Florida focuses on walk bike safety

Walk & Bike SafetyAt a joint meeting in December, the BPAC and LRC (Bicycle/Pedestrian and Livable Roadways Committees) heard a presentation by FDOT District One Secretary Billy Hattaway, who serves as FDOT’s Statewide Champion for Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety.

Mr. Hattaway gave an update on statewide initiatives to improve biking and walking safety. In November 2011, FDOT Secretary Ananth Prasad charged Mr. Hattaway with championing Florida’s Bicycle/Pedestrian Focused Initiative. Secretary Hattaway quickly formed a team and began working towards the goal of increasing awareness and decreasing fatalities of bicyclists and pedestrians in Florida. The Focused Initiative is the first statewide, data-driven program that targeted enforcement and educational resources to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety in 10 priority counties, including Hillsborough.

As a result, the Initiative was awarded the 2013 Governors Highway Safety Association‘s Peter K O’Rourke Special Achievement Award. Secretary Hattaway related that safety and accommodation are goals that will encourage people to walk.

Members discussed what can be done to make sure that the bicycle has the same rights as a bus, car or truck. The distance between crosswalks and their visibility was discussed. LRC Chair, Tampa Councilwoman Lisa Montelione stated that Fowler Avenue and Busch Boulevard are examples of state roads that remain dangerous and discourage bicyclists and walkers from crossing.

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