Bike Pensacola Community Project
Today we welcome guest blogger Christian Wagley, Executive Director of Bike Pensacola.
Bike Pensacola has been named a recipient of a 2021 AARP Community Challenge Grant, one of eight grantees selected in Florida. The grant will support the Gonzalez Street Shareway Project in a one-day test of a shared corridor that will help connect people and neighborhoods across Pensacola by demonstrating a safe roadway where residents can walk, run, bike and visit neighbors.
Bike Pensacola will host a one-day, six-hour demonstration project of the proposed Gonzalez Street Shareway, a complete street shared among all users but with features to particularly encourage cyclists and pedestrians. Bike Pensacola identified this corridor as one of the only ones that is contiguous across town, due to the interruption of the Interstate 110 that was pushed through the heart of the city in the early 1970s and has divided neighborhoods. The project is an example of tactical urbanism, in which street improvements and traffic calming measures are temporarily installed to test them out and build public support for permanent changes.
The Gonzalez St. corridor features relatively low vehicle speeds and traffic counts—the right conditions for safe and pleasant bicycling. The Shareway begins at the Brownsville Community Center, a new facility that is a hub of community activity, and the Shareway ends in the East Hill neighborhood at the City’s Bayview Community Center. Within a few blocks of the strategic route are dozens of schools, businesses, restaurants, churches, public and senior housing establishments. This route will connect two sides of town and bring together culturally diverse communities that all want safer road conditions.
For the event, temporary traffic calming and beautification features will be installed. At each community center, Bike Pensacola and community volunteers will have information about the proposed Shareway and how they can help to support it. The demonstration event will feature music, activities and fun along the route at parks and businesses.
The AARP Community Challenge Grant award will be used to hire police to staff busy road crossings, to complete a state road crossing permit that requires an engineer to certify and for a traffic services company to install signage and safety features at major road crossings. Following the one-day event, Bike Pensacola will work with the community to build support for funding to create permanent improvements.
For more information on Bike Pensacola and the good work they are doing, please visit their website: https://www.bikepensacola.org/
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