Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Save the Dates 8/19-20 for FDOT statewide summit on future of transportation in Florida

Sent: Tuesday, June 22, 2010 9:09:19 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: Please Save the Dates for Statewide Transportation Summit - August 19-20

Partners and Stakeholders: The Florida Department of Transportation invites and encourages you to participate in a statewide summit on the future of transportation in Florida. Please mark your calendars now!

What: Statewide summit to be hosted by the Florida Department of Transportation

When: Thursday, August 19, 2010 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM -- focus on 2060 Florida Transportation Plan
Friday, August 20, 2010, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM -- focus on Florida’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan

Where: Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport

Why: To obtain input from all interested partners, stakeholders and members of the public in updating Florida’s statewide transportation plans

More information regarding the summit agenda, location and registration will be sent to you soon. In the meantime, if you have questions, feel free to email Huiwei Shen (2060 FTP) at Huiwei.Shen@dot.state.fl.us or Marianne Trussell (Strategic Highway Safety Plan) at marianne.trussell@dot.state.fl.us.
Please RSVP at on FDOT's website.

Thank you.

Huiwei Shen, Administrator

Intergovernmental Programs
Office of Policy Planning
Florida Department of Transportation

The update of the Safety Plan is a chance to develop a strategy and action plan that will address Florida’s status as the most dangerous state in the nation for pedestrians and cyclists.BikeWalkLee’s analysis of FDOT’s safety programs and recommendations for action.

Please attend July 19th Workshop on Countywide Bike/Ped Master Plan

The Lee County MPO and the RWA Team will be holding the Bicycle Pedestrian Master Plan Workshop on July 19th, 2010 from 6p.m. to 8p.m. This workshop is being held in conjunction with the Lee County MPO Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) Workshop that is taking place from 5p.m. to 7p.m. We would encourage everyone to arrive at 5p.m. and take some time to walk around the various exhibits that will be displayed for the LRTP prior to joining us for the Bicycle Pedestrian Master Plan Workshop at 6 p.m. The Bicycle Pedestrian Master Plan Workshop will be an interactive session, so we would like all participants to be present for the entire two hour duration of the workshop. This workshop is open to the public and the purpose is to receive public input on bicycle and pedestrian existing and future needs for Lee County. Both events are being held at the Harborside Event Center, 1375 Monroe Street, Fort Myers.

Input your ideas on GIS map online:
As promised earlier, the GIS-based Issues Map is now available on the website The map identifies issues and needs that have been submitted by the public. Please review the current map and submit any additional issues/needs you have identified. You will notice that many of the identified issues/needs do not have an associated photograph. If possible, please send us photos for those and any new issues you identify. Send them to Patrick Vanasse at pvanasse@consult-rwa.com.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Cape Coral Council fights to reduce speed on Gleason Parkway to improve pedestrian safety

The News-Press has had two recent stories about Cape Coral City Council's efforts to reduce the speed limit on Gleason Parkway as a way to deal with safety issues created by this major road running through a residential neighborhood--a classic case of a roadway that is "dangerous by design".

The first story ran on June 7th, "Cape Coral residents want to see a slower Gleason Parkway"

The second story ran on June 20th, "Gleason may go down to two lanes back to four if city grows"

"The clash between common sense solutions and federal traffic safety guidelines is wearing down the patience of Cape Coral City Councilman Chris Chulakes-Leetz.

He wants a solution to speeding on Gleason Parkway and told city staff this week that he's going to be unhappy if one isn't found soon. He says he is tired of hearing why things can't be done.

"If you stand on the sidewalk at rush hour you'd be absolutely convinced it's a safety issue," Chulakes-Leetz said."

BikeWalkLee Letter:

From: Darla [mailto:dletourneau@bikewalklee.org]
Sent: Monday, June 07, 2010 7:17 AM
To: Cape Coral City Council
Subject: Cape City Council consider lowering speed limit for safety

Cape Coral City Council Members,

I’m pleased to see that the Cape Coral City Council is considering lowering the speed limit on Gleason Parkway as a way to improve the safety of road users. This is especially important for vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists. Research shows that there is a direct relationship between vehicle speed and severity of injury for pedestrians and cyclists. For example, a pedestrian hit by a vehicle traveling 20 mph has a 95 percent chance of surviving. If the vehicle is traveling at 30 mph, chances of survival decrease to 55%. At 40 mph, only 15 percent of pedestrians can expect to survive. [citation: FHA (2002). Pedestrian Facilities Users Guide: Providing Safety and Mobility.]

