Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Cape Coral City Council adopts Complete Streets Resolution

By Darla Letourneu and Steve Chupack

Congratulations to the Cape Coral City Council for adoption of a Complete Streets policy on August 17th, and thanks to the Cape Coral staff and Cape Coral Bike-Ped group partnership that worked to bring this policy forward.  We are delighted that Lee County's largest city--Cape Coral--has joined the other jurisdictions and agencies of Lee County (MPO, BoCC, Fort Myers, and Bonita) to make a complete streets approach the Lee County-wide way! If you live in Cape Coral, take the time to say "thank you" to your elected officials and staff.  Below is BikeWalkLee's 8/12 letter of support to the Council and a link to the Complete Streets Resolution, along with some background on all the exciting initiatives underway in Cape Coral that fit under the Complete Streets framework.

We urge you to support the Complete Streets Resolution at your August 17, meeting.  Thank you.

See BWL's letter of support - BWL's Letter to Council

To watch the video of the City Council discussion and public comments during Aug. 17th Council meeting, click on Item 9A1--Resolution 124-15.

Cape Coral Complete Streets…Strong Start…More to Do
Much Already Underway:

·        The City has created a 90-mile system of sponsored and signed biking routes.  This innovative public-private partnership project began in 2012, completed 2014. BikeWalkLee named the City of Cape Coral and Cape Coral Bike-Ped (CCBP) a 2013 Complete Streets Champion of the Year.

·        January, 2015, the City and CCBP hosted day-long evaluation visit by an expert from the League of American Bicyclists.  As a result the Cape Coral team was inspired to apply for designation as a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League.  This rigorous process was completed at the beginning of August.  A key evaluation measure is whether the community has adopted a Complete Streets policy.

·         As evidence of its commitment to address serious bike/ped safety problems the City joined the USDOT Secretary's Mayors Challenge for Safer People, Safer Streets.  This provides additional motivation to bring together and add visibility to efforts to improve safety.  Takes a Complete Streets approach.

·        This Fall the development of Cape Coral Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan gets underway, funded by the MPO.  This plan will allow the City to address  gaps and issues identified during creation of the 90 mile biking route system.  It will also identify the city-wide gaps in the bike/ped facilities system and recommend improvements needed.

·        The City Council has under consideration a recommendation that vehicle speed be reduced in neighborhoods.  The Public Works Department, Cape Coral Police Department and neighborhood groups may assess a variety of enforcement and traffic-calming measures designed to improve safety conditions for all street users.

Complete Streets Resolution Emphasizes Continuance of Good Policies

·        The Lee MPO Board which includes five Cape Coral Council members adopted a Complete Streets resolution in 2009.  Much of the transportation policy set by the Lee County MPO has taken this approach for the past 6 years.

·        Since Billy Hattaway became the FDOT District 1 Secretary in 2011, he has  championed bike/ped safety and a Complete Streets approach.  In 2014, the FDOT Secretary issued a statewide Complete Streets policy.  This Fall FDOT will issue its implementation plan incorporating these changes into the state's various planning and policy manuals and guidances.

Joins Other Local, State and National Jurisdictions and Agencies on the Complete Streets team

·        The Lee MPO, the Board of County Commissioners, the City of Fort Myers, and the City of Bonita Springs have all adopted Complete Streets policies. Collier County and the City of Naples are also considering adoption of Complete Streets resolutions.  Nationally, there are now 720 communities that have adopted the Complete Streets approach, including 48 communities in Florida.

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