The TallyCast

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College Aveune Bike Lane

Tallahassee, meet the new College Avenue bike lane.  The lane starts at Copeland street and potentially does a pretty good job of of getting bike riders safely to the edge of downtown.  It’s painted red, has bicycle symbols every few feet and is built to meet some of the current standards.

A few weeks ago, the TallyCast received an email from a local rider complaining about cars being parked in the bike lane.

I checked it out several times over the last few weeks.  While it’s not always as bad as in this photo, every time I checked there were always at least a few cars parked in the bike lane.  Apparently, there is no enforcement of Florida Statue 316.1945 which prohibits parking in a bike lane or bike path.  During my multiple visits to the street, I never saw any tickets or any sign of towing.  My guess is that most of the cars parked in the bike lane belong to people drinking at the bar on the corner of College and Copeland, or visiting friends in the apartments and houses along College Avenue.

We have some pretty silly laws and I understand that selective enforcement is not always bad, but this law deserves to be enforced.

I’m not sure if FSU allows public parking in their Call Street garage in the evenings and on weekends, but if they do, it’s a short walk to College Avenue.  If it’s not, our bureaucrats and politicians should be working on making it happen.

Last weekend, I wrote to Tallahassee Mayor John Marks alerting him to this issue and asking for a statement that I could include in this article. 

Here is his response:

If you care about bicycle infrastructure in Tallahassee, you can write Mayor Marks through an email form on his city web site.  Perhaps if enough people write, the City might pay attention.

The photograph of Mayor Marks, his aide and several bicycle heros was taking on the National Bicycle Greenway 2005 Mayor’s Bike Ride and was pulled from the bikeroute.com web site.

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2 Comments

  1. I’ve been following up on this issue and while I still have not heard back from Mayor Marks, I have discovered the following. Parking in a bicycle lane is a violation of Florida Statue 316.1945 1(a) 9 which reads,

    316.1945 Stopping, standing, or parking prohibited in specified places.–

    (1) Except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic, or in compliance with law or the directions of a police officer or official traffic control device, no person shall:

    (a) Stop, stand, or park a vehicle:

    9. On a bicycle path.

    According to folks at the Traffic Court, this is a “non-moving” violation and if ticketed, results in a $91 fine.

    With the loss of tax revenue and government services due to the recent tax cuts for rich folks, the City of Tallahassee needs all the revenue it can get. Do your duty and if you see cars and trucks parked on the College Avenue Bike Lane, or any of the bike paths in Leon County, call the Tallahassee Police Department’s Non-Emergency phone number: 850-891-4200, and ask that the vehicles in the lane be ticketed. Perhaps with all that extra revenue, they can afford to assign someone to keep the bike lanes swept.

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