Top Marco bike path plans unveiled

Zeroing in on the top five bike path needs on Marco Island, deciding whether to revamp the shared-use path signs on South Collier Boulevard and starting plans for a public hearing were some of the issues covered by the city’s bike path committee Friday.

And that was just in the first hour.

The bike committee’s working group went through members’ Top 10 lists, ranking short-term project priorities on Jan. 26. The aim of the list was to help members figure out how to spend the $100,000 that the Marco Island City Council budgeted from the capital improvement fund toward the committee’s efforts this fiscal year.

The findings were unveiled at Friday’s committee meeting. The list set Winterberry Drive, San Marco Road, North Barfield Drive, Bald Eagle Drive and Landmark Street as the top five thoroughfares in need of improved bike facilities — for bike lanes and shared-use paths.

“If you look at the top five particularly, these are the top places people don’t feel safe riding on,” committee Chairman Pat Neale said.

Rounding out the top 10 were Heathwood Drive, Collier Boulevard, Tigertail Court/Hernando Drive (which tied at number eight), Kendall Drive and South Barfield Drive.

After seeing the results, members unanimously voted to conduct a public hearing in March to let residents know what the committee has been up to and to get public comment.

Members settled on having both a day-long public comment session and a formal public meeting.

“We’re going to take all the data that we get for that entire day and sift through it,” said Al Musico, who was voted the committee’s vice chairman Friday.

No date was set for the public hearing.

In other action, members voted to change out the shared-use path signs on South Collier Boulevard.

Residents and visitors have called the city to tell the staff that the “yield” signs are wrong because they have arrows connecting the figures, said Jim Miller a project engineer with the city’s public works department.

But they’re not yield signs.

The green informational signs, which show a pedestrian, a bike rider and a roller skater were never meant to mean “yield.”

“There is a similar sign that is white and that is a yield sign,” Miller said. “The contractors that made them (the green signs) were just creating an informational sign.”

In a 5-0 vote, members opted to review all the island’s signs and get new signs that meet Department of Transportation standards for the South Collier shared-use path.

However, members still have to choose a new “yield” sign design to replace the informational signs.

The committee’s working group is scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. Feb. 23, while the next regular bike path committee meeting will be on March 9.

Both meetings will be take place at Marco City Hall, 50 Bald Eagle Drive.

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