Thursday, December 29, 2011

Institute of Transportation Engineers Takes An In-Depth Look at Roundabouts

The Institite of Transportation Engineers' Journal published an in-depth look at roundabouts by Ken Sides, PE, who has built more than 20 roundabouts in the City of Clearwater.  You can find the article at this LINK.

Roundabout constructed next to a school in the City of Clearwater. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Senators Rubio and Nelson Vote for Complete Streets

During "mark-up" of the Surface Transportation and Freight Policy Act last week in the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) joined their colleagues in voting unanimously for an amendment offered by Senator Mark Begich (D-Alaska) to “ensure that the design of Federal surface transportation projects provides for the safe and adequate accommodation…of all users of the transportation network.”  This key language, promoted by proponents of "Complete Streets," should find its way into the Senate Transportation Bill.   Transportation for America explains:
Under this bill, USDOT will work with states to develop standards to ensure that any surface transportation project built with federal funds provides safe and adequate accommodation for all users. Senator Thune [(R-SD)] offered an amendment to this that would give states discretion as to what is safe and adequate. States have the option of developing their own standards which would then apply instead of the federal standards. This will help states have been leading the way on policies to improve street design.
Thank you, Senators, for looking out for your constituents, young and old.  

Monday, December 5, 2011

Republican Pro-Cycling Bills

Companion Republican pro-cyclist bills are making their way through the Florida legislature this year.  This from biking advocate Mike Lasche:
SB 390, sponsored by Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale/West Palm Beach...would revise the much-reviled “mandatory lane law” which unnecessarily restricts cyclists from leaving the bike lane, even when safety dictates it. With Bogdanoff’s bill, cyclists would be allowed to leave the bike lane if a potential conflict existed. ....  Similar language to SB 390 is included in HB 4017, sponsored by Rep. Ritch Workman, R- Melbourne and SB 1122, a Transportation Committee bill.
Both bills passed the Transportation Committee and were referred to the Budget Committee. This activity, preliminary to the Legislative Session, bodes well for eventual passage of the language in these bills.
UPDATE - MARCH 22, 2012 -- Mike Lasche advises that the Florida legislature passed the legislation which "allows the cyclist to leave the bike lane for any 'potential conflict.'”
It made sense to give cyclists flexibility to leave a bike lane if safety requires, as the video below illustrates:



Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ford Exec Chair Calls for Public Transit Investment

Bill Ford, executive chair of the Ford Motor Company, calls for investment in public transit in the video below.  Given the world's exponentially increasing population, he identifies the mathematical impossibility of forever achieving the mobility his great grandfather, Henry Ford, envisioned with automobiles alone.   The technological advances to minimize gridlock, discussed in the video, are quite interesting. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Lessons from NYC

I came across the video below, a few years old, about Janette Sadik-Khan, the remarkable head of New York City's Department of Transportation.  It's worthwhile for the lessons it offers smaller urban areas.  The video shows "before and after" examples of how re-engineered thoroughfares--including those implementing new public space and innovative floating and separated bike lanes--affect driver behavior.   

Friday, October 21, 2011

FDOT Hits Home Run with New District Secretary Hattaway

WMFE-FM's Mark Simpson filed a news story on PBS's Transportation Nation at THIS LINK about the Florida Department of Transportation's selection of Billy Hattaway as its new District 1 Secretary.  District 1 covers the State's sprawling southwest corner, from Winter Haven to Naples. 

Billy is a leading engineer, an avid bicyclist, and a nationally-known authority on Complete Streets.  Given the large number of retirees in southwest Florida who will need safer and more accessible thoroughfares when their driving days end, FDOT Secretary Prasad could not have made a more outstanding appointment.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Bike Trails Pump $42 Million Into Orange County's Economy Annually


Here's a LINK to an economic analysis conducted by the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council finding that Orange County's bike trails pump more than $42 million annually into the local economy.  Downtown Winter Garden's economic renaissance--prompted in large part by the West Orange Trail--should give pause to those who would strip the minimal funding provided for such trails.


Sixty-seven percent of Downtown Winter Garden businesses reported increased sales and revenues from the West Orange Trail.
The Atlantic Cities posted an article looking at the same issue at THIS LINK.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fed. Highway Admin. Backing Roundabouts

FDOT Pursuing Roundabouts on U.S. 41 in Sarasota

The Federal Highway Administration extolls the virtues of modern roundabouts, including on State highways, in the following video.  When conventional intersections become roundabouts, injury and death rates plummet.  The traffic flow benefits of roundabouts--in addition to long-term taxpayer savings--are indisputable. 



Roundabouts Slated for U.S. Highway 41

Hooray for the Florida Department of Transportation, which is pursuing roundabouts on U.S. 41 in Sarasota at 10th and 14th Streets.  This tremendous news should raise hope for municipalities around the State--including Maitland--desiring more pedestrian-friendly business districts. Every local government--and the Florida Department of Transportation--should conduct a conceptual roundabout study before adding lanes or converting an intersection with stop signs into a lighted intersection.  Metropolitan Planning Organizations should add roundabouts to their lists of desired transportation improvements.  Click HERE for a news article about long-range plans for U.S. 41. 

Here's a video from FDOT's September 22 Community Meeting:






Monday, October 10, 2011

Rural Highway Undermines Horizon West "Pedestrian Oriented" Policies

County Road 535--a four lane divided rural highway--severs the connection between thousands of homes and Sunset Park Elementary School.  Reduction of the posted speed limit from 55 mph to 45 mph has had inadequate effect because the County engineered C.R. 535 for comfortable interstate highway speeds.  Nothing controls motorist speed more so than thoroughfare design. 

Horizon West architect Tory Parish has posted a report about the intersection of C.R. 535 and Overstreet, where numerous children cross to walk to school.  You can find a link to her report HERE


Crossing guard at C.R. 535 and Overstreet helping a bicyclist across eight lanes of traffic, including turn lanes, engineered to interstate highway specifications. 
We've lost the art of changing thoroughfare design based on the context.  The County should have designed C.R. 535 as a rural highway that changed into an urban boulevard or thoroughfare north of Reams Road.  Condominium and apartment residents will need to get into their cars to cross the street in order to shop and dine.  Reality on the ground is inconsistent with County policies to make Horizon West "pedestrian-oriented."