Children, our most vulnerable road users, need to be provided an extra measure of safety. I hope you will approve the proposal to reduce the speed limit on this residential road and continue to look for ways to improve safety on the streets and roads of Cape Coral.

Thank you.

Darla Letourneau

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Update on Lee Plan EAR

New Horizon 2035 explores public input

Nine public workshops held throughout unincorporated Lee County in April and May delivered lively comments about the quality of life in unincorporated Lee County – ideas about neighborhoods, roads, shopping, recreation, public service and much more. As part of New Horizon 2035, the staff of the Lee Planning Division is now reviewing those comments along with input from state and local agencies, the Smart Growth Committee and the Local Planning Agency (LPA).

This effort will lead staff and citizens through a comprehensive review of the Lee Plan to identify the most important issues and opportunities for planned growth through 2035. Emerging ideas include delineating between urban, suburban and rural areas to prevent sprawl; and more fully exploring mixed-use neighborhoods and activity centers along transportation hubs. “Green” topics, including energy-efficiency and preservation of natural resources are also being explored. Connecting neighborhoods to parks, blueways and trails, and preserving community character are also recurring themes.

This information has been summarized into a report for review by the Board of County Commissioners on June 22, and the Florida Department of Community Affairs. Residents and business owners will have additional opportunities to review this report through another round of workshops and through our New Horizon 2035 Web site. Go to the DCD website to read detailed comments from the workshops and to submit your own ideas and comments.

Save the Date: July 19th 5-7 p.m. for LRTP public workshop

The Lee County Metropolitan Planning Organization will be holding a Long
Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) Workshop on July 19, 2010 from 5 p.m. to
7 p.m. It will be located at the Harborside Event Center, 1375 Monroe Street,
Fort Myers. The purpose of this workshop is to receive public input on the
transportation needs for Lee County through the year 2035.

At the same workshop, the Lee MPO will be talking input on bicycle and pedestrian existing and future needs for Lee County. This input will be used for the development of the countywide bike/ped master plan, as well as an element in the LRTP.

For further information please contact Ms. Meghan Marion
at 239-338-2550 ext. 219 or by email at mmarion@swfrpc.org.

It's very important that citizens and advocates from all walks of life attend this workshop and provide input about the balanced transportation we desire, the importance of taking into account the needs of all road users--bicyclists, pedestrians, motorists, transit users and of all ages and abilities. We need to let the transportation planners know that we want livable/walkable communities, not just more suburban sprawl.

The "deadly duo": Level of Service (LOS) & travel projections

National Complete Streets Coalition 6/16/10 News:
More on the Balancing Act: What to Do about LOS?

Putting a priority on completing the streets for all users almost invariably means turning away from or downplaying the single traditional measure of the success of a roadway: automobile Level of Service, determined through sometimes questionable traffic projections. Wayne Senville of Planning Commissioner's Journal writes two thoughtful blog posts of the problems with Level of Service and travel projections, drawing on a recent Project for Public Spaces workshop by Gary Toth. The same theme was sounded in a recent APA Planners Training Service workshop on Complete Streets, in which renowned engineer Walter Kulash derided the 'grades' assigned to different levels of congestion. The Complete Streets: Best Policy and Implementation Practices report also discusses changing a community's view on congestion, and the potential for alternative LOS measures.

Click here for the blog on level of service, and here for the travel projections blog.

It's important that the elected officials on the MPO board understand the flexibility they have as they develop the County's 2035 Long Range Transportation Plan, due to be completed by 12/31/10. Below is the message we sent to all MPO members, along with articles.

