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Anger Management

July 9, 2012

In light of recent events, tempers have inevitably flared including those of the City of Jacksonville’s Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC), those within Jacksonville’s administration, those within JBC, and my own.

I’d like to address these matters here and then I’d like to move on and get back to work.

Regarding the bike lanes being removed on 1st St in Jacksonville Beach:

  1. The Mayor Bike Event that took place May 2nd of 2012 applied to the Mayor of Jacksonville. Not the Mayor of Jacksonville Beach. I am not familiar with the Mayor of that area, but I do know that it was not the Mayor of Jacksonville who approved the order to remove bike lanes in the Jax Beach jurisdiction.
  2. An individual within the JBC has mocked the JBC for our struggling efforts, so admittedly, this portion of the post is mainly aimed at that person.
  3. It is neither the fault of the cycling community, nor its advocates, for why these streets are dangerous and why the decision-makers refuse to incorporate bike infrastructure.
  4. Making snide remarks about the advocates of this city is no way to get anything accomplished. Especially if you’re doing it in a very public way.
  5. Burning bridges with good folks who are trying their best is usually not a great idea either.
  6. I have no tolerance for anyone who attempts to bash the JBC, local advocates, or the cycling community as a whole.

Regarding trash-talking amongst peers:

  1. Please don’t do that. Channel your anger, concerns, questions, and outrage to the decision-makers of this city. The following is a list of appropriate people to contact about why it is our city hasn’t been incorporating bike infrastructure in its street planning, or education in its schools:
  • James Reed, The City of Jacksonville’s Bike/Ped Coordinator, can help answer questions because he works within the system: jreed@coj.net
  • Mayor Alvin Brown is the Mayor of Jacksonville alone, so when writing to him, please be sure your concerns pertain to his jurisdiction. His jurisdiction only includes Jacksonville. Not Jax Beach or all the other neighboring beach towns: mayorbrown@coj.net
  • Former mayor, John Peyton, would be a good person to contact for why past decisions have been made against cycling infrastructure.
  • Councilman Bill Guilliford can be contacted if you want to question why he feels it’s solely the responsibility of local advocates, as opposed to actual street planners and city officials, to ensure we incorporate bike infrastructure: Gulliford@coj.net
  • Wiatt Bowers is the Senior Transportation Planner. Another person to question why bike infrastructure is largely not considered: Wiatt.Bowers@atkinsglobal.com
  • Chris LeDew of FDOT is a really nice guy and a real go-getter who is on our side. He is responsible for trying to incorporate bike infrastructure when possible on state roads. He is currently trying to propose to incorporate bike infrastructure on the Acosta Bridge, the first bridge in Jacksonville’s history to have such facilities. Please note that I said state roads, not city roads, so his area is limited. He is a reasonable person to have a discussion with and will give you straight answers, not a run-around: Chris.Ledew@dot.state.fl.us
  • Join the City of Jacksonville’s Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) each month to voice your concerns and speak with the Bike/Ped Coordinator in person. Meetings are hosted every first Thursday of the month, 5:30pm, Ed Ball Building Downtown, first floor, “The Training Room” right next to the south entrance. No worries if you show up late. You want change, get involved with the right people who actually work within the system. Don’t bash local advocates and place all the blame on them.
  • Good luck getting straight answers from a lot of these people. So far, I haven’t had much luck myself. And I’m not anywhere near alone with my frustrations about that.

Regarding Jacksonville’s administration:

  1. Councilman Bill Guilliford assumes it is the responsibility of local advocates to incorporate bike infrastructure. Not the professionals who work for the city. Not our city’s Bike/Ped Coordinator. Not the city street planners. Not the DOT, TPO, or JTA.
  2. Councilman Bill Gulliford perceives the outrage of the cycling community as “whining” (refer to email exchange below).
  3. You can email Bill Guilliford at: Gulliford@coj.net

I’m going to leave this post with a short sentiment and then, when you have the time, you may read the email exchange below relating to Bill Gulliford’s sentiments about the cycling community.

Stop bickering amongst your cycling peers. Start communicating your concerns to the proper authorities.

Ride safe and be well.

