The plastic ban: Gainesville will be 100 percent waste free by 2040

Mayor Lauren Poe, Gainesville city commissioners and city staff listen to the public’s comments Jan. 18, 2019, during the Gainesville City Commission meeting at City Hall. The meeting was over four hours long, and the panel of legislators passed legislation that banned the use of plastic bags in Gainesville.


Transportation keeps Gainesville moving and City Commission candidates thinking.

Ahead of the City Commission elections on March 18, Gainesville Citizens for Active Transportation, an advocacy group focused on active transportation, endorsed incumbent Commissioners Harvey Ward and David Arreola on Wednesday, said Chris Furlow, president of Gainesville Citizens for Active Transportation. 

The group also endorsed newcomer Reina Saco, Furlow said. 

Furlow said he trusts that Ward, Arreola and Saco will support active transportation and initiatives to make the streets of Gainesville safer. 

Despite Saco not having a track record of her own yet, Furlow said she seemed supportive of active transportation measures during a forum Monday.

During the forum at the downtown Alachua County Library District, seven candidates running for District 2, District 3 and At-Large seats discussed transportation, a topic on the minds of Gainesville residents following an increase in pedestrian and cyclist deaths this year

During the forum, candidates were asked questions about regulation of electric scooters, public safety, free rides on RTS buses and their visions for future transportation projects, Furlow said. 

Gainesville Citizens for Active Transportation was founded in 2013, when Gainesville residents felt that elected officials weren’t taking active transportation seriously enough, Furlow said. 

Scherwin Henry, Gabe Kaimowitz, Paul Rhodenizer and Reina Saco are running for City Commissioner Helen Warren’s  at-large seat, which is up for grabs because she’s term-limited. 

If elected, Saco said her vision is to ensure accessible, safe and potentially free transit options for everyone in the city. 

Saco said she feels grateful to have support from a group that focuses on accessible and safe transportation for all residents of Gainesville, whether by RTS buses, skates, bikes or on foot.

“Having their support is an honor because it means the experts agree with my vision,” Saco said. 

Contact Grethel Aguila at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @GrethelAguila.