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Friday, April 17, 2015

Lisa Indovino named FBA 2014 Educator of the Year

Congratulations to Lisa Indovino who was named Florida Bicycle Association (FBA)'s 2014 Educator of the Year. Lisa is the Safe Routes to School Educator for the All Children's Hospital Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Program in Lee County, and has done a great job establishing and running this program over the past two years.

As one example of Lisa's work, check out the blog post about the amazing music video about safe biking and walking created by Challenger Middle School students under her leadership. (see BikeWalkLee Blog Feb. 11, 2015: "Safety Kids": Local students create music video PSA on biking safety)



Dawn Huff, Sarita Taylor, Dan Moser, Lisa Indovino, and Becky Afonso
On April 16th, Becky Afonso, FBA's Executive Director, came to the April School Health Advisory Committee meeting to make the award presentation.  The event was attended by Sarita Taylor, the head of FDOT's statewide SRTS initiative; School Board member Mary Fischer, other school officials; and members of Cape Coral Bike Ped and BikeWalkLee.

Award winner Lisa Indovino and FBA ED Becky Afonso
Florida Bicycle Association awards are presented to worthy recipients for their contributions to bicycling. The purpose of the awards is to bring attention to the efforts and achievements of groups, organizations and individuals that help shape our vision for all Florida bicyclists to be safe, respected and encouraged to bicycle for transportation and recreation. Over the past 15 years that FBA has presented these awards, Lee County recipients have frequently been among the awardees. This year, 3 of the 16 award winners are from Lee County. We will be reporting on each of the award winners at the time that FBA makes the award presentations in person, so stay tuned!

Below is FBA's award write-up about Lisa Indovino.

Educator: Lisa Indovino, Safe Routes to School Educator, All Children’s Hospital
Lisa is a Community Educator for the All Children’s Hospital Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Program. The program operates in seven counties, and Lisa heads up the Lee County branch. The primary focus of the program is to combine classroom instruction, educational outreach, and experiential learning to educate children and parents how to walk and bike in a safer way. To do this, the program uses developed classroom lessons, conducts safety assemblies at schools, presents at PTA/PTO meetings, coordinates walking schools buses and walk/bike to school days, conducts bike rodeos, and participates in various community and school events.

The Lee County program started in 2013, making it one of the most recent additions to the All Children’s Hospital Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Program. While the Lee County program is new, Lisa has taken initiative and turned the program into a success. Lisa has met with key stakeholders in Lee County and received tremendous buy-in and support from the Lee County School District. She has provided lessons and bicycle rodeos in 16 schools and reached over 8,000 students so far this school year. One student was the winner of the State-wide Florida Department of Transportation SRTS/Alert Today Walk to School Day poster contest. Lisa’s passion and drive to teach pedestrian and bicycle safety education is evident in the success of the Lee County program. With the program as a resource in Lee County, many children will receive much-needed pedestrian and bicycle safety education.

Click here to learn more about the FBA Award Program.



Report by Darla Letourneau, photos by Ann Pierce.

Lee MPO Board reviews framework for 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan decisions


The Lee MPO is in the midst of developing the countywide 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), which sets the direction for the County's transportation future. In preparation for the April 17th Board meeting, on April 13th BikeWalkLee sent a letter to the Board outlining the framework for Friday's discussion.

