The Gift of Peace & Coexistence

Coexist sign concept by Wayne Pein

Coexist sign concept by Wayne Pein

Christmas came early in Winter Park, Eatonville and Maitland. Earlier this month, the trustees of the Winter Park Health Foundation agreed to fund the next phase of the Civility on the Road initiative. This grant will support the research phase of the initiative—focus group testing of attitudes and successful social messaging. Funds will be administered by the Florida Bicycle Association. The social marketing professionals at Salter>Mitchell will conduct the research. The project will be overseen by a citizen advisory board of bike/ped advocates, law enforcement and driving educators (Safety Council).

The idea for this initiative was submitted by me last December when WPHF put out a request for citizen ideas to create a healthy, active community. The purpose of the idea is to encourage active transportation by creating a more welcoming environment for non-motorized road users (see, Roads are for People). The idea has resonated with non-cyclists as well as cyclists because everyone feels the impact of impatient, uncivil behavior on the roads (I feel it more driving a car than I do on my bike).

Through its Healthscaping initiative, the Winter Park Health Foundation has funded several other projects to benefit cyclists, including 34 new bike racks in Winter Park, Eatonville and Maitland and a Wayfinding system which is being overseen by Metroplan Orlando. Last year, they produced a Fun & Fitness Map which included favorite routes through town, next year the map will be expanded to include more area and detail.

Merry Christmas!

5 replies
  1. Eric
    Eric says:

    So I follow I link to the WPHF and I see that the site has changed a lot since I was there a year ago or so.

    And there is this new committee? The Encouraging Civility on the Road committee? What’s that all about? Has it had any meetings?

  2. Keri
    Keri says:

    I read about the pace car program when I was researching social change initiatives.

    Ever since then, I’ve been a pace car when I drive. It’s fun. My rearview mirror is always full of the grill of an SUV driving 3ft off my bumper. I don’t know why they think intimidation will make me go faster.

    I wish law enforcement would figure out a way to ticket people for tailgating. It’s a worse problem than speeding and a contributor to road rage.

  3. fred_dot_u
    fred_dot_u says:

    Since Keri drives a bicycle more often than she drives a motor vehicle (I’m guessing), her comment holds water in both types of vehicles. Certainly when I’m driving my bike, I’m a pace vehicle as well.

    I’ve seen letters in the Orlando newspaper complaining about motor vehicle traffic using neighborhoods as short-cuts for heavy-traffic intersections. When I see that, I think that those people who live there should simply get out on their bicycles and manage their lane position on a regular basis. There might be some misguided geese (horn honking) but I’ll bet those short-cutting drivers will eventually get the message and stick to the main roads.

    I agree about tailgating. I’d venture a guess that law enforcement won’t ticket for tailgating since it appears to be the most common offense on the road and they would not be able to keep up with “demand”. That leads my thoughts to the recent rage about red-light cameras. The newspaper-letter-writers say that they should be allowed to run red lights to avoid being hit from behind when they stop at a red light! Better to be hit from behind than to T-bone or be T-boned by another motor vehicle.

    I was amused to read in the “Ticked-off” portion of the paper that one write was upset that with the lower price of fuel, more idiot drivers are back on the roads! I’m a little disappointed when the price of fuel drops, but I just keep on pedaling.

  4. ChipSeal
    ChipSeal says:

    With the precipitous drop in revenue from business taxes, property taxes and sales taxes, ticketing tailgaters may be a more reliable revenue stream for our local municipalities!

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