Monday, May 22, 2017

The City of Bonita Springs and Blue Zones Adopt NPC Safety Tip Card


 Kudos to the collaboration of the City of Bonita Springs, the Naples Pathways Coalition (NPC), and Blue Zones of SWFL for adopting NPC's safety tip card.  Below is NPC's May Newsletter story.

NPC Notes
May 2017

The City of Bonita Springs and Blue Zones Adopt NPC Safety Tip Card

If you haven't been down Old 41 in Bonita Springs, you have to go. They are doing a remarkable job of implementing Complete Streets/Blue Zones planning that is making the city livable and safe for bicyclists and pedestrians as well as motorists. They are always on the lookout for good ideas, and NPC had one they liked.


When Scott Schnappauf, a member of the city's Bicycle Pedestrian Safety Advisory Committee, came across NPC's Safety Tip Card for bicyclists and motorists he thought it was a great educational tool and shared it with his group. Rather than reinvent they wheel, the committee suggested a collaboration.  Jessica Crane, Community Policy Lead for Blue Zones was instrumental in bringing together Bonita Springs Environmental Specialist and Sustainability Coordinator Sean Gibbons and NPC Executive Director Beth Brainard to seal the deal.

The results is a co-branded card that is being distributed in Lee as well as Collier County.  It offers safety tips to motorists on one side and bicyclists on the other in a quick, easy to read format. To date, more than 100,000 cards have been distributed physically and virtually.

NPC welcomes collaboration with other municipalities and neighborhoods. For information about co-branding, contact Beth Brainard (bethbraianrd@naplespathways.org).





May 22: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling/tri events

Upcoming events

Running/walking:
  • Monday, May 29: SNIP Collier Memorial Day 5K.  8 a.m., 8004 Trail Blvd, Naples (next to Longhorn Steakhouse). Enjoy a wonderful 5K race that showcases the beautiful streets of Pine Ridge. This course will start and end at The Crust Restaurant. (gcrunner.org)
  • Monday, May 29: Sandoval 5K. 6 a.m., 2573 Sandoval Pkwy, Cape Coral. This 5K Run/Walk is in the Sandoval Community, starting at the club house and running through the beautiful palm tree lined  neighborhood streets.  It is intended for all ages, all levels of fitness! (3dracinginc.com
  • Monday, May 29: Memorial Day Veterans 10K and 5K race, Laisley Park, Punta Gorda (www.memorialdayrace.com or www.active.com)
  • Saturday, June 17: Sugden Stride 5K, Sugden Regional Park, Naples (eliteevents.org)
  • For more running events visit gcrunner.org/calendar.html; ftmyerstrackclub.com/race-calendar; and 3dracinginc.com/.

Cycling:
  • Friday, May 26: Cape Coral Critical Mass ride. Gather at 7:30 p.m. at 4706 SE 11th Place for a family-friendly ride through the Cape. Lights required, helmets recommended. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Saturday, May 27: Saturday Slow Roll. 9 a.m. meet-up at 2160 McGregor Blvd. Recommended for inexperienced/young riders. Distance is 6 miles, includes group ride instruction. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Friday, May 5: SW Florida Critical Mass ride. A family-friendly slow ride through Fort Myers starting at 7:15 p.m. Front and rear bike lights required. Grab your helmet, bring all your friends and meet in the open field next to Publix at First Street Village, 2160 McGregor Blvd. Fort Myers. (twitter.com/swflcm or meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Ongoing: Join the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club on one of their many weekly rides for members and potential members, with an array of paces and routes to choose from. Check them out online at www.caloosariders.org.
  • For more Lee County cycling and tri events, visit Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club (caloosariders.org); Florida Mudcutters (mudcutters.org); and SW Florida Biking Meetup Group (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL). 
  •  
Triathlons:

Monday, May 15, 2017

REMINDER: Ride of Silence on Wednesday May 17th--Fort Myers and Sanibel

Ride of Silence on May 17th--Fort Myers and Sanibel

Join one of the two local Ride of Silence events (Fort Myers and Sanibel) this Wed. evening May 17th to honor fallen cyclists and promote road safety.



Previous Ride of Silence, Fort Myers
What began in 2003 in Dallas as a spontaneous outpouring of grief for a friend and fellow rider, struck and killed by the mirror of a passing vehicle, has rolled across the globe to become an international annual event memorializing and honoring cyclists who have been injured and killed while riding. The Ride of Silence is a worldwide event, with almost all USA States participating, along with 22 other countries.

The many hundreds of events share the same goals: "To honor fallen cyclists, to promote road safety, and to make a difference."

Bike safety is not a fleeting issue, especially here in Florida which ranks as the very worst in the nation for cyclist safety, with the highest fatality rate for ten years in a row.

 In 2016, 9 cyclists were killed in Lee County crashes, in 2015, 4 cyclists were killed, and in 2017 to date, there has been one.

The Ride of Silence, in memorializing riders injured and killed, seeks to draw motorist's attention to cyclist's legal rights to full use of the roadways, to inform motorists that we are here, to watch for us--as if our lives depended on it. Please come out to show your support and send the message that we deserve our right to operate on our own roads. We are not just bike riders, but friends and neighbors and we must all Share the Road.
Ghost bike on Sanibel Causeway

Locally there are TWO Rides of Silence planned--downtown Fort Myers and Sanibel.