Long-term, in accordance with the County's road maintenance schedule, the County should look to reconstruct the quarter-mile of C.R. 535 north and south of the Overstreet intersection to make it safer for the kids who walk and bike to school.  Remove the massive shoulders.  Plant trees.  Narrow the lanes from 12 to 10 feet.  Install urban curbs.  An appropriate design goal would reduce the comfortable driving speed in this segment to 35 mph.  You'll find more thoughts in Tory Parish's report.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Forbes Names Celebration one of America's "Prettiest Neighborhoods"

Water Street in Celebration.  Photo courtesy of John Von Fossen. 
Here's the LINK to a Forbes article and another LINK to an accompanying photo essay naming Celebration one of America's "prettiest neighborhoods."   It's well-deserved recognition.  Local governments ought to make New Urbanist communities, like Celebration, Central Florida's default pattern for new development.   But in many instances, we make it illegal.  For example, in Orange County, there's no incentive to emulate the Water Street canal, depicted above, because water retention must be at least 100 feet in width, a well-known engineer told me. 


Market Street, Celebration, Florida
 The building setbacks on Market Street would violate the Orange County Zoning Code.  The FDOT's Florida Green Book and Orange County's excessive off-street parking requirements discourage on-street parking.  The condominiums above retail would violate the prohibition of the mixing of uses.


Market Street.
Instead of requiring environments like that depicted above, our local codes make sprawl the default development pattern.  Sprawl is not a free-market outcome, but the result of onerous on-site parking requirements, setback requirements, open-space requirements, floor area ratios that discourage multi-story buildings, use separation, dumbed-down thoroughfare classifications, the discouragement of gridded street networks in the Florida Green Book, ever-widening thoroughfares that turn walking and biking into deadly pursuits, and a lack of regulation over the form of development. 

Celebration reminds us how to do it right. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

FDOT Should Consider Pedestrian Refuge Islands

FDOT held a community meeting on September 14 to engage the public in its planned widening of Maitland Boulevard, between I-4 and Maitland Avenue, which gets congested during peak hours. 

The intersection of Maitland Boulevard and Maitland Avenue has a kid attraction--the JCC--and is near the future Maitland SunRail station.  In a conversation at the community meeting, a prestigious architect told a Maitland City Commissioner that pedestrians often cross the intersection. 

Jurgen Duncan, transportation planner with Canin Associates, proposed a conceptual modification, adding pedestrian refuge islands to shorten the crossing distance.  Jurgen's proposal would not reduce the intersection's vehicle capacity. 


FDOT should also consider pedestrian refuges at the medians.  Countdown clocks would reduce the number of pedestrians getting stranded in the middle of the thoroughfare. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Road Diets = Economic Revitalization

The City of Orlando put Edgewater Drive in College Park on a road diet.  The City has seen substantial economic rewards, not to mention a sharp decrease in motorist crashes.  Rush hour travel time barely increased, or even decreased.  We should consider road diets as an economic revitalization tool in Pine Hills and other struggling areas built more for pass-by traffic than for nearby residents.  Dan Burden, formerly with the FDOT, gave a stellar presentation to the Winter Park Health Foundation last spring, highlighting example after example of economic rejuvenation following implementation of a road diet.  Here's a video featuring Dan released by the folks at www.StreetFilms.org

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thom Rumberger, 1933-2011

"Some would say that the reaon I have gotten so involved with these public efforts...is now that I'm getting older, I'm looking for a straight shot into heaven...well, okay, as long as the Everglades are protected first."

Thom Rumberger, co-founder of the Rumberger Kirk & Caldwell law firm, where I worked for a dozen years, passed away last night. 
Thom relished his stature as a green Republican in the great tradition of Teddy Roosevelt.  The Everglades are cleaner and Florida has more manatees thanks to him.  He made having an environmental conscience a requirement for elected officials of both parties. Thom's influence in Florida's environmental policies is immeasurable. 

Admiration for Thom transcended political party lines:






United States Senate Resolution honoring Thom Rumberger, co-sponsored by Senator Nelson and Senator Rubio. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

What Should a Rural Settlement Look Like?

Chancellor's proposed West Windermere Hamlet
Architecture by Tory Parish, Jackson-Parish Architects
3-D modeling by AzulArc, Atlanta, Georgia
 The Orange County Commission voted 6-1 to transmit a Land Use amendment allowing Chancellor Investments, LLC, a client of my law firm, to develop the corner of C.R. 535 and Fiquette-Hancock Road, in West Orange County.  The buildings face inward, away from C.R. 535, creating the rural village Main Street environment depicted above, which even the project's critics concede is beautiful.  The site falls within, and sits at the edge of the West Windermere Rural Settlement. 

The application has raised passions about Orange County's rural settlements.  At the transmittal hearing on August 30, a half dozen leaders from various Rural Settlements spoke in opposition, concerned that approval of Chancellor's application would set a precedent for more commercial development in their own Rural Settlements. 

My law partner, Kurt Ardaman, former president of the Gotha Rural Settlement's community association, created a record demonstrating how the West Windermere Rural Settlement is unlike any other.  Suburban subdivisions--mostly gated--predominate West Windermere: Keene's Point, Lake Butler Sound, Glenmuire, Waterstone, Oxford Moor, Tildens Grove, to name a half dozen.   Most West Windermere residents live a suburban lifestyle--without the horses, livestock, and large tracts of open land typical of other Rural Settlements.  Commissioners Russell, Edwards, Brummer, and Damiani stated that approval would not set a precedent.

Bellaria--A typical gated suburban subdvision in West Windermere.
Upscale new homes in Waterstone, a gated subdivision in West Windermere.   
My daughter, Hannah, walking to stables for horseback riding in the Avalon Rural Settlement--an environment very different from suburban West Windermere.  
The protections of living in a Rural Settlement are not absolute.  The County's Future Land Use policies have permitted intrusion of surburban sprawl into Rural Settlements--both residential (allowed by the County's Comprehensive Plan as "clustering") and commercial: 
Glenmuire--A gated subdivision in West Windermere. 

