Thursday, January 6, 2011
Hickory Blvd. shoulders project brings out advocates to Bonita Springs City Council
Thanks to all the supporters of the Hickory Blvd. shoulders project who turned out for last night's Bonita Springs City Council meeting. There were supporters there from the Bonita Beach Improvements Associations, the Brooks Bicycle Club, the Caloosa Riders, and BikeWalkLee, many of whom spoke during the public comment period. There were also several residents on Hickory Blvd. who spoke in opposition to the project.
LeeDOT made an excellent presentation about the project. Click here for the link to the Power Point presentation. The following are some of the elements of interest:
* 4 foot shoulders will be put on both sides
* the current lanes will be restriped to a standard 11 ft. width (some are now 11 or 12 ft.)--this is traffic calming/safety improvement
* the existing sidewalk will be resurfaced
* the whole road will be resurfaced
* the project is planned to start after season (approx. April)
* once construction begins, the project should take 1 month.
* in response to questions, LeeDOT said that they will be looking at the issues of signing and marking bike lanes as well as providing sharing the road signage as part of the complete streets implementation plan.
Next steps: LeeDOT will present the contract for approval to the County Commissioners (BoCC) in the near future. Once they approve this contract, the project will move forward. Stay tuned for when this project will come up for a vote.
NBC-2 News covered the story on their 11 p.m. news, and showed a short clip of LeeDOT's presentation, Steve Rodgers (Caloosa Riders) at the podium, and their interview with me (used my comments about safety), and closed the story by saying that most people spoke in favor of the project. Unfortunately, the Naples Daily News story didn't capture what happened at the meeting and presented a one-sided story, only reported on statements by people in opposition.
Also at last night's City Council meeting, dozens of people spoke against the city staff proposal to raise the speed limit on Imperial Parkway from 35 to 45 mph, citing impact on neighborhoods, safety, and quality of life. In other words, we heard from citizens that they value the same things that complete streets is about! The Council voted unanimously to keep the speed limit at 35 mph.