Jacksonville to Establish a Bicycle Pedestrian Coordinator?

I am elated to tell you last night, the Jacksonville (Fl) City Council approved Ordinance 2013-155. The Ordinance establishes a full time employee known as the “bicycle/pedestrian coordinator” for the City of Jacksonville.

Now we need Mayor Brown to support and sign the Ordinance into law. If you wish to contact Mayor Brown to tell him your support, you may email him at mayorbrown@coj.net.

As most of you know, Jacksonville is currently one of the worst cities in the U.S. for deaths and injuries to bicyclists, walkers, runners, joggers, and skaters.  This conclusion is reached by independent nationwide studies by the Alliance for Biking & Walking, and Transportation For America.  Their conclusions have been accepted by the FDOT, Sheriff Rutherford, and acknowledged by our City Council.  These figures are not “funny math”.  Please consider the following key facts:

  • In 2005-2007, Jacksonville was the most dangerous U.S. city by bike/pedestrian fatality rate. (2010 Alliance for Biking and Walking Report).
  • In 2007-2009, Jacksonville was the 2nd worst U.S. city in bicycle/pedestrian fatality rate. (2012 Alliance for Biking and Walking Report).
  • In the last 10 years, Jacksonville was the 3rd most dangerous city in the U.S. to bike and walk.  (Dangerous By Design 2011)

Yet, as bad as the above statistics are, Jacksonville has become even worse in the past 2 years. Consider the statistics recently announced by Sheriff Rutherford:

  • From 2011 to 2012, bicycle fatalities in Jacksonville increased 80%. (March 1, 2013 T-U article quoting Sheriff Rutherford)
  • From 2011 to 2012, pedestrian fatalities increased 39%. (March 1, 2013 T-U article quoting Sheriff Rutherford.)

I can think of many ways to improve our serious problems with non-motorized transportation. But the first way to make progress is city support. We need a full-time bike pedestrian coordinator for the City. The City Council has recognized this and responded by the passage of this Ordinance. Mayor Brown’s signing this Ordinance would provide a bicycle pedestrian coordinator. Also, please consider what other cities have, compared to Jacksonville, as far as city employees responsible for bicycle pedestrian issues.

  • Minneapolis has 19.3 full-time equivalent employees per million people.
  • Portland has 27.2 full-time equivalent bike pedestrian employees in city government.
  • San Francisco has 18.3.
  • Chicago has 15 full-time equivalent employees per million residents.
  • Austin has 12.
  • Seattle has 6.
  • San Jose has 5 full-time equivalent employees.

Mayor Brown’s signing the Ordinance would give Jacksonville a start – one full-time employee who is desperately needed.

Thank you for your anticipated support.