From: Darla [mailto:dletourneau@bikewalklee.org]
Sent: Saturday, June 19, 2010 3:36 PM
To: MPO Members
Subject: Ideas for LRTP: LOS & traffic projections

MPO Members,
As a follow-up to the discussion at yesterday’s MPO meeting about the need for the upcoming 2035 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) to reflect the new transportation paradigm and a vision for Lee County’s future, I wanted to share with you some recent thoughts from Gary Toth (a national preeminent expert in transportation planning & land use) on Level of Service (LOS) and traffic projections, which can be useful in thinking about how to approach our LRTP.

Darla Letourneau
Steering Group

Hillsborough MPO 2035 LRTP & Lessons for Lee County

From: Darla [mailto:dletourneau@bikewalklee.org]
Sent: Monday, June 14, 2010 10:50 AM
To: MPO Members
Subject: Hillsborough MPO 2035 LRTP & Lessons for Lee County

MPO Members:
As the Lee MPO develops its 2035 LRTP plan between now and December 31st, I thought it might be helpful for the Board to look at the Hillsborough MPO’s LRTP that was completed last year. Their plan goes beyond the traditional LRTP and includes a focus on land use, TOD, transit, livable communities, walkable/bikeable neighborhoods, and complete streets. Their approach provides some excellent ideas for developing the Lee LRTP in a new way. I’ve highlighted a few links that are worth looking at:
1. Hillsborough MPO video re: their 2035 LRTP --features many of the MPO members and other officials talking about features that are important…lots of focus on TOD, transit, walkable/bikeable neighborhoods & livable communities & complete streets. I highly recommend watching the full length video (14 minutes): , which provides the best overview of the vision and goals behind their long range plan for a public audience. (Note that they used this plan to build the case for the need for a 1 cent sales tax primarily for transit & light rail, which the county commission voted to have on the ballot for this November.)
There’s a short version (1 minute) that I think was used as a PSA:

2. Summary of their transportation plan in the form of a brochure for the public.

The Hillsborough County MPO’s overall website for their LRTP:
I hope that the Lee MPO will use this opportunity to demonstrate its leadership and vision to shift the transportation paradigm towards a more balanced transportation system that puts the county on the path to a more livable and sustainable community. Thank you.

Darla Letourneau
Steering Group

UPDATE: At the June 18th MPO meeting, I spoke on behalf of BikeWalkLee and urged the MPO board to develop a new paradigm LRTP like Hillsborough's Plan. At Ray Judah's request, the video about the Hillsborough Plan (linked above) was shown and was well received. As a result of the discussions, the board agreed that a special workshop for the board should be held to discuss the LRTP in depth. The intent is for this workshop to be held prior to the August 20th MPO meeting. One of the agenda items for that August 20th meeting is a discussion of the LRTP Needs Plan.

Dan Moser's Florida Weekly column: Parking your bike: what's the big deal?

June 16, 2010

Pulling into the big box store’s parking lot on my bike, I scan for a suitable place to lock-up. First I check the main entrances for bike racks. Finding none, I seek, still close to the door —and preferably under cover of some kind — a stationary object on which to attach a cable lock. Alas, because it’s a big box, everything’s oversized with nowhere to hook onto. So I resign myself to once again use either the closest “handicapped parking” signpost or parking lot island tree. Is that any way to treat a paying customer?

Those who don’t bicycle, or who do but don’t use their bikes for running errands such as shopping, might not consider this much of a problem. But having a convenient, secure and shaded or otherwise covered place to leave your low-impact transportation is just as important as parking for motor vehicles. And because of how vulnerable a bike is to theft and weather, it’s even more vital that businesses try to accommodate customers’ needs even before they walk in the door. It’s also about dignity and options.

The bike parking at the First Street Village Publix provides a good example of what businesses can do for their customers. The various governments that regulate what commercial areas must have in place before opening their doors may or may not require bike parking. But they all have strict rules about motor vehicle parking requirements, requirements than equate to significant dollars. One estimate I’ve found puts the price of an average parking spot at $16,000. Bike racks can cost as little as $200, and in some cases allow commercial property developers to forgo a parking space or two if they provide more than minimum bike parking accommodation (or, in some cases, any bike parking at all.) From a business perspective it makes sense to make customers who cycle to the door feel like we’re wanted. I, for one, make a point to do business with those who clearly want me there.

