The Vision Zero Community Safety Events include FREE helmets, safety demos, and fun for all ages!
WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (June 20, 2019) –
It has been less than a year since the City of West Palm Beach adopted Vision Zero West Palm Beach, a road safety initiative that has proven to save lives in municipalities around the world. With the goal of reducing and ultimately eliminating fatalities and serious injuries on city roads, the City’s Vision Zero safety team—along with its partners—will host several free summer events for students and families. The first event, a Bicycle Rodeo, was held in the City Hall Courtyard, on Saturday, June 15. Attendees learned valuable skills for riding a bike such as starting, stopping, turning, road safety, and bicycle helmet safety. Guests were encouraged to bring their own bikes to receive specific tips and have adjustments made. The event included helmet fittings and helmet giveaways. Attendees were also advised to bring their own helmets for fitting by experts, and to ensure they met Consumer Product Safety Committee (CPSC) standards.
“Public safety is priority number one, and we are pleased that the City’s Vision Zero initiative is working to make our roads even safer,” said West Palm Beach Mayor Keith A. James. “We invite everyone to join us and participate in this summer’s Vision Zero safety events. We have set a goal of zero fatalities or serious injuries on city roads, and—with everyone working together---we know it can be done.”
Vision Zero West Palm Beach recently released data reflecting an almost 3 percent decline in crashes overall and a more than 30 percent decline in crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists in areas in which the City has already started improvements, when compared to the first quarter of 2018.
A Vision Zero approach involves a wide variety of methodologies to reduce the troubling traffic fatalities and serious injuries produced on roads daily. The method has been adopted in 34 cities in the United States, with many more abroad. Locally, Vision Zero West Palm Beach is a collaborative effort between internal and external community stakeholders. The City of West Palm Beach acts as a connector to resources and experts, advancing a shared goal to reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries on the streets of West Palm Beach. The City looks to achieve its goal through the “three Es” – engineering, whereby the City commits to design better streets; education, including public fairs and targeted outreach programs; and enforcement, which includes enforcement of traffic laws and review of policy changes.
“Riding a bike is a skill that will last a lifetime,” said Tara Applebaum, Vision Zero Coordinator for the City of West Palm Beach. “We look forward to the additional events planned for the summer and encourage everyone to come out and learn to ride a bicycle and ride safely. While educational, the events will also be tons of fun! Together, we can and will make roads in West Palm Beach safer for all users.”
In addition to last weekend’s Bicycle Rodeo, several other events are planned for this summer. On June 22, from 10:00am - noon, Vision Zero WPB and its community partners will host an Instructional Day at the City Hall Courtyard for beginners just learning to ride a bike. On July 20, from 10:00am - noon, they will host a Bicycle Rodeo at the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium’s Safety Fair. Both events are FREE, open to the public, and families and students are encouraged to attend. The events include free helmet fittings and helmet giveaways (while supplies last). Attendees are also encouraged to bring their own helmets for fitting by experts, and to ensure they meet Consumer Product Safety Committee (CPSC) standards and are not counterfeit. Bike helmets are meant to protect users from a serious fall, but counterfeits won’t provide that protection. Fake helmets lack reinforced roll cages- the internal skeletons that hold the helmets together even after a crash. On the outside a real and counterfeit helmet can look identical but inside they are very different. These free events are made possible by Vision Zero West Palm Beach and its community partners: Florida Department of Transportation, Ask Learn Go, Mandel Public Library, The School District of Palm Beach County and the Health Care District of Palm Beach County.
Additionally, on June 29 from 9:00-11:00am, residents and cyclists are invited to a ‘Pedal Party’ to participate in a two-way cycle track demonstration and workshop. Two-way cycle tracks are physically separated cycle tracks that allow bicycle movement in both directions on one side of the road. In line with the City’s Vision Zero initiative, cycle tracks provide safety benefits. Using temporary lanes constructed for the workshop, the Pedal Party will provide bicyclists with an opportunity to become familiar with a two-way cycle track proposed for South Flagler Drive, between Summa Street and Worth Court. SkyBike West Palm Beach will have bicycles available for use. The City’s Vision Zero team will offer safety information, helmets and giveaways. The workshop is sponsored by the City of West Palm Beach, SkyBike and Connect WPB.
For more information about Vision Zero West Palm Beach, visit www.wpb.org/visionzero
, call 561-822-2222, or email Tara Applebaum at email@example.com
. For all City of West Palm Beach news and updates, follow the City of West Palm Beach on Facebook @CityofWPB and on Twitter and Instagram @westpalmbch.