Town councilman Jim Atterholt has been very vocal about how Fort Myers Beach is about to go through a Renaissance, both through private projects like Margaritaville, and public projects such as an upgraded Bayside Park and renovated Times Square. He does however, believe there are three issues that threaten that Renaissance.
The three items that worry Atterholt are water quality, COVID and traffic. Water quality and COVID are two issues the town doesn’t have much control over. However, he’s challenged the town staff to be bold on the issue of traffic congestion. He wants staff to think outside the box to address the traffic issue and come back with ideas for the full council to consider.
Atterholt says the town should not simply accept that there’s nothing that can be done about the traffic. He threw out examples of additional walkway overpasses on Estero Boulevard, pedestrian railings to guide people to specific areas to cross and parking apps.
Atterholt said this is the time the staff needs to elevate its game on the traffic issue. “We need to look at ways to be more creative. This is the time to challenge the thinking on the island that there’s nothing we can do about it. I don’t buy it. It must get better.”
Atterholt encouraged town staff to push further. “You have to be bold on that issue. We need options for the future.”