On December 2, 2015, a passionate group of citizens, professionals, and allied organizations gathered at the John F. Germany Downtown Tampa Library to launch the Bike/Walk Tampa Bay coalition. “In Tampa, a bicyclist or pedestrian is killed every week, on average,” stated Retired Police Chief Jane Castor, one of the coalition’s advisory board members, kicking off the summit with the coalition’s most vital order of business— crash prevention. “We all need to come together to form a solution,” she said.
Break out groups participated in roundtable discussions to determine the coalition’s most important areas of focus. The five groups each covered one of the essential “E’s:” education, engineering, enforcement, encouragement, and evaluation. Expert facilitators worked with the groups to lead discussions, until the groups reached consensus. At the end of the day, the Bike/Walk Tampa Bay coalition had determined the area’s immediate safety needs, assigned responsibilities, and prioritized action items, declaring the summit a success.
Bike/Walk Tampa Bay Project Director Julie Bond said, “The official launch of the Bike/Walk Tampa Bay coalition signals a concerted, streamlined, and innovative effort to make biking and walking safer for every traveler by the bay.” The Bike/Walk Tampa Bay coalition is more than a vision—it is a commitment to preserve health, and to protect human life.