State of Florida: Here’s What We Want


Based on feedback from the community and input from the town council, Town Manager Roger Hernstadt will be firing off a letter to the Florida Department of Transportation with the council’s concerns about the Matanzas Pass Bridge project. Here are those concerns.

The first concern is the number of crosswalks. From the Public Safety committee to local residents to the town council there is no support for the number of crosswalks the state has incorporated into the project. It’s clear that a big reason traffic moves at a snail’s pace is because pedestrians are crossing everywhere.

The town also wants the state to seriously consider guardrails on the sidewalks to channel pedestrians to one cross-point. If the state will not consider building a walk-over, which seems to be completely out of the question, the town wants the state to funnel people to one area where they would cross Estero Boulevard.

Another big concern is changing the alternating light at Prescott and Buttonwood as vehicles jockey for position to approach the bridge. As the project stands now, that light will be changed from an alternating light to a regular light. The state plans to widen the approach to the bridge to two lanes, eliminating the need for the alternating light. The council believes even with two lanes the alternating light will keep the road rage incidents to a minimum.
The town council also wants the state to reconsider removing the guardrail in front of the ice cream shop at the base of the bridge. Why? Because that building has been visited several times by vehicles unable to make the turn for whatever reason, causing damage to the building, and potentially hitting pedestrians.

This entire project, funded by the state, is estimated to cost $8 million.

Residents and concerned citizens can send comments on the project to the state through February 17th by contacting the FDOT Project Manager Richard Oujevolk by e-mail at or by calling him at (863) 519-2293.





  1. If FDOT widens the base of the bridge to allow two lanes of traffic onto the Island, they MUST make the right lane right turn ONLY. Put in posts to separate the two lanes and prevent cars from switching lanes once they are on the bridge.

  2. Hi I’m Richard Oujevolk, the FDOT PM. Please note my telephone number is (863) 519-2293 not (239) 519-2293. I am in Bartow, not Fort Myers. Sorry for any confusion.

    Happy Weekend All!!!

  3. We have lived here for 30 years and dealt with the road rage at the light at buttonwood and prescott. The best thing that every happened was the alternating light that is there now. Both lanes mave pretty much the same. If you change that and get rid of the right turn lane after that you will just be bringing back the road rage at the base of the bridge. We came home in heavy traffic today (backed up to north of Boardwalk caper and traffic moved well. The bus only lane/ turn right lane over the bridge had traffic in it halfway down the bridge to turn right (which is only 25% of people turning right) at the beach side of the bridge. If you open up that lane to everybody they will use it to cut into the straight lane. Just leave everything alone, it is working the best it can. You will never get rid of the traffic going to the beach. Quit wasting our tax dollars!!!

  4. As we have said before, build a walk- over that looks like the historic Arches. Illuminated cross walks. They have a walk-over for airplanes in Orlando at the airport, certainly our FDOT District One engineer could build a aesthetic feature that is functional. An arched shaped walk-over is out of the question because our Government leaders have made it out of the question. They would not even let us have a feasibility conversation about over the road Arches with FDOT. I know the importance of environment, but until peoples needs become as important as environment and a compromise is made for mid-island access we will have traffic problems.

  5. Ok, here is my two cents… First, the main problem with traffic going off island is found near the Lani Kai section of Estero Blvd. If one would check (most anytime of the day) even when the traffic isn’t bad, on Google Maps, traffic mode, the traffic is ALWAYS slow moving in THAT section, ALWAYS. NOTHING is impeding traffic just pass there or on the bridge going off island to any extent, EVER. That being said, HENCE LIES THE PROBLEM….. with off island traffic. No study required, just Google Map, traffic mode. Just look yourself!
    NOW find out WHY its that way and work on THAT problem FIRST. I believe one way to address this problem, is to provide some way to speed up cars and trucks in that section. Hiring about (4) fully commissioned law enforcement officers. MUST be commissioned to be able to enforce traffic laws. And place at intervals between, say Hooters and the crosswalk in front of the Lani kai, doing nothing but waving traffic to keep moving and to direct pedestrians to cross (at crosswalks in intervals). It WOULD help some… There will be expense involved but look what has been spent already with NO RESULTS… Worth a try for a couple of months anyway… Officers should only be needed during peak hours of the day during season only. Let’s say, 11AM until 7PM. Also, another little thing or two that might speed up our traffic a little. The alternating light, when it turns red to change lanes of flow, also changes to red for off island traffic. I say, if there isn’t a need for red in off island direction, such as a car needs to turn left or there is traffic on side streets, then let the light stay green for off island traffic there. One more little thing that could be done with little expense and quickly, is the light at San Carlos Blvd and Pine Ridge Rd. The Pine Ridge turn lane onto San Carlos, has only one turn lane provided for a one lane street to turn onto a 4 lane road. Why doesn’t one just paint a double purpose arrow in the middle lane that exist now, for just going straight, and put a straight and turn arrow in it to allow more traffic to use both lanes on San Carlos to give flow from Pine Ridge Rd. and still provide a lane to go straight there? Hope these help….

    • These are all great ideas. I’ve often wondered why two lanes can’t turn left off of Pine Ridge since the traffic is pretty light on the other side of that light.

  6. This is a very succinct and accurate summary of the recommendations of the people at the presentation I attended, given by the FDOT. Most accurate reporting I have read.

  7. Putting a guard rail from the Red Coconut to Times Square would be ludicrous! With no bike path on the road the sidewalk will be way too narrow for both during busy times. I believe that would make a more dangerous situation.

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