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Bicycle safety takes center stage in St. Johns County meeting

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Updated: 11/12/2013 7:49 pm
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- St. Johns County leaders recognized there is a high number of bicycle-related accidents in St. Johns County and something has to be done to prevent them.

Cycling advocacy group Velofest met with local engineers, FDOT representatives, and law enforcement officers to discuss ways to make the roads safer.

The meeting comes just four days after cyclist Randy Miller, 43, was killed on State Road 16.

Miller's co-workers at IHOP said it's hard to even walk by his work station. He was killed while riding his bike on his way back home on Friday night.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, four other cyclists also lost their lives in St. Johns County this year. In total there were 67 reported bicycle-related accidents.

Velofest director Heather Neville said it's time to act.

"I had an engineer at DOT tell me once that when people start really dying that's when things will start really changing," said Neville.

The conversation on what those changes should be began at a meeting on Tuesday. But leaders agreed there's no one-size-fits-all solution for the problem facing St. Johns County.

"It's going to be a multifaceted approach with everybody and education is probably the key component of this," said Sgt. Catherine Payne of the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office.

Neville said educating the public is a good start but the infrastructure also has to improve.

"Infrastructure takes a long time. It has to be built, it has to be funded, planned and engineered. I think by staying focused on it we'll make that happen," said Neville.

Neville said it's a matter of sharing the road.

"Let's work hard so this doesn't become the trend," said Neville.

There is no timeline of when changes will start to take shape. Velofest plans on meeting again with St. Johns County leaders.
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Papakilo - 11/12/2013 11:24 PM
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FIRST, All bicycle riders need to dress appropriately and all bicycles must have lights and large reflective surface attached to it. I have seen many, way too many bike riders riding against traffic, with no lights, dark clothing, and no reflective tape on the back of their shirt or jacket. I have watched bike riders ride across 4 and 6 lane roads between traffic. Not to mention all the teens riding down the center of smaller streets and crisscrossing with on coming cars. My point is, don't hammer drivers when bikes and riders are inviting an accident.
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