At the April 17th MPO Board meeting, the Board got down to business on the 2040 LRTP starting with a presentation by Staff Director Don Staff that set the framework for the decisions ahead. Don's PowerPoint, entitled 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan Revenues looked at the revenues from all sources--federal, state, local--that were available in the 2035 Plan (developed in 2010) vs. what is available for the 2040 Plan. It also analyzed how those funds were allocated in the 2035 plan by activity and the allocation in 2040. Below are some of the highlights:
  • The gap between needs and available revenues has widened considerably since the adoption of the 2035 LRTP and is continuing to grow. While the population is projected to increase by 51% between now and 2040, the revenues are projected to decrease overall by 26%.
  • Between the two plans (2035 to 2040), the share of local revenues dedicated to maintenance vs. capital has risen from 52% of all local revenues to 62%, demonstrating that a growing share of our resources are being dedicated to maintaining the existing transportation system vs. building new capacity.
  • A slightly higher share of the revenues in our upcoming 2040 LRTP is coming from federal and state revenue sources because the local revenue sources are declining by a greater percent than the state/federal sources; however, both are declining. In the 2040 Plan, 68% of the revenues are coming from local sources and the remaining 32% from federal/state. 
  • Within the overall 26% revenue reduction, that reflects a 15% reduction in federal and state revenues while the local revenues have fallen by 31%. [Note: the local revenue gap would have been 24% instead of 31% if the County's impact fee policy had remained at 100% vs. their current 45% collection rate.] 
  • Of the local revenue sources available for capital projects in the 2040 Plan, 36% is from tolls, 33% from impact fees, and 30% from gas taxes.
  • Taking into account all federal/state and local revenues for capital projects--a total of $1,975 million is available over the 25-year period of the 2040 cost feasible plan. 
Click here to view the full MPO PowerPoint presentation.

Dr. Margaret Banyan spoke on behalf of BikeWalkLee at the Board meeting making the following comments:
Today’s presentation on revenues are a critical foundation of the LRTP. More importantly, this discussion sets the stage for the decisions that lay ahead.

This presentation and a new approach to the LRTP is a response to trends that we have known – trends that we have been getting ready for. As we have been discussing the last five years – or ever since the 2035 LRTP- the available revenues from all sources are declining. At the same time, our population is growing.

The gap between potential needs and available revenues has widened significantly and will continue to grow. Anticipating this situation, as far back as 2010 the MPO Board began to set in motion a series of policies that would shift the transportation paradigm to a balanced multi-modal system.

The goal was to underscore and value transportation choice, connectivity, economic opportunity, livable communities, community character, safety, and quality growth. The approach was clearly to shift away from "congestion management" as the sole criteria for transportation decisions and embrace a broader range of policy options to deal with growth.

Part of the reason for doing this is that federal laws mandate that MPOs address a broad range of goals, including safety, accessibility, and quality of life. The Federal Map 21 legislation required that the LRTP be developed using performance measures to assess and prioritize projects Because of this you can’t just zero in on eliminating congestion, which, by the way, isn’t even one of the eight factors the feds recommend focusing on.

In fact, in a 2013 CUTR report said that, “MPOs should take greater care to demonstrate and document how the projects contained in their cost feasible plan support the adopted goals and objectives of the LRTP.”

To move in that direction, in early 2013, the Executive Committee of the MPO was tasked to guide the 2040 LRTP process. The Committee has worked with staff over the past two years to develop realistic revenue projections, determine the cost to fully maintain existing infrastructure, project the remaining funds that could be allocated to new/expanded facilities; and reinvent project review and prioritization processes based on the LRTP and MPO Board's goals.

Ultimately, the Committee's work provides the framework for making better decisions and directing scarce resources in the most cost effective way, as one of the Committee's key objectives has been to develop a cost feasible plan that is 100% fundable.

By moving ahead in your current direction, you have not only begun to embrace a process that many other MPOs all over the country are using, but you are setting up your process to be consistent with federal guidelines and engaging in smart planning.

You have already taken significant action already:
a) You have integrated transportation and land use planning (adoption of land use scenario);
b) You adopted a "fix it first” approach that emphasizes maintenance and improvement of existing facilities before building new ones
c) You learned from other successful MPO communities (such as Nashville, Broward, Sarasota, and Hillsborough);
d) You have ensured that the highest priority projects are the focus;
e) You have maximized the use of available resources;
f) and finally, perhaps most essential, you adopted a set of goals and objectives upon which you will measure performance.


The one way that you have developed that still requires implementation is for all of the projects that will be considered in the LRTP to be evaluated, consistent with a performance measurement standard, as required by the federal MAP-21 guidelines.

Your process was for all projects to be submitted by local jurisdictions to the MPO on Project Request Forms. We understand that this process is now getting underway.

These project sheets and the new objective evaluation process are an essential element of the process and a way to keep your eye on the ball – the ball here is a fiscally responsible transportation plan that meets the goals and objectives that you have adopted.

We, BikeWalkLee, look forward to working with you as the LRTP process enters a critical stage.

