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Two Clermont residents commit to advocate for safe, walkable and bikeable transportation

Shannon HidalgoORLANDO, Fla. — (June 25, 2015) — Two Clermont volunteers, Shannon Hidalgo and Sean Parks, will further propel their “Choice of Champions” city as a bicycle-friendly community as new members of the Bike/Walk Central Florida (BWCF) Board of Directors.

Clermont has become the destination for athletes to train for the Summer Olympics, but aside from attracting competitive cyclists, recently appointed BWCF Board Members Hidalgo and Parks want to foster safer trails, build adequate infrastructure and influence motorist behavior for families biking around the area.

“Bike/Walk Central Florida has been instrumental in improving the relationship between motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians,” said Hidalgo. “We want to bring that change to Clermont and south lake and normalize biking, not just for competitive athletes, but as a mode of transportation.”

Hidalgo and Parks are the first BWCF board members to represent Clermont to expand BWCF’s mission of promoting walkable and bikeable communities through raising public awareness and advocating for safe and active transportation and recreation.

“Shannon and Sean embody the spirit of Bike/Walk Central Florida and bring their talent and passion for their community to the table,” said Amanda Day, BWCF executive director.

Sean_ParksHidalgo serves as secretary of the South Lake Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. She is the president of Green Light Outdoors and was named a 2014 Women Who Mean Business nominee by the Orlando Business Journal. She lives in Montverde with her husband, David, and son, Joshua. Together, Hidalgo’s family enjoys spending time outdoors – biking, walking, hiking and running.

Parks is a Central Florida native who lives in Clermont with his wife, Ivy, and three children, Reagan, Willow and Eli. He is a certified urban and regional planner and owns and operates a consulting business. He serves as vice chairman on the Lake County Commission, as a board member of the Educational Foundation of Lake County and the Lake-Sumter State College Foundation. Parks walks often with his family and dog and runs 5K races.

About Bike/Walk Central Florida and Best Foot Forward

Bike/Walk Central Florida is a 501(c)(3) that promotes walkable and bikeable communities through raising public awareness and advocating for safe, active transportation and recreation by educating walkers, cyclists, motorists and transit riders about Florida’s road laws, their rights, responsibilities, and courteous behaviors; supporting transportation corridor planning and design using Complete Streets principles; encouraging the development and maintenance of trails throughout Florida; and promoting a built environment that supports physical, environmental and economic health, provides for safe transportation choices, and encourages interaction among citizens of all ages, incomes and abilities.

Bike/Walk Central Florida is responsible for administering, operating, and implementing the Best Foot Forward for pedestrian safety program launched in June 2012. The initiative was to reduce pedestrian deaths and injuries in Metro Orlando by getting drivers to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and getting pedestrians to be more careful crossing the street. More than a campaign, this “Triple-E” behavioral change process seeks to create lasting social good through the consistent and persistent application of low-cost engineering, community education, and high-visibility enforcement.

Initiated by Bike/Walk Central Florida under the leadership of former Orange County Mayor Linda Chapin, spearheaded by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Mayor Teresa Jacobs, the Best Foot Forward coalition includes Orange County Government, Orange County Public Schools, Orlando Health, Lynx, Winter Park Health Foundation, MetroPlan Orlando, the City of Orlando, Winter Park, Maitland, Winter Garden, Apopka, and towns of Eatonville and Windermere as well as police chiefs throughout Orange County led by Orlando Police Chief John Mina and Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings.

The long term goal is to cut pedestrian injuries in half in ten years. The short term goals are to increase driver yield rates by 60 percent on roads posted 35 mph and higher, and a 10 percent increase on driver yield rates year over year on roads posted 40 mph and higher. To learn more, go to http://bikewalkcentra.wpengine.com/.

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