Sunday, April 18, 2010

Successful symposium on transit-oriented development & walkable communities

On Friday, April 16th, Reconnecting Lee County, Lee County, FGCU’s Center for Public and Social Policy, APA Florida Promised Lands Section, and the City of Fort Myers held their second symposium in the Lee County Commission chambers. The symposium enjoyed participation by Lee county commissioners, the county manager, county staff, professionals, and citizens throughout the region. It was an excellent opportunity to put complete streets into the larger context of land use and transit-oriented development. The county commissioners and MPO board were recognized for their leadership in adopting complete streets policies.

Seth Harry spoke about U.S. and international transit-oriented development projects. Jeff Hays focused on how Gainesville in Alachua County is developing a multi-modal infrastructure plan to accommodate bus rapid transit, transit-oriented development, and an integrated bike/ped network. Finally, James Nicholas from the University of Florida gave a compelling argument for why the region should move in this direction. The current system is clearly broken and unsustainable, and he summed it up well by saying, "it's easier to ride a horse in the direction it's going". Clearly the horse is moving towards providing more transportation choices and more transit. To watch the symposium online, click here.

On Saturday, April 17, FGCU’s Center for Public and Social Policy sponsored an in-depth workshop with Seth Harry. Seth went into more detail about the important lessons Lee County can learn from other communities as it takes the next steps toward implementation. He incorporated both market and design considerations.

If you would like more information about these sessions, visit Reconnecting Lee's website.

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