Who says developers don't want to share the road?
Not Eric Collin with Sarasota-based Finergy Development. Indeed, the Florida Bicycle Association recently recognized Collin, a native of France who has lived in the States for 10 years, for his pro-cycling efforts in local development and construction.
It's the first time the Waldo-based association has recognized developers for its annual awards. And it's the first time Collin, who says he bikes to work anytime he can, has been awarded for combining his two passions.
Collin was cited for two specific projects. One is a Hampton Inn & Suites near the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport that opened earlier this year. Finergy, under Collin's leadership, provided bike racks and shower facilities for employees who wanted to bike to work. Finergy also provided bike racks for employees when it built its downtown Sarasota headquarters.
Collin also led an effort to persuade the Florida Department of Transportation to provide bike lanes on U.S. 41 north of downtown Sarasota, an area known as the North Trail. Collin is one of the leaders of the North Trail Redevelopment Partnership.
Several other Gulf Coast-based groups and individuals were recognized by the bicycle association. The city of Punta Gorda, which runs a free bicycle loaner program for people to travel through the city, was named the state's most bicycle-friendly community. And the Tampa Downtown Partnership, in conjunction with the New North Transportation Alliance Program, won the award for best program, for encouraging Tampa residents to bike to work.
The award recipients also included Darla Letourneau, a Sanibel resident and retired federal employee who, according to the association, helped make sure some of the funds from the federal stimulus bills that came into Lee County were used for bicycling projects.