David Urich (lifetime member of Responsible Growth Management Coalition and member of the MPO's Citizen Advisory Committee) also spoke during public comment and urged the Board to seriously review road projects that have been on the needs plan for a long time. Much has changed both in terms of available revenues as well as community desires and it's time to cut the list down to fit the available revenues. He urged the Board to take a "zero-based budgeting approach", evaluating projects in terms of what gives us the most bang for the buck.

Report by Darla Letourneau
 
Below are links to related documents that were shared with the MPO Board:

BikeWalkLee Blog April 9, 2015: Road Zombies in Lee County: The Invasion of Bad Planning in the 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan

Key MPO Board Decisions to date re: 2040 LRTP:

1. Goals and Objectives for 2040 LRTP
Lee MPO Board Approved LRTP 2040 Goals and Objectives--8/22/14

2. Candidate Project Application Process
Lee MPO Board Approved 2040 LRTP Candidate Project Request process

3. Land Use Scenario C adopted by MPO Board on 6/20/14
Links to the Land Use Scenarios report, along with the consultant's recommendation.
· BWL Blog June 23, 2014: Lee MPO adopts land use scenario C, a great beginning to the development of the 2040 LRTP

4. MPO Board Resolutions adopted in December 2010 as part of 2035 LRTP adoption, that set stage for the 2040 LRTP: MPO Board Resolutions #2010-12 and #2010-13.
· BWL Blog December 11, 2010: MPO Board adopted two resolutions to provide policy direction on LRTP








Thursday, April 16, 2015

BWL Column: Bikers, walkers will benefit from Mayor’s Challenge

Kudos to Mayors Ben Nelson, Marni Sawicki, Randy Henderson, and their respective city councils, for taking a big step for safety by joining Secretary Foxx's Mayors Challenge for Safer People Safer Streets. 
BWL's Column in News-Press "Go Coastal" 4/16/15


In January, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx challenged mayors across the country to take a leadership role in addressing pedestrian and bicycle safety. A former mayor himself, Foxx understands that effective action to reverse the trend of rising pedestrian injuries and deaths can only be achieved through a partnership between the federal and local governments.

This spring the mayors of Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, and Fort Myers signed on to the “Mayor’s Challenge for Safer People and Safer Streets,” an initiative by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation (USDOT) to promote more safety for bikers and walkers —something sorely needed in Southwest Florida. To date 209 cities have signed on, 32 of which are in Florida.

To be part of the year-long initiative, mayors have to issue a statement on the importance of bike/ped safety, form a local team to pursue better safety and accessibility goals in the city, and take action on seven Challenge activities:

Take a Complete Streets approach in their city, so that facilities are planned with all the users in mind.
Identify and address barriers to make streets safer and more accessible for all users of all ages and abilities.
Gather and track bike/walk data, so there’s a clearer picture of the bike/ped conditions and so that decisions can be made based on facts rather than faith.
Use designs that take into consideration tomorrow’s needs as well as today’s.
Seize opportunities to complete existing bike/ped networks and facilities… so bikers and walkers aren’t literally left standing at the side of the road when the lane or path runs out.
Strengthen bike/walk safety laws.
Educate and enforce proper road use behavior by all.

Mayors (and cities) taking part in this Challenge not only get access to federal data and programs (and gain a better understanding of the USDOT process), they also network with their counterparts nationwide to see how other areas are tackling similar situations.

With no federal funding, this program relies upon local staff and the input of time, energy and innovative thinking from teams of community volunteers. This unique structure will help create the grassroots support and broad citizen awareness needed to change the assumed values underlying all transportation planning. The resulting better designs, better data and greater determination will make conditions safer for local bikers and walkers, while accelerating the momentum gained in bike/ped safety in the past few years.

Look around you: There are more people biking and walking today. Isn’t it better to keep them safe rather than sorry? So, kudos to Mayors Ben Nelson, Marni Sawicki, Randy Henderson, and their respective city councils, for taking a big step for safety.

