Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bike/Ped actions at 2/19/2010 MPO Meeting

At the February 19th Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)local elected officials voted unanimously in support of BikeWalkLee's proposal that when the next round of federal highway stimulus funds comes, a minimum of 5 percent of the funds FODT receives for Lee County (on the state project ready list) be set aside for stand alone bike/ped projects. In addition, 43 of the 44 top priorities on the local project ready list are bike/ped projects. When (and if) Congress enacts a Jobs Bill, Lee County will see more sidewalks and bike facilities constructed. Kudos to the MPO members for demonstrating their strong commitment to making progress on improving bike/ped facilities with stimulus funds.

The MPO Board spent over an hour in a conversation with Dan Moser and FDOT and LeeDOT officials about planned bike/ped improvements through interstate interchanges--I-75/Bonita Beach Road Interchange; I-75/Colonial Blvd. Interchange; and I-75/SR 78 Interchange. Although transportation officials have determined that they cannot put on-road biking facilities on any of these 3 locations, they have agreed to put 10 ft. bike path (concrete) on both sides of the Bonita Beach Rd. interchange, 8-10 ft. bike path (asphalt) on both sides of the Colonial interchange (LCDOT to check to see if 10 ft. is possible--currently only planned for 8 ft.). The SR 78 interchange still has no facilities but they are planning to request separate funding for sidewalks in that area.

At Fort Myers Councilman Flanders' suggestion, the Board adopted a motion to request FDOT to make crosswalks in these interchange areas more pronounced where the path crosses the road (to the extent possible by the federal guidelines). Although the motion pertained only to these interchange, the conversation was a broad message to transportation planners that high visibility crosswalks should be installed throughout the county, and Commissioner Hall asked the MPO committees to come up with consistent policies for safety at crosswalks.

BikeWalkLee will continue to push for accommodating cyclists and pedestrians to the fullest extent possible as early in the planning process as possible. Progress is being made. Thanks to Chairman Judah for bringing these issues before the MPO Board for discussion.

1 comment:

  1. Good News: LeeDOT has determined that they can put 10 foot paths at the Colonial/I-75 Interchange. BikeWalkLee thanks LeeDOT officials, Scott Gilbertson, David Loveland and Mike Rigsby, the project manager, for their efforts in making this happen.

    From: "Loveland, David"
    To: "Dan Moser"

    Subject: Colonial/I-75 Interchange
    Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2010 10:41:38 -0400
    This is a follow-up to the issue you raised a the February MPO meeting about our on-going Colonial 6-lane project, where you were concerned about the space limitations under the interstate bridge not allowing the continuation of the on-road bike lanes through the interchange area and the need for cyclists to shift to the off-road paths for that short stretch. DOT staff had noted that the off-road paths through the interchange area were to be 8-feet wide on both sides and were being designed to minimize the curvature to try and make them more accommodating to cyclists. You said the current width standard for off-road paths was now 10 feet, and even though the paths had been designed and permitted in accordance with the standards at the time, I agreed to go back and see if the space limitations would allow us to accommodate a change to 10-foot paths through the interchange area. I am pleased to report that we have the room to change to 10-foot wide off-road paths through the interchange area, and even though there is an added $40,000 to $50,000 cost for additional design and construction work, we are willing to absorb that added cost in the current project budget. We will proceed with making that change to the necessary contracts.

    David M. Loveland, AICP
    Manager, Transportation Planning
    Lee County Dept. of Transportation


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