Bee Ridge Road Sarasota Florida

Pedestrian Safety Campaign



This is a photo of Institutional Government Fraud and Corruption in Florida. The County, FDOT, and FHWA Civil Rights Division is fraudulently representing ADA Wheelchair Clear Width Standards as the governing authority in the placement of light posts. This is FRAUD. This Financial Fraud increases your Billionaire Contractor Profits, but is directly responsible for many pedestrian and cyclist injuries and possibly deaths. Please stop this fraud and relocate the posts to the Utility Strip. And, shame on you for actually claiming the ADA gives you the authority to obstruct sidewalks. - vision impaired disabled veteran - The Pedestrians Lives Matter Campaign - http://pedestrianslivesmatter.org


4/25/2016 Update:

I give up!  This seams to be a losing battle.  Nobody in government cares about the safety of pedestrians.  Our government has been corrupted by rich sociopaths who lack empathy.   However, i do still pan on posting my complaints about this government fraud on Facebook, etc...

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The government contractors are getting rich on the deaths of pedestrians.  ​The latest FDOT Scam is the so called "pedestrian safety islands" on streets like Bee Ridge and Tamiami Trail.  They advertise that they are installing pedestrian crosswalks, but these are actually "unmarked" crosswalks.  There will be no lines painted across the road or pedestrian crossing signs/lights (as shown in their ads).  These "unmarked" crosswalks will only confuse drivers and pedestrians.  The FDOT is encouraging pedestrians to jaywalk on very busy four lane roads.. 

The real reason for the project:

The cost for the 11 pedestrian safety islands being built on Bee Ridge has grown from $708K to $17 million.  The average cost of real estate in Florida is $121 per square foot.  The cost of these 11 slabs of cement is $2,341 per square foot (if my math is right). $1.5 million each for an 11 X 60 foot slab of cement is probably the most expensive real estate in America. 

And, they say it would be too expensive to move the light posts over a couple of feet so cyclist and blind pedestrians won't be injured.

It is time to vote out the politicians who allow billionaire contractors to obstruct our sidewalks and are allowing the FDOT greed to kill more pedestrians.




Update 1/5/2016:
Congratulations Florida!  The new report came out today from Integrity Florida and Florida is no longer the most corrupt State in the Union.  Since 2010 Florida has moved from the most corrupt to the third most corrupt.  From 2003 to 2013 there were only 622 public federal corruption convictions in Florida. And Congradulations to REpresentative Vern Buchanan.  Vern made CREW's list of the 13 most corrupt congressmen in the years 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2012.

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In Sarasota, Florida they throw Homeless Veterans in jail for "sidewalk obstruction", and Utility Posts have more Rights to the sidewalk than Blinded Veterans.

The Utility Division and Civil Rights Division of the FDOT/DOT have conspired together in order to circumvent long established sidewalk safety standards.  They are fraudulently representing ADA Clear Width Standards as if they are either a minimum standard, or the sole governing authority over the placement of street light utility posts.  It is neither. This Fraud is directly responsible for many pedestrian and cyclist injuries, and possibly deaths.  This Obstruction of Justice and of our Right of Way has been going on since they installed the posts in 2003.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. "
- Edmund Burke

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The Violation

The FDOT/DOT claims that the light posts are ADA Compliant because of compliance to "Wheelchair Pass By Clear Width Standards".  However, wheelchair users are not the only disabled people who travel on sidewalks.  The sidewalk is also used by blind pedestrians, disabled elderly pedestrians using canes and walkers, and other disabled pedestrians who's access has been obstructed.  Wheelchair access is not a lowest common denominator in which  to measure access for all disabled people. Therefore, the sidewalk is not ADA Compliant.  

Most importantly location of the posts violate their governing authority and long established Above Ground Utility Structure Placement Standards.  The County Crash Data proves that this Right of Way obstruction is directly responsible for many pedestrian/cyclist injuries and possibly deaths.


All pedestrians and cyclists have a Right to an unobstructed Right of Way, not just pedestrians who travel in wheelchairs.

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Right of Way Obstruction

Violation of Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) of 1968

The Cover Up

Conspiracy (possibly criminal)

Fraud (fraudulent representation of the ADA)

Obstruction of Justice
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Please take a moment to fill out an online complaint form or send an email or two. Your Tax Dollars ($680K of Federal Funds) paid to American Lighting and Signalization Inc to obstruct your Right of Way. The FDOT is fraudulently representing the ADA to justify placing light posts in the middle of the sidewalk. Utility Posts should be in the Utility Strip, not the middle of the sidewalk.
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Many Pedestrians and Cyclists have been injured by colliding with the street light posts which are in the middle of the sidewalk on Bee Ridge Road in Sarasota. When riding around the posts cyclists have been struck by cars after falling off the curb on to the road.

Bee Ridge Road is a four lane road with no bicycle lane. The speed limit is 45 mph and traffic often travels faster than the posted speed limit. The sidewalk is used by children visiting the Ulfer Family Park, Disabled Veterans visiting the Veterans Medical Center, and our Amish Neighbors riding their bikes to Walmart or Publix.

