Introduction to and summary history of safe

SAFE has been involved in Delray, Palm Beach County, and state transportation issues for (16) years. During that time, it has worked successfully with Florida Legislators, the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA); the Palm Beach Transportation Authority (PBTPA), formerly know as the Palm Beach Metropolitan Planning Organization; the Florida Department of Transportation, Zone 4 (FDOT4); the Sourth Florida Communter Services (SFCS); and the City of Delray Beach in finding solutions to transportation problems. SAFE began primarily as an advocacy group that connects electronically to others. SAFE’s network includes: bike clubs, elected officials at all levels of government, agencies such as FDOT, SFRTA, the TPA’s & MPO’s, media outlets, and several thousands of newsletter members. 

Transportation accomplishments include:

1. Persuading FDOT to construct a handicap ramp in front of Deck 84 (aka Bush’s Restaurant) and the Atlantic Avenue ICWW, Jim Smith

2. In 2001-2002, Jim Smith served as the Chair of the Delray Beach Ped/Bike Task. The Task Team made a number of recommendations to improve ped/bike safety that were subsequently approved by the Delray Beach City Commission.

3.  Safety As FDOT Envisions (SAFE) was founded in 2002.  Co-founders included:  Jim Smith, Charlie Bonfield, Judy Grillo, Al Weinstein, Anne Richman and Dick McIntyre.   SAFE is a safe motoring, walking, and bicycling advocacy organization.  SAFE’s mission is to  help make Florida become the safest state to drive, walk and ride,

4.  Convincing the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to revise its plans for reconstruction of SR A1A in Delray Beach to include (1) five-foot, designated bicycle lanes, (2) more complete sidewalks on the west side of A1A from Linton to Bush Blvds, and (3) improved drainage. SAFE collected 7,600 petition and these petitions were the overriding factor in convincing FDOT that the citizens of Delray Beach wanted these facilities,

5. Working with FDOT, and the Town Manager and staff of Highland Beach to reduce the standing rain problem and the sprinkler over-spraying and flooding of SR A1A – a hazard to motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists. New swales were installed by FDOT, and Highland Beach worked with residents to change their sprinkler settings,

6.  Persuading FDOT to add SR A1A to its outside contractor’s maintenance agreement,

7. Convincing FDOT to install in-street ped warning signs at crosswalks throughout PBC,

8. Conducting a “Street and Sidewalk Survey” of busy US 1 (East 5th and 6th Avenues) in Delray Beach and prepared a PowerPoint presentation showing over 50 safety problems. After showing its PowerPoint Presentation to the outside consulting firm hired by the Community Development Agency, Kimley-Horn revised its preliminary design recommendation to include an option of moving the existing parking lane from the right side of the road to the left side, and adding bicycle lanes to the right side of the road thereby providing motor vehicle/pedestrian separation on both sides of U. S. 1. 

9. Requesting Rep. Anne Gannon and the Palm Beach County Legislative Delegation to sponsor several bicycle/pedestrian safety initiatives. As a result, a bill was passed by the legislature and signed into law by Governor Bush authorizing the first ever state-wide bicycle study.

10. Requesting additional statewide bicycle safety legislation, and Senator Bullard responded by offering an amendment requiring motorists to be at least three feet from bicyclists when passing. Senator Bullard’s amendment, offered to HB 7079 was signed by Governor Bush and became effective October 1, 2006,

11. Persuading Rep. Adam Hasner to suggest a law that became law requiring bicyclists to ride in a bike lane,

12. Conducting a Delray Beach Downtown Transportation and Parking Survey to assess employee transportation and parking needs. The report included a 192-page report, a 7-page executive summary report, and a 10-minute PowerPoint that contained the results of the survey and SAFE’s recommendations. Shared the info with the City of Delray Beach, the DDA, CRA, and South Florida Commuter Services (SFCS), 

13. Designing a Delray Beach Roundabout rider questionnaire and a passenger service survey,

14. Presenting “Traffic Tips for Senior’s” programs at the Abbey Delray retirement facility,

15. Partnering with the FDOT4 on a $600,000/yr. ADA and sidewalk gap project in Palm Beach and Broward Counties, 

16. Supporting the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) in obtaining state funding so that weekend service was not reduced by asking all the municipalities in the Tri-Counties to pass a supporting resolution that was sent to all the Florida Legislators,

17. Establishing “Walk A Child to School Day” in Delray Beach. Managed the first walk at Banyan Creek Elementary, and the second walk at Pine Grove Elementary, then convinced the City to take on future responsibility,


18. Convincing former PBC Commissioner Mary McCarty to erect a memorial behind the Delray Fire Station on Lake Ida Road in honor of Evan Rimar, a former Banyan Creek Elementary student who died after being struck by a car while riding his bike on Barwick Road,

19. Writing more than 300 “Letters to the Editor” supporting ped/bike safety, and have been quoted in more than 600 newspaper stories on road safety, and appeared on numerous TV spot news reports,

20. Convincing the City of Delray Beach to convert from an unsafe 2-way stop to a 4-way stop at N.E 2nd Avenue & 1st Street,

21. Coordinating meetings with FDOT4 and the City of Delray Beach to discuss and solve road safety issues,

22. In 2009,  State Rep. Kelly Skidmore credited SAFE for “keeping the spotlight on traffic safety by constantly staying in touch with legislators. One thing (SAFE) gets is that the passage of legislation is a long-term commitment.  They're in it for the long haul.

23. Working with major developers in Delray Beach to adopt Transportation Demand (TDM) initiatives,

24. Continuing to support new state laws banning driver text messaging, and more stringent Graduated Driver Licensing requirements,

25. Serving on the Tri-Rail Coastal Link Finance and Public Information Sub-Committees,

26. Attending & advocating road safety and multimodal transportation at hundreds of SFRTA, Palm Beach MPO, Palm Beach County Legislative Delegation, and Delray Beach Boards, Committees and City Commission Meetings,

27. Continuing to advocate for handicap accessible sidewalks and bicycle lanes on all state roads, and in urban areas, where there is sufficient right of way.

28. Opposing successfully a proposed redevelopment project in Briny Breezes.

29. Recommending 2014 LDR revisions for the City of Delray Beach.

30. Investigating and proposing steps that can be taken to reduce ped/bike crashes in Delray.

31. Writing SAFE newsletters for distribution to SAFE members, general public, media outlets throughout Florida, FDOT, MPOs, SFCS, SFRTA, Florida Legislators, city & county municipalities, etc. SAFE estimates its email links now total over 15,000. 

32. Presentation at the 2015 Wheels Conference in S. Miami.

33. Participating in the development of the PB MPO Complete Street Design Guidelines.

34. In 2017, SAFE President & Co-founder Charlie Bonfield retired. Other than Jim Smith, Charlie was the last of the co-founding Directors of SAFE. 

35. During June, 2018, SAFE was reorganized and renamed. SAFE reverted to its original name, “Safety As FDOT Envisions” as has been incorporated in the State of Florida as a (501)(c)(3). New directors and officers include: John Morgan, President and Barry Feldman, Vice Chair, Treasurer and Acting Secretary. Jim Smith remains as Chair.