Florida has a bad reputation when it comes to bicycle safety. Over 100 bicyclists die every year in our state—which is one of the highest rates of cyclist deaths in the entire country—but Tampa Bay city officials are trying to change that.
Are Unsafe Bike Lanes Responsible For Florida Bike Accidents?
Along US 41 in Gibsonton, a painted white line is all that separates bicyclists from 55 mph traffic, and bicyclists say they feel like racecars are zooming by whenever they have to use unprotected lanes like this. Hannah Strom, one of the founders of Walk Bike Tampa, is hoping that these voices will be heard, and so she is calling out city officials for what she calls unsafe bicycle lanes.
What Makes Bike Lanes Unsafe?
Strom says bike lanes in many areas are too narrow to maneuver in and lanes in high bicycle traffic areas abruptly end, leaving riders to face honking and often frustrated drives. Officials in Tampa Bay admit that bike safety hasn’t always been their priority, but new initiatives from the Florida Department of Transportation promises to help with that problem.
How To Make Bike Lanes Safer
FDOT has instituted a “Complete Streets” policy that seeks to make our state roads friendlier to cars, bicyclists and pedestrians. The policy will use friendly design, buffer zones, and adjusted speed limits to improve safety along many busy thoroughfares. These changes couldn’t come soon enough for many bicyclists hoping to enjoy the sport they love on the streets of their hometowns.
Keeping the streets safer for bicyclists is a responsibility we all need to take seriously. You can help by spreading awareness of bicyclists in your community and following our blog for more tips and news about how to make Florida safer for cyclists.
This message was brought to you by the bicycle accident attorneys at Colson Hicks Eidson—protecting the people of Florida with the letter of the law.