Wednesday, July 2, 2008

FBA Launches Redesigned Websites

And the FBA Blog Moves to a New Home

How do you like our redesigned websites at and We are keeping up with the times and possibly even getting a little bit ahead of the curve. You may be noticing that bicycling is all of a sudden getting pretty cool again. And we just want to help.

The new sites are easier to navigate with drop down menus for logical exploring to find the content you desire. And if you can’t find what you need, let us know and we’ll help you find it or add resources.

Special thanks go to Roger Pierce and Randall Williams, two of FBA’s former webmasters. Roger passed the baton to Randall in 2002 resulting in a redesign. Now, six years later, Randall has handed off website duties to Keri Caffrey following a search for a webmaster available to devote more time to the site. Keri, as the owner of Keri Caffrey, Inc. , operates a professional design studio with a national client base. Better yet, she’s a bicycle advocate, educator and commutes by bike most days to the office.

Take time to thoroughly explore the new sites and let us know what you think.

One item where we need your help is in building a list of bicycle-friendly attorneys to assist people in finding experienced legal assistance in their area of the state. FBA wants to develop more victim assistance so your suggestions are appreciated. Providing names of attorneys upon request does not mean FBA is a referral service but merely a place to start when searching for counsel. Contact Laura Hallam with recommendations.

This will be the last post on the blog at this address. We have transported the FBA Blog into a Wordpress database, it now resides on the home page of the redesigned website. Please change your blogroll links to

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Cycling Smackdown at the Bowling Alley

Central Florida cyclists will battle it out to raise money for advertising on Lynx buses to educate motorists on the 3 Foot Passing Law.

May 24th, 2008
Winter Park Bowl America
1111 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park
(a mile east of I-4)

$20 per person donation gets you a bowling ball, lane, shoes and 3 games.

Cash prize: Top scorer wins $100!

Teams consist of 4 players---grab THREE teammates from your bike club, your neighborhood and register today!

Raffle Prize: Trek 3.0 Soho hybrid or set of Bontrager Race X Light wheels. Generously donated by David’s World Cycle. $1 per ticket or $5 for 6 tickets

Maybe you can ride a bike but let’s see if you bowl strikes or gutter balls.

Beer sold at the lanes.

Please email to enroll your team.

We hope to see representation from the following:
Armada, BOBbies, Florida Freewheelers, Flamingos, Glory Cycle, Team 19, Hal’s Pals, Seminole Cyclists, Windemere Roadies, etc.


Thursday, May 1, 2008


Please submit your public comment about Tamiami Trail rebuilding to ensure that cyclists and pedestrians are considered in the road/bridge design, and that the design is coordinated with the proposed River of Grass Greenway. The 30-day comment period ends May 9, 2008. Please take action - your comments can have a significant effect.

The specific name of this project is the Limited Reevaluation Report and Environmental Assessment (LRR/EA). Tamiami Trail Modifications extend for 12-miles west of Krome Ave. (= the eastern-most 12 miles of the ROGG). The purpose of the modifications is to improve water flow into Everglades National Park, as part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). Current plans include a 1-mile bridge with 12-ft travel lanes and 10-ft paved shoulders. Cyclists should be concerned about obstructions in the shoulder, such as rumble strips, raised reflectors, or drainage grates.

For more information about LRR, contact Bradley A. Foster at 904-232-2110
or You can download the draft plan from



The House Congressional Resolution on Bicycling (H.Con.Res. 305), introduced in February, calls on the United States Congress to adopt a national bicycling strategy to fully realize the incredible benefits of getting more people bicycling, more safely, more often. There is a "sense of Congress" that complete streets policies are essential to ensure wise use of considerable Federal investment in transportation infrastructure, and that expanded funding for bicycling and walking programs is desirable and appropriate.


As we celebrate National Bike Month in May (even though March was designated as Florida Bike Month), cities and organizations throughout the country will be hosting events promoting bicycling as a healthy, fun, and viable form of transportation. This is also a perfect opportunity to contact your Congressional Representatives to thank those that have signed onto the Resolution and urge those that have not to so. A good showing for the Resolution is essential as this would serve as the first ever comprehensive bicycling policy statement and would serve as an important policy statement guide for the next transportation reauthorization which begins next year (2009).

