On the night of January 12, 2017 I was riding my bicycle on Estero Blvd. It was twilight and I decided to turn on the flashing lights on the bike; red flashing on rear and white flashing on the front. I was on the west side of Estero by Gull Wing and wanted to cross the street to Albatross. I decided not to ride my bike across Estero because it would be safer to use the pedestrian walk. There were no southbound cars coming and a few northbound cars. I observed that the lead northbound car appeared to be slowing for the crosswalk. He surely would see the two flashing lights on my bike, but NO he continued until at the very last second, he slammed on the brakes. His car skidded to a stop just inches from me. I almost became a hood ornament on a white SUV from Iowa. I yelled at the top of my lungs to the driver and remained in the crosswalk while I gestured that this was a pedestrian crosswalk and that the pedestrian has the right of way. I was physically shaking when I got home a few minutes later.
Many drivers from out of state are not familiar with the requirement to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. There is definitely a need to make these drivers aware; here are my suggestions:
1) the intersection of Estero and Albatross is poorly lit. Better lighting is needed so that pedestrians in the crosswalk can be seen and
2) the flashing lights that are activated by pedestrians at other crosswalks like the one at Lenell Road would certainly get driver’s attention. There is a need to have pedestrian-activated lights for those crossing the intersection. Let’s reduce or eliminate car vs. pedestrian accidents on our island by being proactive with low-cost initiatives.
Fort Myers Beach