Hang up and drive
April is National Distracted Driving Month, so in honor of that we offer the following:
At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010.
Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55 mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded.
The National Safety Council estimates a quarter of crashes involve cell phones, and that drivers using handheld or hands-free phones are four times more likely to be in a crash.
A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that nearly 60 percent of crashes involving teen drivers were preceded by some kind of distraction.
When asked, only 30 percent of drivers admitted texting while driving… but 75 perecent said they’d seen someone else doing just that.
So, this month, the next time you think that text or call just can’t wait… remember that it can.

Support
Want to support the “6ft Flag” Safety Movement - Bike Lights Campaign, a grassroots movement to help improve the safety of cyclists in Southwest Florida? Go to http://www.gofundme.com/SWFL6ftflag_lights for details and to donate.

BikeWalkLee is a community coalition raising public awareness and advocating for complete streets in Lee County—streets that are designed, built, operated and maintained for safe and convenient travel for all users: pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Information, statistics and background online at www.BikeWalkLee.org.

Ready to ride or run?
Run: Plenty of 5K choices this weekend… you can fight cancer, grant wishes, support Bishop Verot or race with your furry friends. Check out www.fortmyerstrackclub.com, www.sfla.wish.org or www.active.com for details.
Ride: Try the fifth annual Immokalee Ride for Literacy on Sunday, with 15-, 30-, 45- and 62-mile rides starting at 8 a.m. Proceeds benefit The Family Literacy Academy of Immokalee; got to www.caloosariders.org for information.
Upcoming: And don’t forget the monthly SWFL Critical Mass ride is Friday, May 1, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Riders gather at the open lot near the downtown Publix (off West First Street) for a 8-10 mile fun family ride.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Moser Column: Road and pathway hazards: They have to know to take action

Those out riding, walking, and running are the best observers and reporters of hazards, so be sure to report those hazards to government agencies responsible for managing our transportation network.  Dan's column provides the list of contacts, so save this column, plug these numbers into your smart phone, and become a reporter.  Thanks to all the government maintenance contacts who are very responsive to these citizen reports. Working together we can make our roads and pathways safer for all users.

Florida Weekly "Outdoors" Section: 4/15/15

An uneven segment of concrete sidewalk creating a trip hazard. A lateral rut in the roadway pavement or storm drain grate creating a bike wheel grabber that can send a rider and one’s bike to the ground unexpectedly. Bougainvillea branches overhanging a pathway that snag and cut anyone who’s unaware of the damage it can do as they pass by it. Glass and other debris in the paved shoulder or bike lane — or, most commonly, on all of our bridges — causing blowouts and flats for bicyclists.

These are but a few examples that anyone who runs, walks or rides a bike, whether occasionally or routinely, inevitably encounters, many of which can lead to a fall or crash. And although the various departments managing our public or private roads try to keep the environment safe for all users, the most neglected aspect of our transportation network tends to be the spaces not intended for motor vehicles, yet which the most vulnerable use, perhaps because they go unreported.

Case in point: On a recent run in a master-planned community I found many stretches of the paved pathways that were fraught with hazards, especially for those on foot with compromised mobility or anyone using wheeled vehicles such as bikes, strollers and wheelchairs. The culprit is clearly tree roots pushing up the asphalt path. As I ran behind a mom on a bike with her child in tow behind her I noticed she had to keep checking to see if the trailer had tipped due to the poor pavement condition. Although the community’s roads are in pretty good condition it appears the sidepaths had not been repaired or resurfaced since being constructed, creating risk of injury for users and liability for the jurisdiction. A subsequent call to the responsible agency resulted in learning that work to repair the paths will soon begin.

While most of our rights of way are public, some, like the example I just cited, are private but with full public access. Each right-of-way is managed by a specific entity, but certain roads have multiple jurisdictions responsible for segments of the same corridor, making it somewhat confusing when trying to determine which entity to contact with a complaint or to report a problem. A common example of this is any road that intersects an interstate: regardless of whose ROW it is leading to and from the interchange area the interchange segment comes under the jurisdiction of Florida Department of Transportation.

