For Lee County’s millions of residents and annual visitors, this sunny slice of Southwest Florida is paradise. With hundreds of clear, balmy days each year, Lee County is the perfect place to get out of the house for a walk, jog or bike ride with friends and loved ones.
Many roads here, however, are not equipped to handle non-motorized use, leaving gaps in the multimodal network and isolating certain destinations. These gaps can make some feel unsafe and dissuade many people from biking, walking or using transit. An incomplete pedestrian and bicycle network also forces many to rely on cars, even for short trips, increasing traffic congestion and vehicle-borne air pollutants while inhibiting active lifestyle choices. Walking and biking are activities that nearly everyone can participate in at little or no cost.
The Lee County Metropolitan Planning Organization Complete Streets Initiative helps remedy these issues and more by filling critical gaps in the bike and pedestrian infrastructure. The program adds miles of bike lanes, sidewalks and shared-use pathways to Lee County’s roads along with transit stops and enhanced safety features.
The project is split into 11 segments, plus 11 transit stops, spread across Lee County, from Fort Myers to Bonita Springs. The Lee County MPO strategically selected these locations for their ability to make immediate improvements to health, safety and connectivity for residents, visitors and businesses. These projects help complete three major multimodal loops: the Tour de Parks Loop, the University Loop and the Bi-County Connector.
The Complete Streets Initiative is funded through a $10.4 million TIGER Grant from the Federal Highway Administration. The grant enables the Lee County MPO to build more improvements faster than with local funding alone.