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Friday, May 28, 2010

News-Press: New Lee County bike signs a reminder to share--"sharrows" going on Gladiolus stretch





By RACHEL REVEHL • rrevehl@news-press.com
• May 31, 2010

1:10 A.M. — Bicyclists have as much claim to
roadways as those who travel by car.

But too often, when cyclists like Dan Moser of Fort
Myers bike down stretches of McGregor Boulevard
or U.S. 41, they're forced to the curb, clipped by
passing vehicles or shouted at by drivers who don't
know or care that they have to share the pavement.

In a few weeks, Lee County's Department of
Transportation will introduce a new sign, called a
"shared lane marking" or "sharrow," approved in
December by the national Manual on Uniform Traffic

Control Devices. Its aim: to alert drivers that they
aren't the streets' sole navigators, and mark a safe
path for on-road cyclists.

Other cities over the past year - including
Gainesville, Denver and Portland, Ore. - have posted
the signs, with positive feedback.

"It's a fairly new concept," Moser said. "For anyone
who cycles here in Lee County, it's a huge leap in
the right direction."
Click here to continue reading the article.


The Naples Daily News (as well as the Island Sun) published the press release issued by LeeDOT last week.
Click here to read the full article.

MPO bike/ped master plan website



The project website for the Lee County MPO Bicycle Pedestrian Master Plan is now available to the public.

The goal of the Lee County Bicycle and Pedestrian transportation plan is to provide an accessible and connected bicycle/pedestrian system strategy for short and long-term improvements on the arterial and collector roadways throughout Lee County.

The project team is developing an interactive "issues map" which will identify facility needs and bicyle/pedestrian "problem areas" within Lee County.

Please submit locations where you see the need for improved bike/ped facilities or where you see a safety or operational issue. We ask that you provide:

* an exact location (e.g. intersecting cross streets; North, South, East or West side of the road)
* a description of the issue or need
* a digital photo
* a phone number where you can be reached if we have questions

Email this information to:

Patrick Vanasse, AICP
RWA, Inc., Director of Planning
pvanasse@consult-rwa.com

Urge congressional delegation to co-sponsor Complete Streets bill


BikeWalkLee Advocates:
Today, the National Complete Streets Coalition is thrilled to join with Transportation for America, America Bikes, and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership to bicycle down Pennsylvania Avenue, America’s main street, and publicly express our thanks to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood for all his hard work to make sure that walking and biking are on equal footing with other modes for safety, convenience, and accessibility.

DOT’s new policy is a step forward, but if we’re going to make our streets safer for all users, we need Congress to change federal law to make complete streets the standard — not the exception. Only through a strong federal complete streets policy can we end the project-by-project fight for safer roads for people who are bicycling, walking, and taking public transportation.
Join us in support of complete streets and take action: Tell your Members of Congress to co-sponsor the Complete Streets Act of 2009!

The Complete Streets Act would ensure that future federally funded transportation projects take into account the needs of everyone using the roads – old and young, bicycle riders and drivers, pedestrians and public transportation users.
We are making great progress, but we need your help: Tell your representatives that you value streets designed for all modes – that includes bicycling, as well as walking and taking public transportation. All you have to do is click here and the letter is ready to sign and send--it only takes 30 seconds!

National Bike Month has been an exciting chance to celebrate and encourage more active transportation. Thanking Secretary LaHood will be a great way to end a landmark month.
Thank you in advance for taking action!

BikeWalkLee

News-Press: Group [BikeWalkLee] eyes safety light at Cape Coral intersection



By DENES HUSTY III • dhusty@news-press.com •
May 28, 2010

1:10 A.M. — A local pedestrian and bicyclist
advocacy group is throwing its support behind
better safety measures at a Cape Coral intersection
where a 13-year-old boy was recently killed on his
bike.

Darla Letourneau, a member of BikeWalkLee's
steering committee, said that new pedestrian
crossing lights should be considered for the
intersection at Del Prado Boulevard and Northeast
3rd Terrace. Ryan Santos was struck and killed April
27 while crossing to go to a park a block away.

