The island’s traffic problems may soon be a thing of the past. At last Monday night’s Council meeting, Mayor Brett Butler announced plans to work with Lee County on the construction of a monorail that will be erected 20 feet above the existing Estero Boulevard roadway.
“Developer Joey Orlando recently acquired a large parcel of land on San Carlos Island that he has agreed to sell to the county for the purpose of building a 25-story parking garage,” the mayor said. “We couldn’t be more pleased with the idea of getting all those cars off our island.”
County officials say the structure should be more than large enough to hold all the cars that would normally come onto the island, and access to the monorail will be provided on the sixth floor.
“We have decided to stop the Estero Boulevard reconstruction project as the monorail takes away the necessity for it,” said Commissioner Mark Brando. “In the next few weeks, workers will clear away all the construction debris and the road will remain as is for the use of residents, business owners and employees only. Everyone else coming onto the island will be funneled into the parking garage and onto the monorail.”
The monorail will run the length of the island, culminating in a tower on Lovers Key, where folks can enjoy the breathtaking views of Estero Bay and the Gulf of Mexico before riding an escalator down to the beach there or taking a return trip up the island.
“This is really going to put us in league with the big boys,” said an excited Jim Bond, Town Manager. “People are going to come to our island from far and wide to ride this thing!”
At various points along the monorails’ route, exit portals will be built. Riders will have a choice of simply taking a flight of stairs down to ground level or – so the handicapped can have fun, too – hop on a pneumatic elevator that plummets to the ground at the speed of light yet lands oh-so-softly. To help with the town’s affordable housing crisis, the struts will also serve as sleeping pods – complete with portable toilets – for the island’s blue-collar workers, those in the service industry and those hapless tourists who occasionally have to relieve themselves.
And the best part? It’s turtle friendly!
“Sure, it will have to be lit up at night, but the supporting struts will be designed so that any turtles wandering into them will be sucked into a special ‘turtle extruder’ that will whisk them safely beneath the road and the beach and out to sea,” Bond said. “It’s truly remarkable the engineering that has gone into this.”
Butler told us that Council is also planning to extend COP (Consumption on Premise) permitting to the monorail, so that riders can enjoy their favorite adult beverage while being whisked across paradise.
“We may even have bands playing on it too – that way it’ll be one big party up there,” he said. “And having the turtle extruders means we can light it up as much as we want – people will be able to see our island from space!”
You can’t ask for better branding than that.
Keri Hendry Weeg
The Island Sand Paper staff has waited patiently for April 1st to fall on a Friday, our publication day, ever since 2011 when it last did and we had some fun with a story about a zipline from Seafarer’s to the beach. We hope you enjoy this year’s expanded coverage of foolish stories. The next time April 1st falls on a Friday is in 2022