For well over a year, county staff and planning consultants worked with residents and business owners. They developed a plan to address everything from transportation options to redevelopment projects. Earlier this month, as the Tice Historic Community Plan was getting close to becoming the formal guide that will eventually become part of our county’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan, the effort was significantly enhanced by additional expertise and the promise of resources.
As a result of being awarded a technical assistance grant from Project for Public Spaces, consultants from the nonprofit Local Government Commission joined representatives from various transportation departments, law enforcement agencies, human service organizations, planning divisions, businesses and most importantly, citizens, to conduct walking audits. Once everyone had a chance to experience the streets, intersections and other elements of the community with a critical eye, evaluation and recommendation sessions led by the experts took place.
Another serious problem that rose to the surface is the condition for students and anyone else trying to access Schandler Park from Royal Palm Park Road. The park serves as the pick-up and drop-off point for a number of school buses, yet the road that serves as one of the primary accesses from the adjacent neighborhood to Palm Beach Boulevard has no sidewalk and is lined by deep ditches on both sides, setting-up a dangerous situation as motorists vie for the same space as kids, moms with strollers and others. Hopefully, this very real safety hazard will be addressed as soon as possible.
It’s encouraging to see a community collaboration effort begin to pay off, especially when those who usually don’t have a voice take an active role. The proof of all the hard work paying off will be what actually ends up on the ground as well as the final policy document, but there seems to be true commitment from those with the power and resources to make good things happen.
The Fort Myers Track Club has a couple of events coming up. Its annual Membership Run takes place in June (date TBD) and the Freedom 5K will be on Thursday, July 4. Details on those and other local races can be found at www.ftmyerstrackclub.com.
Some excellent rides and unique activities to go along can be had at the Peace River Riders’ fourth annual Wheels & Wings Ride, being staged at a new location this year. The July 6 event will no doubt be lots of fun, especially after the ride because it’s being staged at a locally famous establishment, the SlipKnot Lounge. Ride-wise, if you’re up to it you can take part in the Gentleman’s Race. Then, try to get a speeding ticket before joining the party. You can get all the details and an explanation of the associated activities at www.peaceriverridersbicycleclub.com.
Finally, if you’re thinking of taking part in the third annual Galloway Captiva Triathlon (www.captivatri.com) in September you’ll need to act fast because individuals and team participation is limited and the cap has been reached both years prior. I’ll have more on this family event in upcoming columns.
Until next time, I’ll look for you on the roads and trails.
— Dan Moser is a league cycling and CyclingSavvy instructor/ trainer and programs director for the Florida Bicycle Association who cycles, runs and walks regularly for transportation, recreation and fitness. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 334- 6417.