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Longboat Key Police Department gets to work improving bicycle and pedestrian safety

Longboat Key Police Department gets to work improving bicycle and pedestrian safety

Howard Tessler said the bike lane has improved a lot in the past few years. Thanks to a liaison program with the Longboat Key Bicycle…

Thursday, Mar 10

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Howard Tessler said the bike lane has improved a lot in the past few years. Thanks to a liaison program with the Longboat Key Bicycle Association, updates are being made and put in place.

In the midst of season, traffic everywhere is typically heavy — even for those on two wheels. There is a large population of serious cyclists on Longboat Key, and in tandem with the police department, they’re trying to make both Gulf of Mexico Drive and the sidewalks safer for everyone involved. Police department rolls in

There’s now a bike liaison within the police department. Sgt. Rick Hankins, who is taking the lead on the department’s accreditation process, is the main contact, but other sergeants such as Dave Cooper work with the cyclists, too. The police department approached the Longboat Key Bicycle Association when the accreditation program began, seeking input and to work together. Howard Tessler said cyclists on the sidewalks are more likely to disregard rules. “We’re doing a bike safety and pedestrian program, and we’re just kicking it off,” Hankins said. “It’s agencywide, not just myself … It really takes the whole agency to make this successful.”

Hankins is taking note of the most common bike and pedestrian issues that crop up and increasing education on them. In several calls for service, he said, they’ve had reports of stolen bikes, which he wants to combat with a robust bike-registration system. Citizens come to the police department to register their bike’s serial number into a national database, […]

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