more aware of their presence and raise awareness of bike and pedestrian safety issues here in Southwest Florida. If you’d like to donate to the cause, visit gofundme.com/swfl6ftflag_lights.
Of course, you can learn more about this, WalkWiseLee, and many other important community matters at bikewalklee.blogspot.com.

Until next time, I’ll look for you on the roads and pathways.

Upcoming Events
Running/Walking:
¦ Harbour Heights Half-Marathon, Saturday, April 4, Punta Gorda (harbourheightshalfand5k.org)
¦ African Aid 5K, New Hope Church, Saturday, April 11, Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
¦ Viking 5K Paint Run, Bishop Verot High School, Saturday, April 18, Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
For more Lee County running events, visit Fort Myers Track Club (ftmyerstrackclub.com), Endurance Sports Timing (endurancesportstiming.com) and 3-D Racing (3dracinginc.com). For Naples/ Collier running info, it’s the Gulf Coast Runners (gcrunner.org). Charlotte County running information is at zoomersrun.com. Walkers can visit meetup.com/Walking-SWFL.

— Dan Moser is a long- time bicycle/ pedestrian advocate and traffic safety professional who cycles, runs and walks regularly for transportation, recreation and fitness. Contact him at bikepedmoser@gmail.com and 334- 6417.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

March 30th: Upcoming running and biking events

 Time to get in the groove and be part of the monthly family run Critical Mass Ride in downtown Fort Myers on April 3rd.

Upcoming events 

Running/walking:
·        Saturday, April 4: 9th annual Harbour Heights 5K, and a new half-marathon. Harbour Heights Park • 27420 Voyageur Dr Punta Gorda. Proceeds benefit  Autism Speaks and local facilities. (www.active.com)
·         Saturday, April 11: African Aid 5K, to support World Vision. New Hope Presbyterian Church,  3825 McGregor Blvd. Race starts at 7:30 a.m. (www.fortmyerstrackclub.com)
·         Saturday, April 18: Verot Viking 5K paint run/walk. Bishop Verot Catholic High School. Registration 6:30 a.m., run 7:30 a.m. (www.fortmyerstrackclub.com)
·         Saturday, April 18: The Fast and the Furriest 5K Run & 1 Mile Walk, Hammond Stadium, Fort Myers. Support the Gulf Coast Humane Society. Registration with and without dogs. Race starts at 8:05 a.m. (www.active.com)
·         Saturday, May 9: 10th annual Turtle Trot 5K at Lovers Key, to support The Friends of Lovers Key, Inc. Trail course on shell paths (no sand). Registration 7 a.m. (www.fortmyerstrackclub.com)


Cycling and other events:
CRBC's 3/22/15 Royal Palm Classic
·         Friday, April 3: Critical Mass Ride: Family fun slow ride through Fort Myers. Front and rear bike lights required. Grab your helmet, bring all your friends and meet in open field next to Publix at First Street Village, 2160 McGregor Blvd. Fort Myers, FL. (www.SWFLCM.com)
·         Sunday, April 12: Everglades Ride. 16- and 62-mile smooth rides, 27-mile bumpy (off-road) ride. Benefits Friends of Fakahatchee and the River of Grass Greenway. (http://raceroster.com/events/2015/4895/everglades-ride)
·         Sunday, April 12: Southwest Florida Tour de Cure for the American Diabetes Association.  Distances are 10, 35, 62 and 100 miles; registration $25 and fund-raising minimum $200. 8131 Lakewood Main Street, Lakewood Ranch, FL. (http://main.diabetes.org/site/TR/TourdeCure/TourAdmin?pg=entry&fr_id=10181)
·         Sunday, April 19: Immokalee Ride for Literacy, 15-, 30-, 45- and 62-mile rides starting at 8 a.m. Proceeds benefit The Family Literacy Academy of Immokalee. (www.caloosariders.org)
·         Friday, May 1: Critical Mass Ride: Join our May Day family fun slow ride through Fort Myers. Front and rear bike lights required. Grab your helmet, bring all your friends and meet in open field next to Publix at First Street Village, 2160 McGregor Blvd. Fort Myers, FL. (www.SWFLCM.com)