One business owner who’s gone above and beyond in that respect is Billy Kirkland, owner of Billy’s Bike Rentals on Sanibel Island. He obviously has a vested business interest in having appropriate places to park bikes, but Mr. Kirkland is also personally dedicated to encouraging bike use for function as much as for enjoyment. Out of his own pocket he has purchased and installed bike racks at numerous destinations on the island. That personal and business decision, along with the many other communityminded things he does, has had positive results many times over the cost. Business owners and customers take note.

Olympic cyclist coming to town

Former Olympian and U.S. Cycling Hall of Fame member Skip Cutting is an artist whose works will be on display beginning with an opening reception on Friday, June 18, at the Art of the Olympians Museum in downtown Fort Myers. While in town, Mr. Cutting will lead a bike ride on Fathers’ Day, Sunday, June 20. Everyone is welcome to participate in a 30-miler that begins and ends at the museum on the river at the end of Hendry Street. For those who don’t want to go that far — and perhaps as fast as Mr. Cutting might ride — a 10-15-mile ride will also be available. There’s no cost, and refreshments will be provided before and after the rides. On Thursday, June 24, beginning at 6 p.m., Mr. Cutting will be talking about his cycling experiences at a Caloosa Riders meeting, also at the museum. Again, all are welcome, free of charge. For more information, contact Art of the Olympians Museum at 332-5055 or go to www.artoftheolympians.org.

Advocacy news

Unfortunately, even after much pressure having been exerted on Gov. Charlie Crist to do otherwise, he signed into law HB 971, the bill that has a number of anti-bike/ped measures. The good news is that by explaining unintended consequences, even the sponsors of the bill have misgivings about some of its provisions. Additionally, the Florida Bicycle Association and others who are concerned about the bill’s effects will be following closely the rulemaking process in order to minimize its impact. FBA will also work to have the offending portions of HB 971 rescinded in the next legislative session. You can stay abreast of this issue at www.floridabicycle.org and www.bikewalklee.org.

Until next time, I’ll look for you on the roads and trails. 

— Dan Moser is league cycling instructor/ trainer and a former bike/ped coordinator who cycles regularly for transportation, recreation and fitness. He can be contacted at moserdeleon@juno.com or 334-6417.

Radio Interview with Mike Lasche, founder of FBA

Between The Lines - Sarasota June 16, 2010

Gary Olson of Sarasota's "Between the Lines" public radio program, interviewed one of BikeWalkLee's partners,Mike Lesche, a founder of the Florida Bicycle Association and a leader of Bicycle/Pedestrian Advocates. It covered a wide range of biking/walking topics including sidewalk riding, bike lanes, the recent drive to get the Governor to veto HB 971 (mandatory lane law), bicycle parking in downtown Sarasota, why Florida’s roads are historically bad for cyclists, and where to ride in Sarasota. It's a very informative interview and worth listening to. Click here to listen.

River of Grass Greenway (ROGG) needs your help

There's still time to submit your letters by the July 27th deadline!

July 8th Alert:
From Ken Bryan, Florida Director
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

The proposed River of Grass Greenway, when completed, will span the Everglades from Naples to Miami. But the omission of the pathway from an important planning study now would create huge barriers to its completion in the future.

Your comments can help convince planners to include this multi-use pathway in the Tamiami Trail Modifications (TTM) project—but time is of the essence.

Please consider taking action today to help make the River of Grass Greenway a reality tomorrow.

June 28th Alert from Friends of ROGG:
Hello ROGG supporters

ACTION NEEDED. A feasibility study is being conducted to build more bridges ("TTM" project) in ROGG route that is west of Krome Ave. We need to convince the planners to include a multi-use pathway in their study.

We believe this can be done – if we have overwhelming public response.

How you can help:
attend PUBLIC WORKSHOP June 24, 6- 9 pm at South Dade Regional Library 1st Floor,10750 SW 211th St, Cutler Bay, Florida. (presentation at 7 pm)

submit PUBLIC COMMENTS by mail or email or at TTM website before July 27.
ROGG Committee will provide suggested comments after attending public workshop.

