By Anthony Foxx
Thanks in part to DOT's TIGER program, Lee County, Florida, is on the brink of transformation.
Twenty-two percent of recent roadway crashes in Lee County involve injuries or fatalities to pedestrians or bicyclists. That is more than twice the national average. Last spring, then-Secretary LaHood went to Tampa to host a summit on improving bike and pedestrian safety. He vowed to work with nearby Lee County to help reduce those numbers.
So I'm proud to announce that DOT is providing a $10.4 million TIGER grant to complete a safe, integrated bike and pedestrian network in Lee County. With this grant to Lee County, we're addressing one of our top priorities -- safety.
By safely connecting three sections of the regional trail network to major commercial, residential, and recreational facilities in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, and other areas of Lee County, this TIGER project will make a real difference in the lives of people who walk or bike as well as those who drive.
We want to be a partner with Lee County in improving the safety and vitality of the community.
What we're doing here is taking road networks that already exist and we're redefining them in a way that tells each of the users where they're best positioned on that street to be safe. So there's a place for motor vehicles. There's a place for pedestrians. There's a place for bicycles.
And it allows our system to work much more efficiently.
This is also part of what President Obama talks about when talks about Fixing It First. It's about using our existing facilities and assets better -- upgrading roads and bridges, making them more usable, more safe, more passable by the traveling public.
Lee County knows what this investment means. They know it means their citizens can get around a little better, a little more safely. They know their tourism industry will benefit from this, so there's an economic devevelopment aspect, too.
And they know that when you help make people safer, it improves their quality of life; and when you give them choices, they're going to use them.
This is investment. It's investment in safety. It's investment in community. It's investment in mobility.
And it's investment in transportation choice.