What is Naples Pathways Coalition?
by Jane Yeager Cheffy, President
We are a not for profit corporation consisting of a local group of people who value a healthy lifestyle and outdoor activities – like walking, running and cycling! Naples has one of the best climates in the world! Sadly, however, Florida is the deadliest state in the USA for pedestrians and cyclists. In 2010, Florida recorded 575 fatalities and 11,890 injuries to pedestrians, runners & cyclists.
Naples Pathways Coalition is a leader working to change those statistics. We advocate for safer pathways and roadways for all to enjoy. We want safer sidewalks, bike lanes, bike paths, multi-use paths and greenways.
We want our community to have a fully integrated and safe transportation network for pedestrians, cyclists and other people-powered transportation.
Working toward our goals is interesting and educational if not downright challenging! To get our point across to decision makers, we speak up for pathways and complete streets at various meetings of the Collier County Commissioners, Naples City Council, the Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Planning Commission and we meet regularly with the County and City staff members regarding current roadway and sidewalk projects they are working on.
Our Board Members and Executive Director serve on strategic committees such as the Pathways Advisory Committee to the Collier County Metropolitan Planning Organization which helps decide how millions of dollars are spent on pathway and roadway projects in Collier County, the Naples Bicycle Advisory Committee working to obtain “Bicycle Friendly” status for the City of Naples, and the Blue Zones Community Policy Committee. We were advocates on the Board of the Southwest Florida Land Preservation Trust, which successfully pushed for the new Gordon River Greenway! We created the River of Grass Greenway concept that is now being promoted by the national group, Rails to Trails Conservancy. Our ROGG committee obtained a grant that paid for a Feasibility Study and Master Plan which provides information needed by parties associated with the planning and design of the pathway.
NPC ACHIEVES RESULTS!
We fought for and got:
- Enactment into law of a five-year pathways plan in the City which assures proper pathways are included in future City projects.
- The Four Corners pedestrian crosswalk improving downtown connectivity.
- “Sharrows” (shared lane road markings) on streets without bike lanes reminding motorists that cyclists have the right to use the full lane.
- “Three Feet to Pass, It’s the Law” bumper stickers. Collier County and the City of Naples have agreed to place our bumper stickers on their vehicles.
- Widening of the narrow bridge over the Cocahatchee River on Vanderbilt Drive.
- The sidewalk on Gulf Shore Boulevard in the City of Naples.
OUR 2015 ACTION PLAN IS AMBITIOUS!
Some of our initiatives:
- Complete Streets. Working for implementation of a Complete Streets policy in Collier County and the City of Naples.
- Education. Creating educational materials and classes for motorists, cyclists, and law enforcement to teach Florida’s bike/ped traffic laws. Creating a safety awareness campaign for service workers who ride their bikes to work.
- Road Debris. Calling on Collier County to clean up dangerous road debris in the bike lanes.
- Ensure Cyclists’ Rights are Protected. Following up with law enforcement agencies when cars crash into cyclists or pedestrians to ensure cyclists’ and pedestrians’ rights are protected and relevant laws are enforced to the fullest.
- Calling on local bike clubs to incorporate safety instructions into each event, require a safety course for all new members, call out members who do not obey the laws, and actively promote safety on their social media sites.
- Supporting the Blue Zones initiative to further promote a healthier, safer bikeable and walkable community.
PLEASE JOIN US! Let’s make Naples an outdoor friendly community! Your tax-deductible donations are put to good use here in your own neighborhood! Together our voices will be heard!
Join online or print a mail-in membership form at www.naplespathways.org.
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