"It is critical that the county look at the full range of
available safety improvements," Letourneau said.

Click here to continue reading the article.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Buckingham Rd. shoulders project (phase I) is completed & looks great





The first segment of the Buckingham Rd. shoulders project is complete and looks great. We're especially pleased that LCDOT staff responded quickly and effectively to concerns raised concerns by BikeWalkLee cyclists about the contractor's initial work (see the 2/23/10 blog entry). Thanks to everyone who helped bring this project to successful completion. A special thanks to Steve Rodgers for taking the photos. Now, on to phase II of the Buckingham Rd. shoulders project.

Monday, May 24, 2010

BikeWalkLee's letter to County Commissioners--make Del Prado crossing safe for children

May 24, 2010
Dear Commissioners,
Improving safety for bicyclists and pedestrians is a key goal of BikeWalkLee’s efforts to complete Lee County’s streets. Because Florida ranks the highest as the most dangerous state in the nation for both pedestrians and cyclists, and because Lee County ranks higher than the state average, it is imperative that safety is the #1 priority.
When pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities occur, it is critical the county look at the full range of available safety improvements, such as infrastructure, signage, education, and enforcement. The tragic death of 13-year-old Ryan Santos on April 27, who was struck while trying to cross Del Prado Blvd. at NE 3rd Terrace, should give us more than enough reason to improve.
In BikeWalkLee’s November report that accompanied the national “Dangerous by Design” report, we identified Del Prado Blvd in Cape Coral as one of the “hot spots” in Lee County for pedestrians and bicyclists. As the News-Press May 20th editorial stated, “This was a disaster waiting to happen, and it did.” When you look at Goggle Earth Link: Del Prado Blvd N & NE 3rd Terrace, Cape Coral, FL 33909 and see the proximity of Burton Park to this intersection, it’s hard to understand why no safe access for neighborhood children biking or walking to this destination was provided at the time the park was built.

To read the full letter, click here.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sanibel bridge tollbooth and shoulders project completed & we're working with LeeDOT on remaining safety problems





The Sanibel tollbooth biking facilities and the repaved road and shoulders from McGregor up to the bridge are now completed and many cyclists are enjoying this beautiful ride. Thanks to all the government agencies, staff, and contractors who worked on this project. The top photo was taken on 6/6 and shows the correction made to the sharp exit coming off of Sanibel. This is a big improvement over the delineators and sharp turn to right. As noted below, the grate was also fixed. Thanks to LeeDOT staff for addressing the issues we raised!

5/22:
While it's a beautiful ride, there are several remaining safety issues which we've raised with LeeDOT. They are currently looking into the remaining safety issues/suggestions:

1. The sharp turn on the downhill coming off Sanibel at the tollbooth has delineate rs and a quick turn onto a curb without warning, making it dangerous. At a minimum an early warning sign for cyclists is necessary.

LeeDOT/Sarah Clarke 5/26 update: additional work to soften the sharp turn coming off the island is tentatively scheduled for the 2nd week of June.
6/5 update: Workers were out there on Friday re-engineering this spot. As soon as it's completed (which could be Monday), I'll post a photo so you can see the change.

2. There is a need for more signage to warn drivers about cyclists before the turn to La Rossa.
LeeDOT/Sarah Clarke 5/26 update: The additional signing will be addressed by county forces with county funds once we get FDOT sign off on the project.

3. The last grate on the downside of the high span bridge coming on to Sanibel dips lower than the other grates & coming down from that elevation at high speed makes this jarring "bump" particularly dangerous.
Status: LeeDOT issued request to Operations staff on 5/24 to review grate elevation.
6/5 update: LeeDOT staff raised that grate to the same elevation as the other grates & now it rides like the other grates. Thanks to Doug Busbee, the LeeDOT bridge engineer who made the fix.

