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Safety concerns for cyclists on crosswalks along the Pinellas Trail

New worries for biker and pedestrian safety in Pinellas County arise after a 56-year-old woman was hit by a car and critically injured over the weekend.

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Stretching from Tarpon Springs to St. Petersburg, hundreds of bikers ride on the Pinellas Trail every day, but cycling may come with risks in the sunshine state.

"We've done a really poor job, across the state but particularly in Pinellas County of giving bicyclists and people on foot a space to walk and ride," said Whit Blanton, executive director of Forward Pinellas.

For years, people have been calling for a change in infrastructure at the crosswalks along the trail.

Steven Welden was hit at a crosswalk on the Pinellas Trail in 2020. He said at the time upgrades needed to be made.

“[The crosswalk at the Pinellas Trail needs to be] more visible, and you tend to pay more attention to a red light than a yellow flashing light," said Welden.

Last year, two bills were introduced in the Florida legislature to turn the flashing yellow lights on the crosswalk red, but Blanton says it's not that easy.

"The problem is there is not a one size fits all approach, so motorists and people on bike or on foot can’t really have a set of expectations about this and it's going to be treated the same way at every crossing," he said.

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