Friday, December 22, 2017

A holiday wish list

Florida Weekly 'Outdoors' column, 12/20/17

Dear Santa,

I know I’ve asked for some of these many times over the years but I’m hoping this time you’ll see fit to fulfill my wishes.

☛ That people will be more considerate of others by not obstructing sidewalks with their vehicles and other items. It’s especially difficult for those who have trouble getting around due to mobility limitations and other disabilities - not to mention folks pushing strollers. If you can’t grant this one, could you at least ensure that the laws prohibiting what is an easily observable violation will be proactively enforced?

☛ That the Seminole Gulf Railroad will agree to sell the rights to the CSX corridor it leases and that runs down the middle of our county so we can turn it into the spine of our paved trail system as envisioned in our bike/ped plans. Also related to the rail corridor, that the state of Florida will reinstate it into the SunTrail plan so Estero and Bonita Springs will once again be included.

☛ That the city of Fort Myers will finally come to an agreement with FDOT on a plan for the last segment of the Metro corridor left unfinished (Hanson Street to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard) so cyclists and pedestrians will finally be accommodated and so that Cleveland Avenue could be put on a “road diet” in order to add bicycle lanes and widen sidewalks.

☛ That the city of Fort Myers will stop dragging its feet on studies to 1.) extend Yarbrough Trail that will link it to North Colonial Trail and 2.) decide on a Winkler Canal trail alternative that could include a north-south trail along the edge of the Fort Myers Country Club property along U.S. 41 that would link two neighborhoods, as well as improving east-west access, also along their golf course property adjacent to Hill Avenue.

Pedestrians and cyclists could get off the edge of Cleveland Avenue if this golf course buffer area was made into a shared use path.
Pedestrians and cyclists could get off the edge of Cleveland Avenue if this golf course buffer area was made into a shared use path. DAN MOSER / FLORIDA WEEKLY

☛ That FDOT will approve funding of this 5-plus mile Able Canal trail shared use path that connects Lehigh Acres Trailhead Park to Lehigh Acres Community Park and Harnes Marsh, providing residents and visitors a safe and enjoyable way to bike and walk between these popular destinations.

☛ That the city of Cape Coral will continue to fulfill its commitment to improving its environment for pedestrians and cyclists to the point that they are awarded silver-level Bike Friendly Community status at the next renewal in 2019.

☛ That the city of Sanibel will treat as legitimate roadway users those who operate their bikes on the island’s streets because they are traveling too fast to use the pathway network or simply choose to do so.

☛ That FDOT and all the local governments that formally made Complete Streets their policies will not backslide on their commitment to accommodating all users, by caving into developers’ pressures and allowing them to “build on the cheap” in order to maximize profits at the expense of public access and safety.

☛ Finally, that all drivers - whether locals, visitors or part timers - will behave and treat fellow road users as they’d wish to be treated, keeping in mind that it could be their loved ones or even themselves who could become victims of distracted, aggressive, inconsiderate, clueless, or impaired driving.

For more about pedestrian and cyling matters, see BikeWalkLee’s blog at ¦

- Dan Moser is a long-time bicycle/pedestrian advocate and traffic safety professional who cycles, runs and walks regularly for transportation, recreation and fitness. Contact him at and 334-6417. 

For Lee County cycling and tri events visit Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club (; Florida Mudcutters (; and SW Florida Biking Meetup Group ( The Florida Bicycle Association ( is your source for statewide happenings. BikeWalkLee’s blog site has all the information you’ll need to stay abreast of advocacy efforts in Southwest Florida as well as statewide and nationally.

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