So what can we do about it?
The Florida Department of Transportation is holding pedestrian safety roundtables across the state next week, beginning this coming Monday morning at the USF Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR), where there will be a roundtable discussion on bicycle and pedestrian safety taking place from 8:00 a.m. to 12.00 p.m.
"We're as bad as anyplace in America, and that's why people don't ride their bikes," says Phil Compton with the Sierra Club, which is advocating that its members show up at the meeting next week.
The DOT is hosting six such roundtable discussions throughout the state on Monday and Tuesday.
Bike advocates took a blow earlier this summer when the federal transportation bill was finally passed in Congress, which cut dedicated funding for bicycling and walking projects by over 60 percent.
Phil Compton with the Sierra Club also warns that the new bill allows states to opt-out of half of the funds potentially available for small-scale biking and walking projects, saying, "So here in the most unsafe state to be a pedestrian or ride a bicycle, we've got a governor who really needs to here from people who want our streets to be safer."
The Sierra Club has printed out letter asking Department of Transportation Secretary Ananth Prasad to look at some of the specific recommendations from a technical report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Florida pedestrian safety, such as:
FDOT must incorporate and analyze pedestrian and bicycle crash data in setting measurable goals and strategies to immediately reduce deaths on various problem roads and intersections throughout the state.
FDOT should take a leadership role in providing training and education for other agencies such as law enforcement, transit agencies, media, as well as community organizations whose members include at-risk pedestrian and bicyclists such as churches, AARP, and school and college programs.
FDOT must immediately adopt an inclusive program such as Complete Streets and remove all exceptions and exemptions to road construction that protects bicyclists and pedestrians.
Legislation must be sponsored to require pedestrian and bicycle safety to be incorporated in every driver licensing and education program especially on-line licensing through the use of enhanced graphics, videos and illustrated scenarios.
Again that meeting takes place this Monday morning, August 6, at USF CUTR at 8 a.m.