Clarcona Rural Settlement--intersection of Apopka-Vineland and Clarcona-Ocoee Road

Christmas Rural Settlement.
Commercial sprawl like that depicted above is of particular concern by Rural Settlement leaders.  This raises the question: what should a Rural Settlement look like?  The current zoning code--regulating use, intensity, and density--inadequately preserves the look and feel of a Rural Settlement. 

In Gotha, where time stands still on a quaint rural village Main Street, a Mediterranean mansion intrudes. 

Gotha Rural Village Main Street (Hempel Avenue)


Architectural incongruity.  This suburban Mediterranean home, though beautiful, is inconsistent with Gotha's historic, Old Florida structures next door and across the street. 
Form-based zoning standards could help avoid architectural debasement of Rural Settlements.  Standards proposed by Chancellor--requiring Florida vernacular architecture--could help.  

The County removed considerable land from the Lake Whippoorwill Rural Settlement along Narcoosie Road last year--a reaction to the highway's six-laning--for new commercial and office uses. The intersection of Conroy-Windermere and Apopka-Vineland Road, removed from the West Windermere Rural Settlement in the 1990's when the roads became four-lane highways, now features hundreds of thousands of square feet of commercial and office development.  The widening of Clarcona-Ocoee Road into a multi-lane highway will increase pressures in the Clarcona Rural Settlement.  Rural Settlement leaders should pay close attention to the County's Capital Improvements Element, as it goes through the approval process each year, and urge transportation network alternatives to widening roads in and adjacent to Rural Settlements, including improving connectivity.  When roads become highways, commercial pressures--and pressures to chip away at Rural Settlements--surely follow.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Appreciation: Hyman Bookbinder, 1916-2011

Regardless of your faith or background, you might appreciate an op-ed I wrote, published in the small Central Florida Jewish community newspaper, The Heritage.  Hyman Bookbinder, who I worked for 24 years ago while in college, was a remarkable witness and participant in history.  He acted on his deep convictions and played a small role in bringing about a more just society.  He influences me to this day. 

Here's the LINK.   

Rick
Hyman Bookbinder and me, at age 22, at the House Judiciary Crime Subcommittee hearing room.  

Hyman Bookbinder (center) flanked by civil rights leaders Roy Wilkins (left) and A. Philip Randolph (second from left) and Howard University Students protesting segregation at the Glen Echo amusement park in suburban Washington, D.C. in 1960.  Bookie kept this photograph on his office wall. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Rail Transit Lines Opening Under Budget

Click HERE a headline won't find on anti-transit websites.  It's about two light rail lines in Salt Lake City opening at 20% under budget.  The headline goes against the anti-transit narrative.

Here's ANOTHER regarding the Dallas light rail line coming in under budget.  And ANOTHER regarding a rail line in Seattle also under budget. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Injustice and a Senseless Tragedy

Click HERE to read Eliza Harris's blog post (reprinted at http://www.commuteorlando.com/) on the conviction of the Mother whose young child was killed trying to walk from a bus stop to their apartment complex across an arterial thoroughfare.  The Governor of Georgia should pardon the grieving Mother and end this injustice.  Responsible officials should install a signalized crosswalk as a first step to prevent a repeat of this senseless tragedy. 

Here's NBC News video:



Transportation for America opined:

…This is a major issue in inner-ring suburbs across the country, places originally built as auto-only suburbia that now are home to many lower-income families who don’t have access to cars. Neither the public transportation system nor the highway designs work for those who live, work and walk in these areas. People are being punished and killed simply for being pedestrians. Our research shows that thousands of lives could be saved — and millions more lives improved — by retrofitting these dangerous roads, as many communities are trying to do.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Secretary Prasad: "We Need Transportation Alternatives"


United States Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and Florida Secretary of Transportation Ananth Prasad at the Ceremonial SunRail signing.

At the future site of Florida Hospital's newly announced statewide corporate headquarters--a future SunRail station--United States Secretary of  Transportation Ray LaHood and Florida Secretary of Transportation Ananth Prasad signed a contract committing an additional infusion of $77 million of Federal funds for construction of the commuter rail line. 

"Coming from the road transportation side," Secretary Prasad said, "I know we can't build our way out of congestion.  We need transportation alternatives."  The Secretary's comments reflected a point I made to him with a graph only weeks ago during his whirlwind tour of SunRail's local government partners. 

Congressman Mica emphasized the bipartisan nature of the SunRail effort.  He praised Secretary LaHood for resolving issues with Amtrak over liability.  He said the question is "no longer whether it will be built" but "who gets the next leg."  He showed a graph of more than $6 billion in transit oriented development around the $1.4 billion light rail system in Houston. 

Secretary LaHood summed up the Central Florida SunRail effort: "You got your act together."

Friday, July 1, 2011

Governor Scott Approves SunRail

Governor Rick Scott's approval of SunRail today demonstrated that political reality, pragmatism, and economic need can prevail over ideological distrust.  It also demonstrated the Governor's confidence in his Secretary of Transportation, Ananth Prasad (who made the announcement), Central Florida's business community (which strongly backed the project), and the fiscally conservative Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs.  The strong consensus among citizens and elected leaders of both political parties to build the project--from Volusia County to Osceola County--overwhelmed SunRail opponents. 

Over the next two years, during construction, Central Florida leaders need to ensure that SunRail emobodies the best practices and not ignore valid points raised by SunRail's fiercest critics.  I would suggest the following as preliminary thoughts: 

* CRITICISM #1: SunRail will compete poorly with automobiles since trains will run only every half-hour during rush hour.  Trains every half-hour during rush hour are, in fact, inadequate.  An initial--not long-term goal--should strive for ten minute separation between trains, which may require the purchase of additional locomotives.  The built-in $77 million (30%) contingency in the budget for both Phases I and II could allow for such purchases given that contract prices are locked-in.  The fear of cost overruns expressed by SunRail opponents should prove unfounded.

* CRITICISM #2: The trains won't serve where people want to go, including the airport, convention center, or Disney.  This criticism ignored, or discounted the fact that SunRail is serving central business districts in Winter Park and Kissimmee, Downtown Orlando as well as major employers such as Tuperware, Florida Hospital, and Orlando Regional Medical Center.  However, click HERE for a video from the Orlando Sentinel of Mayor Jacobs' recent comments. I agree strongly with her assessment of a need to connect SunRail to the Orlando International Airport and Orange County Convention Center.   Ideally, I would like to see the ability for Williamsburg residents--many elderly--to access the rail network. 