Fort Myers Ride of Silence: Sponsored by the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club
  • Arrive by 6:45, ride begins promptly at 7:00 PM
  • Centennial Park 2000 W First St, Fort Myers (Under the Bridge at Heitman and Bay Streets)
  • Cyclists will ride in a silent, funeral-style procession at 10-12 mph for 8 miles to honor those who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways.
  • Riders are requested to wear black arm bands or red if they have personally been injured in a cycling versus motor vehicle accident.
  • Everyone welcome, free of charge. No registration necessary.
  • Helmets are required, no headphones please.
Sanibel Ride of Silence: Sponsored by the Sanibel Bicycle Club in partnership with Matzaluna Restaurant and Billy's Bikes.
Gathering for Sanibel ride at Matzaluna's

  • Riders are encouraged to arrive at 6:15 p.m. at Matzaluna Restaurant (1200 Periwinkle Way) for a short educational program. 
  • At 7:00 p.m. promptly the ride will leave Matzaluna's, down Periwinkle Way to the Sanibel Causeway. The ride will cross over the first 2 bridges of the causeway, do the turnaround under the main span, and return to Matzaluna (approximately 7 miles round trip).
  • Helmets required for all riders and front and tail lights are required if you plan to ride your bike home after dinner.
  • Matzaluna will provide discounted food and drink for all riders.
  • For further details, contact Salli Kirkland 239-472-3620.

May 15: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling/tri events

Upcoming events

Running/walking:

Cycling:
  • Wednesday, May 17: Ride of Silence, 7:00 p.m., arrive by 6:45 p.m. Centennial Park, downtown Fort Myers. Cyclists will ride in a silent, funeral-style procession at 10-12 mph for 8 miles to
    honor those who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways. The Ride of Silence is a worldwide event. Riders are requested to wear black arm bands (red if they have personally been injured in a cycling versus motor vehicle accident). Everyone welcome, free of charge. No registration necessary. Helmets are required, no headphones please. (caloosariders.org
  • Friday, May 19: Roll Estero. 7 p.m. at Our Lady of Light Catholic Church at 19680 Cypress View Drive, Estero. Lights required, helmets recommended. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Saturday, May 20: LaBelle Slow Roll, 9 a.m. meet-up at 71 South Lee Street, helmets recommended (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/).
  • Friday, May 26: Cape Coral Critical Mass ride. Gather at 7:30 p.m. at 4706 SE 11th Place for a family-friendly ride through the Cape. Lights required, helmets recommended. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Saturday, May 27: Saturday Slow Roll. 9 a.m. meet-up at 2160 McGregor Blvd. Recommended for inexperienced/young riders. Distance is 6 miles, includes group ride instruction. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Friday, May 5: SW Florida Critical Mass ride. A family-friendly slow ride through Fort Myers starting at 7:15 p.m. Front and rear bike lights required. Grab your helmet, bring all your friends and meet in the open field next to Publix at First Street Village, 2160 McGregor Blvd. Fort Myers. (twitter.com/swflcm or meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Ongoing: Join the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club on one of their many weekly rides for members and potential members, with an array of paces and routes to choose from. Check them out online at www.caloosariders.org.
  • For more Lee County cycling and tri events, visit Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club (caloosariders.org); Florida Mudcutters (mudcutters.org); and SW Florida Biking Meetup Group (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL). 
  •  
Triathlons:

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Florida Weekly's "2017 Best" recognizes best of bike/ped in 2017

Thanks to Florida Weekly for its recognition of  the best in the biking and walking world in 2017, including a shout out to BikeWalkLee. 
Florida Weekly, May 3, 2017:  2017 Best

BEST CHAMPION OF SAFE STREETS--Darla Letourneau 
We estimate there are 10 on the southwest coast who could hold this title, men and women from various walks or bike-trails of life, but the champion, the most vocal, consistent and tireless advocate for better, safer bicycle and pedestrian trails is Darla Letourneau. Ms. Letourneau, a longtime Sanibel resident and cofounder with Dan Moser of BikeWalkLee, has spent thousands of hours promoting the rights and BEST interests of any who take to pedal or foot, with huge results over time. Hundreds of miles of additional trails or enhanced safety precautions at dangerous intersections — not to mention a wider public knowledge that bicycles have the same rights in traffic as motor vehicles — exist in large part as a result of her lobbying. A retired “budget guru” and one-time deputy assistant secretary of labor in Washington, she’s a force for the good on the Southwest coast.

BEST ROAD INTERSECTION DESIGNED BY A 9-YEAR-OLD
 Veronica Shoemaker Boulevard and Colonial Boulevard Making a left turn from Veronica Shoemaker Boulevard heading east on Colonial Boulevard is not for the faint of heart. There’s no left turn signal and two lanes of traffic are coming at you from Plantation Road, across the street. You have to stick your nose out in the middle of the intersection and hope the cars in the far-right lane on Plantation are turning right, then you can dive for the left lane on Colonial and hope you’re faster. It’s downright scary. Maybe the engineer who designed it will come back and fix it after he finishes fifth grade.

