I have a few suggestions about the traffic problems at Fort Myers Beach. Starting right about now we will have traffic backed up beyond Pine Ridge for about 2 hours on every nice day until after Easter. It’s been like this for the last 37 years that I’ve been coming here. Last year I counted over 1000 cars in line when traffic was backed up to Summerlin. One day I started at the back of the line & it took over an hour to get on the Island. I have studied this for many years and only one area causes the backup – Estero Boulevard from the foot of the bridge to Diamondhead. The 3 factors are 1: Left turning vehicles, 2: pedestrian traffic and 3: inadequate parking.
The problem of left turning vehicles will be largely solved by the improvements on Estero Boulevard. I wish construction would stop north of Diamondhead until after Easter so we could assess just how much the left turn lanes help. I feel that there will still be a back up on San Carlos, especially after the limited parking spaces in the area of Times Square are full.
I feel that the parking problem can best be solved by having the town or the county build a ramp of about 500 cars that can be expanded to 1000 cars if needed. The ramp should be accessed directly off the bridge. This can best be done by either vacating Estero to Crescent or make Estero a 1 way going South. In either solution, provision can be made for the few cars going to the North end of the island by a traffic control or a small roundabout. Vacating Estero would also solve the pedestrian problem. The parking ramp would be financial viable by charging $8.00 for all day parking, like Vanderbilt Beach ramp or the Marco Island lot.