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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

State Advocacy Organization - what's the point?

I've been following a major issue for advocates in Florida - a terrible bill was passed through state government and awaits the governor's signature - HB971.  The bill allows for golf carts and motorized vehicles on greenways.  It forces bicyclists to use the bike lanes, marginalizing them as roadway users if/when this bill is signed by the governor. 

The bill has apparently been attached to DUI legislation that allows repeat offenders to get their licenses back and is supported by MADD.  It apparently slid through and is now waiting for Governor Crist to sign it.  The only option for Florida cyclists is to request the governor veto it

Now, if this were Tennessee, and Bike Walk Tennessee is successful in building its membership and communication network, we can hopefully detect this kind of thing and help the Tennessee walk/bike community resist any such thing.  Can you imagine mopeds zipping along through Shelby Bottoms in Nashville, golf carts along the Tweetsie Trail when it's complete, or mopeds circling Stones River Battlefield in Murfreesboro? 

In the mean time, we'll keep working, and I hope we can count on you for your support.  Florida, we hope you get your veto and send your legislators back to work to fix it.  BWT will be studying your case as a lessons learned after this is over.  We wish you well.

Pat Clements
Nashville, TN
PS - I'm sure Forrester is mumbling "I told you so."

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