Friday, April 15, 2011

BikeWalkLee Testifies at FGCU Master Plan Hearing

Background: As required by Florida statute, FGCU has developed a draft campus master plan which will govern the use of land on campus, and held a hearing on Friday April 15th to hear from the public. Click here to view the plan: Campus Master Plan

Darla Letourneau, on behalf of BikeWalkLee, was one of 10 speakers who testified at the hearing. Click the following link for the full testimony submitted for the record:

Most public commenters expressed serious concerns about the transportation element, with its focus on an auto-dependent culture; and on the lack of focus on sustainability. Both the Estero Council of Community Leaders (ECCL) and BikeWalkLee raised their concerns about the negative impact of the FGCU Master Plan on the MPO's long range transportation plans at the meeting of the MPO Board at its monthly meeting the morning of April 15th. As a result of that discussion, the Board requested that FGCU officials come to the May 20th MPO meeting to discuss their Master Plan with the MPO Board.

Click the links below to view or download a copy of the proposed Campus Master Plan.
Insight Journal is a publication highlighting the FGCU Campus Master Plan efforts. It explains what the Campus Master Plan is and what it seeks to accomplish. To open or download the Journal, click here. In particular, look at the transportation chapter.

Click here to read BikeWalk's statement
: Below is the opening paragraph:

• BikeWalkLee, a coalition to complete the streets in Lee County, works for a more balanced transportation system.
• Lee County, through the MPO and the BoCC, has made progress over the past 2 years on putting in place long-term plans and policies that promote sustainability, better land use & transportation planning, with a focus on multi-modal transportation, complete streets & more livable Lee County.
• Our expectation:
o The university would not only develop a master plan consistent with these county plans & vision, but
o FGCU would be a recognized leader in sustainability, transportation, and livability within Lee County and the Southwest Florida region.
• FGCU draft Master Plan is major disappointment and needs to be amended.

Below are a couple of the specific recommendations we made:

• Recommendation: The FGCU Master Plan should connect to these facilities (University Loop) by installing bike lanes on existing campus entrances.
• Not to do so sends a strong signal of disconnect from county plans & a terrible message to students & community re: not being bike-friendly campus.
• Bike lanes can be put in easily on FGCU Blvd. through a road diet, i.e., narrowing the car lanes by restriping to add bike lanes.
• Recommendation: Apply for a League of American Bicyclists Bicycle Friendly Campus. This would enhance the status of FGCU as a sustainable university and provide important tools for marketing a sustainable, livable, and walkable community to potential students.

To continue reading BikeWalkLee's comments, click here.

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