4. The pedestrian push button on Summerlin crosswalk at McGregor is not working.
5/24 response from Harry Campbell/LeeDOT: On May 17 the pedestrian push buttons were checked at McGregor & Summerlin to insure they were operating properly. All the Ped Buttons and Signals checked-out.

The ped push button is no different than a vehicle arriving in a left turn lane or on the side street. Depending upon where the signal is at in the cycle, the wait time could be a full cycle length. Arrival and activation just before the signal changes to yellow can result in potentially waiting a full cycle.

5. There is no pedestrian crossing or button on McGregor at the intersection of Summerlin and there is no other way (except crossing over to the path at that intersection and then crossing back over to the bike lane at the light at Shell Point)to access the bike lane that starts there.
Harry Campbell 5/24 response: Since there are no pedestrian destinations on the south side of McGregor at the signal (only a guardrail and detention pond site) there is no need for crosswalk or signal. The designer of the intersection made that determination early in the design process.

Bicyclists westbound and returning to the east, without crossing the bridge, should follow the path of their fellow vehicles and turn onto Punta Rassa Road, turn around, and exit Punta Rassa Road at the signal. The merge to the right shoulder can be difficult at times; however, we see no solution to that.

If there are other safety issues that need to be brought to LeeDOT's attention, please contact us. We'll keep you posted on LeeDOT's responses to our requests.

Note: Although the "sidewalk"/curb features on both sides of the tollbooth are not ideal, they were part of the plan that was approved by FDOT (drainage issues, etc.)

Save the Date: August 18th at 11:00 a.m.
Lee County will be holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of this project. We are working with the organizing committee on the plans for the event and invitees and will keep you posted. If you're in town, be sure to plan to join us for the ceremony and a ride across the bridge.

Update on "ground truthing" for the countywide bicycle and pedestrian master plan & request for assistance


Thanks to a Caloosa Riders team,led by Steve Rodgers, for completing the first round of ground-truthing of 20 areas that the consultant identified as needing verification of what facilities are on the ground. Now we need to continue to submit information to call attention to any other on-road situation that we feel would be a "fix" for the safety of all bicyclists or pedestrians (not maintenance issues). In particular, we are looking for continuity issues, e.g., where does a bicycle lane or sidewalk run out? If you're interested in helping in this project, click here for the Caloosa Rider instructions letter, and here for the consultant's data sheet which must be used to report this information.

For further information, contact Steve Rodgers: gatewaycyclist@yahoo.com.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Update on Phase II of Buckingham Rd. Shoulders Project


According to FDOT (Mark Clark) and LeeDOT (Sarah Clarke), $453,000 of federal ARRA (stimulus) funds has been programmed to continue the Buckingham shoulders from Neal Rd. to Gunnery Rd. Over the past several months, the two agencies have been back and forth on finalizing plans for the project. FDOT is expected to approve the final plans next week and then LeeDOT can advertise the job in June. Bids will open in July and construction should begin in September/October.

According to LeeDOT, this segment of Buckingham Rd. is not as badly rutted as the first segment (fewer heavy trucks travel this segment) so hopefully, we won’t have the same problem with holding a constant shoulder slope. I think the shoulders and repaving of phase I of the Buckingham Rd. project should be near completion. If you're riding out that way, take a photo and send it to me & I'll post it (dletourneau@bikewalklee.org).

Thursday, May 20, 2010

News-Press 5/20/10 editorial: Make Cape crossing safe for our children


Ryan Santos' mother is right. Protection for pedestrians and bicyclists is needed at the busy intersection on Del Prado Boulevard in Cape Coral where the 13-year-old was struck and killed April 27.
.....This was a disaster waiting to happen, and it did.
Del Prado is a county road, so urge your commissioners to act before there's another tragedy. To read the full editorial, click here.

To read the May 19th News-Press article, "Grieving mom seeks changes," click here.

Florida moves up in 2010 Bicycle Friendly State Rankings



To coincide with Bike to Work Week, the League of American Bicyclists announced their third annual Bicycle Friendly State (BFS) rankings. View entire state ranked list and a breakdown of how the states fared in each evaluation category.