MetroPlan's vision for a multi-modal Central Florida, with connections to UCF and the theme parks, should remain a long-term goal:
Click to enlarge -- Conceptual Map
CRITICISM #3: People won't travel from car to rail to bus.  The need for convenient multi-modal connectivity will remain heightened, especially while SunRail remains only the spine of a rail network.  A card system similar to SunPass--the integrated charging system for most Florida toll roads and airport parking--should ensure seamless boarding between buses and rail and vice versa.  Lynx will need to schedule buses to connect to the airport, Disney, and other major destinations so they're available as soon as passengers disembark.  GPS-enabled signs, with data available on iPhones, BlackBerries, etc. should inform passengers when the next bus and train will arrive.  Lynx needs to post maps showing where the buses go.  Passengers should also have the opportunity to bring and safely store bicycles onboard.  

Ironically, within hours of Secretary Prasad's SunRail announcement, a severe crash blocked traffic in both directions on I-4 in Polk County--a reminder of how placing all your transportation eggs in one basket is unwise.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Overwhelming Community Support for SunRail Greets Secretary Prasad


Florida's Secretary of Transportation, Ananth Prasad, conducted a day-long tour, from Daytona Beach to Osceola County to gauge community sentiment towards SunRail, Central Florida's decade-long planned commuter rail line.

Overwhelming community support for SunRail greeted him at the Maitland and Orange County Commission hearings I attended, and reportedly at the other hearings as well.

At the Maitland meeting, one SunRail opponent made the mistake of asking audience members to stand if they'd take the train instead of their cars. Virtually the entire audience stood. Many in the overflow crowd already standing raised their hands.

At the Orange County hearing, Mayor Teresa Jacobs similarly asked opponents and then supporters to stand. Again, supporters vastly outnumbered opponents.

At both hearings, pro-SunRail speakers outnumbered opponents, though each side received equal time. 

One naysayer accused attendees of comprising of "special interests."  The special interests included a severely disabled woman dependent on transit, a young nursing student who intends to reside in a city with rail transit, and, at the Maitland hearing, my Rollins Land Use Law student, Logan Laughlin, who said he was suffering from high blood pressure from driving in congestion.  His comments brought a smile to Secretary Prasad.

MetroPlan's Harry Barley warned that, if Central Florida violates Clean Air standards, Federal funding for road construction will grind to a halt. SunRail, he said, is a step towards cleaner air and expressed concern over rising levels of asthma among children.  He urged the Secretary to uphold MetroPlan's regional vision.

After the hearing, Mayor Jacobs escorted Secretary Prasad to the Commissioner's conference room, where I sat with an overflow crowd, 90 percent of whom, again, supported SunRail.  I had a brief moment to present the following chart to the Secretary, demonstrating that we can't build our way out of congestion.


(The numbers on the left side of the graph are in the millions--you can add "000" to get the reported figures).  Increasing vehicle miles traveled on Metro Orlando's highways since 1992 have far exceeded increases in highway capacity. I told the Secretary we need cost-effective ways to reduce the gap.  (In fact, SunRail provides an opportunity to obtain the capacity of one lane of I-4 at a fraction of the cost of road construction.)  I told the Secretary that I hoped he would recommend to the Governor that we proceed. 

If I were the Secretary, I would advise the Governor that he faces acute political risk if he tries to scuttle SunRail.

Monday, June 20, 2011

FDOT Begins Review of Pedestrian, Bicyclist Safety Policies

The Sun Sentinel published an interview of FDOT's new secretary, Ananth Prasad, in which he announced that FDOT has begun a "thorough review" of its policies relating to pedestrian and bicyclist safety.  Here's an excerpt:
Q: In May, a new report ranked four Florida metro areas, including Orlando at No. 1 and South Florida at No. 4, among the nation's most dangerous for pedestrians. You recently testified before Congress that it might not make sense to build sidewalks, landscaping and bike trails. Can you elaborate?
A: My point was we should not have pre-established goals. We need to make sure it's needs-driven rather than a fixed amount of money or a percentage of the program spent on landscaping or sidewalks where they might not make sense.
Florida has been doing very good. Our highways are the safest in their history. (In 2009, the state Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles said traffic deaths in Florida dropped to a historic low. The state recorded 2,563 traffic fatalities in 2009, compared with 3,533 in 2005.)
We're committed to pedestrian safety. The numbers are trending downward. We recognize that one accident and one life taken is one too many. We've started a thorough review of our policies. We're going to make sure any changes we need to make continue to make our roads safer for pedestrians, for people in automobiles and for bicyclists.
I'm told by those who know him that Secretary Prasad is an honorable man, so I'm taking him at his word.  I'm convinced, after consulting with some of Florida's leading transportion engineers and planners, that we can gradually, over time, improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety by incorporating the Institute of Transportation Engineers' cutting-edge Walkable Thoroughfares manual into FDOT's Florida Greenbook, which sets design standards for thoroughfares maintained by local governments, and the Plans Preparation Manual, for State thoroughfares. 

Secretary Prasad is correct that pedestrian facilities do not always make sense.  We need to adopt Complete Streets design standards on a context-determinative basis.  We need to focus our attention on schools, parks, where pedestrians regularly cross thoroughfares from apartments to bus transit stops, and on compact urban areas, such as downtowns and central business districts. 

It's one thing to adopt a Complete Streets policy, which Florida arguably already has by requiring "full consideration" of bicyclist and pedestrian safety needs.  It's another to incorporate meaningful design standards for areas where they're warranted.  The Secretary and FDOT deserve a chance to improve pedestrian safety standards in suburban, and especially in compact urban areas.  It doesn't make sense to endanger pedestrians by designing thoroughfares for 50 mph motorist travel where two minute traffic signal cycles undermine time and capacity gains from such speeds.   Where warranted by the context and public safety, we need to slow the traffic.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Turn Florida's Deadly Roads into Safe Ones

The Orlando Sentinel ran the following guest column last Sunday.  The "Dr. Phillips Club," referred to in the op-ed, is the Dr. Phillips Rotary Club. 

Click to enlarge.
Transportation for America posted an interactive map showing the location of pedestrian deaths nationwide.  The Orlando map shows FDOT arterials--East Colonial, Semoran, and OBT--as lines of death.

