Tuesday, June 19, 2012

BikeWalklee sends recommendations to BoCC on draft transportation CIP

BikeWalkLee sent a memo to BoCC with its recommendations on the draft transportation CIP (5-year Capital Improvement Plan) prior to the Board's June 25th budget workshop.  BikeWalkLee recommends that the Alico Rd/Ben Hill widening project be delayed until a master plan is developed for the Research Diamond area; and recommends that the1.3-mile Ortiz widening project in the Tice neighborhood (from Luckett to Palm Beach Blvd.) be changed to a "road diet" (2-lane divided with road improvements), making it a complete street and avoiding a costly and unnecessary road widening.  Read the memo for the complete set of recommendations. Click here to read the memo.

On June 19th, BikeWalkLee sent a memo to County Commissioners with its recommendations on the transportation component of the draft CIP, which outlines the planned roadway projects for 2012-2017. Below are excerpts from the memo:

Last year, as called for in your approved Action Plan to implement the 2009 Complete Streets Resolution, the staff developed a revised transportation planning and budgeting process.  This year is the first time that the new approach has been used to develop the 5-year transportation funding plan, reflected in the CIP.  The staff is to be commended for its interdepartmental team effort in developing this plan.

The draft CIP is an improvement over previous years and reflects a first step in implementing the new approach. The staff has done an excellent job of ensuring that all planned road projects include bike/ped facilities in their designs.  However, they have not yet taken the next step to analyze the merits of the road projects in terms of the broader complete streets and sustainability goals.  It is our hope that as the collaborative county staff process evolves, road projects will be evaluated in terms of the goals and priorities the county has articulated.[i] 

Attached you will find specific recommendations  made by the Community Sustainability Advisory Committee (CSAC) and supported by BikeWalkLee for changes to the draft CIP. (See Attachment 1.)

This memo is intended to provide some background and rationale for these recommendations.  Given the County's revenue shortfalls, declining gas tax collections, lower impact fees, and reductions in federal and state funding, funding for transportation projects will be tight for the foreseeable future.  Each of the expanded road capacity projects must  be closely scrutinized, weighing both the initial capital and life-cycle maintenance costs against the county's current funding realities and certainties of future sources. 

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