Weekend safety fair and rally aims to promote increased tolerance between all road users.

Last weekend, three cyclists were hit in three days in Southwest Florida. These three accidents coupled with several high-profile crashes in the past few weeks—including Chuck Kelly being hit during a weekly group ride—have started a conversation between city officials, local police and bikers and runners in Southwest Florida.

This Saturday, runners, cyclists and motorists are all encouraged to attend a free safety fair at Cambier Park. The event, which is sponsored by Gulf Coast Runners, the Naples Pathway Coalition, Naples Velo, and several of the other local running and biking related advocacy groups, aims to help promote a culture of safety first on the roads.

“We’ll have four speakers including Chuck Kelly, Tom Weschler, chief of the Naples Police Department and Dan McDonald of the Collier County Sheriff’s Office,” says Mitch Norgart, president of Gulf Coast Runners.

While Norgart says that there isn’t one particular incident that prompted this event, he did say that Kelly’s accident has been a catalyst for bringing local police and county officials to the table.

Bicyclists, motorists and pedestrians are all encouraged to attend Saturday’s event. This isn’t however, all about sharing the road with cyclists. Norgart insists that if we want to make our roads safer, we’re all going to need to learn how to share. That everyone is going to have to be willing to give a little bit.

“We’re not trying to make this about us and them,” he says. “Most cyclists are also motorists; even I’ve been annoyed by a group of cyclists taking up the road when I’m trying to get somewhere. This is about getting everyone to be a little bit friendlier and be okay with taking a little bit more time to get where they’re going.”

If You Go
What: The Share The Road Safety Fair will include representatives from Naples Pathway Coalition, the Naples Police Department, AAA and other road-related user groups discussing safety and sharing Southwest Florida’s roads.
When: Saturday March 1, 2014, from 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
Where: Cambier Park, Naples.
Details: 300 Share The Road t-shirts and stickers will be given out and the entire event is free and open to the public.