Wednesday, January 5, 2011

News Press: Bonita Beach bicycle lane battle to heat up--foes set to present case

News-Press January 5, 2011
By Christina Cepero ••

Bonita Beach homeowners are expected
to be out in force at today's City Council meeting for
a presentation on planned bike lanes on Hickory

Lee County Department of Transportation staff will
present the plans to add 4-foot, paved shoulders to
the two-lane road. About 50 property owners would
have to pay to have their brick driveways rebuilt and
move their mailboxes.

Winston Church of the Bonita Beach Improvement
Association, who asked the county for the project,
said the lanes would provide a place for residents to
walk to neighbors' homes, particularly on the west
side where there's no sidewalk, and would allow
mail carriers and service vehicles a place to pull

"I think appearance of the road would be
substantially improved with the shoulders," Church

The bike lanes would link to the ones that are on the
north end of Hickory and Estero Boulevard in Fort
Myers Beach.

The City Council cannot take any action because it is
a county road. The public will have the opportunity
to submit written questions and comments to county

The Transportation Department will take the low
bidder to the county commission for approval, likely
in the spring. Construction should take about two
months. Lee's 2010-11 budget set aside $500,000
in gas taxes designated for the bike-pedestrian

The improvement association mailed a survey to
1,800 property owners. The results showed 129, or
56 percent of the 232 respondents, said adding
bike lanes was important, 42 said it was not
important and 61 opposed them.

Opponent Martin Roach said many of his neighbors
who are against the project did not receive the

"It's going to be a much, much more unsafe
situation if we widen the road," Roach said. He'd
rather see the speed limit reduced from 35 mph to
25 and more law enforcement patrols.

Church said the association sent the survey to all
beach property owners' 2009 addresses provided
by the Lee County Tax Collector's Office. He said
some people may have had the surveys sent to their
addresses up north and should have eventually
received them.

Also at Wednesday's meeting:

- The City Council will discuss criteria, such as
public sector experience and residency, for the new
city manager, who will be hired to replace Gary
Price, who retires June 3.

- The City Council will consider an offer by 10
Pelican Landing homeowners to drop a lawsuit
against the city. Last spring, five couples concerned
about noise and their home values sued the city
over three RV storage buildings and an office that
Bar N Ranch LLC is constructing at 24300 S.
Tamiami Trail.

The homeowners will drop the suit if the city agrees
to give them written notice within 10 days of any
changes the property owner requests about the

if you go
• What: Bonita Springs City Council meeting
• When: 5:30 p.m. Wednesday
• Where: City Hall, 9101 Bonita Beach Road

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