Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cape Coral City Council Transportation Committee considers 3 bike lane proposals by citizen groups

Report from Steve Chupack, BikeWalkLee's Cape Coral representative
At today's Cape Coral City Council's Transportation Advisory Committee meeting, local advocates, led by Pat Young of the Southwest Cape Coral Neighborhood Association (SWCCNA), presented their proposal to install bike lanes on 3 roadway segments:
1. Agualinda (from Beach to Cape Coral Parkway)
2. Beach (from Oasis to Agualinda)
3. Cape Coral Parkway from Sands to SW 17th Place

In advance of the meeting, BikeWalkLee submitted a letter to the Committee in support of the request. Click here to read our letter.

In addition to Pat Young, the following other citizen groups were represented and spoke in support: The President of SWCCNA, Mr. Cervoni, Mike Swanson, President of the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club,Scott Balogna (Cape Coral member of MPO Citizen Advocacy Committee), the president of NW Neighborhood Assn., and Steve Chupack representing BikeWalkLee.

The following were the outcomes of the meeting:
1. Accepted Dr. Dr. Hanbali's (Safety Engineer) recommendation to approve bike lane on Agualinda from Beach to CC Parkway

2. Accepted Dr. Hanbali's recommendation against putting bike lanes on CC Pkwy from Sands to SW 17th Pl. Mainly because it is an emergency evacuation route, traffic count too high, etc. However, at suggestion of a TAC member Dr. Hanbali agreed to do traffic count west of Agualinda on CC Pkwy. Count apparently was taken east of Agualinda. Seemed to be general agreement on TAC that traffic count west of Agualinda is likely to be much lower than east of it. Dr. Hanbali will report findings. Possibly opens door to approving this important estimated .8 mile section that would enhance connectivity with Sands and Agualinda.

3. Did not accept, for now, Dr. Hanbali's recommendation against putting bike lane on .4 miles on Beach from Oasis to Agualinda. The issues was whether the need to keep the existing right-turn lane onto Oasis was justified. Pat's drawings showed several exceptions to this practice that seem to work quite well. Dr. Hanbali agreed to take another look at the issue and get back to TAC. Several TAC members were advocating for finding a creative solution, including the ones Pat described.

The TAC told Pat Young she could begin gathering signatures on the approved petition form. The petition will be circulated among the residents on the streets where the proposed bike lanes would be created, pending final approval by the TAC and City Council.

5/19 update:
The new counts for Cape Coral Parkway and the new analysis of the Beach/Oasis right turn are going to be presented at the TAC meting on June 15.

NBC-2 News was at the meeting and interviewed several of the participants. Nice job! Here's the video:

Thanks to the community advocates in Cape Coral who put together this terrific proposal and are working hard with the city to bring these bike/ped improvements to their community! Darla

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