BEST PLACE TO BIKE SLOW AND EASY

 Sanibel Island The J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge has a spectacular five-mile stretch of paved road with a 15 MPH speed limit. You’ll see tons migrating birds and the ever-present alligators on the scenic ride. But really any of the miles of bike paths on Sanibel are exceptional.

BEST PLACE TO BIKE FAST 
Treeline Avenue, which turns in to Ben Hill Griffin Parkway in Estero, gets our nod. It’s 13 miles of relatively new highway with adequate bike lanes and few stop lights. You can really get on that big crank and make some wind. For a great group ride, hook up with the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club. It holds group rides at various paces nearly every day.

BEST SIGN OF CONFUSION

This road sign on Westlinks Drive in Gateway says the right lane ends and you should merge left. However, the painted sign on the road says the left lane ends and you should merge right. OK, which way do I go? The traffic engineer who thought up this gem must have slept though road sign class.

BEST COUNTY DEPARTMENT
Lee County Parks and RecreationForget budgetary priorities of “core services” such as police and fire. We all need places to throw a baseball to our kids and walk a trail among the cypress trees. Lee County Parks & Recreation oversees the tiniest neighborhood parks to the longest linear ones, with Lakes Regional Park as its Central Park equivalent. Beach access and Conservation 20/20 preserves showcase the county’s green side at a minimal fee for visitors. The stadiums in which the Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox play bring America’s favorite pastime here each spring. Kids splash in four year-round pools and attend dozens of summer camps with affordable fees. All playgrounds are ADA accessible. Little extras — fragrance gardens, train villages, fitness centers and canoe and kayak trails — dot Lee County. No matter what the economy does to us, we all have a peaceful place to reflect and recreate, thanks to this department.

BEST OFF-ROAD BIKING
Caloosahatchee Regional Park
Caloosahatchee Regional Park in Lee County offers about 10 miles that are more suited to the intermediate level rider. The trails are well marked and they have enough twists and turns to keep even the expert trail rider interested.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Honoring injured cyclists… with silence

BWL Column
The News-Press, 5/11/2017
by Ken Gooderham


Sometimes silence speaks louder than words… at least that’s the hope of the Ride of Silence.

The Fort Myers Ride of Silence is
Wednesday, May 17, starting at
7 p.m. from Centennial Park in
downtown Fort Myers.
What began in 2003 in Dallas as a spontaneous outpouring of grief for a friend and fellow rider, struck and killed by the mirror of a passing vehicle, has rolled across the globe to become an international annual event memorializing and honoring cyclists who have been injured and killed while riding. The Ride of Silence is a worldwide event; in 2016, 445 events were held in 50 states, 48 countries, and seven continents

All these events share the same goals: "To honor fallen cyclists, to promote road safety, and to make a difference."

Bike safety is not a fleeting issue, especially here in Florida which ranks as the very worst in the nation for cyclist safety, with the highest fatality rate for 10 years in a row. In 2016, nine cyclists were killed in Lee County crashes; in 2015, four cyclists were killed; and, in 2017 to date, there has been one.

There will be two Rides of Silence in Lee County, both May 17:

  • The Fort Myers ride leaves at 7 p.m. from Centennial Park in downtown Fort Myers, for an eight-mile ride at 10-12 mph.
  • The Sanibel ride also leaves at 7 p.m. from Matzaluna Restaurant, 1200 Periwinkle Way, for a slow seven-mile ride out and back on the Sanibel Causeway, turning around under the high bridge. There will be a short educational program beginning at 6:15 p.m. for interested riders, and Matzaluna will provide discounted food and drink for all riders.

Riders are requested to wear black armbands (or red if they have personally been injured in a cycling vs. motor vehicle accident.) Helmets are required, no headphones please, and lights required if you’re riding home after dark. Everyone welcome, free of charge. No registration necessary.

On a less somber note, Bike to Work Week is May 15-19, with Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 19 (check bikewalklee.blogspot.com for events).


In other news…

LeeTran wants your input on improving the downtown intermodal center, and is holding a listening session on May 16 to hear your thoughts.

LeeTran invites you to stop by the Rosa Parks Transportation Center. 2255 Widman Way in Fort Myers, 1-5 p.m. on next Tuesday to discuss elements that you would like to see at the center. The expansion project includes planning and construction to improve circulation and alleviate congestion, improve security for transit operations, and expand and improve connections for bicycles, pedestrians and access for those with limited mobility. Current considerations include locked bicycle storage, increased bus capacity, additional indoor amenities, etc.

For more information, contact Kris Cella, Public Information Consultant, at (239) 337-1071 or kcella@cella.cc. 

Meanwhile, if you want to learn about the cycling opportunities in other areas of our country, check out “Pedal America,” which will air on WGCU’s Create Channel (202 on cable) beginning Sunday, May 14, at 9 a.m. The first episode spotlights Austin, TX, with subsequent ones looking at Savannah and Chicago. Or you can check out more episodes online at www.iradavidspedalamerica.com/joomla/

Ready to ride or run?

Run? Saturday, head to the beach for the Lovers Key Turtle Trot 5K (ftmyerstrackclub.com). Sunday, it’s the Holly Morgan Fisher Memorial 5K XC Trail Run at North Port High School (3dracinginc.com). Then on May 20, run over to the Cape Cops 5K at Cape Coral Yacht Club (ftmyerstrackclub.com).

