Re: I ditched my car, took the bus for a day (article, April 18)
Learn HART's rules of the road
I enjoyed reading your article describing your public transit adventure in Tampa. True, everything you mentioned can, and often does, happen when traveling on a city bus. However, if you had contacted HART's Travel Training program, a great deal of the mystery would have been removed and as a result, you could have stepped on your first Route 4 bus that morning like a true "seasoned" patron.
HART's Travel Training program over the past 10-plus years has helped thousands of patrons of all ages and ability levels learn the ins and outs of using the public transit system. In fact, a co-worker of yours (Times staff writer Lane DeGregory) spent nearly a day riding around Tampa with me during several travel training sessions back on Jan. 18, 2005. The Floridian article was printed on Sunday, Jan. 30, 2005, titled "Route to independence."
You may be saying to yourself, "Now you tell me!" But don't despair. We are still here ready to guide you anywhere HART goes. The best part about HART's Travel Training program is the cost. The training sessions — however many you may need — are free. In fact, we even provide a bus fare card while you are in training. An offer hard to turn down for anyone wanting to rid themselves of the newbie status.
Mark Sheppard, HART travel trainer
Re: Bikers fight for safe passage (article, April 18)
Commitment to bikers shameful
For years many people have been asking the Tampa mayor to please create a bike lane on both sides of Interbay from Bayshore to West Shore, a very dangerous and frequent path for cyclists. Needless to say, the Tampa mayor is spending millions on a Riverwalk to nowhere. A similar and shorter area frequently used that is also dangerous and within the ability of the mayor to accomplish is south of Gandy on both sides of Bayshore to the air base.
These are areas the mayor's bike person said years ago they were "looking at."
You mention the east side of Bayshore's bike lane, which disappears a mile south of the Davis Islands bridge and forces riders back onto the wide-open road. The west side of Bayshore, of course, does not have a bike lane and is also dangerous and in frequent use by cyclists.
Bottom line: Tampa has one bike lane for a few miles on the east side of Bayshore.
It is embarrassing to visit other cities that have a civilized and safe approach to this subject, particularly those cities in which cycling cannot be enjoyed because of weather constraints half the year.
Thanks for writing anything about biking. Too bad the Tampa mayor wishes the activity would disappear, a la the Bayshore lane.
Mike Luetgert, Ballast Point