Source: Transportation for America
Transportation for America posted the following message:
Our federal tax dollars actually go to build these streets that are designed to be perilous to children, older adults and everyone else. And yet, right now, some in Congress are considering the total elimination of funding for projects to make it safer to walk and bicycle.
....  But 67 percent of these fatalities over the last 10 years occurred on federal-aid roads — roads eligible to receive federal funding or with federal guidelines or oversight for their design.
....
The irony is that fixing these conditions is relatively cheap: Existing funds for that purpose — now targeted for elimination — amount to less than 1.5 percent of the current federal transportation outlay.  ....

Friday, May 20, 2011

76% of Voters Support SunRail

According to an Orlando Sentinel poll, 76% Orlando voters back SunRail, the 61 mile commuter rail system Governor Scott is reviewing. 

Another poll, of major employers on the SunRail route including the Orange County Courthouse, Rollins College, and Tupperware, found that huge majorities of workers would consider using SunRail for their commute. 

Governor Scott received a packet of more than 100 letters and resolutions from businesses, civic organizations, and local governments supporting SunRail.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Winter Park Commission Urges FDOT to Adopt Complete Streets

The Winter Park City Commission unanimously adopted a Complete Street resolution--to gradually make streets safe and comfortable for motorists and non-motorists.  Importantly, the City urged the Florida Department of Transportation to follow suit.

WMFE-FM's Mark Simpson reported on Winter Park's resolution at THIS LINK.  He interviewed me for the news report in front of an apartment complex across from a Lynx bus stop on Lee Road--a four lane divided highway.  There's no painted crosswalk in the highway--or any relatively safe place to cross to the bus stop--for more than a half-mile in either direction. 

During the interview, a lady in an electric wheelchair zoomed into the thoroughfare while cars whizzed by her back and forth at 45-50 mph. 


Photo by: WMFE's Carly the intern.
The report states that I persuaded lawmakers to start adopting Complete Streets principles.  Truly, the credit goes to Florida Senate Majority Leader Andy Gardiner, who has expressed that Complete Streets principles should apply at both the State and local levels.  Senator Gardiner had language incorporated into the Community Planning Act of 2011 giving local governments the tools to use Complete Streets and street grids to implement "transportation concurrency," which is Florida's system of widening roads to accommodate new development.  Under the old concurrency system, a motor vehicle capacity deficiency would require the widening of an arterial road (making it less safe for pedestrians), despite the presence of a parallel road, or the ability to create a grid or other alternatives for motorists.  The new language gives much needed flexibility to local governments. 

FDOT has adopted Complete Streets in its 2060 long-range plan.  For the lady on the electric wheelchair, we can't wait that long. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Complete Streets Revitalizing New York City

Here's link to an interesting StreetFilms video about how "Complete Streets" principles are revitalizing New York City.  On-street parked cars buffer the bike lanes, which the City painted green.  (The Federal Highway Administration has now approved green bike lanes.  They should become more common.)   The City installed the bike lanes without reducing the number of lanes by narrowing lane width from 12 feet.  You'll find ideas in the video applicable to less dense areas, including Central Florida.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

John Mica: Please Streamline the Bureaucracy While Saving Sidewalk, Bike Lane Funding

Anyone who periodically reviews my posts know I have great admiration for Rep. John Mica (R-FL), chairman of the House Transportation Committee.  I am asking him to consider modifying a proposal he floated to eliminate a 10% federal funding mandate for sidewalks and bike lanes.  The Orlando Sentinel published my strong words last week:
"How many more headlines must we read of kids getting killed or critically injured walking to school, walking to a school bus or riding their bikes?" Geller said. "To shift funding away from bike lanes and sidewalks, when Florida is number one in the nation for pedestrian and bicyclist deaths, is reckless and irresponsible."
Today, for the second time in two weeks, a motorist struck a child waiting for, or walking to a school bus in Central Florida.  The child, fourth grader Anthony Moore, died.  There were no sidewalks despite numerous subdivision homes nearby. 

Minneola Shores Road in Clermont, where a motorist killed a 4th grader today waiting for a school bus.  This photo came from the Orlando Sentinel. 
The Florida Department of Transportation devotes only about $35 million to sidewalks and bike lanes out of a $7 billion budget.  We are literally talking about a drop in the bucket.  Removal of the federal mandate would jeopardize this minimal funding. 

As I told Fox35 news anchor Keith Landry, if we have no assurance the States will spend the funds where needed, we need to question whether to remove the mandate. 

I appreciate Rep. Mica's interest in streamlining the bureaucracy.  A federal bureaucrat should not require considerable brain power or time to to calculate 10% of a grant figure and to review a a one page certification that the funds were appropriated for the intended uses.   Therefore, the new Federal Transportation Bill should:

(1) streamline the review and approval process for the funds;

(2) eliminate the mandate when States reach certain benchmarks, such as a reduction in the number of pedestrian and bicyclist deaths and critical injuries; and

(3) at the very least, eliminate the mandate only for highway landscaping and beautification, and reduce the 10% figure commensurately. 

The benchmark idea comes from Professor Bruce Stephenson, director of the Master of Planning program at Rollins College.  Ironically, several proposed SunRail stations are on or near State roads.  To devote no resources to bike and pedestrian facilities in these areas makes no sense. 

Although not scientific, those who responded to an Orlando Sentinel online poll voted decidedly against removing the sidewalk and bike lane funding mandate

Poll: Should feds cut money for bike paths, sidewalks?


U.S. Rep. John Mica wants to let federal-gas-tax money designated for bike paths and sidewalks to be spent on roads instead. Should the feds cut money meant for bike paths and sidewalks?

