We have known for decades that University Avenue was unsafe for anybody who is not wrapped in a steel automotive cocoon. Shame on all of us that it took a rash of UF student deaths to finally force us as a community into action.
This press release from Gainesville Citizens for Active Transportation lays out a comprehensive, and necessary, plan to make University Avenue safe for all users, pedestrians and cyclists as well as motorists. Shame on all of us if we do not take this call for action seriously. Too many have been killed or injured to continue to ignore the dangerous reality that cuts through the heart of our city like a lethal knife.
#NotOneMore:Gainesville Citizens for Active Transportation (GCAT)Releases Pedestrian, Bicyclist & MotoristTransportation Safety Call to Action In light of the recent and previous tragic events involving pedestrian safety, Gainesville Citizens for Active Transportation (GCAT) has released a Call to Action report detailing recommendations to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety measures for both the immediate-, short- and long-term. Click here for the full #NotOneMore report.”The recent pedestrian and bicyclist deaths and injuries are not new and should surprise no one,” said GCAT President Chris Furlow. “West University Avenue, 13th Street, 34th Street, and Archer Road, all adjacent to the University of Florida, and Waldo/Williston Road in East Gainesville are known ‘hot spots’ for bike/ped crashes and fatalities.”Furlow noted that thousands of Alachua County residents have joined with parents, students, faculty, and staff from the University of Florida and Santa Fe College to form Gators Against Student Pedestrian Deaths (GASPD) to call for immediate action to save lives in partnership with Gainesville Citizens for Active Transportation (GCAT) a local advocacy group for transportation safety.Highlights of the #NotOneMore report include the following: • Urgent action is needed to improve bike/ped safety in Gainesville. The State of Florida, City of Gainesville, Alachua County, and the University of Florida MUST work together in order to make progress
• The most dangerous roads in Alachua County for ALL users are State-owned roads and the State of Florida and FDOT MUST step-up in order to make real progress on transportation safety
• The report identifies and recommends significant changes that will improve the safety of ALL road users and particularly the most vulnerable users: pedestrians and bicyclists
• Recommended changes are divided by controlling authority (City, County, State, and University) and by the time-scale needed to implement changes
• Immediate changes to improve safety primarily involve enforcement of traffic laws particularly speeding, distracted driving, and DUI
• All medium- and long-term changes require State of Florida/FDOT approval or the willingness of the State to turn Sections of University Avenue and 13th Street over to the City of Gainesville
• Long-term, University Avenue and 13th Street MUST be converted into COMPLETE STREETS designed for the safety of ALL corridor users, a process that will take years and millions of dollars, for sustained safety improvements
• The cost of not taking action is most significantly the lives that could have been saved, the injuries that could have been prevented, and the families who are no longer whole. However, even if our families are never directly impacted by lost lives and injuries, we ALL pay for inaction by the costs caused by crashes. The cost of inaction is far greater than the cost of taking action.Gainesville Citizens for Active Transportation (GCAT) is a nonprofit social welfare organization formed to advocate for complete streets practices that promote cycling, walking, disability access, and transit through education and advocacy for a safe and convenient network of multi-use trails and streets. Active travel strengthens connections in neighborhoods, and enhances our community’s quality of life, health, environment, and economy. GCAT envisions a community in which active transportation is a viable and attractive option for all.
Here is a link to GCAT’s detailed position paper outlining how to redesign University Avenue.
Please, GNV, not one more.