Monday, June 24, 2013


That's how much the city of Gainesville, Florida is considering spending for every man, woman and child in the city, on a "pedestrian/cyclist safety plan." Five million smackers.

According to the Gainesville Sun, the city has the second highest per capita bicycle accident rate in Florida among cities with a population of more than 75,000.

Anecdotally, though, I'd probably bet that there $40.21 that Gainesville is first, not second, among Florida cities in per capita bicycle ridership. You can't swing a cat in Alachua county without knocking over a "beach cruiser" (my bike of choice) or three and a couple of those guys in spandex and sunglasses on ultralight racing frames.

And there's infrastructure to match. Bike lanes. Off-road paved bike trails. Lots of signage to ensure that both bicyclists and motorists know where the bikes should be and are.

Riding a bike is a joy in Gainesville and the surrounding area, and I suspect that it's at least as safe to do so here as anywhere and probably more so than most places.

Yes, motorists need to be more aware of two-wheeled vehicles (lots of scooters and motorcycles here too).

Yes, cyclists need to be more careful.

I doubt that throwing $5 million into the mix will have any significant effect, though.

I'd rather they spent the money on giving their streets real names so that I don't have to go into convulsions trying to figure out the difference between 34th Street, 34th Avenue, 34th Terrace, 34th Lane, etc.

But hey, I live in the county, and I guess those city folks will do whatever they want.

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