For example, Daniels Parkway is a county road but the interchange segment of it is FDOT’s. Fortunately, when you’re not sure whose road or sidepath it is, the agency you initially contact will generally refer you to the correct jurisdiction or pass along the complaint or request if you guessed wrong. Even when the request is bigger than maintenance or repair (filling short sidewalk gaps or reporting obvious ADA violations, for example), the folks fielding calls or online inquiries are helpful in getting you to those actually responsible for addressing the problem. Please be sure to acknowledge those who take care of your complaint or request. Also, don’t hesitate to move it up the ladder if it isn’t resolved.

For example, a complaint that escalated to a much higher level was at first thought to be related only to maintenance of traffic during a road project but has turned out to be a serious design flaw. Regular users of the bike lanes on Treeline Avenue near the new terminal access road project lodged complaints during construction that they were being put at risk. FDOT intervened with the contractor to improve safety for cyclists in the construction zone, but even with their efforts it seemed the best bet was to avoid the area until work was complete. Unfortunately, the final configuration has also generated numerous complaints, something FDOT and Lee DOT (and, hopefully, the Lee County Port Authority) are working to resolve. All this effort has come about thanks to those who filed complaints and others who are following-up, both from within and outside the responsible jurisdictions.

You can learn more about this and many other important community matters at bikewalklee.blogspot.com.

Here’s a list of contacts:

Until next time, I’ll look for you on the roads and pathways.

Upcoming Events
Running/Walking:
  • Viking 5K Paint Run, Saturday, April 18, Bishop Verot High School, Fort Myers (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Fast & Furriest 5K & 1-Mile, Saturday, April 18, Hammond Stadium, Fort Myers (3dracinginc.com)
  •  
  •  Dollars for Scholars 5K, Saturday, April 25, Rotary Park, Cape Coral (3dracinginc.com)
  •  
  •  Run for Kayla 5K, Saturday, May 2, Patriot School, Cape Coral (3dracinginc.com)
  •  
  • Turtle Trot 5K, Saturday, May 9, Lovers Key Park, Fort Myers Beach (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
Cycling and other events:
Dan Moser is a long- time bicycle/ pedestrian advocate and traffic safety professional who cycles, runs and walks regularly for transportation, recreation and fitness. Contact him at bikepedmoser@gmail.com and 334- 6417.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

April 13th: Upcoming running/walking/biking/tri events

It's beginning to get hot, so hurry and cram in some of these upcoming running, biking, tri events.  Plan now to be part of the family fun May Day Critical Mass Ride (May 1st) in downtown Fort Myers...help us meet goal of 300 riders.

Upcoming events 

Running/walking:


·         Saturday, April 18: Verot Viking 5K paint run/walk. Bishop Verot Catholic High School. Registration 6:30 a.m., run 7:30 a.m. (www.fortmyerstrackclub.com)
·         Saturday, April 18: Relay for Life 5K, to benefit the American Cancer Society, Lakes Park. Relay is noon to midnight, 5K is 6 p.m. (http://relay.acsevents.org/ or www.active.com)
·         Saturday, April 18: The Fast and the Furriest 5K Run & 1 Mile Walk, Hammond Stadium, Fort Myers. Support the Gulf Coast Humane Society. Registration with and without dogs. Race starts at 8:05 a.m. (www.active.com)
·         Saturday, May 9: 10th annual Turtle Trot 5K at Lovers Key, to support The Friends of Lovers Key, Inc. Trail course on shell paths (no sand). Registration 7 a.m. (www.fortmyerstrackclub.com)
·         Saturday, May 16: Cape Cops 5K, Cape Coral Yacht Club. Run, walk and kids’ fun run, starts at 7:30 a.m. (www.fortmyerstrackclub.com)

Cycling and other events:
·         Sunday, April 19: Fifth annual Immokalee Ride for Literacy, 15-, 30-, 45- and 62-mile rides starting at 8 a.m. Proceeds benefit The Family Literacy Academy of Immokalee. (www.caloosariders.org)
·         Sunday, April 26: Fit and Fuel 50/20. Three rides are offered: a 50-mile ride, a 20-mile ride, and a short family-oriented ride. Have fun and raise money Youth Haven serving at-risk Southwest Florida children. Entry fee includes swag bag and post-ride meal. Starts 7 a.m. from 819 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples. (www.caloosariders.org)


