Project acceleration, public comment sought for Marco trails

— City, county and state officials are seeking project acceleration and public comment for Marco Island’s pedestrian and bicycling trails.

The public comment period is under way for the Collier Metropolitan Planning Organization’s amended plan to incorporate a linear park trail from San Marco Road to Andalusia Terrace on Marco Island.

The Marco path project is in the construction phase and is expected to cost $209,258, Metropolitan Planning Organization director Phil Tindall said.

The MPO has the money for that.

“Councilman (Bill) Trotter and Commissioner (Donna) Fiala worked very hard to get the Linear Park Trail Project ranked as the number one transportation enhancement by the Collier County MPO Board for funding in fiscal 2011 to 2012,” City Manager Steve Thompson said.

Fiala and Trotter are both members of the MPO.

The project is the construction of a shared-use path between the Racquet Center, which is the city’s San Marco Road tennis complex, to Mackle Park along the power line easement on Andalusia Terrace.

“The linear park trail will provide an off-road enhanced pedestrian and bicycle pathway interconnection between recreational facilities, including tennis and Mackle Park, cultural facilities, including the library and new museum and government facilities, including the City Hall complex,” Thompson said.

Fiala has referred to the area as a new hub in what will become the heart of the Island.

Florida Department of Transportation is prepared to accelerate the funding for this project in fiscal 2010, officials reported.

Based on the city’s past track record of managing funded projects, getting projects completed on time, and recent funding availability, FDOT is willing to move this No. 1 ranked project forward quickly,” Thompson said.

The grant is for $210,000 and to comply with the FDOT funding requirements, the city must move forward with completing the current design by March 1, at a cost to the city of approximately $40,000, he reported in a memo to City Council on the issue earlier in November.

He said the fiscal 2010 bike pathways budget has sufficient funds to cover the expense. This item will be formally presented to City Council on Jan. 4.

“Special thanks must be given to Councilman Trotter and to the city support team of (Project Engineer) Jim Miller, (Project Manager) Tim Pinter and (Grants Coordinator) Leslie Sanford,” Thompson said.

Naples Daily News staff reporter I.M. Stackel contributed to this report.

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Comments » 2

OldMarcoMan writes:

Oh my G*d, how do these idiots dream this stuff up? Bicycle trail on Marco are the Islands number one traffic priority? Are you serious? We have roads that need repaving after being destroyed by the STRP, we have areas of the Island with no sidewalks, and we just spent $25,000 on a crossing guard at the school!
The only person more out of touch with the average Marco Resident than Trotter is Fiala !!!

Since82 writes:

All this money being spent on bike paths all over this island, but it seems the only ones using them are pedestrians. How about educating the public on usage. Everyday people are jogging, walking, & bicycling in the STREETS. Why spend the money and then have people in the STREET?

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