Ride? Critical Mass rides tomorrow night (Northeast Lee at 7:30 p.m.), Saturday (Sanibel at 7:30 p.m.), May 19 (Estero at 7:30 p.m.), and May 20 (a new LaBelle Slow Roll, meets at 9 a.m. at 71 South Lee Street). For night rides lights are required; Helmets recommend for all riders, and required for those age 16 or under. Details at http://www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/.

Both?
Still time to sign up for the Cape Coral Sprint Tri this Saturday, May 13 (capecoral.net), or the Fitness Challenge Reverse Tri in Naples June 14 (thefitnesschallengetriathlon.com). Also, registration is open for the Galloway Captiva Tri Sept. 9-10… spaces are limited and the kid’s races usually fill up first, so don’t miss out.


TELL US ABOUT YOUR RIDE:

Have a favorite route you like to bike, or a unique walk you’d like to share with others? Tell us about it at info@bikewalklee.org, and maybe we can feature it in an upcoming column.


# # #

Ken Gooderham writes this on behalf of BikeWalkLee, 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.



Do Americans spend too much time indoors?


Florida Weekly 'Outdoors' column, 5/10/17
danMOSER
bikepedmoser@gmail.com

Dan Moser
A newspaper article recently reported a 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics American Time Use Survey stated, “On average, Americans spend 95 percent of their time indoors.”

What? That can’t be true, can it? Even taking into account bad weather in many parts of the country for extended periods, wouldn’t places like Florida and other Sunbelt locations negate some of the time spent indoors due to harsh climate?

My disbelief was similar to a statistic I happened upon years ago indicating the average daily distance walked by Americans was less than ¼ mile. Only ¼ mile? Walking to the bathroom, refrigerator and mailbox would add up to more, so how could that be? A recent study, though, by the American College of Sports Medicine (acsm.org) estimated the current distance to be 2½ miles, about half the minimum distance Centers for Disease Control suggests one should cover each day.

A sunset view from the Edison Bridge. It’s one of the few
major bridges with pedestrian access in Lee County.
Whatever the case, we’re still lagging in getting enough daily physical activity.

Getting back to the time spent outdoors, 5 percent equates to 1.2 hours daily. Assuming sleep and indoor downtime just prior and after sleeping takes 12 hours from a 24-hour time period that makes it closer to 10 percent of practical time. Looking at it that way makes it less astonishing than at first glance, but still less than I’d expect to be the case for anyone who’s not hindered by serious health conditions or mobility limitations.

As is the case with so many suburban-style American communities, Lee County has a very low percentage of population that walks, use bicycles or take transit to work or for other practical purposes.

This fact limits potential outdoor physical activity that would occur merely by the daily act of getting around. The allure of air-conditioned comfort also entices many to exercise indoors, walking on treadmills and cycling on spinning bikes rather in the elements. But even taking those reasons and many others into account doesn’t seem significant enough to end up with the 1.2-hour average.

A few examples come to mind that make it even harder to buy into the statistic. Workers such as landscapers, road workers and roofers may spend eight hours of a 24-hour period under the sun. Letter carriers and delivery vehicle drivers are frequently in and out of their vehicles, perhaps spending one-third of their shift in the direct elements. Many office workers walk to lunch or take breaks outdoors, sometimes sneaking out for an exercise walk. Other than kids who are chauffeured by their parents, students going to and from school — as well as while in physical education classes, recess, and extracurricular sports — spend significant time outside. Anyone who runs or walks for fitness or recreation will spend anywhere from 30 minutes or more on that activity alone, not counting warm-up and cool-down time; the same goes for cyclists.

Folks with swimming pools and who enjoy the beach all do so outdoors. And what about the many golfers in our area? At least locally, it seems like the average of 1.2 hours a day outside seems extremely low.

The survey looked only at employed individuals between 25 and 54 years of age and who had children so such a study group would have a significant effect on the outcome; having childless folks, kids and retirees excluded as subjects likely reduced the average amount of time spent outdoors to well below what would be the case if those groups were part of the study.

As I looked even further into the study I found other elements and facts that make it difficult to substantiate the 1.2-hour statistic, even when based only on that study group. That being the case, I have to conclude the average American spends much less than 22.8 hours indoors. Hopefully the current positive fitness and physical activity trends will continue so that remains the case.

Healthy Lee is working to help make that trend not only endure but improve with its latest challenge, the 5210 Plan. The numbers stand for 5 vegetables and fruits a day; no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time (computers, TV and other electronic devices) a day; at least 1 hour of physical activity per day; and 0 sugary beverages each day. Details and more information about this four-month challenge can be found at healthylee.com and bikewalklee.blogspot.com. ¦
 
- 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. 