A Bicycle Friendly State promotes cycling through legislation, policies, programs, and by creating new places to ride, educating motorists and cyclists, and encouraging people to bike for transportation and recreation.

LAB develops the bicycle friendly state rankings by six categories: legislation, policies & programs, infrastructure, education, evaluation, and enforcement. [Note that neither safety nor implementation of policies & programs are part of the evaluation.] For 2010, LAB ranked Florida as 12th in the nation, moving it up from its 2009 ranking of 32nd. Florida applied for a Bicycle Friendly State award and received an honorable mention.

We support FDOT's efforts to make Florida a more bicycle-friendly state. However, it is not just policies that matter--it is implementation and a long term commitment to safety and access. Until Florida no longer leads the nation with the highest rate of bicyclist (and pedestrian) fatalities, it is hard to think of our state as bicycle friendly.

City of Punta Gorda recognized as Florida Bike-Friendly Community

The city of Punta Gorda was recognized by FBA as a "Florida Bike-Friendly Community." Besides making a remarkable comeback from 2004's Hurricane Charley, city leaders, its business community and citizens chose to embrace the concept and implement its plan to provide a safe, efficient and enjoyable environment for cyclists and pedestrians.

Among the reasons FBA chose Punta Gorda for this designation is the fact that earlier this year they became the first community in Florida to offer a free bike loaner program. Their commitment to completing Harborwalk, a 15-mile linear park that will circle the city, and the numerous ongoing activities and efforts by government, business, and residents alike to promote cycling for enjoyment and function are other important factors. FBA is proud to honor the city of Punta Gorda.

Kudos from BikeWalkLee to Earl Lang,the Peace River Riders,Team Punta Gorda and other bike advocates in Punta Gorda for their terrific work with city officials!

To read the Cape Coral Breeze May 18th article on both FBA awards, click here.

Logo ideas for River of Grass Greenway (ROGG)??


The Friends of River of Grass Greenway (FROGG) is interested in developing a logo.

-- volunteer artistic contributions are welcome
-- suggestions for “elements of the design” are welcome
-- recommendations for graphic artists are welcome

(although an obvious logo could include a frog on a bicycle, the ROGG encompasses much more …. think bigger)

Contact Maureen Bonness with ideas: maureenb@evergladesROGG.org.

Photos from May 19th Ride of Silence


Thanks to everyone who participated in the Lee County Ride of Silence events. The Caloosa Riders led the ride in Fort Myers, with 75 participants, and the Sanibel Bicycle Club led a ride in Sanibel with 18 participants.

The Ride of Silence began 2003 in North America and rolled across the globe. Every year on the third Wednesday of May at 7 p.m., cyclists take to the roads in a silent procession (max. 12 MPH) to honor cyclists who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways. Although cyclists have a legal right to share the road with motorists, the motoring public often isn't aware of these rights, and sometimes not aware of the cyclists themselves.
Click here to see Steve Rodgers photos from the Fort Myers ride.

Click here for the News-Press photo gallery from last night’s Ride of Silence in Fort Myers.
On May 19, 2010, at 7:00 PM,

Kate Gooderham: Cycling in Lee County offers numerous benefits to residents


Guest Opinion published in News-Press 5/20/10

May is National Bike Month. To celebrate, I'd like
you to remember why you used to ride your bicycle.
When we were 10 years old we bicycled because it
was fun. The world was our oyster. My secret is, it
still is! I'm happy to tout the health benefits, but
those of us who bicycle regularly do it for the joy,
not for the health of it.