Yes. Far more people use roads, and with our infrastructure crumbling, fixing them comes first. (16 responses)         6%

Maybe. How about only if bike lanes and sidewalks are added when roads are improved? (4 responses)    1%

No. We should encourage more people to walk and bike and get out of their cars. (259 responses)
93%

279 total responses

(Results not scientific)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Winter Park Taking the Lead on "Complete Streets" in Central Florida

Winter Park will likely become Central Florida's first local government to adopt a Complete Streets Policy, requiring thoroughfares safe and comfortable for motorists and non-motorists.  Click HERE for a story running in the Winter Park/Maitland Observer.  The draft I reviewed would encourage the FDOT to adopt a Complete Streets policy, too, and would direct City staff to work with the FDOT on Complete Streets implementation.  The FDOT controls Winter Park's principal thoroughfares--17-92, Aloma/Fairbanks, and Lee Road--the City's most dangerous for pedestrians.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

New Urbanism Founder, Duany, at Rollins College

My land use law student in the Rollins College Master of Planning in Civic Urbanism program, Linda Puritz, blogged a good compilation of quotes from Andres Duany, one of the Congress for the New Urbanism founders, during his recent lecture.  You can find them by clicking HERE

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wringing Savings for the Citizens

Orlando Sentinel reporter David Damron did an interesting write-up getting perspectives from former Commissioner Linda Stewart, Rollins College political science professor Richard Foglesong, Commissioner Fred Brummer, and myself, of Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs' first 100 days in office.  I commented that, instead of criticizing the Performing Arts Center "just to score political points," she got the County involved in "wringing savings" from the project.  I said the citizens will ultimately benefit.  Professor Foglesong called it her "finest hour."

Although not included in the story, I told the reporter that Mayor Jacobs' most important task during her next 100 days is using her credibility as a budget hawk and transportation policy expert to try to persuade Governor Scott that it is economically irrational to kill SunRail and the billions in transit oriented development it will generate.  Two of our law firm's municipal clients on the planned SunRail line, Longwood and DeBary, passed transit oriented development ordinances.  Winter Park is also expecting economic benefits.  Here's a link to an article about the "health village" Florida Hospital plans to build if SunRail becomes reality.

Complete Streets--A Key to Economic Revitalization

Former FDOT engineer Dan Burden, one of the nation's leading voices for Complete Streets, safer for motorists and non-motorists alike, gave a stellar presentation to the Winter Park Health Foundation on Monday.  He presented example after example of thoroughfares he reconfigured for slower design speeds.  The result in each case: economic revitalization.  Here's a new video featuring Dan by Streetfilms showing some of the examples....

Monday, March 7, 2011

Why High Speed Rail Will Return: Third World Infrastructure Surpassing Florida's

The Interstate Highway System sits at the pinacle of our nation's transportation infrastructure.  I recall driving from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. in the early 1990's with my wife's cousin from Uruguay.  The system's efficiency and design--linking major metropolitan areas and beltways--impressed him.  Soon thereafter, when I drove through Uruguay from the Argentine border to Punte del Este on the Atlantic Ocean on winding, two-lane country roads, I could appreciate his view of our interstate system.  Indeed, the Interstate Highway System works efficiently--outside of urban areas during rush hour.  Inside urban areas, the daily result is often looks like this:

Congestion, whether caused by rush hour demand, vehicle crashes, or both undermines the time efficiency of highway travel between and within major cities.  Columnist George Will proclaims that the automobile represents freedom and liberty.  It does, but not always.  Don't get me wrong.  I love cars.  I love mine.  I love driving mine--when I actually move and when I'm not exhausted by my long commute.  We enhance freedom and liberty by giving people transportation options, when the automobile is part of a more balanced transportation network.  My kids--like most others today--have less freedom and liberty than I had because they can't walk or bike to school.  The elderly, who can no longer drive and are trapped either in subdivisions or in old age homes, have less freedom and liberty than those of earlier generations, who could walk safely to a grocery store.  When people take high quality rail transit (when it's available), they free-up road capacity so we can enjoy our cars more and so that goods can reach market more quickly.  Only a minority of Republicans nationally oppose Federal high speed rail funding.

Governor Rick Scott's rejection of high speed rail was rich in ironies.  I found it ironic that, the day the Florida Supreme Court denied two State Senators' Petition to require him to accept federal funds (the correct legal result), I paid $3.79 a gallon for a fill-up.  I found it ironic that we're sending transportation dollars awarded to Florida to other States while Middle East destabilization is driving up fuel costs (which harms our economy no less than a tax increase). 

I found it ironic that Robert Poole and the California-based Reason Foundation (which most Floridians had never heard of before) could have more influence with a flawed anti-high speed rail report than the combined influence of the Mayors of Orlando, Tampa, Lakeland, and Miami, the Republican chair of the House Transportation Committee, John Mica, a strong majority of the Republican-dominated Florida Senate, every major newspaper in the State of Florida, and the Governor's own Department of Transportation (which increased its high speed rail ridership estimate from 2.4 million to about 3.0 million). 

Ironic that Florida's infrastructure is falling behind that of the Third World. 

Argentina is moving ahead with a high speed rail line linking Buenos Aires to the major cities of Rosario and Cordoba. 

As Brazil readies to accept bids for new high speed rail line, a Korean consortium offers its case for winning the bidding process:



China's new bullet train:




The new South African high speed rail:



Although not part of the Third World, here's a news report on Russia's high speed rail line:



Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, the Czech Republic, Morocco, are among other developing nations either planning or already operating high speed rail.

A decade from now, with Florida falling farther and father behind the rest of the world, especially the Third World, we will see another push for high speed rail.  Unfortunately, the capital costs of construction on the State budget will far exceed, by billions, what Floridians would likely have had to pay this time -- $0.00.

One final irony--a decade from now, Florida taxpayers will still pay, through their Federal income taxes, interest on the $2.4 billion in borrowed Federal stimulus dollars approved for Florida high speed rail, but without receiving any of the benefits. 

UPDATE--March 9, 2011--A ridership study commissioned by the Florida Department of Transportation found that Florida High Speed Rail would have turned a $10 million operating profit its first year.  No surprise to the prospective bidders, who make high speed rail operating profits worldwide. 

UPDATE--Sept. 1, 2011--Click HERE for a link about Turkey's new high speed rail line.

UPDATE--Oct. 26, 2011--Click HERE for a link about Uzbekistan's new high speed rail line. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Altman v. Scott--Excerpts from the Petition

Senator Thad Altman (R-Melbourn), who believes in strictly construing the Florida Constitution, and Senator Arthenia Joyner (D-Tampa) filed a Petition for Writ Quo Warranto (a common law inquiry into the authority of a public official), a Writ of Mandamus (an Order to perform a ministerial act), or other injunctive relief in the Florida Supreme Court.  The Senators are asking the high court to order Governor Scott to perform the ministerial act of accepting high speed rail federal funds.  Below you'll find excerpts from the 25 page brief, to which the Florida Supreme Court ordered a response by noon today.  Click HERE to read the entire brief. 

