I have been a seasonal resident of FMB for many years and the traffic at the base of the Matanzas Pass bridge has always been a major issue facing residents and visitors since I can remember. I think we all agree will only be getting worse as the demand to visit the Island increases in the upcoming years.
From my observations over the years, one of the primary reasons for traffic gridlock is the constant need for vehicles to stop at pedestrian crossings. You need to expect this with a constant flow of pedestrians traversing Estero Blvd. to park, dine, shop and experience this beautiful coastal beach community.
While traveling through Panama last year I was amazed at how many pedestrian crossing bridges were built over roadways to provide safe pedestrian crossing without affecting the flow of vehicle traffic (see attached photos). I thought…what a great idea for base of the bridge at Times Square in FMB.
The recent designs shown by FDOT indicate several pedestrian crossings at this location. I assume they are at street level which will definitely impact traffic flow. Why not have elevated pedestrian bridges built at strategic locations to provide safe passage of pedestrians over this complex intersection. These can be architecturally designed to complement the roadway/surroundings. If the side walls of these bridges featured horizontal billboards they could promote local/seasonal events and promotional messages to possibly generate revenue to offset the building//maintenance costs of these pedestrian bridges. I wonder if this has been tried in other Florida communities?
In Las Vegas I have noticed pedestrian bridges over busy roadway intersections with elevators at each end to provide safe passage for handicapped/wheelchair pedestrians. Perhaps ramps with switchbacks could be another alternative.
Just throwing this idea out there …