Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Paint Ain't Enough! New Sierra Club Petition Asks FDOT to Protect Cyclists

Protected bike lanes, a.k.a. cycle tracks, in Bogota, Colombia. Why not here?
At its quarterly meeting last month, the Sierra Club Florida Chapter endorsed a petition created by our Florida Healthy Air Campaign that asks the Florida Dept. of Transportation (FDOT) to make a serious commitment to bicycle safety. Florida is the most dangerous state in America to ride a bicycle. 

The new petition, which may now be used by any Sierra Club group or member to build support, asks FDOT to adopt protected bike lanes on the urban roadways under its jurisdiction and to encourage surrounding cities and counties to do this as well.

Within the last year, two changes have occurred which make it easier for FDOT to consider this:
  1. FDOT has changed its guidelines to narrow the traffic lane width which allows more room for protected lanes.
  2. The U.S. Dept. of Transportation has published guidelines for construction of protected bike lanes that encourage their adoption based on its studies of their safety and effectiveness.
This action is consistent with Sierra Club’s national support for the "Complete Streets" concept, streets designed for safe use by cyclists, pedestrians and vehicles, as part of its commitment to promote sustainable life styles and social justice

One component of this approach is to design streets in a way that encourages people to ride bicycles. Studies have shown that one of the most effective ways to promote bicycling is to make it as safe as possible by providing protected bike lanes to ensure a safe and comfortable riding experience.
Making our city streets safer for all families

People for Bikes, a nationwide bicycling advocacy group, has been conducting a campaign, The Green Lane Project, designed to persuade municipalities throughout the US to create protected bike lanes, also known as cycle tracks, to encourage the use of bicycles in urban areas. There's mounting evidence they really work! Find out more here.

Another means of adding a physical barrier. Paint ain't enough!

Use of this petition by Sierra Club groups and members in Florida to help persuade FDOT to adopt this practice will also set the stage for Sierra Club and People For Bikes to work together to achieve our common goal: Seeing protected bike lanes in urban areas throughout Florida.

Completed petitions should be returned by mail to:
Sierra Club FL Healthy Air Campaign, 1990 Central Ave. St. Petersburg, FL 33712
Or scanned and emailed to: phil.compton@sierraclub.org                    
For more information, call Phil Compton, Senior Organizing Rep, @ 727-824-8813, ext. 303.