Florida Complete Streets Policy Aims to Lower Rate of Fatal Cycling Accidents
FLORIDA- Florida has the highest rate of fatal bike accidents in the country, according to an online article on PEOPLEPOWEREDMOVEMENT.COM.*
Officials in the Sunshine State are working to improve safety for all road users. The Complete Streets policy, which was implemented originally in 1984, required all road construction in Florida to include safety considerations for pedestrians and cyclists. Studies indicate the program likely prevented anywhere from 3,500 to 4,000 bike-related fatalities.
Complete Streets does not require that engineers design the roads in any particular way. The law gives the local municipality the task of creating roads after considering the way those roads are already used or will be used. Street designs may require protected bike lanes in one area or improved lighting in another. There are many ways in which road design can include safety features that will promote safety for cyclists and pedestrians.
Despite the efforts and the program's success, bike-related fatal crashes continue to rise in the State. There are many likely causes, including busier roadways with heavier traffic, aggressive driving, distracted drivers, and aging drivers.
Florida is improving its Complete Streets policy to better protect cyclists. Some of the improvements include wider bike lanes, cyclist and pedestrian education programs, and training for community leaders.
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