TTM Project info:
Send comments to: Bruce_Boler@nps.gov, Project Manager for TTM: Next Steps Project

BikeWalkLee's Letter of Support
To: Bruce Boler, NPS

Project Manager for TTM
Date: June 20, 2010

Subject: Comments on Tamiami Trail Modification project in support of multi-use pathway

BikeWalkLee, a grassroots coalition working to complete Lee County’s streets, requests the Tamiami Trail Modifications (TTM) project include consideration of a multi-use pathway in the feasibility study. This planned project which will build more bridges in the ROGG route west of Krome Avenue in Miami, is the only way a cross-state multi-use facility in the Everglades will be possible, unless FDOT changes its position about using interstate right-of-ways.

Currently, a multi-use pathway, the River of Grass Greenway (ROGG), is planned across the state along US 41, which BikeWalkLee strongly supports. A pathway in the TTM project would become a component of ROGG. It is essential that this pathway be planned up front now or plan for it to cost more (or not be possible at all) later. The concept of complete streets is to accommodate all users of our roadways at the front-end of the planning process so that we don’t have to pay for expensive retrofits later. We are currently paying for decades of bad roadway planning that didn’t provide accommodations for other modes of transportation and is now having to be retrofitted at a high cost to taxpayers. In these hard economic times, it is critical at all levels of government that we “do it right the first time”. The estimated increase in the overall cost of the project (7-11%) for including a pathway is consistent with the USDOT guidelines (10% or under) of the increase in overall project cost that is not considered “excessive”. Thus, this project does not merit an exemption from the requirement that the roads accommodate all users.

This regional pathway across South Florida is of significant regional importance. It is needed for the safety of bikers and walkers, has widespread support from residents of Lee County, and would be a great economic asset for Southwest Florida. Excluding a pathway from the alternatives to be considered in the EIS would be very short-sighted and inconsistent with the USDOT’s stated vision of “transportation for a new generation” and its commitment to a complete streets policy. We urge you not to shortchange our children and grandchildren in this project.

Thank you for your consideration of our views.
Darla Letourneau

Include Pathway in TTM Plans

by ROGG Committee 6/17/10
What is TTM?
Tamiami Trail Modification: Next Steps (TTM) is a project to evaluate the feasibility of additional bridging of the Tamiami Trail to restore water flow within the Everglades.
• project area is 10 miles long, between 2-12 miles west of Krome Ave.
• lead agency is Everglades National Park, in technical collaboration with Army Corps of Engineers.

A Draft Environmental Impact Study (EIS) has been released for public comment, and includes six bridging “alternatives”, ranging from 0 to 5.5 bridge miles, costing up to $330 million. A public workshop will be held June 24. Public comment period ends July 27, 2010.

More information available at the Park Service's website, select “Everglades NP” from the drop down box, then “Tamiami Trail Modifications: Next Steps Project”.

***NONE of the proposed alternatives includes a multi-use pathway***

Multi-use pathway
Proposed pathway: a hard-surfaced 12-ft-wide pathway for non-motorized transportation and recreation, separated from traffic, and safe for users of all abilities and ages.

Reasons to include multi-use pathway in EIS alternatives
• The pathway provides a unique opportunity for education of Everglades restoration, especially considering the close proximity of the TTM project to the greater Miami area. Panoramic views from bridges will provide excellent platforms for witnessing restoration, and best appreciated at speeds far below 55 mph. Without the pathway, TTM project has negligible educational value, yet a primary mission of the National Parks is education.

• Encouraging non-motorized transportation within the Everglades natural area magnifies the environmental value of this project.

Pathway will reduce congestion and carbon emissions; reduce dependency on oil; improve visitor mobility and accessibility.

• US 41 is an integral transportation corridor, thus a full evaluation of transportation issues should be included in the EIS. Federal and state DOT policies require consideration of bike/ped facilities when improving major roads.

US 41 is the only cross-state transportation corridor in southern Florida open to cyclists and hikers, and the sole access road to innumerable Everglades destinations.

• A multi-use pathway, the River of Grass Greenway (ROGG), is planned across the state along US 41. Pathway in TTM project would become a component of ROGG. Adding a pathway after TTM is completed would be very costly.

