A community coalition to promote bicycle & pedestrian safety in Gainesville and Alachua County, Florida.

What is the BPAB?

BPAB is the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Board for the city of Gainesville and Alachua County. We are a group of citizens named to the board by the city and county commissioners to advise local government agencies on bicycle and pedestrian activities. This especially includes advising on transportation and facility improvements and new construction, safety issues and educational programs.

Who serve on BPAB? 13 citicens are appointed for one to three year terms. Four members are appointed by the Gainesville City Commission, four by Alachua County Commission, and four by the Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization (MTPO, which consists of the city and county commissions meeting together). In addition, the city commission appoints one non-voting student member from the University of Florida or Santa Fe Community College.

A Brief History of BPAB

The original impetus for a bicycle and pedestrian advisory board was to assure safe access to schools for children K-12; the focus was on off-road facilities. A pilot bikeways project for elementary and middle school students was begun in 1969; green and white “bike route” signs were erected along specified routes. A “bikeways advisory committee” was formed; this became the Gainesville Bikeway Council, advising the City Commission.
In the 1970’s the Black Acres Bike Trail was completed, bicycle registration was started and area route maps published. The Gainesville Bikeway Council was renamed the Bikeways Advisory Board, which aided in facilities planning within the city. In 1982, the Urban Area Bicycle Advisory Board was created, and in 1983 the first full-time bicycle coordinator was hired; this position today is held by Dekova Batey at the City of Gainesville Public Works Department.

In 1990 the Gainesville Area Bicycle Plan was adopted by the MTPO, and in 1995 pedestrian issues were placed under the Board’s purview; the name became the BPAB. The Countywide Bicycle Master Plan was adopted by the MTPO in 2001 followed by an updated version in 2003.
In the mid-80’s research showed that in-road facilities, at least for experienced cyclists, were safer than off-road, i.e., sidewalks. As a result, the MTPO and the Florida Department of Transportation incorporate in-road facilities as part of roadway improvement projects; BPAB participates in facility design. However, there is presently a renewed interest in developing offroad routes, particularly as shared-use paths.

Past and Present BPAB Projects
Past projects include Bike, Hike and Bus Week (a week of activities dedicated to promoting alternative modes of transportation), Share the Road (public education
programs), Hope for the Holidays (repaired bicycles for giveaway during the holidays), and Helmets for Kids. Present projects include creation of this website (through the generous donation of the United Church of Gainesville), the holiday bike giveaway program (run by Chandler Otis), public education, light and safety vest giveaway to day laborers, bicycle rack donations to Vet Space, Wisteria House plus partnerships with local businesses to retrofit bicycle racks, and education programs about cycling around Gainesville at UF and SFCC for incoming students.

Bicycle Friendly Community Award: Initiated by BPAB in 2004, Gainesville was awarded the above at the silver level by the League of American Bicyclists. Our Mayor signed the Bicycle Action Plan, which you can read by going to League’s web site.

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