I've been listening to others and why they like to
bicycle. Everyone has a different reason. I like to be
able to look around at a pace I like. Some like the
special time with kids when they cycle. Some like to
ride to the ice cream store! Here's a little collection
of "Why I like to ride" from some friends and
acquaintances. Click here to continue reading.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dan Moser's Florida Weekly column:Controversial law hot topic at ProBike/ProWalk conference


Transportation and planning professionals, advocates and others interested in what’s happing in the bike/pedestrian world around Florida gathered in Lakeland last week at the Florida Bicycle Association’s ProBike/ProWalk conference. Many topics were covered over the three-day event, with bike/ped economics, the theme of the conference, being the primary subject. However, one issue that only recently surfaced was the implications of a bill passed by the Florida Legislature this session. Prior to the conference a Florida Department of Transportation representative provided the following comments on House Bill 971:

1. It would allow local governments to adopt ordinances to allow golf carts to be used on sidewalks. The maximum speed limit for golf carts on sidewalks may not be greater than 15 mph.

2. Even more sweeping provisions would allow local authorities to adopt ordinances to permit or regulate “motorized scooters or miniature motorcycles” to be operated on sidewalks. The bill allows the use of “vehicles” (without any further qualification), “mopeds,” and “electric personal assistive mobility devices” (i.e., Segways), on sidewalks and “sidewalk areas.” Any such ordinance would have to include a 15 mph speed limit. There is no requirement for such an ordinance to include a requirement to yield to pedestrians on sidewalks. The section of the bill that specifically describes permissible golf cart ordinances states that local authorities must consider in this case whether “pedestrians may safely share the sidewalk,” but no such consideration is mentioned in regard to an ordinance that permitted miniature motorcycle or moped use on sidewalks.

3. The bill also includes a requirement for a cyclist traveling at less than the “normal speed of traffic” to ride “in the lane marked for bicycle use” — presumably this means a designated bicycle lane. No exception is included that specifically allows a cyclist who intends to turn right to not use a bike lane marked between a through lane and a right-turn lane. As the bill is written, it seems to assume that a bike lane will always be placed on the far right of
a roadway. However, the existing general exception, “When reasonably necessary to avoid any condition, including, but not limited to “moving vehicle,” could be interpreted as allowing a cyclist to leave bike lane in this case, so as to make a right turn that wouldn’t involve such an obvious potential conflict with other traffic.

Another provision will allow those who are now unable to legally drive after being convicted of their fourth DUI to be eligible to have their license reinstated. What prompted our elected representatives to include in this “transportation clean-up bill” a provision like this and the others outlined above makes one wonder, to say the least. To see the entire bill, go to www.myfloridahouse.gov, click on Bill Finder, and enter 971.

In my next few columns I will relate on other things that took place at ProBike/ ProWalk Florida.

Advocacy news

The driving force behind Bike- WalkLee’s success, Darla Letourneau, was honored by Florida Bicycle Association at ProBike/ProWalk Florida as this year’s Citizen Advocate of the Year. It was acknowledged that Ms. Letourneau’s efforts and expertise not only influence Lee County and Southwest Florida but also have statewide and national effects. She’s truly worthy of this award.

Related to the HB 971, FBA is asking anyone concerned about the impacts of this legislation to contact Gov. Charlie Crist and ask him to veto the bill (850) 488-7146; Charlie.Crist@MyFlorida. com). FBA will continue to work on this matter, including efforts to minimize its impacts should it be signed by the governor or left to become law without his signature. You can stay abreast of happenings at FBA's website.

— Dan Moser is league cycling instructor/trainer and a former bike/ ped coordinator who cycles regularly for transportation, recreation and fitness. He can be contacted at moserdeleon@ juno.com or 334-6417.

NOTE: See Sarasota 5/20/10 article on cyclists' problems with HB 971.

