NAPLES, FL. – The Fifth Avenue South Business Improvement District has partnered with the Naples Pathways Coalition and Naples Police Department to provide bicycle lights and other safety equipment to workers along the Avenue. The initiative is intended to improve workers’ commutes to and from Fifth Avenue, especially in the dark of late night.

The inaugural installation event involved approximately 30 bikes on Thursday, May 26th in Cambier Park, behind Vergina Restaurant, with initial community funding provided by The Norma Foundation. Organizers hope to secure additional funding in order to host another safety equipment event later this year, preferably before the next peak season.

“Since coming on board as the Community Oriented Policing Officer for Fifth Avenue South, I’ve seen workers riding their bikes late at night with dark clothing on and no safety equipment other than a cell phone as a headlight,” said Rey Reyes, TIF Officer for the Naples Police Department. “This initiative will help workers have a safer commute home.”

In addition to installing bicycle lights, the groups distributed reflective safety vests/belts, safety information and bicycle locks for those who need them. Those items were provided to at-risk cyclists by the Naples Pathways Coalition, a local non-profit organization that works to create safe, bikeable, walkable communities in Collier County.

“This initiative builds upon our longstanding tradition of working closely with the local government and law enforcement agencies in advocating for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists on our roads,” said Michelle Avola-Brown, Executive Director for Naples Pathways Coalition. “We look forward to other successful partnerships going forward.”

With several restaurants and bars operating late into the night, Fifth Avenue South is the ideal location to assist a significant number of workers commuting to and from downtown.

“We are delighted to partner with the Naples Pathways Coalition and Naples Police Department and support their efforts to ensure employees have safe and secure transportation,” said Bruce Barone, Jr., executive director for the Fifth Avenue South BID.

Featuring more than 220 businesses, including high-end shops, world-class dining, unique boutiques and galleries, and exciting entertainment options, Fifth Avenue South is the vibrant heart of Naples.