Friday, October 9, 2015

Action Alert: Important votes on Long Range Transportation Plan at Oct. 16th Lee MPO Board meeting

The Lee MPO's 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) process is coming into the home stretch and there's another opportunity for citizens to participate--the Oct. 16th MPO Board meeting in the Cape Coral City Hall. At this meeting, the Board will review and approve the draft cost feasible transportation projects to be included in the 2040 LRTP. The LRTP item will include Board consideration of recommendations from both its Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC),including the CAC recommendation that impact fees be increased to the full amount. The Board will also review the draft FDOT 5-year workplan and provide comments to FDOT.

MPO Board Meeting
Friday, Oct. 16th
9:00 a.m.
City of Cape Coral Council Chambers
1015 Cultural Park Blvd.
Cape Coral
Agenda package


The Lee MPO is in the midst of developing the countywide 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), which sets the direction for the County's transportation future and dictates how transportation funds are spent in the region. Given the shrinking revenues from all sources and the growing population, it is imperative that these are smart investments, getting the most bang for the buck for the county's highest priorities, consistent with the Board's goal of a balanced multi-modal transportation system.

For the uninitiated, MPOs are largely creatures of federal law and were created to coordinate the various elements of the fragmented regional transportation networks into one cohesive regional transportation system. One of the core functions laid out by the federal legislation is to prepare and maintain a long-range transportation plan. MPOs must develop a 20-year LRTP that "supports improved mobility and access for people and goods (including operations and maintenance) and supports a good quality of life." The plan includes a list of priority investments, anticipated available funding, and the regional goals and policies that will be pursued during that 20-year period. It must be formally adopted by the MPO and updated at least every 5 years. The 2040 LRTP must be adopted by the Lee MPO Board by December 18, 2015.

One of the goals of the federal law is to ensure that the public, especially those traditionally underserved by the transportation system, have opportunities to participate in the decision-making process, so there is increasing emphasis on improving public involvement in the development of the LRTP.

Key Topics for Discussion at the Oct. 16th MPO Board Meeting (in agenda item order)

FDOT 5-year WorkPlan--Agenda Item #6
Agenda Item #6 is review of the FDOT workplan see FDOT document.

See BWL's 10/8 blog post with analysis on the FDOT plan (with attention to bike/ped projects), including MPO tables analyzing the workplan vs. the MPO Board's request.

LRTP Projects and impact fees discussion--Agenda Item #12
See agenda item #12 for the draft list of transportation projects proposed to inclusion in the funding plan. This includes roads, bridges, transit, freight, bike/ped projects, and congestion management projects.

The CAC's recommendation on impact fees was covered in a News-Press 10/8 article.
Link to Impact Fee Revenues Report and Analysis--Oct. 2015 (actuals for 30 months, through end of Sept. 2015)

Other Bike/Ped agenda items: Agenda Items 9 and 13
There are also two bike/ped related items on the agenda:

Agenda item #9: Cape Coral bike/ped master plan. The Board will take action on the selection committee's recommended consultant, and then the long-awaited effort of developing a bike/ped master plan for Cape Coral can get underway.

Agenda item #13 is a proposed MPO letter of support for Rep. Passidomo's bicycle safety bill, similar to the letter they sent to the Lee Legislative delegation on last year's version of the bill. [See BikeWalkLee's 10/1/15 statement to Lee Legislative delegation on bill.]

Opportunity for Public Comment
If you plan to attend, there is an opportunity for public comment at the time each agenda item is considered. [Just fill out speaker card on table at the front of the room and hand to Chairman prior to meeting.] Alternatively, you can contact Lee MPO Board Members with your comments. Note that every municipality and the BoCC has representation on the MPO Board.

Next Steps

While the MPO Board will vote on the draft transportation projects list at the Oct. 16th meeting, this is a preliminary vote. There will be a public hearing on the proposed cost feasible plan at the Nov. 20th MPO Board meeting, and the Board will take final action to adopt the LRTP 2040 Plan at its Dec. 18th meeting.

Recent BWL-related blogs and other articles:

1. Oct. 8, 2015: FDOT proposes 5-year funding plan for Lee County and provides opportunity for public comment

2. August 12, 2015: Invite to August 25th Public Workshop on Lee County 2040 Transportation Plan

3. May 4, 2015: Time to participate in development of Lee County's Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP)

4. April 17, 2015:Lee MPO Board reviews framework for 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan decisions

5. LRTP Resource Document: BikeWalkLee put together a resource document for the 2040 LRTP Process (with lots of links) based on our many related blog posts. (5/13/15)

6.  Oct. 10, 2015: Naples Daily News article: Corkscrew improvements not likely for awhile.

7.  News-Press Oct. 13, 2015: Bonita, Estero push for fees rapped

8.  Naples Daily News Oct. 14, 2015 Editorial:  With construction booming again, do roads fit into the equation?

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