Cost of pathway
Preliminary evaluation in Draft EIS provides estimates for pathway (p. 4-57) that would result in 7-11% increase in project cost.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Dump the Pump Day--June 17th

Father’s Day is Your Chance to Ride with an Olympic Cyclist

Skip Cutting, a former Olympic Cyclist and US Cycling Hall of Fame member, will be visiting Ft Myers where he’ll be showing his artwork at the Art of the Olympians Museum beginning on Friday, June 18, 2010.

On Sunday, June 20th, Skip will be taking part in a 30-mile ride beginning at 8am. The ride will start and finish at the Art of the Olympians Museum, 1300 Hendry St, on the river in downtown Ft Myer. There will also be a 15-mile ride for those who don’t want to ride that far (or fast, assuming Skip will be pressed by locals to show them what he’s got left!).

Skip will be talking about his cycling experiences as well as his art on Thurs, June 24th, beginning at 7pm at the Art of the Olympians Museum.

Both events are free and the public is welcome. For more information contact Dan Moser at dan@floridabicycle.org or 334-6417 or Art of the Olympians Museum at 332-5055. You can also go to Caloosa Riders website at www.caloosariders.com.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Governor Crist signs HB 971 into law

Florida Bicycle Association News Release
Yesterday afternoon, Governor Crist signed HB 971, among many other bills into law. Thanks to all of you who expressed your concerns over this bill encouraging it to be vetoed. Yes, this is a defeat, but now we must rally together to plan our strategy for the 2011 Legislative Session.
HB 971 isn't all bad. At 81 pages, there are many good things in the bill and unfortunately the mandatory bike lane use was slipped in late in the Session, along with other pedestrian issues. This process is not unusual, but now FBA will be planning for it....
It is up to all of us to make something good come out of HB 971. We will not go away empty-handed but will come back strong in 2011.

Note: Mike Lasche, Executive Director of Bicycle/Pedestrian Advocates in Sarasota & Legislative Director of FBA, had a guest commentary on HB 971 printed in Island Reporter this week.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Status of Lee Plan update (EAR)

As we mentioned in the April post on this blog, it is important for BikeWalkLee advocates to participate in the Lee Plan update (called the EAR process)to let the county know complete streets are priority for citizens.

The Lee County Division of Planning held workshops throughout the county during May 2010 as part of their EAR (Evaluation and Review) process. The EAR is an every-7-year evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the Lee Plan. On May 19, there was a joint meeting of the Smart Growth Committee and Local Planning Agency (LPA) that was an EAR workshop. A representative of BikeWalkLee also participated and it was an excellent opportunity to brainstorm with others in a small group about ways to improve our county by making it more walkable/bikeable/livable.

The next step in the process is a Local Planning Agency review of issues and topics, scheduled for Friday, June 18, 8:30 a.m. in Commission Chambers, 2120 Main St., Fort Myers

If you missed the workshops, please click here for a questionnaire that you can fill out and submit. You can also sign-up to be on their e-mail list on this Lee Plan website.

Our input is very important to ensuring that the Lee Plan vision for the future reflects the communities desires for complete streets and livable communities. Thank you!

Invite to screening tour of "Beyond the Motor City"

As part of the national "Blueprint America Screening Tour", Reconnecting Lee, along with other partners, is hosting a community screening of the PBS special, "Beyond the Motor City". The intent of this national initiative is to use the film to raise questions—and seek answers—about the future of transportation in America. City planners, urban growth experts, cyclists, commuters, students, policymakers, and concerned citizens across the country are invited to join THE BLUEPRINT AMERICA SCREENING TOUR to energize debate on:

* New hopes for accessible, clean and modern mass transit in America
* The role of cities, and consumers, in shaping the next generation of transportation systems
* A roadmap for revitalizing the way we move through our cities and neighborhoods

The event will be held on Thursday, June 24 at 2:30-4:00 at the offices of the Realtor Association of Greater Fort Meyers & the Beach, on 2840 Winkler Ave. in Fort Myers.

Dan Moser's Florida Weekly column:Dealing with the "captive cyclist”

June 2, 2010
This week I’m following-up on more of the happenings at last month’s Pro- Bike/ProWalk Florida Conference, the Florida Bicycle Association’s annual gathering of transportation and planning professionals, advocates and others interested in what’s happening in the bike/pedestrian world. I’ll begin with an update to House Bill 971, the legislation passed this session that will likely have negative impacts on Florida’s cyclists, pedestrians and drivers alike.

