Visit Everglades City and the Ten Thousand Islands of Southwest Florida, the Everglades

A Pedestrian and Bike-Friendly Future

Everglades City

by John Nipper

In our beautiful Everglades City, a community-driven effort is reshaping the urban landscape.

With a focus on promoting healthier lifestyles, fostering economic growth, and enhancing the overall appeal of the town, the Everglades City Bike/Pedestrian Plan is making significant strides.

The journey toward creating a more walkable and bike-friendly environment began in 2006, when the Collier Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) completed the Copeland Avenue North Bike Lanes and the Collier Avenue Sidewalks. However, it was in 2019 that pivotal steps were taken, with the establishment of the Bike/Pedestrian Committee, and Everglades City officially being designated a Florida Trail Town. The Committee brought together dedicated individuals from various facets of the community with the aim of assessing needs and setting priorities for projects within the city.

A Pedestrian and Bike-Friendly Future by John Nipper from the Mullet Rapper on Visit Everglades City

The primary goals of the committee were clear—to establish a local Bike/Ped network and provide residents and visitors safe and accessible spaces for walking, biking, hiking, and jogging. Unfortunately, the assessment faced significant delays due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, but this setback only fueled the determination of those involved.

In August 2020, a collaborative effort from Mayor Howie Grimm’s office, Dottie Joiner, and the Clerk’s Office, alongside the City Council and the Bike/Pedestrian Committee, launched a comprehensive Master Plan.

plan aimed not just to address immediate concerns but to lay the groundwork for a transformative project that would improve the town’s overall infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists.

The project gained approval and funding from The Florida Department of Transportation. The scope expanded to include the section between the Chokoloskee Bridge and the city limits, near the Diving Pelican. A particularly noteworthy addition was the incorporation of enhanced pedestrian infrastructure around the traffic circle, featuring four crosswalks to ensure safe passage.

The project has progressed steadily, overcoming challenges, and according to on-site reports, it is anticipated to conclude within the next few months. The transformation promises not only a boost in safety but a remarkable improvement in the overall community experience.

A Pedestrian and Bike-Friendly Future by John Nipper from the Mullet Rapper on Visit Everglades City
Photo Courtesy of John Nipper

The Master Plan underlines the broader impact of this initiative, stating, “A well-developed system of sidewalks and bike paths will provide additional economic benefits to our local businesses and will complement the historical and cultural assets of the community.” The ripple effects of this project extend beyond the physical infrastructure, contributing to the socio-economic vibrancy of Everglades City.

A heartfelt thanks goes out to the individuals instrumental in making this vision a reality. Mayor Howie Grimm, Dottie Joiner, Elaine Middelstaedt, Parker Oglesby, Tony Pernas, Tim Smith, Vicky Wells, Patty Huff, Dayna Fendrick, Kathy Brock, Tim Brock, Brock Risk, Tara Saathoff-Wells, Carol Ogilvie, and many more—each played a crucial role in reshaping the future of Everglades City.

A Pedestrian and Bike-Friendly Future by John Nipper from the Mullet Rapper on Visit Everglades City
Photo Courtesy of John Nipper

As the finishing touches are added to this ambitious project, Everglades City is poised to become not just a haven for natural beauty but a model for communities looking to embrace sustainable and pedestrian-friendly urban planning.

The complete Everglades City Bike/Pedestrian Master Plan can be viewed at the following link.

2024-03-28T18:18:27-04:00February 3, 2024|Community, News|

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