Will There Ever Be Lights on Estero Boulevard?

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It’s a question residents have been asking for many years. The current Town Council says yes there will be lights and they will be turtle friendly and safe for humans. When FPL’s contractor will begin the project is still an unknown.

This week the Fort Myers Beach Town Council voted to accept a $7.8 million grant from the Florida Division of Emergency Management. The money will be used to pay an FPL contractor to purchase and install turtle-friendly amber lights on Estero Boulevard.

In previous years, the lights were so old and outdated, the majority of them had to be turned off during turtle season to avoid disorientations.

The $7.8 million will be used to purchase 442 new amber fixtures and 258 new light poles. 24.62 miles of lighting conduit will also be laid underground. Lee County owns Estero Boulevard and will be putting in about $1.4 million to install turtle-friendly lights on side streets.

While it’s unknown when this project will begin, Town Manager Andy Hyatt says it should take about a year to complete.

Once the lights are installed the town will have a 10-year maintenance contract with FPL. After that the town owns the system and is responsible for its upkeep. The town does not own the lighting system in place now.

Mayor Dan Allers says the new amber lights will cost residents about 50% less when compared to the less efficient lights that were along Estero Boulevard before the storm. The LED amber lights are more energy efficient.

20 COMMENTS

  1. Agreed. Take responsibility for your safety! If you are wearing dark clothes and exiting a bar, your are invisible even to the turtles. Get familiar with safety devices (I suppose a vendor would be happy to set up shop or demonstration at the pier). These are also available at Dollar General for us on fixed income. After the hurricane, we were introduced to LED flashlights which lighted the entire block. Every week we digress into people vs turtles without addressing in cognito pedestrians that are not seen by us elderly drivers. I would bet that 50% of the population in Florida have cataracts. Amber lights or bright lights are not the issue (which by the way bright lights make it worse unless we are wearing cataract glasses at night!) Reality is that you cannot dart out from the bar, bike lane or the side walk on Estero at night without a safety device least not you may squash a turtle!

  2. Nothing more annoying than having a bright street light in front of your house. I for one like it dark at night. I like to see the stars. Not about the turtles, just my preference.
    When I walk at night I wear a reflector belt and have a flashlight. I have never had problems with cars.

  3. All people think about is lights.. that is why cars have headlights
    It is more important that the 🐢 🐢 turtles are kept safe Than people worry that they need lights for them selfs.If FMB is that bad and not safe at night than maybe police should do something about it..But don’t do something to hurt the turtles because people are afraid of the dark . Turtles are important.

  4. I’m calling BS on the 50% savings if it’s designed to produce the same amount of light for safety and security simply because narrow band Amber LED is actually less energy efficient than their current high pressure sodium lamps, measured in lumens per watt.

  5. Before installing these new lights, Widening the road to 4 lanes with a pitch to the middle for drainage would be great. As the road gets widened then the new lighting poles could be installed! Right now the decision makers seem to be blind that only 25% of residents are living here and the traffic is double what it was before Ian during season. Lets make smart decisions for the future of FMB.

  6. There is a wide variety of lights & reflectors to make pedestrians visible at night & allow them to see the pavement in front of them. It sounds like a neglected topic for so many people. I guess a lot of people just like to complain rather taking their safety into their own hands.

  7. I agree that temporary lights need to be installed ASAP! Last night we walked to and from dinner going down Old San Carlos Blvd to Estero Blvd past Diamond Head. We go out for dinner every night we are here. The dark spots along these roads are a safety concern and make the area seem something less than welcoming to the tourists, workers and local residents . We appreciate the businesses who were closed for leaving their lights on. With property owner approval temporary amber solar street lights could be installed on buildings and poles in the dark areas until FPL can move their project forward. Some of these lights are very inexpensive. I am not sure if the amber light is officially considered turtle friendly but that seems to be the color of the street lights that are working on the southern end of Estero Blvd. We really enjoy FMB and it has come a long way since Ian. We appreciate all the effort by the local businesses, residents and the Town. We have been coming for over a decade and stay for an extended period in February and March. We returned many times since Ian spending money in FMB and donating to help the local economy. Maybe Beach Talk Radio could add a fund raiser for temporary lights. Lastly the street lights across from Wahoo Willie’s are appreciated and the flickering makes for quite a disco show. Better disco than nothing. Thanks for the opportunity to weigh in on this.

  8. We stayed on Primo Dr back in late Oct around Halloween. The corner of Primo and Estero was so dark around the temporary “Whale” that we nearly hit people on a nightly basis that were trying to cross Primo. Will be back down this weekend and was hoping some of this had been rectified, but I guess not😥

  9. Why can’t a shield of some sort be place on the beach side of a regular street light that blacks the light from the beach but still lights the street normally?

  10. The streetlights heading north of Times Square are amber so I assume that is for the turtles? All I can say is that stretch of road is is very dark, (also because many of the buildings are dark). My question is why do they have to be amber now when it’s not even turtle season? They may be turtle friendly but they are not very people friendly. We used to love walking home after a nice dinner but now it’s way too dark to do so. 😢

  11. Temporary lights need to be put up now by Lani Kai. I have friends that almost got ran over on the side walk by that location. The car went right up on sidewalk and continued to drive. Thank goodness they were walking toward the car and were able to jump out of the way with little injuries. It was so dark the 4 of them couldn’t even see the make/model of vehicle. This could have been a huge tragedy if it came from behind them. GET LIGHTS.

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