Monday, May 8, 2017

May 8: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling/tri events

Upcoming events

Running/walking:
  • Saturday, May 13: Lovers Key Turtle Trot 5K. This unique 5k trail course takes runners through a shady maritime hammock ecosystem, and ends at the pavilion overlooking the beach where refreshments are served and awards are presented. Registration opens 7:00 a.m., start 8:00 a.m., Lovers Key State Park, 8700 Estero Blvd, Fort Myers Beach (www.friendsofloverskey.org)
  • Sunday, May 14: Holly Morgan Fisher Memorial 5K XC Trail Run. All proceeds will be divided going to the Holly Morgan Fisher Memorial fund & XC/NPHS Athletics. Registration opens 5:30 a.m., race starts 7:08 a.m. North Port High School (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday May 20: Cape Cops 5K, Cape Coral Yacht Club (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Monday, May 29: SNIP Collier Memorial Day 5K (gcrunner.org)
  • Monday, May 29: Sandoval 5K, Cape Coral (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, June 17: Sugden Stride 5K, Sugden Regional Park, Naples (eliteevents.org)
  • For more running events visit gcrunner.org/calendar.html; ftmyerstrackclub.com/race-calendar; and 3dracinginc.com/.

Cycling:
  • Friday, May 12: NE-Lee Critical Mass ride. Gathers at 7:30 p.m. at the Winn-Dixie, 14600 Palm Beach Blvd. Lights required, helmets recommended. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Saturday, May 13: Sanibel Critical Mass ride. Gathers at 7:15 p.m. at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Wednesday, May 17: Ride of Silence, Centennial Park, downtown Fort Myers (caloosariders.org
  • Friday, May 19: Roll Estero. 7 p.m. at Our Lady of Light Catholic Church at 19680 Cypress View Drive, Estero. Lights required, helmets recommended. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Ongoing: Join the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club on one of their many weekly rides for members and potential members, with an array of paces and routes to choose from. Check them out online at www.caloosariders.org.
  • For more Lee County cycling and tri events, visit Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club (caloosariders.org); Florida Mudcutters (mudcutters.org); and SW Florida Biking Meetup Group (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL). 
  •  
Triathlons:

Friday, May 5, 2017

LeeTran May 16th workshop re: Rosa Parks Transportation Center Improvements Study


Fort Myers, FL, May 5, 2017 – LeeTran is proposing to enhance and expand the existing downtown intermodal center, which is called the Rosa Parks Transportation Center. The project includes planning and construction to improve circulation and alleviate congestion, improve security for transit operations, and expand and improve connections for bicycles, pedestrians and access for those with limited mobility.

The LeeTran team invites you to stop by the Rosa Parks Transportation Center between 1 and 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 16, to discuss elements that you would like to see at the center. Current considerations include locked bicycle storage, increased bus capacity, additional indoor amenities, etc.


For more information about this project, contact Kris Cella, Public Information Consultant, Cella Molnar and Associates Inc. (239) 337-1071 or kcella@cella.cc.  


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

FDOT delivers on its Complete Streets Implementation Plan

Kudos to FDOT for delivering on a major milestone  of its Complete Streets Implementation Plan--issuance of a draft FDOT Design Manual to replace its current Plans Preparation Manual.  In addition, the Department has prepared a Draft Complete Streets Handbook to accompany the new FDOT Design Manual.   Highlighting the national significance of this FDOT project, last week  the team leader of the project, DeWayne Carver, State Complete Streets Program Manager for FDOT, received a national award for this effort. (See  Congress of New Urbanism (CNU) Transect Codes Council Honor FDOT's DeWayne Carver with Groves Award.)
DeWayne Carver

Background
Since FDOT announced its Complete Streets Policy in 2014, FDOT has worked to transform the way FDOT designs roads  and conducts business .  The goal of FDOT's Policy and Complete Streets Implementation Plan (2015) is to "provide safer, context-sensitive roads by putting the right street in the right place."  [1000 Friends of Florida 2/12/16 Webinar Description.] The highly acclaimed Implementation Plan outlines plans for updating the key manuals and guidance that FDOT engineers use to design roads.  The accompanying Complete Streets Handbook was not part of the plan, but has been developed as an interim document with guidance to FDOT and local partners. The Plan called for full implementation by the end of 2017. 

FDOT Complete Streets Handbook and Design Manual
Last week FDOT issued the draft Complete Streets Handbook and the draft FDOT Design Manual.  The FDOT Design Manual is the "meat and potatoes" of the Implementation Plan. Both the Handbook and the FDOT Design Manual focus on the state road system.  The Handbook describes  the approach and process that FDOT will use to plan state roadways in consultation with local agencies where those state roads exist. The significant change is the introduction of a Context Classification System focused on the context of the street as part of the total picture, rather than “just” the roadway.

In "planners lingo", the Context Classification System generally aligns with the New Urbanist (TM) Transect System. This planning tool will evaluate land use characteristics, development patterns, and roadway connectivity to determine the context classification for each state roadway project at the front-end of the planning and project development process.  

While these two important documents were developed for state engineers and planners dealing with the state roadway system, the new Context Classification System can be considered by local jurisdictions on county and local roads, and is especially appropriate for jurisdictions that have adopted complete streets policies (which includes 5 policies in Lee County).    

The FDOT Context Classification System takes the complete streets holistic approach of the context of the whole area (land use as well as transportation).  


The guidance in both the Handbook and the Design Guide will be reflected in the update of the Florida Greenbook (which is a milestone in the Implementation Plan), scheduled to be undertaken in 2018.  The Florida Greenbook directly applies to local governments.  Local jurisdictions should take a close look at the Draft FDOT Design Manual and Complete Streets Handbook to better understand some of the changes coming our way.
 