·         Wednesday, May 20: Ride of Silence, to honor cyclists killed or injured while cycling on public roadways. Leaves at 7 p.m. from Centennial Park, 2000 West First Street, Fort Myers. Riders are requested to wear black armbands, or red if they have personally been injured in a cycling vs. motor vehicle accident. Free, no registration necessary.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Update on HB 231: Rep. Passidomo's bike safety bill

One of BikeWalkLee's legislative priorities for the upcoming 2015 FL Legislative session is the passage of Rep. Kathleen Passidomo's bill (HB 231) focused on cycling safety.  The legislative session is well underway so you need to hurry to ask our state elected officials to support HB 231 (and SB 903 sponsored by Senator Altman). Click here for the text of the bill, and click here to track the bill as it winds its way through the Florida Legislature.

Update on HB 231/SB 903)
Advocate Tish Kelly (wife of Chuck Kelly, the cyclist seriously injured who is Passidomo's law partner) has spent much of the March up in Tally pressing for action on this bike safety bill, working closely with the bill's sponsor, Rep. Kathleen Passidomo and her co-sponsor, Heather Fitzenhagen (both part of SWFL delegation).  The bill has made it through 3 House committee and 1 Senate Committee as of yesterday.  Tomorrow (3/26) it is considered by the Senate Transportation Committee.

L to R: Senator Altman, Tish Kelly, and Rep. Passidomo
Tish has been keeping us up-to-date via Facebook posts and emails.  Here's her FB 3/24/15 post:
"HB 231 (bike safety bill) passed in the House Criminal Justice subcommittee in an unanimous vote today !! They got it. Nice caring people. All of you that emailed and called in with support made a difference . Thank you! On to the next round !"


 To contact the state legislators, see list and contact info at the end of this editorial: News-Press Editorial: Cyclists deserve to be protected, safe.
 
Previous BikeWalkLee posts on topic:

BWL Blog: March 7, 2015: News-Press Editorial: Cyclists deserve to be protected, safe   As part of NP editorial that accompanied their 3/8 feature on biking safety, they strongly supported the Passidomo bill and urged citizens to contact their elected state legislators.

BWL Blog: February 20, 2015:Lee MPO sends letter to Lee Legislative Delegation in support of Rep. Passidomo's bike/ped safety bill (HB 231)
At 2/20 Lee MPO Board meeting the members approved sending a letter in support of HB 231 to the Lee Legislative delegation, asking them to enact the bill this legislative session.  BikeWalkLee spoke in support of the proposal and applauds the Board for taking action.

BWL Blog: February 10, 2015:Editorial: Naples lawmaker's bill helps address cycling conflicts

 



"Safer Streets, Stronger Economies" report--making the case for complete streets

Great ideas and data from other communities that can be helpful to Lee County communities as they initiate and/or implement their complete streets policies.
On 3/24/15, Smart Growth America's National Complete Streets Coalition released their new report, Safer Streets, Stronger Economies. The new report analyzes data from 37 Complete Streets projects across the country, and explores the outcomes communities got for their investment.  

What have communities gotten for their investments in Complete Streets? Fewer automobile collisions and injuries, and more people biking, walking, and taking transit. These projects were inexpensive yet can be effective, and were related to broader economic gains.  Here's the bottomline:  whether it’s planting trees or adding crosswalks, making travel lanes narrower or creating space for people on bikes, hundreds of communities are changing how their streets look and work—and getting a great return on public investment in the process. Read the full findings of the new research.

These are the findings in simple graphics:

Streets were usually safer: Automobile collisions declined in 70 percent of projects, and injuries declined in 56 percent of projects.
This safety has financial value: Within our sample, Complete Streets improvements collectively averted $18.1 million in total collision costs in just one year.
The projects encouraged multimodal travel: Complete Streets projects nearly always resulted in more biking, walking, and transit trips.
Complete Streets projects are cheap: The average cost of a Complete Streets project was just $2.1 million—far less than the $9 million average cost of projects in state transportation improvement plans. 
They can be an important part of economic development:Our findings suggest that Complete Streets projects were supportive of increased employment, net new businesses, higher property values, and new private investment.




