I would like to point out that reducing various types of motorized vehicular traffic on the Lee County roadways must be a prime concern in the operating cost reduction for LCDOT as motorized vehicles wear down the roads much faster than a bicycle ever would. Also, with an alternative transportation infrastructure in place, Lee county's transportation infrastructure could support a denser population. A few years back I attended a conference that predicted what amount of motorized vehicular traffic made the roads in Lee County stop working. Yes, the roads in Lee County can only support so many cars –what then? What happens when we cannot pave another lane? What is the long term 20-30 year plan to handle transportation traffic? Is LCDOT doing anything to address the growing dependence on vehicular traffic? What alternatives do they research? What experiments have they tried? It does not seem they are doing anything to handle these concerns.
A co-worker, has initiated a "Bike-to-Work" program at FGCU. The interest has been steady. I mentioned FGCU also has a large population of faculty, staff, students and community users who use the roadways with bicycle lanes to commute to FGCU or for recreation. Regardless, the bicycle lanes in the South Lee County area are heavily used. There are several cycling groups who use the bicycle lanes. We also see users who bicycle because it is their main form of transportation.
Another point: as off campus housing grows in the FGCU, we will continue to see a rise in pedestrian and bicycling traffic to FGCU. Providing alternative transportation also means that students and staff who cannot afford a car can still get to campus. To make this population completely dependent on cars means the roadways to FGCU and parking infrastructure around FGCU will age much faster than if the automotive traffic was reduced.
What I'd like to do is send you some pictures on the roads here in our area: Alico, Corkscrew, and Three Oaks parkway. My co-worker and friend can also speak to his experience riding in the south county area. As I mentioned, I do not think Three Oaks –between Alico and Corkscrew Road has even close to what the gentlemen representing LCDOT said it should have for Bicycle lanes/ Unmarked shoulders. It's completely inconsistent with Ben Hill Griffin and the stretch of Three Oaks Parkway that runs south of Corkscrew Road.
A cyclist cannot ride safely and would have to use the sidewalks. As I heard those gentlemen state yesterday, there should be a shoulder to ride in that is unmarked. There is not on Three Oaks Parkway. Clearly, they are not sticking to their policies. It would seem this attempt to state what the policies are is after-the-fact; to cover perhaps what is an attitude of non-accommodation for cyclists by LCDOT.
Working with friends, I know that when we go riding we can take pictures of the lack of bicycle lanes in this area. Also, I have looked at the research that was done on Bicycle lanes. I believe it may have been the same research LCDOT was citing. Overall, the research falls short because it looks at proving why bicycles lanes do not work, not if they will or will not work and what it would take to make bicycle lanes work.
Thank you for your work on this issue. I look forward to staying in touch. Can you please let us know of any meetings or information that you learn about this issue? I am also working on pulling together more information for the next meeting.