·         Friday, May 1: SWFL Critical Mass ride. Join our May Day family fun slow ride through Fort Myers, starting at 7:30 p.m. Front and rear bike lights required. Grab your helmet, bring all your friends and meet in open field next to Publix at First Street Village, 2160 McGregor Blvd. Fort Myers. (www.SWFLCM.com)

·         Wednesday, May 20: Ride of Silence, to honor cyclists killed or injured while cycling on public roadways. Leaves at 7 p.m. from Centennial Park, 2000 West First Street, Fort Myers. Riders are requested to wear black armbands, or red if they have personally been injured in a cycling vs. motor vehicle accident. Also Sanibel Bicycle Club has organized a ride from Sanibel, leaving from the Sanibel Community Association on Periwinkle over the Causeway bridges and back.  Arrive at 6:45 p.m.  Both are free, no registration necessary.

Triathlons:
·         Sunday, April 16: FGCU Eagle sprint triathlon, GFCU campus. Details at trifind.com
·         Sunday, May 3: Lake Avalon reverse triathlon & duathlon, Sugden Regional Park, Naples. Details at www.trifind.com.
·         Saturday, May 9: Cape Coral sprint triathlon, Cape Coral Yacht Club. Details at trifind.com.
·         Sunday, June 7: Naples Fitness Challenge Triathlon, Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club. (www.thefitnesschallengetriathlon.com)



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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Road Zombies in Lee County: The Invasion of Bad Planning in the 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan

The Lee MPO is in the midst of developing the countywide 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP),which sets the direction for the County's transportation future. Last week's discussion at the MPO's Citizens Advisory Committee meeting about the Tice Community's connectivity plan as an alternative to 4-laning Ortiz Avenue was a preview to the upcoming 2040 LRTP decisions overall. It was a reminder that if we do not remain focused on the MPO Board's agreed-upon goals and objectives and the good planning that went into the Board's adopted land use Scenario "C" we are at risk of falling victim to bad planning – the outdated and dangerous paradigm that single-mindedly pursues ‘lanes’.


By Dr. Margaret Banyan*

At last Thursday’s Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting of the MPO I wondered whether I had wandered onto the set of the 1968 zombie movie, The Night of the Living Dead. In this cult classic, zombies are driven by the single-minded and relentless pursuit of ‘brains’. An equally formidable foe was at the CAC meeting: road planners whose sole goal is ‘lanes’.

At the meeting, the Tice Historic Community Planning Panel presented a well thought out community-led request to model a connectivity plan as an alternative to the multi-laning of Ortiz Avenue. The proposal, which has been vetted many times over the past three years, is to expand the community’s grid network and reduce the planned Ortiz to a smaller footprint. The many benefits of this include greater economic development, safer transportation, lower construction and life-cycle costs, and enhanced emergency access and hurricane evacuation.


Tice community complete streets vision for Ortiz section

It was this proposal that piqued the anxiety of road planners who countered with a discussion solely about moving cars quickly around the county. A relentless zombie-like paradigm of ‘lanes’ persists, despite that the explicit 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan’s goals are to shift to a safe, multi-modal, financially feasible, community-oriented, and connected system that enhances economic development and embraces non-automobile access to jobs, retail, recreation and other community amenities.

Something is seriously wrong. The fault may lie in our collectivity inability to consider a different approach. Instead we do what we’ve always done whether it works or not – in this case the well-worn approach is making decisions solely on traffic models. Even more concerning is the possibility that the LRTP goals and objectives have been hijacked and that the traffic model has once again become the single most important element of the LRTP. Our collective discussion ignored that out of a list of 7 goals and 10 objectives only 2 speak to traffic or congestion. The remainder of the LRTP goals reflect sound planning principles that provide transportation access at the lowest financial and human cost.

It was three years ago when I reported on the community’s approval and significant benefits of the Tice Connectivity Plan in a BikeWalkLee blog post. The alternative plan now makes even more sense when we consider its alignment with the 2040 LRTP goals and objectives. It is consistent with the MPO adopted Scenario “C”, it enhances safety, offers meaningful transportation choice, is financially feasible, is sensitive to the community character, it enhances economic competitiveness, it manages congestion, and it encourages quality growth. And if that is not enough, the alternative plan is a complete streets proposal. Given that Lee County, the MPO, and the Florida Department of Transportation all have complete streets policies and provisions, we should welcome such a project.