 FDOT encourages comments and questions by May 26th: submit to www.FLCOMPLETESTREETS.com.

Look for an upcoming blog from BikeWalkLee that focuses in more detail on how the guidance in both of these documents can be used to implement complete streets at the local level.
Report by Darla Letourneau
Below are links to each of the documents available:
All the documents and many other related Complete Streets Resources are available on FDOT's  website.
 Below are links to documents and previous BikeWalkLee blogs about FDOT's Complete Streets Policy:
 
December 8, 2015: Streetsblog USA: Florida DOT Unveils Its Big Plan to Fix Deadly Streets (by Angie Schmitt, with quotes from BWL blog)

BWL Blog: December 7, 2015: FDOT releases its Complete Streets Implementation Plan

BWL Blog: September 8, 2014: Invite to Billy Hattaway's MPO presentations: update on FDOT bike/ped/complete streets initiatives

BWL Blog: September 20, 2014: FDOT Embraces Complete Streets: major statewide policy changes announced by Hattaway at Lee MPO Meeting

Ride of Silence on May 17th--Fort Myers and Sanibel

It's May and time to make plans to join one of the two local Ride of Silence events (Fort Myers and Sanibel) on Wed. evening May 17th to honor fallen cyclists and promote road safety.



Previous Ride of Silence, Fort Myers
What began in 2003 in Dallas as a spontaneous outpouring of grief for a friend and fellow rider, struck and killed by the mirror of a passing vehicle, has rolled across the globe to become an international annual event memorializing and honoring cyclists who have been injured and killed while riding. The Ride of Silence is a worldwide event, with almost all USA States participating, along with 22 other countries.

The many hundreds of events share the same goals: "To honor fallen cyclists, to promote road safety, and to make a difference."

Bike safety is not a fleeting issue, especially here in Florida which ranks as the very worst in the nation for cyclist safety, with the highest fatality rate for ten years in a row.

 In 2016, 9 cyclists were killed in Lee County crashes, in 2015, 4 cyclists were killed, and in 2017 to date, there has been one.

The Ride of Silence, in memorializing riders injured and killed, seeks to draw motorist's attention to cyclist's legal rights to full use of the roadways, to inform motorists that we are here, to watch for us--as if our lives depended on it. Please come out to show your support and send the message that we deserve our right to operate on our own roads. We are not just bike riders, but friends and neighbors and we must all Share the Road.
Ghost bike on Sanibel Causeway

Locally there are TWO Rides of Silence planned--downtown Fort Myers and Sanibel.

Fort Myers Ride of Silence: Sponsored by the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club
  • Arrive by 6:45, ride begins promptly at 7:00 PM
  • Centennial Park 2000 W First St, Fort Myers (Under the Bridge at Heitman and Bay Streets)
  • Cyclists will ride in a silent, funeral-style procession at 10-12 mph for 8 miles to honor those who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways.
  • Riders are requested to wear black arm bands or red if they have personally been injured in a cycling versus motor vehicle accident.
  • Everyone welcome, free of charge. No registration necessary.
  • Helmets are required, no headphones please.
Sanibel Ride of Silence: Sponsored by the Sanibel Bicycle Club in partnership with Matzaluna Restaurant and Billy's Bikes.
Gathering for Sanibel ride at Matzaluna's

  • Riders are encouraged to arrive at 6:15 p.m. at Matzaluna Restaurant (1200 Periwinkle Way) for a short educational program. 
  • At 7:00 p.m. promptly the ride will leave Matzaluna's, down Periwinkle Way to the Sanibel Causeway. The ride will cross over the first 2 bridges of the causeway, do the turnaround under the main span, and return to Matzaluna (approximately 7 miles round trip).
  • Helmets required for all riders and front and tail lights are required if you plan to ride your bike home after dinner.
  • Matzaluna will provide discounted food and drink for all riders.
  • For further details, contact Salli Kirkland 239-472-3620.

Monday, May 1, 2017

May 1: Upcoming running/walking/bicycling/tri events

Upcoming events

Running/walking:
  • Saturday May 6: Cape Coral HS Band Seahawk Sprint for Music 5K. The Cape Coral High School Band will be holding the third annual Seahawk Sprint for Music 5K. The course will wind around the neighborhoods of CCHS and end in the stadium.  All of the kids that participate in the 1 Mile Fun Run will receive an award regardless of placement. Cape coral high School (3dracinginc.com)
  • Sunday, May 7: Tropicool 5K. Enjoy a wonderful 5K race that showcases the beautiful streets of Olde Naples. This course is two loops starting on Broad Street. Proceeds of the Tropicool will go to the Gulf Coast Runners Youth Development Fund. Starts 7:30 a.m., Olde Naples (gcrunner.org)
  • Saturday, May 13: Lovers Key Turtle Trot 5K (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Sunday, May 14: Holly Morgan Fisher Memorial 5K XC Trail Run, North Port High School (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday May 20: Cape Cops 5K, Cape Coral Yacht Club (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
  • Monday, May 29: SNIP Collier Memorial Day 5K (gcrunner.org)
  • Monday, May 29: Sandoval 5K, Cape Coral (3dracinginc.com)
  • Saturday, June 17: Sugden Stride 5K, Sugden Regional Park, Naples (eliteevents.org)
  • For more running events visit gcrunner.org/calendar.html; ftmyerstrackclub.com/race-calendar; and 3dracinginc.com/.

