Support bike lanes on MLK St. and increase safety for pedestrians

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The MLK Complete Streets project in St. Petersburg, FL will add bike lanes and slow traffic along MLK St. (9th St.) from 5th Ave. N to 30th Ave. N. by removing one travel lane and striping two 6-foot wide bike lanes, along with improvements for pedestrian and bike crossing on MLK.

Currently, MLK is a safety concern. Average car speeds are at least 10 mph above the posted limits and there are few places where pedestrians can cross safely. Car speed and lack of bike lanes also discourages bicycle traffic, which tends to move to sidewalks, thereby endangering pedestrians. And the level of car traffic in this stretch of roadway does not mandate four lanes; three lanes are more than sufficient. Traffic will not be materially delayed.

The project will not only improve safety and encourage healthy and efficient bicycling traffic but will improve business activity along the corridor. Study after study has shown that cyclists make more trips to local businesses. These studies have shown no negative effects on business and in many cases increase sales. (See: This project will enhance the vitality of the nearby communities, including Crescent Lake, Crescent Heights, Euclid-St. Paul, Greater Woodlawn, Historic Uptown, Magnolia Heights and the downtown area.

This first major project under the city's Complete Streets initiative is critical to the program's success. Complete Streets ensures that when resurfacing projects are undertaken, all modes of transportation are considered. This does NOT mean accommodating all modes on every street, but it ensures a balanced approach that will keep our city accessible and safe for all forms of travel. More on the project here:

We support the MLK project as proposed and oppose any effort to degrade it based on false assumptions. Shrinking travel lane width and building 6-foot wide bike lanes with an additional 2-foot buffer is critical to adoption by many potential cyclists along the corridor. The new pedestrian crossings with medians providing safe havens for pedestrians are also critical.

Therefore, we urge the mayor and city council to support the project as proposed.





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