Thanks to the thoughtful deliberation of the CAC members, this alternative Tice Connectivity Plan will be modeled. However, even with this vote, the traffic model only has the capacity to measure 2 out of 17 criteria that should inform the 2040 LRTP.

We are in trouble if applying the goals and objectives of the LRTP is as problematic as it has been with the Ortiz Avenue and the alternative Tice Connectivity Plan. This experience is but a preview to the upcoming 2040 LRTP decisions overall. If we do not remain focused on the agreed-upon goals and objectives and the good planning that went into the development of Scenario "C" we are at risk of falling victim to bad planning – the outdated and dangerous paradigm that single-mindedly pursues ‘lanes’.

In zombie movies, the only survivors are those who are vigilant to danger and utilize good defensive tools. That is the case here as well. To stop the road zombie scourge and correct the mistakes of bad planning, the 2040 LRTP must maintain its vigilance and focus on its already agreed-upon goals and objectives – luckily these are tools that we already have at our disposal.

*Dr. Margaret Banyan is a BikeWalkLee Steering Group member, FGCU professor, Tice Historic Community Planning Panel Chair, and MPO Citizens Advisory Committee member.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

April 6th: Upcoming running/walking/biking events

 Easter is over and the season begins to wind down but there are still lots of running and biking events to participate in.

Upcoming events 

Running/walking:
·         Saturday, April 11: African Aid 5K, to support World Vision. New Hope Presbyterian Church,  3825 McGregor Blvd. Race starts at 7:30 a.m. (www.fortmyerstrackclub.com)
·         Saturday, April 18: Verot Viking 5K paint run/walk. Bishop Verot Catholic High School. Registration 6:30 a.m., run 7:30 a.m. (www.fortmyerstrackclub.com)
·         Saturday, April 18: The Fast and the Furriest 5K Run & 1 Mile Walk, Hammond Stadium, Fort Myers. Support the Gulf Coast Humane Society. Registration with and without dogs. Race starts at 8:05 a.m. (www.active.com)
·         Saturday, May 9: 10th annual Turtle Trot 5K at Lovers Key, to support The Friends of Lovers Key, Inc. Trail course on shell paths (no sand). Registration 7 a.m. (www.fortmyerstrackclub.com)


Cycling and other events:
CRBC's 3/22/15 Royal Palm Classic
·         Sunday, April 12: Everglades Ride. 16- and 62-mile smooth rides, 27-mile bumpy (off-road) ride. Benefits Friends of Fakahatchee and the River of Grass Greenway. (http://raceroster.com/events/2015/4895/everglades-ride)
·         Sunday, April 12: Southwest Florida Tour de Cure for the American Diabetes Association.  Distances are 10, 35, 62 and 100 miles; registration $25 and fund-raising minimum $200. 8131 Lakewood Main Street, Lakewood Ranch, FL. (http://main.diabetes.org/site/TR/TourdeCure/TourAdmin?pg=entry&fr_id=10181)
·         Sunday, April 19: Immokalee Ride for Literacy, 15-, 30-, 45- and 62-mile rides starting at 8 a.m. Proceeds benefit The Family Literacy Academy of Immokalee. (www.caloosariders.org)
·         Friday, May 1: Critical Mass Ride: Join our May Day family fun slow ride through Fort Myers. Front and rear bike lights required. Grab your helmet, bring all your friends and meet in open field next to Publix at First Street Village, 2160 McGregor Blvd. Fort Myers, FL. (www.SWFLCM.com)

·         Wednesday, May 20: Ride of Silence, to honor cyclists killed or injured while cycling on public roadways. Leaves at 7 p.m. from Centennial Park, 2000 West First Street, Fort Myers. Riders are requested to wear black armbands, or red if they have personally been injured in a cycling vs. motor vehicle accident. Free, no registration necessary.  There will also be a Ride of Silence from Sanibel, riding from the Sanibel Community House over the Causeway and back, also leaving at 7 p.m.  Details will be provided next week.