Saturday, February 7, 2015

Six more groups join BikeWalkLee's coalition network of supporter organizations

Join BikeWalkLee in welcoming six more groups to our network of supporter organizations, for a total of 66 as we begin 2015!

A strong coalition is the strength of BikeWalkLee and the reason behind our numerous accomplishments. We have partnered across sectors with a growing number of community stakeholders that want to improve the quality of life and mobility in Lee County. Partners include Florida Gulf Coast University, health care organizations, safety and injury prevention groups, AARP of Florida, citizen and community groups, environmental organizations, planners and sustainable communities groups, bike clubs, and bike shops.

Every year BikeWalkLee's coalition of supporter organizations has grown, starting with 30 organizations in 2009, which has now grown to 66 at the beginning of 2015. During 2014, we broadened our coalition with six new organizations, including the College Parkway Redevelopment Group, Jim Dodson Law, the FGCU Student Planning Association, Florida Greenways and Trails Foundation, Inc., Go Girl Cycling, and Lee Public Voice.

BikeWalkLee would like to introduce them to our network and welcome them into our coalition:

1. College Parkway Redevelopment Group  
The College Parkway Redevelopment Group (CPRG) is a voluntary group of property owners that have been working on developing Lee Plan Goals, Objectives and Policies to guide redevelopment within the College Parkway study area. BikeWalkLee members have been involved from the beginning in the development and participation of this community plan.

College Parkway Corridor
The following is the draft Vision Statement from the proposed Lee Plan Amendments:
“Recognizing the importance of College Parkway as a significant transportation corridor and understanding the need to maintain its function while expanding economic opportunities within the College Parkway Community, the College Parkway Corridor will become a mixed-use, walkable, vibrant and diverse destination where employment, residential, commercial and civic uses are integrated with public spaces to support a local economy, encourage walking and bicycling, support civic interaction, and provide a spectrum of housing choices to address a diverse population.”

The College Parkway Corridor is a significant east-west commercial area located on College Parkway between Summerlin Road and the Caloosahatchee River. The commercial corridor serves the residents and business owners from Colonial Boulevard south to Gladiolus Drive and from Summerlin Road west to the Caloosahatchee River.

2. Jim Dodson Law
We welcomed Jim Dodson Law back in March. Jim Dodson is an avid cyclist and a well respected personal injury lawyer in Florida. Jim rode this year's Royal Palm Classic (sponsored by CRBC) and managed to run into some of the BikeWalkLee members after the event, became interested in joining our efforts, and now his law firm is a BWL supporter organization and has been an active participant in our network.

As an avid cyclist, Jim understands the benefits of cycling, but also the dangers. In his person injury law practice, he represents people who have been injured and the survivors of those who have died riding bicycles. He is also involved in efforts to prevent crashes and has written a booklet, "Florida Bicycle Accident Handbook", to help people who ride bicycles avoid injury and to let readers know what to do if the worst happens. The main office is in Clearwater, but the firm handles clients all over Florida.

3. FGCU Student Planning Association
  The Student Planning Association (SPA) is a student-run organization whose mission is to promote responsible and sustainable planning practices, while educating students, faculty, staff and the community on various planning issues. They strive to enhance their education through public outreach, research, and other means to further advance planning in our community. The SPA provides an interdisciplinary environment, welcoming students of all majors and departments.

In early 2014, SPA joined the BikeWalkLee coalition. Kudos to FGCU students who have launched this new organization to promote responsible and sustainable planning practices. If you're FGCU student, get involved...and go on their website and Friend them on Facebook.

 4. Florida Greenways and Trails Foundation, Inc.

The Florida Greenways & Trails Foundation, Inc. exists to support the mission and programs of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Office of Greenways and Trails (OGT) as it continues toward establishing a statewide system of greenways and trails for recreation, conservation and alternative transportation.

The Foundation's current initiative is to get approvals from stakeholders at the "gaps" in the route, and to secure funding to complete the gaps. The Foundation played an instrumental role in last year's approval by the Florida Legislature and Governor to "Coast-to-Coast Connector Trail, a 275-mile trail from Cape Canaveral National Seashore to St. Petersburg. BikeWalkLee is pleased to have a statewide partner who's promoting bike tourism, one of BikeWalkLee's priorities.

5.  Go Girl Cycling
 It's exciting to see a new bike shop in SWFL, and one that reflects the trend of a growing market niche--women riders. Go Girl Cycling shop recently opened in South Lee County, and was featured in a Florida Weekly article (Peddling pedals for profit, Florida Weekly, Jan. 7, 2015

Go Girl Cycling shop is next door to (and connected to) Paradise Bikes on Six Mile Cypress Parkway close to Colonial Blvd. Tina Sujana is the manager of the new store and is an active member of the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club and is becoming active on the biking advocacy scene. We're excited about the arrival of this new shop and about Tina's interest in getting involved in advocacy to make Lee County more bicycle-friendly. Check out her shop the next time you're in the area.
LAB's Steve Clark with Lynne Sharp and Tina Sujana at Go Girl Cycling shop
Go Girl Cycling  
9377 Six Mile Cypress Parkway
Unit 135
Fort Myers, FL 33966
Get Directions | Email

6.  Lee Public Voice
Lee Public Voice is a network of organizations and associations that have come together with the purpose of working for more inclusive governance and meaningful public engagement, consistent with the county's motto of "community, transparency, and accountability. Its mission is to advocate and educate both elected officials and the public in Lee County on issues that affect our sensitive natural resources, exceptional quality of life and a growing, diversified economy. BikeWalkLee is an active participant in this network of organizations.

Its major priorities include monitoring, educating and commenting on a variety of issues including: impact and/or mobility fees to ensure that growth pays for growth; land conservation; annual budget decisions and priorities; encourage and support community planning with public participation; adoption of the 2035 Horizon Plan as well as adherence to the Lee Plan; land use/water resources.

A warm welcome to our new supporter organizations! Click here for the complete list of supporter organizations as we begin 2015. Click here for BikeWalkLee's full 2014 Accomplishments Report.

Report by Darla Letourneau

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