Here's also a link to the Streetsblog 3/25/15 story: Making the Case for Complete Streets

This complete street redesign in Hamburg, New York, decreased collisions 57 percent. Photo: Smart Growth America
This street redesign in Hamburg, New York, decreased collisions 57 percent. Photo: Smart Growth America

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Introducing WalkWiseLee



Part of an organization, service club, church, business, or neighborhood association and looking for an informative (and free) presentation to your members? Here's your chance to have Dan Moser come and make a presentation on the new FDOT initiative called WalkWiseLee that provides innovative pedestrian safety education.


Dan Moser (R) gears up for his new role in WalkWiseLee

The Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) at University of South Florida and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) announces a program new to Lee County that you may be interested in taking advantage of for your residents, clients, or organization's members.


WalkWiseLee is an initiative that provides innovative pedestrian safety education to any group at no cost. As you know, traffic safety affects everyone, being that we are all part of it at some point during our day, particularly as pedestrians when we walk for practical purposes, exercise, or recreation. What you may not know is that Lee County is one of ten counties in Florida being targeted due to its poor traffic crash, injury, and fatality record.

The WalkWiseLee campaign provides an informative and interactive 15- to 30-minute presentation with time for discussion for anyone living or working within Lee County. All that's needed is an invitation from you and appropriate place to hold the presentation. Any club, association, business, church, or other group interested can make the request and we'll schedule it to fit your needs.

Please contact at Dan Moser dan@bikepedmatters.com or (239) 334-6417 for more information and to request a presentation.

News-Press and BikeWalkLee brought community conversation on bike safety solutions to Royal Palm Classic

As reported in our March 17th blog post, Groups seek bike safety solutions at Caloosa Riders event ,
News-Press reporters and officials along with the BikeWalkLee team, brought the community conversation about bike safety solutions to Sunday's Royal Palm Classic.  Below are some of the photos from Sunday.  Thanks to everyone who participated in the conversations!

BikeWalkLee's bike lights campaign initiated by Cindy Banyai...here are her photos and message (posted on BWL Facebook page:

 #‎6ftFlagSWFL2015‬ out spreading the word on safety and raising funds for our Bike Lights Campaign. You can help us too! http://de.gofund.me/SWFL6ftflag_lights



 
Darla's photos from the News-Press and BWL conversations (posted on BWL's FB page):
BikeWalkLee added 14 new photos to the album: Royal Palm Classic 2015 — with Steve Rodgers and Jennifer Bowen at Fort Myers Brewing Company.



 'BWL's Dan Moser and Cindy Banyai at our booth.'


 'Steve Rodgers was one of Caloosa Riders organizers of event.  GREAT job!!'
 

News-Press has a great online photo album gallery from the 17th annual Royal Palm Classic, with dozens of photos.  Check it out!



Coastline Cyclery joins BikeWalkLee coalition

Join BikeWalkLee in welcoming Coastline Cyclery, a new Lee County bike shop, to our network of supporter organizations, for a total of 67.

Coastline Cyclery is the newest bike shop to arrive on the Lee County landscape, located at
12951 Metro Parkway, Ste 15
Fort Myers, FL 33966

We met them at the March 22nd Royal Palm Classic where they hosted rest stop #2.  Riding team BWL (aka Darla and Kelly) not only had refreshments at the stop, but talked to Team Coastline Cyclery about BikeWalkLee and invited them to join our network, which includes many of the county's bike shops. So, we're delighted that they are now a BWL supporter organization.

Owner Ben Eastburn is a longtime cyclist and turned his passion into becoming a bike mechanic, where he trained at the prestigious Barnett Bicycle Institute for Bicycle Mechanics.  Ben says, "I want to bring that passion for the bicycling to others.  So, through Coastline Cyclery I hope to meet other bicycle enthusiast and introduce others to the freedom that bicycling offers."

Coastline Cyclery is a full service bike shop, with bikes to sell and rent, and a focus on repairs.  They have a Mobile Repair Unit, so if you want your bike repaired while you're at work, just drop it off or they can pick it up and return.  Or they can do most repairs at your home.

We hope you'll welcome Coastline Cyclery to the bicycle shop community and to BikeWalkLee.