Monday, February 15, 2010

Comments invited by LeeDOT on Midpoint Bridge Toll Booth Modifications

From: Getch, Andrew []
Sent: Monday, February 15, 2010 11:14 AM
To: Dan--BWL; Bert Hamilton
Cc: Wingard, Paul; Tisch, Michael; Loveland, David; Ron Gogoi; Matt Grogger; Rashad Hanbali; Campbell, Harry; Jansen, Stephen; Say, Mike; Philpott, Joshua; Darla Letourneau
Subject: Midpoint Bridge Toll Plaza modifications

Dan and Bert,
I have been asked by Paul Wingard for BPAC/bicyclist input into design alternatives for accommodating westbound bicycle traffic (to Cape Coral) to travel through or around the Midpoint Bridge Toll Plaza. The work is expected to be part of the modifications for one-way tolling so to keep that project moving forward we will need feedback soon. I am requesting replies by next Monday 2/22. The alternatives are briefly described below.

Alternative 1 - The bicyclist would proceed through the toll plaza in a signed and marked area as part of transponder only lane. The area for bicycles is anticipated to be the width of a bicycle lane, approximately four feet wide along the curb line. The overall lane width is about 15 feet. The attached PDF n the first page shows a handwritten four foot dimension with some dots to approximate flexible stakes (one option for delineation).

Alternative 2 - The attached PDF file contains a sketch alternative that depicts a path around the rear (or north side) of the Toll Plaza administration building. A brief description is that a bicyclist would exit the roadway a few hundred feet east of the toll plaza travel, cross the administration building parking lot entrance and go around the north side of the building on a path as depicted on the sketch. In order to prevent motorcycles and small automobiles from using the path (to avoid a toll) bollards would need to be placed that would require a very sharp turn that would only allow a bicycle to pass. My understanding is that in order to negotiate the bollards, the bicyclist would need to dismount and turn to reposition the bicycle. A variation on this alternative is the use of Southeast 23 Terrace (City of Cape Coral maintained) from the parking lot entrance to the west.

In the interest of not inviting Sunshine law problems I have blind copied other BPAC members. I have also copied other interested parties.
Please feel free to forward this e-mail to other cyclists that you feel may be interested in providing input.


Andy Getch, P.E.
Engineering Manager I
Lee County Department of Transportation 3rd floor 1500 Monroe Street Fort Myers, Florida 33901 direct line (239) 533-8510 LCDOT department line (239) 533-8580 FAX (239) 485-8520


  1. Andy,
    Thanks to LCDOT for asking us to provide feedback.
    If I understand the options, both have problems. Expecting a cyclist to dismount in order to navigate an obstacle and tight turn is unacceptable, in my opinion. And requiring cyclists to move to the left of all the traffic, only to have to move back to the right once through the toll plaza is also something I don't believe is appropriate. Add to that the fact that we'll be sharing the lane with motor vehicles that aren't required to stop makes it even more questionable.
    Why can't cyclists merely use the right-most lane? Can't the sensing system be adjusted as part of this project? Alternatively, if the option to go behind the admin building is redesigned to make it less problematic for cyclists it might be the way to go. In fact, you may want to consider giving us an option to bail onto local roads at that point.
    Thanks Again....Dan Moser

    Hi Dan,
    The first alternative is for the cyclist to stay to the right in the right-most lane through the toll plaza. I apologize for the confusion on that. Thanks for the comments.

    Andy Getch, P.E.
    Engineering Manager I
    Lee County Department of Transportation

  2. As Andy updated the first option it becomes more acceptable with the removal of the obstacle course bollards. Those bollards would not allow a longer bike such as a recumbent or tandem bike to navagate through them anyway. Even one post in the riders lane presents a problem and possible injury. If the obstacles are to prevent motorists from entering, just reduce the opening to four feet. I realize a motorcycle can still bypass the toll by going on the bike path, but the possibility of injuries with the obstacles is of greater concern to me than the loss of a few bucks to motorcyclists. Remove the the barriers and allow room for all types of bikes including longer bikes such as recumbents and tandems to ride through without dismounting as well. I also like the possibility of a bailout path to other streets such as Dan Moser suggested. Option 2 is not acceptable. Any plans for creating a shoulder on the west bound bridge? I ride up to the Veterans Bridge to cross westward bound and I live in the Yacht Club area. Just too dangerous west bound on the Cape bridge without a shoulder. How about removing the curbs on both sides and creating a shoulder on the right (west bound lane)? Michael E. Grussemeyer, Recreational and Ultra Cyclist


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