Sessions for bicyclists start on Monday

Published: Friday, May 17, 2013 at 8:05 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, May 17, 2013 at 8:05 p.m.

Grab a free bicycle helmet, and ditch the old one.



What: Free informational programs about bicycle and pedestrian safety in honor of National Bike Month

When: Monday at 7 p.m., Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. and May 29 at 11:30 a.m.

Where: Headquarters Library, 401 E. University Ave.

The Alachua County Library District and the city of Gainesville's Bicycle and Pedestrian Program will present free informational programs "designed with Gainesville's bicycling community in mind" at the Headquarters Library -- including a bike safety class Monday night at 7 at the downtown library.

With Gainesville rated as the No. 16 most bicycle friendly city in America by "Bicycling Magazine," knowledge of bicycle and pedestrian safety is important because the number of bicycle crashes has increased, police said.

In 2012, there were 106 reported bicycle crashes in Gainesville, up from 85 accidents reported in 2011, said Ben Tobias, public information officer of the Gainesville Police Department.

One of the programs is a bicycle safety and helmet fitting class scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday in the Headquarters Library meeting room B. Attendees can learn about bicycle safety and receive free helmets and helmet fittings.

A bicycle and pedestrian law enforcement and community workshop will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in meeting room A of the downtown library..

Bicycle and pedestrian safety information has seen a move toward the use of social media to reach a larger segment of the bike-riding population, said Joseph Raulerson, sergeant of the Gainesville Police Department Traffic Safety Team.

City officials said they will release information on resources from area safety agencies and community groups, and give an update on progress made in bicycle and pedestrian issues on May 29 on the plaza in front of the Headquarters Library.

At the 11:30 a.m. gathering, bicycle routes, different sites of interest and an updated bicycle map will be featured, said Dekova Batey, bicycle and pedestrian coordinator for the city.

The "Bike Boulevard" project, which is a roadway where the bicycle is the preferred mode of transport, will also be discussed.

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