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2015 Share The Road Award honorees announced

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Bike Florida’s press release for the upcoming Celebration of Cycling’s Share the Road Awards Banquet on November 14, 2015.  Contact Ron Cunningham via phone at 352-262-5798 or email at ron@sharetheroad.org for more information.

A mayor who took up the bike-ped safety challenge. A visionary state transportation official who wants to put Florida on a road diet. A newspaper that produced groundbreaking journalism to spread the Share The Road message.

Orange County Mayor Theresa Jacobs, Florida Department of Transportation District 1 Secretary Billy Hattaway and the News-Press of Ft. Myers are among the honorees selected by Bike Florida and the Florida Bicycle Association to receive the 2015 Share The Road Awards. Other honorees include Dan Burden, Florida’s first bike-ped coordinator; The Vero Cycling Club; Sarasota County cycling advocate Steve Christian; and The Cycling Hub, in Clermont.

The awards will be presented at Bike Florida’s annual Share The Road Awards Banquet, Saturday, Nov. 14, in the City of Clermont. It is the concluding event of Bike Florida’s two-day Share The Road Celebration of Cycling weekend. For more information about weekend events go to www.sharetheroad.org.

“The Share The Road Awards honor outstanding leaders, advocates and organizations that made significant contributions to the cause of bike-ped safety in the Sunshine State,” said Bike Florida Executive Director Ron Cunningham. “This year’s winners truly embody the Share The Road spirit.”

“The Share the Road honorees demonstrate a commitment to make good things happen for Florida that isn’t talked up enough,” Florida Bicycle Association Executive Director Becky Afonso stated. “It’s time to pay attention to this tangible progress and thank those who are making a difference.”

The Share The Road Awards honor outstanding achievement in seven categories.

1. Leadership: Teresa Jacobs

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs takes her challenges seriously. After Orlando was named the most dangerous city in America for pedestrians, Jacobs accepted the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Mayors Challenge for Safer People, Safer Streets. Her administration launched a $15 million, five-year pedestrian and bicycle safety infrastructure improvement initiative that will help transform urban Orange County into a more bike-ped friendly community.

2. Founder: Dan Burden

We like to think of Dan Burden as Florida’s gift to walkable/bikeable America. As founder of Walkable Communities Inc. Dan has helped cities across the nation and around the world become more bike-and-pedestrian friendly. He is America’s foremost authority on walkable and bikeable communities. He is also a pioneer of safe cycling in Florida, having previously been Florida’s first bicycle and pedestrian coordinator and served on the Florida DOT’s “Greenbook” Committee, helping to draft safe streets and traffic calming standards.

3. Visionary: Billy Hattaway

If Florida has a Share The Road evangelist, it is FDOT District 1. Secretary Billy Hattaway. He has embraced the challenge of making Florida a more bicycle-andpedestrian friendly state with an enthusiasm rarely seen in a transportation bureaucracy. Under his leadership FDOT has undergone a fundamental cultural change, as phrases like “road diet” and “Complete Streets” have become part of the FDOT lexicon. Florida now has its first statewide pedestrian and bicycle safety plan, and Hattaway has reached out to a broad coalition of local governments, law enforcement agencies, bike-ped advocates and other stakeholders in a concerted effort to reverse Florida’s unenviable reputation as a dangerous state for walking and cycling.

4. Media: The News-Press, Ft. Myers

This is our first Share The Road Media Award. We created it especially to honor the groundbreaking work of the News Press, in Ft. Myers, for its year-long Share The Road series. The project was conceived after Lee County was named one of the 10 worst places in America for bicycle fatalities. Project leader Janine Zeitlin and her team of reporters, photographers and editors have produced a cogent series of data-based analysis, human interest stories about cyclists who died on county roads, guest commentaries and hard-hitting editorial commentary that laid out a specific agenda – a call to action – to achieve a more bicycle friendly community. The series is a great example of public service journalism.

5. Advocate: Steve Christian

If you go to the web site www.bikeveniceflorida.com, the first thing you will see is Steve Christian’s smiling face. And why not? If there is a bicycle safety initiative underway anywhere in the Venice area – indeed, anywhere in Sarasota County – Steve is invariably at the center of it. He produced Sarasota County’s Bicycle Lane/Shoulder Inventory and Assessment Report. He worked long and hard to help Venice earn its Silver-level Bicycle Friendly Community designation. He is a tireless advocate for the extension of Sarasota County’s Legacy Trail. He created www.bikeveniceflorida.com. Christian is a true champion for safe cycling in Southwest Florida.

6. Bike Club: Vero Cycling Club

This year, Indian River County was designated a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. It was the first countywide designated awarded in Florida – previous LAB designations have gone to individual cities. Vero Cycling Club members worked closely with county government and other partners to complete the application process – first securing “Honorable Mention” and the next year achieving a Bronze-level designation. The club has advocated for buffered bike lanes, established a big community ride and regular social rides, and several of its members have been certified as League Cycling Instructors (LCIs).

7. Volunteer: The Cycling Hub

This year the Cycling Hub was named a Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Business by the League of American Bicyclist. Over the course of a decade of operation The Cycling Hub has been a guiding force in Clermont’s continuing efforts to become a magnet for Florida cycling. The Hub has worked with the City of Clermont and other partners to secure South Lake’s bicycle friendly designation. Owners Bryan and Becky Davis and their staff regularly host community rides and provide support services for Clermont area cycling events. Among other events, The Cycling Hub hosts an annual breast cancer awareness ride.

Bike Florida Share the Road Awards Banquet

The awards banquet will be held from 6-9 p.m. November 14 at the Heritage Hills Ballroom, 3195 Heritage Hills Blvd., Clermont.

For further information contact Ron Cunningham, Executive Director of Bike Florida, at 352-262-5798 or ron@bikeflorida.org.

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