Saturday, July 19, 2014

BikeWalkLee urges Fort Myers City Council to incorporate a multi-use path as part of renovations to Edison Golf Course

BikeWalkLee is urging the Fort Myers City Council to  incorporate plans for a multi-use path as part of the City's planned renovations to the Edison Golf Course. Complete Streets is about doing it right the first time!

July 1, 2014
Mayor Henderson and Members of the Fort Myers City Council,

BikeWalkLee is a coalition to complete the streets throughout Lee County and works for a safe, balanced multi-modal transportation system and sustainable community.

We are aware that the grounds of the Edison Golf Course are being renovated. In keeping with the principles of Complete Streets to maximize efficiencies in transportation projects whenever opportunities present themselves; we urge that right-of-way accommodations be made now for both adequate and safe bicycle and pedestrian passage through this piece of property. This reflects the same recommendation made by the City’s own Bike Pedestrian Advisory Board at their April meeting.

Given the breadth of the golf course, which extends from US Rt41 over to McGregor Boulevard, any foot or bicycle traffic on either of these corridors passes along the golf course. Currently, bicycles are either forced  out onto McGregor at one of its very most dangerous stretches or they must ride along a very narrow sidewalk with pedestrian traffic. The same dangerous situation exists on 41. There are no other routes through or around this very large piece of property.

We understand that there are plans to move several feet inward, the sidewalk that currently runs right along the traffic edge of McGregor. Right-of-way should be set aside now to either allow future expansion of this sidewalk to a 10’-12’ wide multi-use path or provide sufficient room to accommodate two separate facilities. Such a multi-use facility will become an essential link in any future city-wide pathway system.

We know there are concerns about vehicles driving on any wide multi-use path; however, there are a number of proven and atheistically pleasing solutions to this. Also, there are fears that people will be hit with golf balls. Again, there are design solutions to this and cyclists will certainly have a far greater chance of avoiding serious injury or death along a well-planned pathway within the golf course parameters than out on either US41 or McGregor Boulevard.

Letting this enhancement opportunity pass, because it presents some difficulty would truly be a major planning error.  Any future retrofit will be enormously expensive and never quite as good as full integration into the current renovation. Please utilize this opportunity to move the City of Fort Myers forward towards becoming an attractive, interconnected, bike and pedestrian friendly city.



Ann Pierce

On behalf of BikeWalkLee

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