The Florida Legislature is currently reviewing Senate Bill 7054, which would fund the creation of the SunTrail network. The proposed SunTrail network (or the Florida Shared-Use Non-Motorized Trail Network) is a system of trails solely designated for Florida’s vulnerable road users. The statewide trail system would provide a safer transportation option for people on bikes and pedestrians. The SunTrail could help reduce injuries and fatalities of cyclists and pedestrians caused by motor vehicle accidents.
For years, Florida has been one of the most dangerous states to walk or ride a bicycle. Sadly, there were 120 cycling fatalities in Florida last year, and crashes were predominately caused by drivers not yielding the right of way to cyclists. Negligent driver behavior, lack of safety education and inadequate infrastructure elements are the main reasons biking and walking has been hazardous. By building new transportation alternatives for bicyclists and pedestrians, which do not have to be shared with motorists like roadways, serious collisions can be prevented.
Safety is not the only benefit of having a new trail system. Recreational trails improve public health, promote local business and increase the value of property near them. I encourage all Floridians to support the SunTrail network bill by visiting www.peopleforbikes.org and don't forget to share with your friends on Facebook and other social media platforms.