As part of National Bike Month please take a moment to Contact your Congressional Member to urge them to support HCONRES305.

Thank you.

League of American Bicyclists


The court has denied our Motion for Rehearing. We are evaluating the options regarding the appeal to the Florida Supreme Court on the specific issue at hand, but have been advised that less than 5% of such petitions are granted, so we don't want to get our hopes up. This does not undo, however, the great strides we have made to date. Notwithstanding, the cycling community now has the responsibility to go forward and to make the court's opinion mean something more than the paper it is written on.

We'll be in touch soon.

Jeffrey Lynne, Esq.
Akerman Senterfitt

This set back does not negate our need for funding. Please keep those checks and credit card transactions coming. Checks are better because they save FBA credit card fees, but both methods are greatly accepted. The easiest way to donate to this very important campaign is to go to the "Join FBA" link on the FBA homepage. Complete the membership form and reference "FDOT Appeal" in the "Comments" section. Enter a dollar amount if a preferred amount isn't listed. Complete the transaction using a credit card or print the form and mail with a check to FBA, PO Box 718, Waldo FL 32694. ALL MONIES RAISED FOR THIS CAMPAIGN WILL BE FORWARDED TO AKERMAN SENTERFITT to support the case.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Petitioners have filed a Motion for Reconsideration with the 1st District Court of Appeal asking them to reconsider their decision not to make FDOT (Florida Department of Transportation) install bike lanes on State Route A1A where there is sufficient state owned right-of-way to do so. This “reconsideration” is based upon the principle that the court ruled against the petitioners on that issue without allowing them the opportunity to present their brief and argue the issue. This issue was not introduced in the Informal Hearing by FDOT or petitioners and therefore, not thought to be part of the oral argument.

This continued battle requires funding, especially in the light that most of the work done to date has been pro bono. FBA needs your donations earmarked for this campaign. The statewide implications of victory or defeat are huge. Donations can be made my mail to FBA, PO Box 718, Waldo FL 32694, or by visiting our website at Click on "Join Now" and designate Appeal Campaign in the "comments" section.

Thank you for your support.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

You Bike to Work? Oh, You Poor Thing!

The folks at Streetsblog have posted a video of a recent State Farm Insurance commercial in which some poor guy must resort to (gasp!) biking to work due to the high cost of gasoline. They dressed him up as a cycling fashion tragedy to help make the point.

If you're a State Farm customer like me, you might want to contact your agent and express your displeasure. (Of course it's not your agent's fault, but the corporate website had no way to send an e-mail to the PR or executive folks.)

UPDATE: Here's the comments page for the State Farm website.

UPDATE 2: In the comments section Kelt wrote: "I will not ever be a SF customer if that demonstrates their attitude." Now I'm not suggesting you should either become or remain a State Farm customer, but think about this: every problem holds the seed of its solution. Every corporation wants to be associated with good things. I asked them to contact the League and try to develop some Share the Road-themed commercials. They're buying ad time anyway, and they'd much rather run ads that make their existing and potential customers proud to be associated with them.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A1A: Losing a Skirmish, But Winning a Major Battle

The Florida First District Court of Appeal released its decision on Bruce Rosenzweig et al vs. FDOT today, and the news is mostly very good. The Court wrote:
Bicycle paths shall be established unless the Department exercises its discretion not to establish bicycle and pedestrian ways where any of the conditions in section 335.065(1)(b) are demonstrated. Accordingly, we agree with appellants’ interpretation of the statute and find that the Department’s discretion is limited.

The key point in that to my ears is "demonstrated." The Department must now demonstrate that a particular project cannot include bike lanes and/or sidewalks, due to reasons of safety, excessive cost, or an absence of need. The Court also made clear that cyclists and pedestrians clearly have legal standing in such matters. Cycling and pedestrian advocates must still be watchful on projects, but now have a much stronger hand to force FDOT to prove any of those three conditions. Indeed, FDOT procedures have long required that Districts record any variation from the requirement to provide bicycle and pedestrian facilities; now the Court says they must do so as well.

Unfortunately, due to procedural matters, the plaintiffs were not able to show that the cost of providing bike lanes and sidewalks on A1A in particular were within a reasonable cost range. Discussion is on-going to determine if they will pursue the procedural matter up to the Florida Supreme Court.

The decision can be read here in its entirety.

