Capital City Cyclists Advocacy Report
by Eric Draper
CCC is committed to making Tallahassee and the Red Hills region safer and more accessible for bicycling, walking and running. We have started joining forces with Gulf Winds Track Club and Tallahassee Mountain Bike Association to influence public officials and their decisions about transportation and recreation. We hope to meet with elected officials and also hope to keep people informed.
Education and Enforcement – Tallahassee Police Patrols to Improve Bike/Pedestrian Safety
Citing Tallahassee as a top city for fatal and serious crashes for pedestrians and bicyclists, the Tallahassee Police Department is increasing high visibility patrols in areas with higher risks to reduce crashes. The goal is to increase compliance. Efforts will focus on education but may include enforcement. The effort continues through May.
We commend the Tallahassee Police Department and look forward to reports of success – the best measure is zero crashes causing serious injuries and deaths.
Will Wawa Be Allowed to Add Dangerous Cross Traffic to the Blair Stone Shared Use Path
The NW corner of Miccosukee and Blair Stone will soon be a busy gas station and store. That means hundreds of cars daily will cross the popular shared use path running along Blair Stone.
Wawa has a national reputation for destructive neighborhood impacts. The company beat back the Melody Hills neighborhood to get development approval on a split vote. As of this writing they have not respondin to request made through the city planning department to slow vehicles entering and leaving the site.
Current plans put all responsibility on path users to avoid being hit. We’ve all had the experience of running, walking or cycling and having yield to vehicles at driveways. That will be a new and dangerous experience if Wawa does not build safety features into drives.
CCC, Gulf Winds and TMBA have weighed in. Again, we are waiting for a response.
Bicyclists’ Voice in Tallahassee/Leon County Issues
The Tallahassee Leon Joint Bicycle Working Group meets monthly and is staffed by Jacob Fortunas. Several CCC members are appointed members and bring questions to the meetings and report to others. The two major cycling infrastructure agencies participate in the calls.
The Capital Region Transportation Planning Agency (CRTPA)
The CRTPA is responsible for prioritizing projects ranging from airport improvements to bike lanes. The region’s transportation planning agency prioritizes spending of millions of state transportation funds. Fortunately, CRTPA has been pretty good about prioritizing bicycle facilities.
CRTPA has a couple of CCC priority projects underway:
Tallahassee to Monticello
The US 90 Multi-Use Trail Feasibility Study was initiated in late 2019 and evaluated a portion of the US 90 corridor approximately 21 miles in length (from Pedrick Road in the City of Tallahassee continuing eastwards to the Monticello Bike Trail in the City of Monticello). The project is waiting on design funds.
Thomasville Road Multi-Use Path
CRTPA approved the path’s feasibility study. FDOT is now responsible for designing and building the path. Responsible in part because so many cars drive so fast that sharing the road is impossible. Even the incomplete bike lanes are dangerous as distracted drivers drift into areas that should be safe for people on bikes.
Enclave neighborhoods have mounted fierce and misinformed opposition to the path.
The Blueprint IA (Intergovernmental Agency)
This agency spends money from a voter approved one-cent sales tax paid in Leon County. There is an extensive list of projects including trails and bicycle improvementsBlueprint Projects – Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency (blueprintia.org)
March is Florida Bicycle Month
The Governor has historically signed a proclamation making March Florida Bicycle Month. March is one of the best times to enjoy road and offroad adventures in the Capital region.