DRIVER SURVEYS NEXT WEEK WILL HELP WITH QUEUE-JUMP STUDY

FORT MYERS, Fla., February 22, 2002 -- Contact: Amy Davies, Lee County Department of Transportation, (239) 479-8589 or Chris Swenson, CRSPE Transportation Consultants, 281-7335  Beginning Tuesday (Feb. 26), mail-back transportation surveys will be distributed to drivers at area intersections to help Lee County with its federally funded Queue-Jump (Q-Jump) Project.  Five undisclosed intersections around the county will be targeted during the next two weeks, and mailing back the surveys qualifies participants for a random prize drawing of $500.  The surveys will be handed only to drivers in vehicles stopped at traffic signals. Vehicles will not be diverted into a different lane or forced to stop to receive the survey.  In addition, drivers who don’t receive a survey at an intersection can still participate by downloading one from http://www.q-jump.ws/ or by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to CRSPE Inc., 1414 S.E. 17th Avenue, Suite 104, Cape Coral, FL 33990.  Surveys are due Mar. 15 and the drawing will be Mar. 29.  Lee County received a $387,000 Federal Highway Administration Grant in 2000 to study the idea of using Q-Jumps locally.  Q-Jumps are new road facilities – such as elevated ramps or at-grade lanes – that can be used by motorists stopped in traffic to bypass congestion at intersections. Users would pay a toll for the convenience and timesavings gained from using the Q-Jump.  Tolls would vary by time of day or degree of congestion. Toll collection would occur electronically without any collection booths. The Q-Jump’s tolling system would be tied into the county’s existing LeeWay system allowing the new concept to be brought on-line quickly and for a reasonable cost. Tolls for a Q-Jump would probably not be as high as tolls normally associated with existing toll facilities in the county because the costs to provide the Q-Jump facility would be significantly less.  The Q-Jump Project is studying existing locations within Lee County where Q-Jump facilities could realistically be implemented.  “The current survey is an opportunity for the motorists stopped in traffic to provide their opinions on a possible solution to the problem,” says Chris Swenson, the county’s consultant for the project. “We understand the driving public must understand and buy into an idea before it can be considered a solution, so the public’s input is critical.”