Crossing guard is being tested at a busy FMB intersection


FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla.- It’s being called the “most dangerous intersection” on Fort Myers Beach. We’re talking about where Lenell Road crosses Estero Boulevard, on the south end of the island– that’s just outside of Santini Plaza.

Right now, the town is testing out a crossing guard to see if it really keeps bicyclists and pedestrians safe while crossing the road.

“I’d say it’s dangerous, absolutely.”

“It’s pretty hard to cross.”

The intersection on the south end of Fort Myers Beach has been called unsafe.

“I don’t think I would be able to get across unless I actually stop them, they don’t seem to want to stop for me,” said Krista Dusek.

People say they are taking a risk each time they cross the street at Lenell and Estero Boulevard.

“I just step out a little, sometime put my arm out to try and stop the cars,” said Rob Rissone.

A test trial using a crossing guard is now underway. For 12 days an employee with Beach and Street Enforcement, also know as B.A.S.E. is out to help pedestrians and bicyclist when crossing the road at the request of the safety committee.

“I love it! I thought at first kids were in school today or something, and thought, is it a new Florida rule that the day after Christmas you go to school?”

Decked out in bright, neon clothing, it’s hard to miss the guy working to keep the busy beach intersection safe!

“I appreciate it, the cars definitely notice him and stop for him,” said Dusek.

Part of the job is to keep track of the number of people who cross the road and reports the numbers to the town, daily.
In the first three days, 1,488 people have crossed and that doesn’t include today.

“It needs some attention and that’s what it’s getting right now,” said Chelsea O’Riley with Fort Myers Beach Public Works.

People we spoke to say, they’d like to see this “test” turn into something permanent.

“In a perfect world, he will be here 24/7– 365.”

The cost for a crossing guard to be out at the intersection is a little over $2,300 for the 12 day trial test. If they bring on a crossing guard during high season or year round, the money will come out of taxpayers dollars, coming from the town’s general fund.

“You can’t put a price on someone’s life, it’s well invested dollars.”

Since 2012- there has been two fatalities and one serious accident in the general vicinity of this intersection. There are currently flashing lights at three crosswalks on the south end, one at Bay Beach Lane, one outside of the Wyndham Hotel and another outside Santini Plaza, just a few yards away from Lenell.

“I think it would cut down on any potential danger that would have been there without him.”

In just the hour and a half WINK News was out there Friday, 114 people crossed the intersection.

The trial run will end on January 2nd.  It’ll be up to town council to decide if it’ll hire a crossing guard to be there throughout the year.

LCSO V.O.I.C.E members also started their patrol at the Times Square light on Friday.

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