Sanibel advocate honored by state bicycling organization



Darla Letourneau of Sanibel has been honored as an outstanding citizen bike advocate by the Florida Bicycle Association (FBA) at its annual awards ceremony during the recent ProBike/ProWalk conference in Lakeland, FL. Letourneau was singled out for her efforts on behalf of BikeWalkLee in Lee County.
"Letourneau has dedicated countless hours conducting research and developing policy statements," said Dan Moser, the conference organizer and FBA's program director, "not to mention attending many, many meetings and staying in contact with elected officials and staffers in order to improve the bike/pedestrian environment. The work she does impacts not only Lee County but all of Florida, and even places beyond our state.
"Darla's background as a long-time federal employee who worked with a variety of policy matters, as well as her love of cycling, makes her a an outstanding Citizen Bike Advocate," said Moser. Letourneau is a member of FBA and the Sanibel Bike Club, and serves on BikeWalkLee's steering committee.
“It was truly an honor to receive this award," said Letourneau, "but the recognition really goes to the whole outstanding BikeWalkLee steering group team, to our community partner organizations, and to our elected officials who have responded by adopting policies and programs that put Lee County on the path towards the vision of a network of complete streets and more livable communities. It’s exciting that, in its first year of existence, BikeWalkLee’s efforts have been recognized at the statewide level.” Click here for full press release.

Click here to read the article in the Island Reporter.

Click here to read the 5/18 article in the Cape Coral Breeze re: both FBA awards in Southwest Florida.

Congressman Blumenauer Demands Attention to Bike Fatalities




Remember when you watch this that the share of all traffic fatalities that are bike/ped in Florida is 22% (and 23% in Lee County)--not the 15% national number he cites. He makes a strong case for bike/ped getting their "fair share" of the transportation safety dollars...the argument BikeWalkLee made to our Florida elected officials which fell on deaf ears.
Darla

Sunday, May 16, 2010

2060 Florida Transportation Plan Regional Workshops

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is holding a series of 12 regional workshops around the state to obtain public and partner input on the future of transportation in Florida as part of development of the 2060 Florida Transportation Plan (FTP).

There is a workshop scheduled in Fort Myers on Tuesday, June 8th from 1:30 - 4:00 p.m. at the SWIFT SunGuide Center on 10041 Daniels Parkway (which is inside the I-75 Rest Area off Daniels. enter from Daniels and take a right to the new gray building in the back).

The FTP establishes long range goals that will provide a policy framework for expenditure of federal and state transportation funds in Florida. The FDOT is updating this plan to respond to new trends and challenges to meet the future mobility needs of Florida's residents, visitors and businesses.

This is a prime opportunity to provide input on active transportation, and the livability issues connected to transportation. Support for TOD projects, rail, policies that support complete streets, and a focus on safety are at issue. This is the opportunity to move transportation planning from an autocentric and mobility focus to a vision based on access as the primary goal of transportation.

So, mark your calendars and plan to attend this workshop.

If you have any questions, contact Trinity Scott (239-471-4305) & trinity.scott@dot.state.fl.us.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Transportation Policy is Health Policy


According to the National Complete Streets Coalition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has become one of the first agencies to weigh in on the federal transportation reauthorization – and transportation choice is front and center in their recommendations. This is their opening statement on what they see as the opportunity:

“…integrating health-enhancing choices into transportation policy has the potential to save lives by preventing chronic diseases, reducing and preventing motor-vehicle-related injury and deaths, improving environmental health, while stimulating economic development, and ensuring access for all people.”

Almost all of the key recommendations in the document relate to the adoption and implementation of Complete Streets policies. Click here to read the full story.

Childhood Obesity Task Force Recommends Complete Streets


The White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity, headed by First Lady Michelle Obama, released a new report and action plan to end childhood obesity in a generation. The report follows closely on the heels of the CDC’s Transportation Recommendations and the National Physical Activity Plan, both released in recent weeks.

In Chapter V: Increasing Physical Activity, the Task Force discusses the important role of the built environment in encouraging active lifestyles. Recommendation 5.8, specifically calls for a federal Complete Streets policy. To read the full story, click here.

HB 971 Bad for Bicyclists and Pedestrians


Unbeknown to Florida Bicycle Association, a mandatory bike lane use provision was included in the Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles bill that was passed by the Florida Legislature. The bill also allows local governments to permit mopeds, golf-carts and other motorized vehicles on sidewalks and trails.

