Tuesday, December 27, 2011

News-Press features finalists for award, including BikeWalkLee

Meet The News-Press' 'Heroes 2011' finalists

December 27, 2011

The finalists for The News-Press’ “Heroes 2011” have a proven track record of service to the Southwest Florida community. Their works range from helping the poorest among us to seeking to make the area safer for cyclists and pedestrians. Their efforts have yielded results, praise and new followers who plan to continue moving their agendas forward.


Florida is a dangerous place for pedestrians and cyclists — 5,163 pedestrians have been killed over the last decade at an estimated cost of $22.2 billion.

BikeWalkLee formed in 2009 precisely to work to make roads safer and more user friendly in this outdoor friendly community.

Their efforts have paid off and the group, made of cycling enthusiasts, retirees, professors and others, have wielded considerable influence in persuading Lee County and Fort Myers to adopt “Complete Streets” resolutions that ensure that road planning includes bicycle lanes, sidewalks and greater transit options. Results include work being done on the State Road 82 widening, from Ortiz Avenue to Colonial Boulevard, the Six Mile Cypress Parkway widening and the new Matlacha Bridge.

Due to its work, BikeWalkLee now counts on 38 supporter organizations ranging from cyclists clubs like the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club and Bonita Bay Bicycle Club to large organizations like Lee Memorial Health System, AARP of Florida, Audubon Society of Southwest Florida and FGCU.

Lee County administration plans to update county commissioners on Complete Streets implementation in early January.

“The policy achievements we’ve seen in the past three years are a result of a broad based public engagement and coalition-building effort,” said BikeWalkLee steering committee member Darla LeTourneau.

Visit the website bikewalklee.org or call for more information. Or contact Dan Moser at 334-6417 or dmoser@bikewalklee.org, or Darla Letourneau at 472-1179 or dletourneau@ bikewalklee.org

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