Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why is the MPO developing a separate plan for bicycles and pedestrians?
Cycling and walking are important to Martin County residents for both leisure activities and transportation. With more emphasis on the health benefits of exercise and more interest in walking and bicycling for basic transportation, residents can benefit from improved bike lanes, walking paths, and trails.
2. How does the Bicycle, Pedestrian and Trails Master Plan fit in with the MPO’s Long Range Transportation Plan?
A national study placed Florida fifth in the number of pedestrian fatalities, prompting the State of Florida to request all county Metropolitan Planning Organizations to include a special section in its Long Range Transportation Plan to specifically address the issue of pedestrian safety.
The 2040 LRTP identifies missing sidewalk and bicycle lane gaps. The BP&T Master Plan will review these existing gaps in the transportation network and provide facility improvement recommendations.
3. Is there really a problem with pedestrian safety in the county?
Between January 1, 2010 and June 30, 2015, 236 bicycle crashes and 205 pedestrian crashes were reported in Martin County. A majority of bicycle and pedestrian crashes resulted in injury for those mode users (70% for bicyclists; 79% for pedestrians).
4. Is there an Advisory Committee as there are for other county projects?
The BP&T Advisory Committee has been actively involved in studying the current situation and suggesting improvements for the future. The members are:
- Martin Health System – Nancy Aldrich, Palm City Health and Fitness Supervisor
- City of Stuart Rep. – Tim Voelker, City Engineer
- City of Stuart CRA – Teresa Lamar-Sarno, Special Assistant to the City Manager
- CRA via County – Kate Parmelee, CRA Manager
- State Park System (Jonathan Dickinson, Seabranch, Savannas) Rep. – Mark Nelson
- TCRPC (state, county, city trails inventory) – Kim Delaney
- Martin County Transit – Claudette Mahan, Transit Manager
- County Engineering Rep. – Terry Rauth, Deputy Engineering Director
- FDOT District 4 Rep. – Lisa Maack, Multimodal Coordinator/Alex Barr, Complete Street Coordinator
- County’s Parks and Recreation Dept. – Shannon Nazzal, Recreation Administrator
- Ecosystem Restoration Division – Deb Drum/Michael Yustin
- FDEP – Office of Greenways and Trails/East Coast Greenway Rep. – Christine Small (non-project team member, FDEP staff advice)
- BPAC member representative – Ken Natoli
- Growth Management Dept. Rep – Shawn McCarthy (Senior Planner, Environmental)
5. What changes can be made to make for safer cycling and walking?
The MPO uses the 4Es to develop plans for safer cycling and walking: Engineering, Enforcement, Encouragement and Emergency Medical Services (EMS).
Some of the changes being proposed involve engineering solutions at certain intersections and improved signage. Safety can also be enhanced with better enforcement of existing laws and regulations. Community education and outreach are also part of the plan because public support and involvement are key to better bicycle and pedestrian safety.
6. When will any changes to roads and crossings be made?
Right now we are still in the public outreach phase, with a presentation of the draft plan to the public scheduled for September 2017. Once the plan has been finalized and accepted, there will ongoing coordination with FDOT and local jurisdictions for engineering solutions.
7. Is there funding for this plan, once it’s been finalized?
Some key elements of the plan don’t necessarily require funding. Community education, for example, and increased enforcement of existing rules of the road can help with safety initiatives.
Some of the projects identified for engineering solutions are already included in FDOT’s Five Year Work Plan, the County’s Capital Improvement Plan, and local plans for road improvements. Once adopted, MPO staff will coordinate its plan with FDOT, the county, the city and other local jurisdictions.
8. Will there be more bike lanes because of this plan? More places for people to walk?
We all share the vision of Martin County as a walkable, livable community. The Bicycle, Pedestrian and Trails Master Plan will serve to identify missing gaps in the bicycle network for potential future funding.
9. How can I give my opinion and keep up to date on the plan?
The survey can be found on martin2040.com and additionally on www.martinmpo.com that residents can use to give their opinions and comments. There is also a section on the web site that invites residents to contact us with comments and suggestions and to register to get updates as the plan develops.
10. How can I stay informed about the Bicycle, Pedestrian and Trails Safety Action (BP&T) plan?
The best way to get the latest information is to go to the MPO’s “Moving Martin Forward” web site, www.martinmpo.com. Click on the tab for the Bicycle, Pedestrian and Trails Master Plan. There you’ll find news releases, meeting notices, and updated timelines.