Why it's bad for bicyclists:
Motorists who learn of the bill will have one more very strong excuse to harass cyclists who "aren't in the bike lane." There are many striped-off areas of roadways that are not really bike lanes, but some believe they are. They will also likely be ignorant of all the exceptions to the law (because they'll hear it second hand) and even if they read it in full, they won't understand many of the good reasons cyclists need to leave bike lanes.
Visit the FBA blog or CommuteOrlando.com to view a photo of how a bicyclist outside a bike lane is put in a defensive position and must prove his or her innocence. Many bike lanes are substandard in width, force cyclists into door zones, or are improperly placed to the right of right-turn-only lanes, but many officers don't understand these problems.
Motorists get another new excuse when they hit a cyclist: "He left the bike lane."

Why it's bad for pedestrians:
It's bad enough that pedestrians have to suffer parked cars blocking sidewalks, being blasted by sprinklers, sidewalk bicyclists who don't announce themselves when passing, and thousands of other nuisances, now they'll have to share stretches of sidewalk in some jurisdictions with motorized vehicles. Local governments will be able to permit mopeds, golf-carts, motorized scooters and other vehicles which don't belong on sidewalks and on "bike paths." The law limits such vehicles to 15 mph, but how will that be enforced?

It's time for Florida's bicyclists and pedestrians to send a strong message:
"We will not be marginalized."
Call Governor Crist now to ask him to veto this bill. Executive Office of the Governor Switchboard: (850) 488-7146

Mighk Willson, FBA Board member
Smart Growth Manager, Metroplan Orlando

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

New Florida Fact Sheet from Alliance's Benchmarking Report




Working with America Bikes (the national coalition of bicycling organizations and leaders working on the federal transportation bill), the Alliance for Biking and Walking has developed a key new resource for local advocates and decision makers. These 2-page fact sheets distill the Alliance's nearly 200-page Benchmarking Report into a very user-friendly format for each of the 50 states, comparing key benchmarks at the state level against the national average. This is a great tool to share with decision makers at the local, regional, state, and federal level. Click here for the Florida fact sheet. Note that BikeWalkLee is included in the list of Florida advocacy organizations. Check out how Florida compares with other states.

County Commissioners Declare May 2010 to be Bike Month




At today's Lee County Commissioners' meeting, the Board declared May 2010 to be Bike Month, and presented the proclamation to BPAC Chair, Bert Hamilton, accompanied by Andy Getch of LeeDOT, Dan Moser and Darla Letourneau of BikeWalkLee. To read the resolution, click here.

Bert Hamilton (pictured above)thanked the Board and County Manager,Karen Hawes, for their leadership and commitment to complete streets and for the progress they're making to improve bicycle and pedestrian facilities in Lee County.

Instead of Colonial expressway, How about transit-friendly road?


David Urich - Guest Opinion
News-press-- May 4, 2010

Now is the time to study an HOV (High Occupancy
Vehicle) lane on Colonial Boulevard for express bus
transit as well as cars with two or more people.

With $400 million cost of construction and heavy
Lee County southern traffic flow, the Lee County
Department of Transportation and the state must
find a more modern solution. Simply by using the
existing pavement, two of the existing lanes can be
converted to HOV at much lower cost and greater
utility. Other cities are doing BRT-Express Buses on
their roads today. Why not Lee County?

When are we going to start with a "blank slate" and
create a transit-friendly road for the 21st century on
Colonial? We must today provide properly for public
transportation if we expect any real hope of a
mobility system tomorrow. Click here to read full article.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Charlotte Florida Weekly 4/29/10: Bike Friendly?


That’s Punta Gorda’s aim — with a new $4.5 mil proposed cycle ring around the city
BY EVAN WILLIAMS

PUNTA GORDA MAYOR HARVEY Goldberg made the city’s increasingly warm feelings for bicyclists and pedestrians official.

He proposed that within five years the city will be the friendliest for Florida for bicyclists, joggers, rollerbladers or anyone who decides to get around town without a car.

