[UPDATE] Tallahassee, FL - March 14, 2012 - 5:45 p.m.
Community members say bikes and buses are a dangerous mix.
That's why many are against a proposed bus-bike lane for Tennessee Street in Tallahassee.
Tallahassee City Commissioners agree that West Tennessee Street is dangerous. But, many community members don't agree with what's being proposed to change it.
"Not only no, but, hell no." Says, one woman who's owned her business on West Tennessee for a couple of decades.
Tallahassee City Commissioners got that message loud and clear.
Most business owners on West Tennessee Street do not want a driving lane to be converted into a bus and bike lane.
The woman continues by saying, "It's like putting mice and elephants together. I think it'll be really dangerous. The elephants might be running over the mice like crazy. Please don't do this project as it stands now."
Residents voiced their concerns during a public hearing on Wednesday morning.
One man stood up and said, "I think the best thing you can do is slow traffic down."
The proposed project is designed to improve safety for bicyclists, pedestrians, and drivers; as well as provide solutions to heavy traffic.
Asimina Boutzoukas from FSU's Student Government Association spoke at the public hearing. She says, "Having this change without an increase in the amount of buses, there's simply going to be the same amount of bus riders, the same amount of cars and it's just going to have one less lane for them to drive in. So, you're just going to end up with more congested traffic."
Commissioner Mark Mustian says, "We don't have the perfect solution, we can't plan the perfect solution, but we're going to have to do something."
There's another public hearing scheduled for March 28th at 6:00 p.m. at Tallahassee City Hall.
PRESS RELEASE - March 14, 2012 -
Public Hearing on Tennessee Street Safety Improvements
City Commission Seeks Citizen Input
The Tallahassee City Commission held a public hearing at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, March 14, providing citizens with another opportunity to comment on needed safety improvements for Tennessee Street between Monroe Street and Ocala Road. The public hearing will take place in the City Commission Chambers on the second floor of City Hall, 300 S. Adams St.
Wednesday's public hearing continued what has been an extensive public involvement process thus far to collect ideas and suggestions on how to address significant safety concerns on the segment of Tennessee Street between Monroe Street and Ocala Road. The Commission will also be seeking additional input from the public regarding current and future traffic capacity issues for the Tennessee Street corridor.
In the last nine years, over 180 pedestrians and bicyclists have been involved in accidents with motor vehicles on Tennessee Street. To address this concern, the City Commission directed staff from several departments to research alternative proposals designed both to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians but also motorists, as well as provide solutions to heavy usage of the corridor. Proposals brought forth thus far include the potential for a lane in each direction restricted to StarMetro buses with bicycle paths on adjacent streets, a shared lane concept, and off-peak parking to create a barrier between bicyclists and motorists.
The Tennessee Street improvements are part of the much larger Moving Tallahassee: Cars Optional plan to create a master transportation plan for the entire Mobility District, which encompasses downtown, Florida State University, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee Community College, and the Frenchtown and Midtown neighborhoods. Due to the close proximity of jobs, schools, shopping and parks in this area, the goal of the Mobility District is to provide citizens an opportunity to live their daily lives with various choices in how to commute, whether it be to walk, bike, take transit, or drive. Because population and related transportation demands will continue to rise, and because road building is so expensive, investing in other modes of transportation is necessary to maintain Tallahassee’s wonderful quality of life.