Huge thanks are due to plaintiffs Bruce Rosenzweig, the Boca Raton Bicycle Club, and the League of American Bicyclists for stepping forward, and especially to the law firm of Akerman Senterfitt for its untold hours (though I'm sure they know how many!) of effort.

Road I Course in Orlando

FBA is teaming up with the BOBbies women's cycling group and Metroplan Orlando to host another Road I Cycling Course.

Here's what Ironwoman Aylin had to say about the course:

I admit that the reason I came to the course was more to accompany my friend who I am introducing to road cycling, however to my suprise I got extremely good information out of it that will benefit and protect me while I am riding.

The 10-hour course will be held Friday April 4 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., and Saturday the 5th from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Metroplan Orlando's downtown offices. Six spaces are still available as of March 25. The fee is $30.

Road I gives cyclists the confidence they need to ride safely and legally in traffic. The course covers bicycle safety checks, fixing a flat, on-bike skills and crash avoidance techniques, and includes a student manual. Recommended for adults and children above age fourteen, this fast-paced, nine-hour course prepares cyclists for a full understanding of vehicular cycling.

For more information go here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Armstrong Starts Bike Shop for Commuters

Via Spokes 'n' Folks

Lance Armstrong has figured out the next stage of his life. He is busily preparing to open a bike shop in May that will cater to commuters in downtown Austin, Texas.

Armstrong said he'd like to see Austin evolve into a place like Portland, OR, where biking is part of the culture and people pedal to work, to restaurants and to run errands. "Walk outside, and the streets are lined with bikes — because they have a safe place to ride," Armstrong said of the city long known for its bicycle-friendly amenities and policies.

So how does Austin get to that point?

"The (Lance Armstrong Bikeway) is a big start," he said. Armstrong and his general partner in the project, Bart Knaggs, said they'd like to see Austin create bike lanes separated from vehicle traffic and a system like a new one in Paris where people can use a credit card to rent a bicycle from a bike rack station and return it at any of the dozens of other stations around the city.

"There are times I ride in Austin, and I'm afraid of cars," Armstrong said. "Imagine what the beginner cyclist must feel like? I think (Mayor) Will Wynn's dream was this whole revitalization of downtown, which we're getting, but it's going to make it a lot easier if people can get around on bikes."

Wow. Somebody sign Lance up for a Road I course!!!

The shop will be called Mellow Johnny's, for the nickname Armstrong earned in the Tour de France, wearing the leader's yellow jersey, the maillot jaune. The commuter-friendliness of the shop will be not just in the gear it sells or its location near Austin's gleaming new high-rises. There will be showers and locker rooms, so road warriors from the sprocket set can show up at work looking just as sharp as the dude in the next cubicle. There's lots more to read in the Austin American Statesman. The news gets a hearty hurrah from DutchBikes in Seattle, another bike-friendly city.

Friday, February 1, 2008

A1A Bike Lane Lawsuit Update


The continuing saga of the A1A issue in Palm Beach County hit a high note Tuesday in Tallahassee when attorney advocates had their day in court. Before or after you read pro bono attorney and FBA member Jeff Lynne's summary, visit this link to the video from the hearing, then go to:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS:It became apparent during the hearing that the court did not agree either with FDOT's interpretation of §335.065, Fla. Stat., or FDOT's assertion that we do not have "standing" to challenge their failure to follow the law. The court did have some concerns as to the procedural irregularity of the hearing below, and questioned whether we sufficiently preserved the issue for appeal, but we were able to provide the court with a case on point after the hearing which we believe should alleviate those concerns. We remain cautiously optimistic based upon our collective impressions of how the hearing transpired, and hope for the best.

If the court is to rule in our favor, we believe that the opinion and order would provide, in whole or in part, that:

(1) There is a statutory presumption under §335.065, Florida Statutes, that bike lanes are to be included in all resurfacing projects, unless a legally recognized statutory or regulatory exception exists;

(2) FDOT has the burden of establishing and memorializing that such an exception exists and documenting same;

(3) There are persons with substantial interests in the provisions of bicycle lanes which gives them the right (i.e., standing) to challenge FDOT's failure to meet its burden of establishing and memorializing that such an exception exists; and

(4) FDOT must re-examine the A1A Project and determine where it cannot place 4-5 foot bike lanes and submit "Design Exception/Variance" documents stating the reason for not doing so [at which time persons can challenge FDOT's factual conclusions as to available right of way, cost, etc.].