Court decisions are inherently unpredictable.  A University of Florida law professor suggested in the Sentinel the Governor will claim the Senators lack standing to bring the Petition.  Standing to bring a court action requires an injury in fact.  In Coleman v. Miller, 307 U.S. 433 (1939), the United States Supreme Court held, "We think that these senators have a plain, direct, and adequate interest in maintaining the effectiveness of their votes."  The Court reaffirmed, "“[O]ur holding in Coleman stands... for the proposition that legislators whose votes would have been sufficient to defeat (or enact) a specific legislative Act have standing to sue if that legislative action goes into effect (or does not go into effect), on the ground that their votes have been completely nullified.”  Raines v. Byrd, 521 U.S. 811 (1997). 

The legal arguments below appear strong: 
Basis for a Writ Quo Warranto, Writ of Mandamus, or Other Injunctive Relief
Instead of completing the ministerial act of accepting the funds for the high speed rail project as he was required to do, Respondent instead requested that the monies be used for other Florida infrastructure projects. Such a claim of authority and the attempt to (1) reject the monies appropriated by the Florida Legislature; (2) reject financing specifically mandated by the Florida Rail Act; and (3) refuse to comply with the express directions of the High Speed Rail Act, all exceed Respondent's constitutional authority.

Governor Scott Wants to Spend $2.4 Billion in Stimulus Funds Elsewhere
It is clear that Respondent is not philosophically opposed to taking the ARRA (American Recovery & Reinvestment Act) monies. He wants the $2. 4 billion for Florida. He just refuses to apply it to high speed rail. Under federal law, the monies simply cannot be used for other projects.

Florida Supreme Court Precedent: Legislature Has Exclusive Authority to Appropriate Funds and Reduce Funding
As this Florida Supreme Court ruled in Chiles v. Children A, B, C, D, E, and F, et al., 589 So. 2d 260 (Fla. 1991), "This Court has long held that the power to appropriate state funds is legislative and is to be exercised only through duly enacted statutes." .... "Such a provision secures to the Legislative (except where the Constitution controls to the contrary) the exclusive power of deciding how, when, and for what purpose the public funds shall be applied in carrying on the government.... "Furthermore, the power to reduce appropriations, like any other lawmaking, is a legislative function." (Emphases in original). As such, the right, authority, and the power to fund the aforesaid appropriations, and the decision to reduce such funding, whether by state or federal funds, for the implementation of the Florida Rail Act lie exclusively with the Florida Legislature - not with the Governor. Simply stated, whether such funds derive from the state or from federal funds granted to the state, the appropriation of such funds constitutionally lies exclusively with the Florida Legislature.

High Speed Rail in Florida's Comprehensive Plan Since 1985
While there have been amendments and changes to the State Comprehensive Plan since 1985, the high speed rail policy has retained its vitality and continues to be an integral part of the transportation element of the State Comprehensive Plan.

Governor Cannot Lawfully Interfere with the Florida Rail Enterprise
The Florida Legislature intended that, once appropriations were made and authorized by the Legislature, the Florida Rail Enterprise shall have the full authority to comply with its legislative mandate, free from outside interference.






Additionally, and importantly, the Legislature crafted the legislation so that the Florida Rail Enterprise function without interference from other executive branch officials. "Except as otherwise expressly provided [by the Florida Act], none of the powers granted to the [Florida Rail E]nterprise under [the Florida Rail Act] are subject to the supervision or require the approval or consent of any municipality or political subdivision or any commission, board, body, bureau, or official." § 341.839, Fla. Stat. (2010). (Emphasis added). The Governor is an official within the meaning of the Act, and is not permitted to interfere with the implementation of high speed rail.
The delegation of the power and independence to the Florida Rail Enterprise was an intentional element of the Legislature's policy because the evaluation and selection criteria for the award of ARRA funds to the Florida Rail Enterprise included a requirement that the Florida Rail Enterprise "affirmatively demonstrate that it has or will have the legal. .. capacity to carry out [high-speed rail.]"  See High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail "Notice of Funding Availability," Fed. Reg. Vol. 74, No. 119 at 29921 (June 23,2009).
Had the Legislature intended for the Governor to exercise significant control of the HSR System, it would have simply delegated authority over the system to the Secretary of the Florida Department of Transportation, the Governor, or the Executive Office of the Governor.
High Speed Rail Act Is Mandatory

The High Speed Rail Act requires the Florida Rail Enterprise to finance and construct the high speed rail system for the state. There is no discretion. As such, the authority to, and the requirement to, implement and execute upon the financing of high speed rail is imposed upon the Florida Rail Enterprise. Both explicitly and implicitly, the Legislature has set forth a specific methodology for implementing high speed rail. The Florida Rail Enterprise's executive director has no discretion to reject such financing as determined by the Legislature.
The Governor has no authority to refuse to implement the directives of the state law, especially funding that has already been applied for and awarded to the State of Florida when state law mandates the High Speed Rail Enterprise" ... shall locate, plan design, finance, construct, maintain, own, operate, administer, and manage the high -speed rail system in Florida." § 341. 822( 1) Fla. Stat.

The appropriations and the funds which are the subject of this Petition represent the appropriations to implement the high speed rail elements in the State Comprehensive Plan and the High Speed Rail Act. The Governor has no authority to refuse to implement the directives of the state law, especially funding that has already been applied for and awarded to the State of Florida when state law mandates the High Speed Rail Enterprise" ... shall locate, plan design, finance, construct, maintain, own, operate, administer, and manage the high -speed rail system in Florida." § 341. 822( 1) Fla. Stat.

Policy Reason: Hindrance of Major Infrastructure Planning, Financing, and Construction
If every newly elected governor decided to stop the major infrastructure project which [was] underway when he was elected, after the State of Florida has adopted by state law a policy to build the major infrastructure project; the Legislature has appropriated the funds for the project and directed the construction of the project, Florida will not be able to plan, finance, and construct the major infrastructure projects it requires for its people and its future.


Click HERE for a summary of the Governor's Response and HERE to read the entire Response.

