This week's BWL column highlights our recent "Complete Street Champions of the Year" awards to Cape Coral and Sanibel. Thanks again to both cities and their advocates, CCBP and SBC, for making biking and walking better in Lee County communities.
One of the many new crosswalks on Sanibel to help facilitate
bicyclists and walkers navigating island roads. / Special to The
BikeWalkLee likes to encourage biking and walking to enjoy the
natural beauty and abundant amenities of our area. But many of those
amenities wouldn’t exist without the perseverance of government
officials and staff and involved community groups to make them happen,
and BikeWalkLee wants to encourage those efforts as well as an integral
part of expanding biking and walking in our area.
To do that,
BikeWalkLee created the “Complete Streets Champion” award as a way to
honor public and private efforts to enhance biking and walking in Lee
County. This year, we honored two citizen groups and two municipalities
for extraordinary efforts that have meant significant improvements for
bikers and walkers in these communities. They are:
The City of Cape Coral and Cape Coral Bike-Ped (CCBP) for its
innovative public/private partnership to create a safe and connected
system of more than 90 miles of cycling routes within Cape Coral.
The City of Sanibel and the Sanibel Bicycle Club (SBC) for a decade of
incredible work to make Sanibel a model walkable, bikeable community.
years ago, Carolyn Conant, a long-time Cape Coral community leader,
brought together other community and business leaders and interested
citizens to form CCBP with a goal of developing a bicycle and
pedestrian-friendly Cape Coral.
In the past year:
CCBP went to Cape Coral City Council to request a resolution
establishing a fund-raising tool and a dedicated account for pedestrian
and bicycle paths within the city, which the Council unanimously
identified more than 90 miles of interconnected bike-ped routes, and
came up with an innovative approach to seek funds through sponsors.
CCBP got the community behind this effort with over 70 distinct
businesses, clubs, civic organizations and individuals helping to
sponsor or support this effort.
In less than six months, CCBP raised the funds for seven named
sponsored routes; all route signage will be complete by the end of 2014.
It was exciting to see the signs for the first route – Team Aubuchon
Route – being installed before Thanksgiving.
To see the progress that has been achieved in just one year is
amazing, and a real harbinger of the good things yet to come for making
Cape Coral more bikeable and walkable.
2010 Sanibel was the first Southwest Florida community to be designated a
“Bicycle Friendly Community” by the League of American Bicyclists, a
sign of the city's commitment to a comprehensive program of engineering,
education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation (the five Es).
city's policy of promoting biking and walking to island events is a
model for others. Just look at the new T-shirts, promoting "walkable
bikeable Sanibel Island": The city clearly sees biking and walking as
transportation modes and a way to reduce cars and congestion.
the next time you’re out riding or walking on Sanibel or in Cape Coral,
thank the efforts of many (public and private) people who made these
routes a reality. Then, enjoy your walk or ride.
is a community coalition raising public awareness and advocating for
complete streets in Lee County—streets that are designed, built,
operated and maintained for safe and convenient travel for all users:
pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders of all ages and
abilities. Information, statistics and background online at www.BikeWalkLee.org
Sunday, Jan. 5: River Roots and Ruts, half marathon and 5K fun
run, Caloosahatchee Regional Park, Alva (ftmyerstrackclub.com)
Saturday, Jan. 11: Mud Run, to benefit Golisano Children’s Hospital.
3-mile adult run, 0.5- and 1-mile kid’s runs. Red Neck Yacht Club, Punta
Cycling and other events:
Saturday-Sunday, Jan. 18-19, Tour de Cape, Cape Harbour Resort, Cape Coral (tourdecape.net/)
Saturday, Feb. 15: Ride for Hope, Bonita Springs. 10- 25- and 50-mile options (hopehcs.org/ride)
Sunday, March 16: Royal Palm Classic, organized by the Caloosa Riders, details to come (caloosariders.org)
Saturday, March 29: Walk, Wheel, and Wobble for Ataxia, FGCU . 10-, 30- and 62-mile rides, 5K run (knowataxia.webs.com/)