Below is an exchange of emails between active members of the cycling community and Councilman Bill Gulliford:

Mr. Gulliford,

Are you familiar with the City of Jacksonville’s Bike/Ped Coordinator, James Reed? He is the best man for the job regarding consulting with street planners for the integration of bicycle infrastructure. I am under the assumption he is the best man for the job because, 1) his title obviously pertains to this very specific school of thought, and 2) he’s getting paid by us, the tax payers to do said job. But then again, assumptions make an ass out of you and me, don’t they? If he has no authority in counseling with street planners for the progression of these streets, he should be given that authority, similar to most Bike/Ped Coordinators in other cities.

JTA, TPO, FDOT – These are a few well established organizations who are also supposed to be involved with street planning.

Grassroots advocacy organizations, bike clubs, bike shop owners, and other modestly-proportioned entities, whom are largely made up of people who have their own line of work to worry about, are not the groups that are supposed to be spearheading the enormously complex task of city street planning. Street planning, city planning, takes years of schooling and training. But don’t take my word for it; ask the Boston Bike Czar, Nicole Freedman, how it all works.

Have you ever traveled to other metropolises of this country? You’ll find that not only do they usually address the safety issues of their pedestrians and cyclists, but that they also have city workers, professionals in these very specific fields, who simply… do their jobs. Such as appointed decision-makers abiding by the guidelines of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).

The advocates are here to help. We’re also here to “whine” to the proper authorities about incompetence within the system so that proper authorities are alerted to the problem area. Not to take full responsibility for all the work that needs to be done around here.

I hope you’ll find these facts logical.

I will not stand for our councilmen and women placing the blame on the cycling community for why it is our streets are ill-designed for safety.

