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MORE ROOM TO ROAM? Marco Island votes on bike lane expansion program

Posted at 5:03 PM, Feb 20, 2024

MARCO ISLAND, Fla — The Marco Island City Council will vote on a resolution to get more money from the state to add more bike lanes around the city. This comes amid concerns over rising accidents involving cyclists and increased traffic in the area.

If approved, Resolution 24-07 will make a deal with Florida's Department of Transportation to help pay for new bike lanes in the following north and south parts of Marco Island:

North Segment:

  • Amazon (Collier to Castaways)
  • Castaways (Amazon to Saturn)
  • Saturn (Castaways to Greenbrier)
  • Greenbrier (Saturn to San Marco)

South Segment:

  • Peru (Winterberry to Seagrape)
  • Seagrape (Peru to Swallow)
  • Swallow (Collier to Collier)

Even though many major streets have bike lanes, many places don't. This means bikers have to share the road with cars.
The Marco Island Police Department reports there were nine bike accidents between February and December of 2023.

"I would not ride right on this street with no bike lane designated right here. I know other people do, but I wouldn't," one resident who rides her bike twice a week told Fox 4.

"I think a bike lane is always a good idea," said another resident.

Meanwhile local businesses are witnessing a surge in people using bikes. Thomas Beatty, the owner of a longstanding bike shop, says he has seen an uptick in bike rentals over the past several years.

"We have close to 500 bikes in our rental fleet. I would say just about all of them go out certain weeks," he said.

While many residents are content with the biking infrastructure, Beatty says more lanes would be good to accomodate the rising bike demand he has seen.

"People are looking to purchase e-bikes so that way they can get around a lot faster as opposed to hopping in their car, battling the traffic, finding a parking spot someplace. It is just easier," he said. "So if they add more, I think it'd be great," Beatty added.

City council is expected to vote on the resolution at its meeting on Tuesday evening. If approved, it mandates the completion of new bike lanes by the end of 2028.