Lee County Awarded $10.5 Million Grant for Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety

Sep 5, 2013

Credit Ashley Lopez / WGCU

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx was in Fort Myers Thursday to announce a multi-million dollar federal grant to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety in Lee County.

The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded a $10.5 million grant to Lee County.

The funds are earmarked for Lee County’s Complete Streets initiative, which is aimed at planning, designing and building safer communities for bikers and pedestrians.

Foxx said Lee County is a good place to invest in public safety.

“With this investment we are hoping the traveling public is safer as a result of what we are doing,” he said. “Twenty-two percent of roadway crashes here in Lee County involve injuries or fatalities to pedestrians or bicyclists. Lee County, that is more than twice the national average.”

The county had unsuccessfully applied for this grant twice before. Kevin Ruane, Sanibel’s mayor and Lee County’s Metropolitan Planning Organization board chair, said the third time was the charm.

“We certainly had the energy in the past,” Ruane said. “It seems like it was the right collaboration that came together.”

Ruane said there is no set start date yet for constructing new bike paths, and pedestrian walkways. However, he said the county is ready to hit the ground running when there is.