Cycling:
  • Friday, May 5: SW Florida Critical Mass ride. A family-friendly slow ride through Fort Myers starting at 7:15 p.m. Front and rear bike lights required. Grab your helmet, bring all your friends and meet in the open field next to Publix at First Street Village, 2160 McGregor Blvd. Fort Myers. (twitter.com/swflcm or meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Friday, May 12: NE-Lee Critical Mass ride. Gathers at 7:30 p.m. at the Winn-Dixie, 14600 Palm Beach Blvd. Lights required, helmets recommended. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Saturday, May 13: Sanibel Critical Mass ride. Gathers at 7:15 p.m. at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Wednesday, May 17: Ride of Silence, Centennial Park, downtown Fort Myers (caloosariders.org
  • Friday, May 19: Roll Estero. 7 p.m. at Our Lady of Light Catholic Church at 19680 Cypress View Drive, Estero. Lights required, helmets recommended. (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/)
  • Ongoing: Join the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club on one of their many weekly rides for members and potential members, with an array of paces and routes to choose from. Check them out online at www.caloosariders.org.
  • For more Lee County cycling and tri events, visit Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club (caloosariders.org); Florida Mudcutters (mudcutters.org); and SW Florida Biking Meetup Group (meetup.com/Biking-SWFL). 
  •  
Triathlons:

Thursday, April 27, 2017

When it’s May, it’s time to get your bicycle on

Florida Weekly 'Outdoors' column, 4/26/17
danMOSER
bikepedmoser@gmail.com

Dan Moser
May is National Bike Month.

Of course, airing-up your tires and hopping on your bike is always an option any time of the year.

March is Florida Bike Month, designated a few years back in order to take advantage of the weather and as a way to get folks out of cars when much of the state is dealing with serious traffic congestion created by tourists and snowbirds.

But National Bike Month still reigns supreme, even considering the intense heat we usually experience this time of year. It’s been taking place since 1956 so has a long established history. Local annual events taking place include:

  • Schools are signing-on for Bike to School Day on Wednesday, May 10 (walkbiketoschool.org).
  • Bike to Work Week, May 15-19, with Bike to Work Day Friday, May 19 (keep an eye on bikewalklee.blogspot.com for related events).
  • Ride of Silence, which honors those who died or were injured while on their bikes, on Wednesday May 17 (Fort Myers ride staging from Centennial Park and organized by Caloosa Riders; Sanibel ride staging from 1200 Periwinkle Way and organized by Sanibel Bike Club).
  • Critical Mass/Slow Roll rides happen four to five times each month and in different parts of Lee County. Organizers say these rides are for “cyclists young and old, casual and competitive. We come together to enjoy riding bikes and sharing good times. Fun socials and well organized group bike rides in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Sanibel Island, northeast Fort Myers, Estero and LaBelle. All riders ride at their own risk. Rules of the road apply.” Distances range from six miles for the Saturday morning family ride from near downtown Fort Myers to 10-15 miles for other rides, all moving along at 10-12 mph. See www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL for a full listing of each ride and all the details.
  • Our area’s longest established bike club, Caloosa Riders, conducts group rides every day except Mondays and Fridays. Routes cover many parts of Lee County, from the islands to deep inland. Distances vary from 15 miles to over 40 miles and riding speeds vary as well. Anyone is welcome but joining the club is highly encouraged (membership fees are very reasonable).
  • Now that season is behind us it’s possible to actually enjoy Sanibel Island’s pathway system again. Sanibel Bike Club (sbcsite.altervista.org), an organization I believe to be the driving force behind the island being a Silverlevel Bike Friendly Community, hosts a Saturday morning ride each week.
  • A number of gated and manufactured home communities have their own bike clubs. If yours is among them and you haven’t joined them for a ride, May is the time to do so.
  • Many of our local bike shops host rides or are the staging location for them. Dates and times change with the season but those I was able to confirm include Trek Bicycle Stores (trekbicyclestoreusa.com) in Fort Myers and Estero; Fort Myers Schwinn (schwinncyclery.com) in Fort Myers; Coastline Cyclery (coastlinecyclery.com) in Fort Myers; Bike Bistro (thebikebistro.com) in the Iona area; EA Bicycles (eabicycle.com) also in the Iona area (it organizes mountain bike rides locally and out of town); JRA Bikes (find on Facebook) in North Fort Myers; and Paradise/Go Girl Cycling (gogirlcycling.com) in Fort Myers.

While on the topic of bike shops I’d like to encourage anyone who is thinking of purchasing a new bike to keep in mind a few things when making a decision.

First off, let me state that I have no financial interest in any bike shop and my comments are purely based on personal experience and in the interest in promoting the use of bikes for transportation, fun and exercise.

In almost all cases, new bikes come unassembled so one of the biggest advantages of purchasing from a bike shop versus a big-box store is that an experienced bike mechanic will be assembling your bike.

That means it will be put together properly (not by someone who just assembled a barbecue grill a few minutes earlier) and if there’s a problem they’ll fix it, something big-box stores can’t really do. You’ll also be steered to the right bike for your needs and be properly fitted. And while you can find bikes costing thousands of dollars in most bike shops they also have a selection at very reasonable and competitive prices.

