Thursday, October 8, 2015

FDOT proposes 5-year funding plan for Lee County and provides opportunity for public comment

Every year the FDOT develops a 5-year work program for the Lee MPO which reflects their decisions about the MPO's recommended projects.  Each year the MPO and local citizens have an opportunity to comment on the draft tentative work program before it is finalized by FDOT.  This year, the work program is being presented in October instead of December due to the Legislative Session occurring earlier.  For the first time, FDOT has developed an ePublic Hearing process to allow the public to comment, from Oct. 12-16.  Below are instructions from FDOT re: how you can participate. Also, the workplan is on the Oct. 16th Lee MPO Board agenda and there is an opportunity for public comment.
FDOT Draft Work Plan
The Lee MPO 10/16 agenda package includes the draft FDOT workplan.

MPO staff analyzed the workplan as compared to the Lee MPO request and prepared the following 4 tables:

BikeWalkLee Preliminary Analysis:
Overall, the draft FDOT workplan is disappointing and indicates a continuing reduction in revenues coming to Lee County for its transportation needs from all sources (federal, state, and local). It appears that Lee County is not getting its "fair share" of the state funds.  SWFL is being left behind because it is not participating in the State's top priority transportation investments--the port system, East Coast rail investments, and SIS investments in the I-4 and I-95 corridors--trends that are likely to continue and accelerate in the future, leaving our region even further behind.

 Here are a few highlights about the draft workplan:
  •   represents a 17% reduction in the 5th year funds (the new funding decisions), as compared to last year's 5th year funding level.
  • many of the MPO's requested projects were not funded--only 1 of 6 MPO priorities for large federally funded transportation projects was funded.
  • some of the projects that were funded in last year's 5th year were delayed another year (such as the study for a shared use path between Cape Coral and Pine Island).
  • Bike/ped projects receive funds from 2 pots (see #3 and #4 above).  In total, the Lee MPO requested funding for 32 bike/ped projects and FDOT is only funding 7 of those projects (22%).
  • Of those 7 funded projects, 5 of them only received planning money--not construction money as requested.
  • On the upside, in terms of the share of the overall transportation funds (see table #1), bike/ped is receiving 7% of the pie...up from 6% in last year's FDOT workplan.  So, while the overall pie is shrinking, bike/ped's share is holding its own.
Review the draft workplan, participate in next week's FDOT e-Hearing, and attend the Oct. 16th Lee MPO Board meeting.
Instructions for Participating in FDOT's E-Hearing:
Bartow, FL The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), District One, and Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise announce an ePublic Hearing to present their Tentative Five Year Work Programs for fiscal years beginning July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2021. The ePublic Hearing begins at 9 a.m., Monday, October 12, 2015 and ends at midnight, Friday, October 16, 2015. 

There are four ways to participate in the hearing.
1.          Go to and click on Future Projects during the times listed to watch a video about the Fiscal Year 2017-2021 Draft Tentative Work Programs, review the programs and maps, submit comments, and find information about how to contact an FDOT representative with questions. The ePublic Hearing will be open and available continuously during the listed times.
2.          Persons who do not have access to a computer or the internet can use a computer at a local public library in each of the 12 counties within District One during the libraries’ regular operating hours.
3.          FDOT representatives will be available at the following Lee County location to meet with interested persons, answer any questions, and assist with website access:
·   Lakes Regional Library, 15290 Bass Road, Fort Myers
Thursday, October 15, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
4.          FDOT representatives will also be available with materials for review during the hearing week at the Florida Department of Transportation District One offices located at 801 North Broadway Avenue in Bartow and 10041 Daniels Parkway in Fort Myers. To schedule a meeting at the offices, call 863-519-2392 (Bartow) or 239-225-1975 (Fort Myers).
The FDOT will accept comments from all interested parties if received by Friday, October 30, 2015. Mail comments to Billy L. Hattaway, P.E., District Secretary, Florida Department of Transportation, P.O. Box 1249, Bartow, FL 33831, attention Laura Lockwood, Community Liaison Administrator. Send email comments to Ms. Lockwood at

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