Photo: Cherie Diez,Tampa Bay Times
“Walking. It’s an incredibly easy way for most people to get around. It typically involves fresh air. You don’t need a seat belt. The fuel you use comes not from the ground via some harmful drilling practice, but literally from you. Yet despite all this and more, walking is incredibly underrated…
A group of environmental and consumer advocates wants to help change that, though.
On Sunday, as part of the Open Streets St. Pete event, representatives from Florida Consumer Action Network will create a pop-up Complete Streets scene, including a ‘parklet,’ or small park-like area along the sidewalk ideal for reading, sitting and observing nature or playing games. They’ll also install a temporary ‘bulb-out,’ which is a patch of sidewalk that extends out into the street as a means of slowing auto traffic and making more room for pedestrians and outside restaurant seating…
FCAN members also hope to educate the public on pedestrian safety, given the Tampa Bay area’s reputation for being grossly unsafe for pedestrians.
The overarching event, Open Streets St. Pete, aims to bring families (and pets) out to Central Avenue between Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and 21st streets, a swath of Central Avenue they’ll be able to traverse freely without worrying about whether a car will blow a stop sign or fail to yield.
‘For one day, Central Avenue will be closed to cars and opened up for people to walk, bike, and have fun,’ said Lisa Frank, a campaign organizer with FCAN. ‘To make streets safe for people every day, we need to build Complete Streets improvements like bulb-outs, which extend the sidewalk and provide space for trees, restaurant seating and more while slowing down traffic.”
–Kate Bradshaw, Creative Loafing
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Additional article from Tampa Bay Times
Photo: Randy Kambic/Special to The News-Press
“Thanks to considerable behind-the-scenes work in recent years, pedal power is stronger and safer than ever for recreational biking, putting fitness and social benefits in high gear…
Michael Swanson and Rob Seibert are major organizers of Cape Coral Bike-Ped’s ‘slow-roll’ events held on the last Friday night of each month. ‘We have all kinds of bikers and it’s leisurely paced,’ said Swanson. ‘The police escort us which is especially helpful going across the intersections along the way…’
It’s been ‘a true private-public partnership,’ said Cape Coral’s Conant-Adair. She recounted how seven inter-connected bike routes consisting of bike lanes, shared roads and sidewalks on canal bridges were first defined and planned in 2012. Within two years, 90-plus miles of routes were designated that border nature preserves, canals, marinas, golf courses, the Caloosahatchee River and more. Also, 1,000-plus directional and adopt-a-route signs have been installed…
In 2015, Cape Coral was designated a Bicycle-Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists and last year by the Florida Bicycle Association, and an eighth route was created…”
— Randy Kambic, Special to The News-Press
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Illustration: City of Hollywood
“…Officials recently broke ground on construction that will develop into the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization’s flagship. A two-year timeframe for completion is expected.
From City Hall to Dixie Highway, the corridor will change into an efficient multimodal transportation system. The city was awarded a $7.6 million grant for the project…”
— Helen Wolt, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
“…Known for its quiet residential neighborhoods and city-owned golf course, Casselberry is moving forward with long-range plans to transform city streets into friendlier avenues for bicyclists and pedestrians.
In the coming years, the city plans to add wider sidewalks, crosswalks, shared bike lanes and shade trees.
‘We’re trying to improve our community by having much more connectivity,’ City Commissioner Anthony Aramendia said. ‘We have a golf course that meanders through several neighborhoods, we have a chain of lakes and we have two schools. So we have to make our streets more comfortable to use for bicyclists and pedestrians. It’s a quality of life issue and for the safety of our children.’…”
— Martin E. Comas, Orlando Sentinel
Photo: City of Cocoa Beach
“The Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization recently celebrated the completion of City of Cocoa Beach ‘s Minutemen Corridor Stormwater and Streetscape Improvement project…
The Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization board set-aside three years of funding for complete street projects throughout Brevard County.
Complete streets ensure that the entire right-of-way is routinely designed, constructed and operated to enable safe access for all users and they make economic sense.”
— Space Coast Daily
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Photo: Allen Eyestone, Palm Beach Post
“Experts have advised city leaders that narrowing U.S. 1 could revive the stretch of highway lined with empty office buildings but those leaders are asking residents what they think before making any decisions.
The debate over the road’s width from the Parker Bridge to the Lake Park border has simmered for years, and each time residents have pushed back. But it resurfaced in October, when experts from a local planning agency said trimming the road from six lanes to four and replacing the languishing offices with townhouses and shops could stop residents from taking their money elsewhere. When shoppers skip town, they take $118 million with them, a Washington, D.C.-based real estate consultant said…
Twelve miles to the north in Tequesta, U.S. 1 is due to shrink to four lanes and get wider sidewalks, decorative lighting and bike lanes on both sides, with much of the money coming from the state.
That will leave North Palm Beach with one of the few six-lane sections of U.S. 1 in Palm Beach County…
The Florida Department of Transportation encourages wider bike lanes and sidewalks as part of its ‘complete streets’ policy. U.S. 1 has only a striped shoulder for bicyclists and five-foot sidewalks on either side…”
–Sarah Peters, Palm Beach Post
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