When asked where to go to buy a bike or for service I always suggest first visiting the store closest to where you live or work. If you’re unimpressed or otherwise not happy with the merchandise or attitude, go to another.¦
 
- 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. 



How you can celebrate National Bike Month

BWL Column
The News-Press, 4/27/2017

by Ken Gooderham

Whether it’s around the block or around the county,
get out and enjoy the cycling pleasures of Southwest
Florida.
(Photo: NEWS-PRESS STAFF)
May is National Bike Month… so what should you do to celebrate it?

Well, the obvious thing is to go for a bike ride (as if you needed an excuse). Whether it’s around the block or around the county, get out and enjoy the cycling pleasures of Southwest Florida.

Perhaps, to celebrate the month, look for a new route or two to liven your saddle time up a little. Try the Tour de Parks route south of Fort Myers, any of the many routes in Cape Coral or the island bike paths on Sanibel. Or download a copy of the bike facilities map for your area – Lee County at leempo.com, Collier County at colliermpo.com, or both at bikewalklee.org – and map out your own ride route.

Maybe it’s time to upgrade your ride. Head to your local bike shop and see what new choices are out there. If you end up finding your new dream bike, don’t forget to donate your old bike to one of the local groups who rehab and repurpose bikes for those who need them.

Perhaps you just need to show your current ride a little love… head to that same bike shop for a thorough maintenance, some overdue repairs, or just to see what equipment you might want to add.

It’s getting warmer, so if you’re working to escape the heat an early-morning or early evening ride may be your preference… and some lights front and back to enhance your visibility would be prudent.

Speaking of safety, this could be a good time to check your bike helmet to see how old it is. There’s a sticker on the inside with the date of manufacture (and if it’s wore to illegibility, then assume it’s too old). Helmets lose some of their protective value after five years, so see if it’s time for a new one.

The Fort Myers Ride of Silence is
Wednesday, May 17, starting at
7 p.m. from Centennial Park in
downtown Fort Myers.

Upcoming events


There usually are events to honor the month, another good option for involvement. The Fort Myers Ride of Silence is Wednesday, May 17, starting at 7 p.m. from Centennial Park in downtown Fort Myers. Sanibel’s ride is the same day and time, beginning from Matzaluna Italian Kitchen, 1220 Periwinkle Way.

Also, May 10 is National Walk & Bike to School Day, and May 19 is National Bike to Work Day… two more options to celebrate cycling.

 

Join in


Finally, you can support local cycling… join a local bike club or advocacy group, support your local bike retailers, contact your elected officials (depending on where you live) either to thank them for improving bike facilities or berate them for not doing enough to ensure safe cycling.

If nothing else, take a minute to remember why cycling is worth celebrating:
  • It’s healthy, a great way to bring a little physical activity into your day.
  • It save money, by keeping  your more expensive vehicles parked in the garage at for a trip or two.
  • It’s good for the environment, lessening pollution and your carbon footprint.
  • It build community, by letting you see your neighborhood at a pace that allows you to enjoy it.
  • Mostly, though, it’s fun… something we all could use more of, I’m sure.

Keeping it clean

Need more reason to get outside and walk, bike or run? How about healthy air?

The American Lung Association’s “State of the Air” report came out April 19, and the Fort Myers/Naples metro area was just one of six in the nation that did not report a single day of unhealthy pollution. Can I get a big inhale for that!

On the other end of the scale, California cities took six of the top 10 “worst short-term pollution” slots, with Bakersfield with the worst ranking. California metro areas also were the worst for overall year-round pollution and ozone pollution.

Want to celebrate our fresh air? One way could be to join the Fight for Air Climb this Saturday (April 29) at Oasis Tower One, 3000 Oasis Grand Blvd., Fort Myers. Info at action.lung.org.

Ready to ride or run?

Run? This weekend is the Head/Neck Cancer 5K at Hammond Stadium (3dracinginc.com), followed next weekend by the Seahawk Sprint 5K (Cape Coral High School, 3dracinginc.com) on Saturday and the Tropicool 5K (Naples, gcrunner.org) on Sunday. Head out to Lovers Key May 13 for the Turtle Trot 5K (ftmyerstrackclub.com).

Ride? Critical Mass rides tomorrow night (Cape Coral), Saturday (starter ride in Fort Myers), May 5 (downtown Fort Myers), May 12 (Northeast Lee) and May 13 (Sanibel). All are at night (except for the Saturday starter ride), so bring your lights (and helmet); details at http://www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/.

Both? Sign up for the Cape Coral Sprint Tri on May 13 (capecoral.net), or the Fitness Challenge Reverse Tri in Naples June 14 (thefitnesschallengetriathlon.com). Also, registration opens May 1 for the Galloway Captiva Tri Sept. 9-10… spaces are limited, so don’t miss out.


TELL US ABOUT YOUR RIDE:

Have a favorite route you like to bike, or a unique walk you’d like to share with others? Tell us about it at info@bikewalklee.org, and maybe we can feature it in an upcoming column.


# # #

Ken Gooderham writes this on behalf of BikeWalkLee, 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.