Atterholt Declares War on Traffic


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.”



  1. A couple Pedestrian bridges at pier are a must, they are relatively easy and inexpensive. I can’t believe we’ve never completed that yet. Of course the mid island bridge is the real answer if you want to actually grow fort Myers and massively move people on and off.

  2. I agree with the traffic /sheriffs
    Continuing to move the traffic.
    As people are sitting in the traffic they are gawking, texting and NOT paying attention to the traffic. This continues to obstruct the traffic moving on and off the Island. Desperately need to have someone to help keep the cars moving

  3. Parking garage over the bridge. Must have a trolley with dedicated lane. What’s the point of getting on a trolley you have to sit in the same traffic? Come on town council. This isn’t rocket science.

  4. Put up toll booths… One at the double lights and one at lovers key… Portion of proceeds go to fireworks and other events…


  6. There are 2 things that would make a HUGE difference RIGHT NOW! One so simple but seems so hard for some in charge to EVEN TRY! Ok, first, and it could be done in no time at all… Place (4) (1hour shift each) Sheriff deputy’s, (NOT VOLUNTEER CROSSING GUARDS), who have the authority to WRITE TICKETS WITH HEAVY FINES, and POWER of ARREST IF NEEDED,to be placed at the light that one stands now at the base of the bridge doing just what he/she does now, one at the corner of Crescent St and Estero Blvd, one at Primo and Estero Blvd in that area and one in front of the Lai Kai at crosswalk during only the peak hours 2:30PM – 8PM. Only during season or as needed. They do nothing but flag and keep traffic at least moving OFF island. If enforced, I guarantee IT WOULD IMPROVE THE TRAFFIC FLOW!!!!! People, if you look at map quest traffic flow on any day, the traffic isn’t impaired anywhere off island past the Crescent Street intersection, EVER! Just look for yourself…… Rubber necking or lost people are causing the problem now.
    COST???? Less than all these studies done so far….. Well worth the try…

    2nd, build a bridge somewhere around mid-island going inland. During season Mid December – April. ALL TRAFFIC IS ONE WAY OFF ISLAND ONLY! Rest of the year could be adjusted accordingly. This would provide a way to get traffic off island during peak times and alleviate a lot of traffic at both ends of our island during these times we need. No traffic would be allowed to come onto island from that way during peak times of traffic. Also it would provide another exit for emergency traffic during peak traffic times. IT WILL WORK TO IMPROVE TRAFFIC ON ISLAND.

  7. Seems ironic that another article in today’s BTR is about adding two more sets of traffic signals on Estero Blvd. one at Crescent and another at Old San Carlos. That’s three stop lights in about a tenth of a mile. Should make the north end traffic so much better.

  8. Why doesn’t he think that nothing can be done about the quality of the water? Did he ever hear of state of the art water filtration? I suggest he stop thinking that nothing can be done about it and actual do his homework like he was elected to do.

  9. I would use the trolley all the time if it, too, wasn’t stuck in traffic. Would love to see the center lane dedicated to a people mover on rails – like you find at airports or Disney – running back and forth all day with key (minimal) stops. Or it could be that the center lane is dedicated to the trolley (minimizing stops). If you had something like this, more people would not even bring cars – if they could rely on transport that’s not hampered by the traffic. Please don’t build parking to encourage more people to bring cars! Less cars should be the goal!

  10. How about buying the land where the ‘strip club’ and storage building are on San Carlos Blvd… a parking garage and offer free shuttle service over the bridge????? Cleans up the neighborhood and serves a purpose!!!!

  11. Great start to a major problem…congestion! How about some more long term thinking…like one way street the length of the island?

  12. I would think the new TPI project will make the traffic even worse. If traffic it a problem why are we doing more accommodations to attract more traffic? My family has been on this island since 1950 and fought for density regulations and was opposed to the the high rises. Tried to restrict the height. Over the years look what has happened. So sad to see. Can’t even see the beach any more from Estero Blvd in so much of the island. Pretty soon the whole island will be covered in concrete and we wonder why there is so much street flooding from summer rains. But I guess the “powers that be” think adding more buildings to the island is the right thing to do.

    • Mary. Do you drive the same car you did in the 50’s. Nope. Called process. Plenty of land off island if you feel the need to be living in the past

  13. A parking garage would have been just the remedy this town needed especially in the downtown district. But previous (and current) town council deemed a mega resort, more bars, more restaurants, and a beach front swimming pool that would entice even more people to come to FMB more important. And this was done with out tasking the developer for certain infrastructure up grades such as road improvement, or sufficient parking for the resort, let alone ancillary parking for day trippers to visit the fancy resort. Jim is right to be concerned about traffic throwing a monkey wrench into the “Renaissance” I have lived here over 30 years, and never seen it as bad as in the past year. What did the folks who we elect to “serve” us think? Traffic was going to get better?

  14. Absolutely! Sidewalk rails are a must. When I suggested that years ago to stop all that random crossing of pedestrians around Lani Kai area, I was told they are a bad idea around bar areas because people can fall over the railing into traffic. Say WHAT?

  15. Amen!!
    I’m with Jim on the parking issue. I recently witnessed 2 grown women get into a physical fight at Lynn Hall Parking lot over a parking space last weekend.
    Take a look at Bowditch Point as well, the grassy BBQ area never gets used, that could be opened up more for parking. Moving down the south end of the island you’ll see people using what they have for lawns to charge people to park in their yards.
    A 2-3 level parking garage would have been a sound investment for the town. It can be designed & built to 2nd as an emergency shelter for hurricanes, and a ground operations center for LCSO.

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