One of the agenda items was a report by LeeDOT staff on the Matlacha Bridge crosswalk status, following up on a previous BPAC request for a review of the crosswalk situation on Matlacha. At the meeting three residents of Matlacha, Pine Island shared their concerns about pedestrian safety when walking, bicycling and crossing Pine Island Road both east and westbound of the Matlacha Bridge. The community asked that safe and visible crosswalks be installed with lighting and that crosswalks that pedestrians will use be created.
LeeDOT staff Sarah Clarke and Steve Jansen reviewed Pine Island Road to identify crosswalk locations and needs. They reported the following findings and planned actions:
- The crosswalk at Bert's Bar will be maintained and brought to current standards;
- A Rapid Reflecting Flashing Beacon (RRFB) will be installed at that location;
- Staff will review the street lights to see if they can be improved;
- At Island Avenue, the two close crosswalks will be consolidated to one crossing and marked to current standards.
- This crossing needs to be moved to meet ADA requirements.
- A new crosswalk will be added near the ice cream store.
- Staff will review parking near each crosswalk to be sure there is adequate sight distance.
- Parking appears to be a serious problem in the right-of-way on Pine Island Road in Matlacha. This will be reviewed and coordinated with stakeholders during project planning for Pine Island Road.
Proposed Multi-Use Shared Use Path along Pine Island Road to connect Cape Coral and Pine Island
LeeDOT's Andy Getch made a presentation to the committee on the County's grant application to the FDOT (through the Lee MPO) for a feasibility study for a shared use path connecting Pine Island to Cape Coral. According to Andy's presentation, the project has four phases:
- The first phase is the PDE study which will determine what type of facility should be used (multi-use path, etc.).
- The second phase is the design phase;
- The third phase is right-of-way/easement purchases, and
- The final phase is construction.
Andy reported that as this project is forecast three to five years out, it will face challenges such as right-of-way issues, wetland mitgation; however, public meetings will be held for community involved.
Matlacha citizens at the meeting spoke in support of this project and said there is agreement in their community that a multi-use path would be vital to their community and the safety of its residents. The Pine Island Chamber of Commerce supports this project and will work together with BPAC as well. BPAC members and the public thanked LeeDOT staff for getting this project started. BPAC endorsed the LeeDOT application submitted to the MPO earlier this year.
The project was one of two projects recommended by the MPO for funding as part of the FDOT's "Regional Enhancement" program, which was endorsed by the joint Lee and Collier County MPO Boards in March. The application is currently under consideration by FDOT for funding in its upcoming Work Plan.
Interested in getting involved? Now is your opportunity to service on either BPAC or the Lee MPO's Bike/Ped Coordinating Committee (BPCC). Both committees have numerous vacancies. Here's your chance to make a difference. Check out BWL's earlier blog post for details of how to get involved.
Report by Darla Letourneau based on draft LeeDOT Minutes from the BPAC Meeting March 21, 2014.