Saturday, February 4, 2012

BikeWalkLee sends letter to Collier County in support of Vanderbilt Dr. 12 foot Greenway

Background:  The Vanderbilt Drive Pathway is an off-road asphalt greenway that is already funded by funds from a local developer.  It runs for 4 miles along Vanderbilt Drive from 111th Ave. North to Bonita Beach Rd.  The original plan was to create the pathway at a width of 12 feet, the industry standard for a multi-use pathway.  According to the Naples Pathways Coalition (NPC), a small group of residents in the area has asked officials to reduce the width to 5 feet, and Collier County planning agencies have agreed to reduce the width to 8 feet "as a compromise".  Collier County is now receiving comments from all county residents.

BikeWalkLee submitted a letter in support of the original proposed 12-feet multi-use pathway. 
The following is an excerpt from our letter:

"We are writing today in support of the proposed 12-foot multi-use pathway along Vanderbilt Drive, which would connect with Bonita Beach Rd. in Lee County.  Having connected and safe bicycling and walking facilities is one of our key goals.  The industry standard for multi-use pathways is 12 feet.  Given the various types of path users—pedestrians, cyclists, moms with strollers, people in wheelchairs, people walking their dogs, etc.—a wide path is key to ensuring the safety of all pathway users.  Eight feet is simply not wide enough to have two-way traffic for the mix of users that will be using the path.  One of the key principles of complete streets is to “do it right the first time”.  There is nothing more costly on transportation projects than not providing for anticipated use and having to come back later and pay ten times more to retrofit the project."

"Collier County is in an enviable position—you have the funds on hand now from the developer to pay for the needed 12-foot standard multi-use pathway.  Not moving forward with the pathway as planned will cost future taxpayers of Collier County more money in inevitable retrofits, and will deny current residents and visitors an adequate and safe multi-use path system.

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