The Lee County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is responsible for transportation planning in the Cities of Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Fort Myers and Sanibel, the Town of Fort Myers Beach, the Village of Estero, and unincorporated Lee County.
The Federal Aid Highway Act of 1962 required each urbanized area with a population of 50,000 or more to establish a continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive, or 3-C approach, to multimodal transportation planning process as a condition of receiving federal funds for transportation improvements. Subsequent acts required the creation of a metropolitan planning organization (MPO) in each such area, and provided federal assistance for metropolitan planning. (Title 23, §§134 & 104, USC; 23 CFR part 450). As a result of this legislation, the Lee County Metropolitan Planning Organization was created in 1977.
Working with federal, state, and local transportation partners, the MPO looks five, 10, even 25 years into the future to identify projects that will serve the county and its cities, citizens, seasonal visitors, business and industry. At each stage of development of transportation plans and programs for our communities, the MPO encourages ongoing public participation and involvement, reminding everyone today’s discussion and decisions begin the process that puts essential roadway, sidewalk and pathway, transit, aviation, and rail projects in place years and decades from now.
Our Mission and Vision
The Lee County MPO’s mission is to provide leadership and promote a comprehensive intermodal surface transportation system that will provide for regional mobility, encourage a positive investment climate and foster sustainable development sensitive to community and natural resources.
The Lee County MPO’s vision is to have a multi-jurisdictional, integrated multi-modal transportation system that safely and efficiently moves people and goods to, through and within our area. This system will enable Lee County and the surrounding areas to flourish in the global marketplace. The Lee County MPO strives to include and promotes public participation in every aspect of its planning processes.
What We Do
As this region continues to grow, the MPO sharpens its focus on each mode of transportation and asks:
In Lee County’s next five, 10, 25 years, where are expanded or new roadways required for efficient and safe movement of people and goods? How can the transportation system support economic development? How will autonomous vehicles change future transportation system needs? Where would a complete streets approach benefit neighborhoods or areas needing more sidewalk and bicycle/pedestrian pathways? Will Lee Tran need more buses to cover new routes? What projects will Southwest Florida International Airport prioritize to accommodate expanding air and freight travel related to increasing growth? How will rail serve this area in our future?
These are important questions, and in partnership with transportation agencies and with assistance from planning and engineering consultants, the MPO addresses them through updates to existing planning studies and documents along with additional studies that evaluate new conditions. As always, the MPO seeks early and continual involvement from all members of the public as these studies and plans are developed and reviewed. Outreach especially considers the interests of people whose needs may not be well served by the existing transportation system, such as low income and minority households and people with limited personal mobility. Throughout it all, the MPO provides complete information, timely public notice, and full public access to decisions and documents.
One important opportunity for public participation occurs each spring when the MPO requests transportation enhancement proposals for local roads from the public. Applications could include projects to add a sidewalk, build a bike path, or make other street enhancements. Before the MPO board approves proposals, it considers recommendations from the Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC), the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), the Transportation Disadvantaged Local Coordinating Board (LCB), the Bicycle Pedestrian Coordinating Committee (BPCC), and the Traffic Management and Operations Committee (TMOC).