Jennifer Kubicki

.……………………….__o
.……………………….>,\
~~~~~~~~~~~~~( · ) / ( · )

Director, Designer, & Co-Founder
The Jacksonville Bicycle Coalition

 


From: Bert Shaw
To: Bill Gulliford <gulliford@coj.net>

Sent: Sunday, July 8, 2012 1:43 PM
Subject: RE: Atlantic Beach Takes Action to Improve Bicycle Safety.

Councilman Gulliford.
Thank your for your response and your comments.

I am uncertain as to when your experience with the lack of participation from the North Florida Bicycle Club (NFBC) occurred, but it was before my tenure as Bicyclist’s Advocate for NFBC as I was never invited to appear before your committee. And I am sorry that no one from the cycling community was willing to follow up with your committee.

Since my appointment as Bicyclists’ Advocate for NFBC I sent complete packages of materials, including recommendations and specific steps for improving bicycle safety and access in Jacksonville to all council members several years ago.  The only response I received was from Don Redman.  Councilman Redman arranged for me to meet with the staff from Mayor Peyton’s office.  At that meeting we secured a commitment to have James Reed review all plans for street project to assure that bicyclists and pedestrians were accommodated.  Somehow that never happened.  The result is that many new street projects continue without planning for bicycle access or at the worst, removal of existing access.

  • As the NFBC representative I am a member of The City of Jacksonville Bicycle And Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC).
  • I work regularly with James Reed, Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator for The City of Jacksonville.
  • At NFBC we have an excellent relationship with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office through their assigned bicycle liaison, Assistant Chief John Lamb,  who has instituted crash report analysis and educational programs to improve JSO.  His appointment occurred as a result Don Redman’s arranging a meeting with JSO and NFBC.
  • As I member of BPAC and representing the North Florida Bicycle Club we have submitted a resolution supporting the St. John’s River Ferry and we have organized rides in support of the ferry.
  • We work regularly with the local office of FDOT and at our behest they have instituted a number of road way designs, signs and steps to increase access and safety for area cyclists.
  • I have worked with the planning director of the City of Jacksonville Beach and they are instituting changes to assure safe cycling on First Street.
  • I met with the Jacksonville Transit Authority addressing issues of cycling access in construction zones and participated in their safety program.
  • The Florida Bicycle Association, through its local representative Jeff Hohlstein and its Bicycle Advocate Steve Tocknell regularly meets with government agencies and planners to advance cycling in Jacksonville.
  • The Jacksonville Bicycle Coalition regularly works for improving cycling in Jacksonville.

I believe that I can safely state that we at NFBC  are actively involved in seeking to improve conditions for cyclists.

  • In the meantime, Jacksonville continues to rank near the bottom in walking and biking in the United States.
  • The State of Florida leads the nation in bicycle and pedestrian crashes and deaths and Jacksonville ranks one of the highest in Florida.
  • The City Council placed a moratorium on the Mobility Plan, which effectively cuts funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects.
  • The Secretary of the Florida Department of Transportation is determined to change the conditions that have placed Florida in the worst state in the union for bicycle and pedestrian deaths and injuries and will be holding a series of meetings throughout the state discussing plans and seeking input.

I certainly do not hold you solely responsible for the lack of interest in cycling safety in Jacksonville and I hope you do not hold myself or NFBC responsible for the lack of past participation by the cycling community in the change process. I will contact the chair of the Public Health and Safety Committee and welcome your suggestions on further participating in the process that is needed to secure safe access for cyclists in Jacksonville.

Sincerely,

Bert W. Shaw, MA

Bicyclists’  Advocate and General Director
North Florida Bicycle Club

Protect your rights! Sign the
Bicyclists’ Bill of Rights


From: Gulliford@coj.net
To:
CC: STANJ@coj.net
Subject: RE: Atlantic Beach Takes Action to Improve Bicycle Safety.
Date: Sat, 7 Jul 2012 20:43:20 +0000

“The action of Atlantic Beach stands in stark contrast to lack of interest by the City of Jacksonville in bicycle safety.”

When I was the chairman of the Recreation, Community Development, Public Health and Safety I invited bicycle safety advocates to speak to the committee and they did so. I then encouraged them to develop recommended actions the City could take, contact me to schedule a return to the committee and then make their second presentation. I think your organization was part of that group but I am not sure. The videos of those meetings are on line and can be reviewed.

No one, not a single bicycle safety advocate ever contacted me or returned to any committee meeting and so we never received any suggested actions from the people who would seem to be the most knowledgeable and active!  

In our recent attempt to save the St. Johns River Ferry it has been repeatedly pointed out that the loss of the ferry would mean the Greenway route would shift to the Main Street bridge. How safe is that route for bicyclists compared to A1A and crossing the river on the ferry? We have been seeking support from all quarters. Where has your organization been on that important issue for bicyclists? Silence.

It seems to be your caustic “lack of interest” reference to the City of Jacksonville is misdirected and in fact your fellow advocates may be the real culprits for the lack of action. I would suggest you contact the chair of the new Public Health and Safety committee and see if you can advocate to that body for action. But it will take your active involvement; not just whining about what the City of Jacksonville isn’t doing.

Sincerely,
Bill Gulliford
City Council, District 13
 



From: Bert Shaw
Sent: Saturday, July 07, 2012 8:08 AM
Subject: Atlantic Beach Takes Action to Improve Bicycle Safety.

The action of Atlantic Beach stands in stark contrast to lack of interest by the City of Jacksonville in bicycle safety.

Atlantic Beach commissioners to review report on bicycle and pedestrian safety

Florida Times-Union (blog) – ‎10 hours ago‎
By Drew Dixon A report prepared by City Manager Jim Hanson details accident data for the Beaches municipalities and other area cities of comparable size on the First Coast. In Duval County, Atlantic Beach had the fewest number of traffic crashes at 719

Bert W. Shaw, MA

Bicyclists’  Advocate and General Director
North Florida Bicycle Club
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9 Comments leave one →
  1. August 9, 2012 6:29 AM

    I just realized how much we do actually pay people to design our deaths in a sense (stirring pause)

    http://news.jacksonville.com/govtsalaries/index.php?id=304065

  2. Harley permalink*
    August 9, 2012 7:46 AM

    Inconceivable we pay so much for so little, I cannot sleep sometimes because I desire and drum up creative ways to seek change[s]. And then again it is a dumbfounding, damnable truth that we are like sheep led to the slaughter. But we can bring the change we wish to see, I believe in you and all those sincere souls cycling against the fray day to day.

  3. August 9, 2012 1:12 PM

    But dear Lord did you see the link for Mr Hanson’s salary above?! Pissing lighter fluid I am, what an incredulous bewildering bullshit amount to give a man who does nothing to save human lives truly, ASTRONOMICAL PERJURY.

  4. Harley permalink*
    August 9, 2012 1:17 PM

    PS, THAT’s just ONE man in a CITY of Planners, womp womp – INSPIRATION: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPOMkdpBAoA

  5. Harley permalink*
    August 9, 2012 1:18 PM

    HAH, but to remember babe, the title of this post is forlorn ;P

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