Even if FDOT comes back and says they are not putting in standard-width bike lanes because of "A, B and C", at least those grounds will be based upon exceptions lawfully recognized. For instance, if drainage is an issue (and if we don't dispute that fact), then bike lanes can be limited in scope. However, if the Town of Ocean Ridge doesn't like bike lanes, that's not going to cut it.

However, the court could also rule that the procedural irregularity which occurred was fatal to our cause and not even address the core legal issue on bike lanes. But we feel that is unlikely considering the time allowed and the interest expressed by the panel.


The concern you heard the court express during the hearing is a nuance regarding the procedural aspects of the administrative hearing below. There is no short way to explain this, but I will try (as a lawyer, that's hard to do!).

Under the statutory procedures established by the Florida Legislature to challenge decisions from administrative agencies such as FDOT, if the dispute includes a need to determine facts (such as how much something costs), the agency (FDOT) is required to refer the matter to an impartial third-party (the Department of Administrative Hearings or "DOAH") to conduct a "formal" hearing, with testimony, etc., to make a determination of what the "facts" actually are.

On the other hand, if the dispute is not about facts, but only the application of rules or laws to agreed-upon facts, the agency can proceed "informally" (which is what occurred here) and set the matter before a "hearing officer" of its choosing (in this instance, FDOT's Chief Engineer).

However, if during that informal hearing, it becomes apparent that there is a dispute as to facts, we believe the agency is obligated, under rule, to stop the hearing and transfer the matter to DOAH to conduct the formal hearing we described above.

The questions posed by the court were:

(1) Whether FDOT, by setting our matter for an "informal" hearing, implicitly agreed to the facts we alleged in our complaint?

(2) Once (and if) it became apparent during the informal hearing that FDOT was relying upon facts that we otherwise disputed in our complaint (such as, we asserted in our complaint that the cost of building the bike lanes did not outweigh the need), who has the burden of suspending the hearing and requesting a formal hearing, us or FDOT? If it is us, and if FDOT then places those otherwise disputed facts into the Final Order, are we then stuck with those findings of fact?

In response, we were able to identify (after the hearing) a case which appears to be almost directly on point, which concludes that a party cannot "waive" the right to a formal hearing, notwithstanding that it became apparent during an informal hearing that there was a factual dispute. We were able to file a copy of that case with the court for its review during its deliberations on the matter.

And now we just wait....

Thanks to all the attorneys, Boca Raton Bicycle Club and the League of American Bicyclists for their tremendous support of this issue. FBA is behind this matter all the way.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Obama Supports Cycling

from the web site Bike Europe:
US Presidential Candidate Obama Favours Bicycling

PORTLAND, US – Bicycle advocacies from city of Portland have unearthed a quote from US presidential candidate Barack Obama regarding his support for cycling.

He even seems to be the only one of the Democratic presidential candidates who explicitly encourages bicycle transportation in his energy plans. On the Republican side, the only mention of bicycles comes from Mike Huckabee, who told Grist, "I run and enjoy the outdoors and I often ride my bicycle to the store. My kids laugh at me and call me an old geezer, but I love it. Several years ago, I would have driven."

A part of the quote of Obama’s energy platform:

“As president, Barack Obama will build upon his efforts in the Senate to ensure that more Metropolitan Planning Organizations create policies to incentivize greater bicycle and pedestrian usage of roads and sidewalks. He will also re-commit federal resources to public mass transportation projects across the country.”

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Tallahassee Newspaper Reporter Gets It Right

Kudos to Tallahassee Democrat writer Gerald Ensley and to long-time cycling advocate Chris Sands for setting the record straight.

How it warms my heart to see the words: "bicyclists fare best when they obey the rules of the road and operate like other vehicles" in print.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

New Way to Report Bad Drivers

For some years we've been thinking about a site where cyclists could report bad motorists. Well, it's out there: PlateWire.

You can report the tag number, behavior and location and even request a postcard be sent to the offending driver for $2 (if they are able to find the address). Go here to see the Florida tags.

You're not limited to complaints. You can also flirt with drivers who catch your fancy and give attaboys to polite drivers. The one "Award" tag in Florida was a Share the Road tag!