Click HERE for a summary of the Senators' Reply Brief and HERE to read the entire Reply Brief.

UPDATE--March 4--Lakeland attorney Kemp Brinson has a good analysis of the oral argument at THIS LINK.  A granting of the Senators' Petition would surpise me.

SECOND UPDATE--March 4--Click HERE for a link to the Supreme Court's Order denying the Petition.  The Order does not contain legal analysis. 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Two-Thirds of Floridians Support High Speed Rail Funding

A Harris poll released this week found two-thirds of Floridians supporting federal funding for high speed rail.  Supporters outnumbered opponents by a three to one margin.  Nationwide, only 38% of Republicans oppose federal funding of high speed rail.  Also nationwide, 66% of respondents said they would likely use high speed rail for non-business purposes.  You can look at the poll details by clicking HERE.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Court May Decide Whether Florida Gets High Speed Rail

Rejection of High Speed Rail Undermines
Florida Rail Enterprise Act

The Florida Rail Enterprise Act, as amended by the Florida legislature and signed into law by former Governor Crist, binds Governor Scott.  Section 341.822 leaves no discretion to the Governor by stating, "The enterprise shall locate, plan, design, finance, construct, maintain, own, operate, administer, and manage the high-speed rail system in this state."  Further, section 341.839 states that "none of the powers granted to the enterprise...are subject to the supervision or require the approval or consent of  any...official." 

Article IV, Section 1 of the Florida Constitution states, "The governor shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed...."  A Governor does not have discretion to choose to enforce only those laws he favors.  The Governor cannot, within his constitutional duties, take deliberate steps to deprive the Florida Rail Enterprise of funding or of right-of-way for high speed rail. 

As noted in the update to the post below, the Governor is facing the prospect of a lawsuit by lawmakers for acting beyond his constitutional authority by rejecting the Federal government's high speed rail funding. 

An alternative to the Florida Rail Enterprise is an interlocal agency formed initially by the cities of Orlando, Tampa, Lakeland, and Miami.  (The interlocal agency would require legislative approval pursuant to Florida Statutes § 341.8225(1)). The cities' proposal states in part (my emphasis):


I. A. Neither the State of Florida nor any of its departments, agencies or affiliates shall have any liability whatsoever for the costs, fees, expenses or general liability associated with the design, planning, construction, operation or maintenance of the Project. The State and State entities shall have no liability for: (i) the costs of construction, including any cost overruns (“Cost Overruns”); (ii) operating cost shortfalls for the operation of the system for the first thirty (30) years of its operation (“Operating Shortfalls”); and (iii) any obligation to pay back to the funding source or any other lender, any money provided for the Project, due to the failure of the performance conditions to be met in full (“Refund Payments”).
I. D. The Entity shall be non-recourse as to its members and the State of Florida. No other public agency will be liable for the costs of completing the Project or any Cost Overruns, Operating Shortfalls or Refund Payments.  All such costs, fees and expenses and general liability of Cost Overruns and Operating Shortfalls shall be passed on to and guaranteed by the winning bidder selected from a concourse of bidders from the private sector to complete the Project (hereinafter “Vendor”) pursuant to a Request for Qualification (“RFQ”) process. USDOT shall waive any right to Refund Payments. The Entity will be responsible to disburse the funds provided to it through the grant and subgrant agreements for the purpose of completing the Project, all as provided herein and any documents executed in furtherance hereof (“Project Documents”).

I. F. The Entity shall obtain appropriate assurances from the Vendor of its ability to guarantee complete construction of the Project including a surety bond, letter of credit or other form of reasonably acceptable financial guarantees, or whatever other assurances, pledges and guarantees deemed necessary to the satisfaction of the FDOT and USDOT, as same shall be incorporated into the bid documents (“Bid Documents”), regarding the capacity of the Vendor to complete the Project in a lien free and liability free manner and to guarantee funding of any Operating Shortfalls.

IV. B. The Project Vendor shall also provide a guarantee, indemnification and if necessary, financial assurances to the reasonable satisfaction of FDOT and USDOT that it will be able to cover any such Cost Overruns, Operating Shortfalls or Payment Refunds.
The notion that the language above leaves Florida taxpayers are "on the hook" is nonsense.  Conservatives favor shifting appropriate government responsibilities closer to the people--from the Federal level, to the States, and ultimately to local government.  The proposed interlocal agency would further that aim.   Conservatives do not support one branch of the government usurping the constitutional authority of another. This partially explains public criticism of Governor Scott from within the GOP and the threat he faces of a lawsuit by lawmakers.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Profits from Airport to Disney High Speed Rail Line Could Support Future Expansion

Economist Hank Fishkind told WMFE-FM that a shortened Orlando International Airport to Disney World high speed rail line would rely on a common model for funding transportation infrastructure: start with a crowded route that generates a profit to support future expansion.  You can listen to his interview by clicking HERE.  The Reason Foundation, relied on by Governor Scott, suggested this shortened route as an alternative to lessen its cost and ridership concerns.  Rep. John Mica (R-FL) said this route would have some of the best numbers in the world.  In fact, such a line would draw from nearly 50 million tourists annually in the Orlando area--twice the population of New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Boston combined. 

John Mica floated this shortened route idea last Friday, but it reportedly received a chilly reception from the U.S. DOT, according to Senator Nelson, because it does not connect two metropolitan areas. 

UPDATE--Feb. 25--Multiple sources, including the Tampa Tribune, are suggesting legislators will file a lawsuit against Governor Scott for exceeding his constitutional authority by rejecting the high speed rail funds.  Transportation secretary Ray LaHood has given the Governor an additional week to contemplate a proposal presented by the cities of Orlando, Tampa, Lakeland, and Miami to form a new interlocal agency, under which the State of Florida would have no liability, available at THIS LINK

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

U.S. DOT: Florida Leads Nation in Pedestrian Fatality Rate

An "early edition report" issued by the United States Department of Transportation ranks Florida at the top of nation's Pedestrian Fatality Rates, based on 2009 data. 

In addition, Florida had 107 bicyclist fatalities in 2009--more than any other State.   California had 99 bicyclist fatalities.  The next highest, Texas, had 48.

Here are the Top 10 States on the DOT's Pedestrian Fatality Rate chart: