Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sarasota advocate to advise road engineers

Mike Lasche, a Sarasota bike advocate who is legislative chairman of the Florida Bicycle Association, will represent the bicycling
community on a new committee formed to advise the state Department of Transportation. The Florida Bicycle and Pedestrian Partnership Council was established after the cycling community was caught blind-sided by the bike-lane provisions slipped into HB971shortly before the Florida Legislature wrapped up its 2010 session.  Gov. Crist signed the bill earlier this month, making law the bill's provision that where bike lanes exist, bicyclists must use them instead of the street.

The 20-member council, appointed by Transportation Secretary Stephanie Kopelousos, includes representatives of various state agencies, local governments and road-user stakeholders.  For instance, Max Rothman of Florida International University will represent the "transportation disabled," and parks planner Malissa McCreedy, of Orlando, will represent pedestrians. Another notable appointee is Ken Bryan, Florida director of the Rails to Trails Conservancy. The chair will be Debbie Hunt, assistant FDOT secretary for intermodal development.

This isn't the first  state-level bike advisory group. Lasche also served on the Florida Bicycle Council in 1986, but that body wasn't continued by subsequent governors.  In Sarasota, Lasche leads a group called Bicycle/Pedestrian Advocates.  He also serves on the FBA board of directors.

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