Bike paths make sense on U.S. 19
I have noticed that they recently put (both sides of U.S. 19) new street lights/lamps, from approximately Hudson through Spring Hill (up to U.S. 50). This is great, but I do not really see the advantage.
With the new JCPenney, the Wal-Mart and other strip malls being built along U.S. 19, why can't someone consider putting bicycle paths along U.S. 19, so people can ride, walk and stroll with their baby carriages, wheel chairs, etc., such as they do on Forrest Oaks Boulevard, and incorporate these paths with THE Bus stops? Many advantages here, such as fuel savings and helping seniors who are unable to drive. Substitute fuel wheels for foot wheels.
With the amount of bicycle traffic fatalities on U.S. 19, and high fuel prices, the time has come to provide residents commuting options.
As we all know, it will cost. To make a win-win, zoning and building permits regulators can mandate that bike paths must be included in retail and commercial building plans, just as they must for parking lots. The cost would be picked up by the developers, which would be minimal because they already have their earth-moving equipment and materials on site. Bike paths would provide people without vehicles access to stores, which would increase retail sales, and promote commuting to work.
Just a thought. A prime example is the Suncoast Parkway Trail.
Dennis Guido, Spring Hill
Re: CSX/FDOT deal not the best for transportation, taxpayers | June 3 guest column
CSX has a good record on safety
In response to the column by state Sen. Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland, it is important to correct the record on CSX Transportation's safety record.
CSX Transportation is among the industry's leaders in safety. From 2004-2007, the company recorded a 48 percent reduction in employee injuries and a 41 percent reduction in train accidents. According to the latest figures available from the Federal Railroad Administration, we are first among U.S. railroads with the fewest employee injuries, and second with the fewest train accidents.
The numbers are important, but it's even more important to send our employees home each day in the condition in which they arrived for work. It's also critically important that we operate safely in the communities along our network. We are very proud of the work of our employees and their accomplishments in safety.
The unfortunate and incorrect reference to CSXT's safety record was made in connection with the author's flawed characterization of the liability provision. This is the insurance that the company and the state believe would provide the right protections to ensure that passengers injured on the proposed commuter rail system would receive payment quickly without a protracted legal dispute. It is the same insurance that has been in place and worked very well for many years on the South Florida Tri-Rail commuter rail system, in other commuter operations and on the Amtrak system around the country.
Jim Marks, vice president-safety, CSX Transportation, Jacksonville