The cornerstone of the city’s commitment is a 17-mile interconnected trail, dubbed the Ring Around the City. With bells and whistles, including landscaping and structures along the trail, wide-range estimates put the cost at between $12 and $19.6 million.

Citizens agreed to help fund the Ring through an additional 1 percent sales tax, from 2009 to 2014, the time the Ring should be finished. About five miles’ worth of trail have been built thus far. To get the wheels rolling last year, city council agreed to borrow $4.5 million based on the revenue they estimate will be generated by the tax. To read the full story, click here.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

10 Ways to Celebrate National Bike Month


Practical Ways to Celebrate May (National Bike Month)
Promote Bike-to-Work Week from May 17-21 and Bike-to-Work Day on Friday, May 21.

Here are a few suggestions from the Naples Pathways Coalition about how to celebrate National Bike Month:
Step 1
Celebrate National Bike Month by purchasing a bike.
Step 2
Make a $75 bike gift donation to Red Cross. The $75 provides a Red Cross volunteer with a bicycle, which is used to travel roads (that cars can't) to educate families about protecting themselves against diseases and disasters. Visit redcross.org to donate.
Step 3
Celebrate National Bike Month by going on a family bike ride.
Step 4
Donate your old bikes to a non-profit organization.
Step 5
Commute by bike to work during National Bike Month or just bike around town
Step 6
Take a bike safety course during National Bike Month.
Step 7
Celebrate National Bike Month by joining a cycling group.
Step 8
Organize a group of bicyclists to clean up a local bike trail.
Step 9
Help put on a bike rodeo in your community
Step 10
Read a book on the history of cycling or rent a classic bike movie.

First Annual Fort Myers Bike Prom on May 15th



Find that old prom dress or tux and head out on your bike to Centennial Park on Saturday, May 15th at 7 p.m. for the "First Annual Fort Myers Bike Prom", being organized by some local young cyclists through Facebook. There will be a 4.5 mile ride through some historic neighborhoods in Fort Myers, and then a "prom" at the Park.

Event: First Annual Fort Myers Bike Prom
What: Study Group
Start Time: Saturday, May 15 at 7:00pm
End Time: Saturday, May 15 at 11:00pm
Where: Centennial Park

To find out more details and RSVP, click here.

News-Press editorial: Make roads safer for all users

The death of 13-year-old Ryan Michael Santos this
week in Cape Coral is a grim reminder of the
dangers of crossing major roadways by foot or
bicycle except at well-marked crossings with a
traffic light.

Even if every intersection is legally a crosswalk, and
vehicles are required to yield to pedestrians,
crossing at many such intersections is foolhardy.
Too many motorists fail to realize they are supposed
to yield.

Some people, especially youngsters, are tempted to
cross on foot or bike at intersections that are too
dangerous.

Ryan’s death should also strengthen our resolve to
see that roads and streets in Lee County are
designed much more safely for all users of those
roadways, including pedestrians and bicyclists.
This campaign is a continuing one at the local, state
and federal levels, led by such advocates as
BikeWalkLee.


Motorists should be alert and focused on the road.
It’s unacceptable that most crashes can be
prevented by avoiding distractions.

They are under strong legal and moral obligation to
pay close attention to pedestrians and bicyclists on
or approaching the roadway.

To read the full editorial, click here.

Be part of the community conversation about making our roads safer for all users. Share your experiences and ideas with the News-Press mailbag: mailbag@news-press.com.

Letter to Editor: Slow down for kids


Today's News-Press Mailbag includes a heart-wrenching letter about the childhood memory of a young child being killed by a car on McGregor Blvd.


"So please, good neighbors, think about the little
ones when you are trying to save 10 seconds
getting home after work each night."

To read the full letter, click here.

School district bans texting while driving


While the Florida Legislature failed to enact legislation to make it illegal to text while driving, the Lee County School District has implemented a tough policy against employees texting and driving - and now the Lee County Commission is looking to
follow suit, according to today's News-Press. Click here to read the full story.