Bicyclists say Naples intersection is dangerous
NAPLES - A local bicyclist advocate wants to get the word out about a busy intersection where a biker was struck down by a car and is in critical condition.
"Whenever I heard about this kind of thing it makes me cringe," said Michelle Avola with Naples Pathways Coalition, an organization that advocates for bicyclist safety.
Many people on bikes along U.S. 41 and Bayshore Dr. complain that the area is congested and not very safe for pedestrians or bicyclist.
"I've lost track of all the people that I know of and heard of that's been run over," said a local resident who only wanted to be identified as Ronald. "Tamiami trail is what I know is a trail of tragedy."
As for bicycling advocate Michelle Avola, the area has been on her radar recently because of the potential for a tragedy like the incident that happened last Thursday.
Avola said she is trying to gather as much information as possible about problems at this intersection in hopes of finding a way to make it safer for drivers and specifically bicyclist.
"Naples Pathways Coalition is trying to work with the community to do safety education. We want to know what kinds of things are happening… where there's a frequency."
She also wants the Collier County Sheriff’s Office to more aggressively ticket drivers who do not yield to laws that protect bicyclists such a keeping a three-foot distance from a bicyclist.
"We have asked for a zero tolerance policy when any driver jeopardizes or injures a cyclist."
For its part, the Collier County Sheriff's Office is working to put out a PSA that will educate drivers on ways to prevent tragedies involving bicyclists, which is due to be released next month.
Avola says she has also reached out Collier County Officials to get the ball rolling on making changes to protect bicyclist at the intersection of Bayshore Drive and U.S. 41.