Contractor Profits vs Pedestrian Safety & The "Clear Width" Fraud

The Government tells citizens that they can place the light posts anywhere on the sidewalk as long as a wheelchair user can pass by the post. The Government is fraudulently representing the ADA to circumvent long established sidewalk safety standards. "Clear Width" Compliance does not justify obstructing the center of the sidewalk. The posts should be relocated to the Utility Strip next to the other posts and signs. (South Sidewalk of Bee Ridge Road between Beneva and Cattlemen Roads.)

Street Lamp Posts were not allowed in the middle of sidewalks before the ADA was Law. Despite the Government claims, the ADA does not give them the authority to obstruct the center of Pedestrians Right of Way. A resident or business would not be allowed to place posts or signs in the middle of the sidewalk and the County and State should be held accountable to the same Laws as the People.

The FDOT claims it would be too expensive to relocate the posts off the sidewalk to the Utility Strip. However, there are no Right of Way Conflicts and it would not be too expensive to move the posts over a few feet. How many pedestrians need to be injured or killed before its worth the cost?
The post should have been placed in accordance to Federal Safety Standards since Federal Funds were used to pay for the installation of the street lights

Sarasota recently enacted new Sidewalk Obstruction Ordinances against Homeless People sitting on sidewalks. The ACLU has filed a law suit against Sarasota for arresting so many people for being homeless. In Sarasota Homeless Veterans can go to jail for sidewalk obstruction, while Sarasota misrepresents the ADA to justify actual sidewalk obstructions which have caused several injuries.

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(The below link shows photos of the light posts which have been marked to indicate where the posts should be located.)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/132600900@N02/
(This is not Rocket Science, just common sense.)
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Recommendations:
1.  Relocate the 73 light posts which are in violation of safety standards in accordance with FHWA Clear Zone Standards and Above Ground Utility Structure Placement Standards.
2.  Require FDOT Public Information Officers and ADA Coordinators to undergo training in the proper use of ADA Clear Width Standards, FHWA Clear Zone Standards, and Above Ground Utility Structure Placement Standards.
3.  Pass Legislation requiring County and State ADA Coordinators have formal education in the ADA.
4.  Prosecute FDOT/FHWA who commit Financial Fraud by misrepresenting the ADA in order to increase contractor profits and being directly responsible for pedestrian and cyclists injuries and possibly deaths..


12/11/2015 - UPDATE

Postal Letter sent to FBI Director requesting Criminal Conspiracy and Fraud Charges be file against two FDOT Officials and one FWHA Official.  You can read the letter on the "What Can I Do?" page.  Please consider sending your own letter to the FBI requesting Justice.


11/22/2015 - UPDATE

Investigation reveals $580K of Federal Funds were paid to the Contractor American Lighting & Signalization Inc. which is owned by the Billionaire Aspulndh Family. 


10/30/2015 - UPDATE
The Department of Transportation, Office of the Inspector General has reviewed the complaint and has referred it to the FBI. Please contact the FBI and report the "Clear Width Fraud".

10/28/2015 - UPDATE
The Roadways Division of the U. S. Access Board has reviewed the complaint and referred it to the Enforcement Division of the U. S. Access Board and to the USDOJ.
Email: enforce@access-board.gov


References:


FHWA Clear Zone Standards
https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/programadmin/clearzone.cfm
(see item 6: Where is the appropriate location for above ground utility structures?)

Photos of the Bee Ridge Road Light Posts which were placed in violation of Above Ground Utility Structure Placement Standards, and any common sense.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/132600900@N02/
(This is disgraceful. The FDOT is controlled by greedy contractors who are endangering the lives of our children.)

Sarasota County Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan
https://www.scgov.net/PublicWorks/Pages/BicycleAndPedestrianPlan.aspx

North Sarasota County Pedestrian and Bicycle Crash Map
https://www.scgov.net/PublicWorks/Draft%20Bicycle%20and%20Pedestrian%20Plan/North%20County%20Bicycle%20and%20Pedestrian%20Crash%20Maps.pdf
(The Crash Data shows the high accident rate where the street lamp posts are located.)


(Sarasota County Sheriff Bicycle Safety Guidelines )
http://www.sarasotasheriff.org/crime-prevention/safety-information/bicycle-safety.html

(This is unrealistic, try taking up the entire lane on Bee Ridge and you will be run over within minutes.)
When a lane is too narrow for a bicycle and a car to share safely, the cyclist is entitled to the use of the entire lane. Within this lane, the cyclist usually rides on the right half to facilitate visibility for overtaking motorists, but should ride far enough left to discourage motorists from trying to squeeze past within the lane. If there is no shoulder or bicycle lane and the traffic lane is narrow, ride closer to the center of the lane. This will prevent motorists from passing you when there is not enough room.


The Asplundh's donate a lot of money to politicians, mostly Republicans.
(from OpenSecrets.org)
The Asplundh Tree Experts Political Action Committee (ATE PAC)
https://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/lookup2.php?strID=C00177741