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Bicyclists take to the road in Naples to promote safety

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NAPLES, Fla.- The wheels were turning in Naples Sunday, as 400 bicyclists took to the road to promote safety.

“Florida is number one in the country for traffic crashes, so we want to rectify that,” said Tamara Paquette, a volunteer at the Bike Brunch hosted by the Naples Pathway Coalition.

That’s why the non-profit organizes event like the Bike Brunch. “Trying to raise awareness so that people learn that bikes are part of our roadways,” said Paquette.

Recently, Collier County adopted a new anti-harassment ordinance. “People who abuse bikers or walkers in anyway throw things at them, swerve at them to scare them,” said Beth Brainard with NPC.

It’s also a cause the coalition is pushing statewide. Brainard says they are pushing for “stiffening the penalties for vulnerable users of the road, which means bikers, walkers, runners.”

Naples City Council member Sam Saad was at the event. He says some council members pulled back on some recent design plans to a new park, that he says are critical for the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians.

“Are we going to have residents of the county come across the bridge into a vacant lot, or are they going to come into a beautiful park; the type of which is expected in the city Naples,” said Saad.