To summarize some provisions of the bill, it will: authorize local governments to adopt ordinances to allow golf carts and other motorized vehicles to be operated on sidewalks; require a cyclist traveling at less than the “normal speed of traffic” to ride “in the lane marked for bicycle use”; and give back the privilege of driving to those who have been convicted of a forth DUI.

In another, more upbeat conference matter, our neighbor to the north, the city of Punta Gorda, was recognized as Florida’s Bicycle Friendly Community as part of FBA’s annual awards. The city recently announced plans to build a $4.5 million ring around the city. The ring is a 17-mile interconnected trail for bicyclists, joggers, pedestrians and anyone else who wants to get around without a car. To see the complete list of award winners you visit www. floridabicycle.org.

The conference theme being “The Dollars and Sense Of Bicycling & Walking,” one of the most interesting session presentations was titled “This Biking Stinks, but I Gotta Eat: The World of the Captive Cyclist.” The presenter, Bruce Epperson, is a civilrights attorney and professional community planner from the city of Davie on the east coast. His analysis of the plight of those who have little choice but to use a bike for everyday transportation was thorough and informative. One of the points he makes is that mainstream bicycle planning is of little use to this particular sub-category of cyclists because they have no desire to improve their skills and are primarily sidewalk riders. That being the case, traditional planning models don’t really address this type of user, and to do so, he contends, means accommodation for recreational and training-style cyclists would have to be sacrificed in some cases.

For those of us who are working to create a bike/ped-friendly environment for all users — and especially folks who deal with this type of cyclist on a regular basis, Mr. Epperson’s insight is indeed something to consider. On Friday, May 21, National Bike to Work Day, I spent the morning seeking out these people. They were easily found by looking for bikes parked behind restaurants and at the downtown bus depot.

Advocacy news

There are numerous examples of progress being made for the bike/ ped community in Lee County: Buckingham Road paved shoulders. Reworked and re-paved shoulders from Shell Point Road to the Sanibel Causeway. Soon-to-be constructed improvements for cyclists at the MidPoint Bridge, Cape Coral Bridge, and Sanibel Causeway toll plazas. Attempts to create better conditions for cyclists and pedestrians through I-75 underpasses. The very real possibility of bike-specific signing and markings being added to our roadways. Development of a countywide bicycle/pedestrian master plan by a top-notch team of consultants, local government staff, and community-minded individuals and organizations.

To help ensure these good things keep happening, BikeWalkLee and others must continue to stay in the mix to offer input and apply pressure where needed. To stay abreast of what’s going on and to find out how you can help, visit BikeWalkLee's website.

Until next time, I’ll look for you on the roads and trails.

— Dan Moser is a league cycling instructor/trainer and program manager
for Florida Bicycle Association who cycles, runs and walks regularly
for transportation, recreation and fitness.

He can be contacted at dan@floridabicycle.org or 334-6417.

News-Press: Reduced-speed zones to go in at two Cape schools

BY MAE YOUSIF-BASHI • mbashi@news-press.
com • May 27, 2010

Motorists driving near Challenger Middle School might have to slow down once
school starts in August. That's when the Cape Coral city staff hopes to have
the school's new speed zone in place. Parents and school staff have been pushing for the project around Challenger Middle and Patriot
Elementary schools before and after school.

The City Council recently directed staff to install the zone as soon as possible. To read the complete article, click here.

BikeWalkLee wrote a letter to the Cape Coral City Council on Feb. 15 in support of lowering the speed limits at these schools.

Secretary LaHood's Blog: DOT bicycle-pedestrian policy gets "thumbs up"

From Secretary LaHood's Blog "Fast Lane" on June 1:

What a way to kick-off a weekend. Last Friday dozens of bicyclists rode down to DOT headquarters to present a letter of thanks and support for our recent policy giving bicycles and pedestrians a seat at the transportation table. Click here to read the rest of the blog & watch a video of the event.

Click here to read the letter that he received signed by 275 organizations throughout the country, including BikeWalkLee!