Mark Hassell, Bike Investigator at Bill Bone Bike Law, was recently featured in a news story by WPTV NewsChannel 5. The story discusses the steps being taken by the city of West Palm Beach and the city’s Police Department to make local roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
As someone who commutes to work daily on his bike, Mark spoke to NewsChannel 5 about the dangers cyclists face on city streets from personal experience. He observes, “[u]nfortunately it has not gotten any better. There’s no rhyme or reason to the type of car type of driver people will come very close to you. Despite Florida having a 3-foot law, cars easily come a couple of inches from you.”
Under Florida law, motorists are required to allow at least three feet of space between their vehicle and cyclists when passing. However, most drivers don’t observe the rule, and despite the frequency with which it’s violated, police rarely issue tickets for the offense.
Another clear and present danger to cyclists is speed. In an effort to combat that problem, West Palm Beach has installed speed tracking signs warning motorists to slow down in areas identified as particularly hazardous such as Quadrille Boulevard in the downtown area. The city plans to install similar signs on Australian Avenue and 36th Street.
The sign on Quadrille Boulevard appears to be having limited effect. In the story, Mark notes many vehicles decreased their speed upon noticing the sign. Unfortunately, “most of them just seem to go right on through despite the flashing red light in the flashing speed limit,” he adds.
Nevertheless, Mark remains upbeat, telling NewsChannel 5, “[i]t’s a good reminder to the drivers in motorist [sic] that there is a speed limit and that they should be mindful of their speed.”