Plans for blocking off intersection in Fort Myers high-crime area put on hold


FORT MYERS, Fla.- Not so fast.

That’s the message some residents are sending Fort Myers city leaders about a plan to block off an intersection, one of two ways into and out of the high-crime neighborhood Harlem Lakes.

On Tuesday, the city was ready to install big concrete barricades to block off Dupree Street and American Avenue. But on Wednesday, that changed, apparently after community members called City Hall with questions and concerns.

People in the neighborhood say they’re worried about inconvenience with only one way out of the community in the morning rush hour. They’re also not pleased that law-abiding citizens will be inconvenienced, in the push to find law-breakers.

“We are going to go to the community and hear what they have to say,” explained Interim City Manager Saed Kazemi. Previously, Kazemi had mentioned the barricades would be installed by Christmas Eve.

The blocking off idea is supposed to be a way to fight crime, allowing police to concentrate on one way into, and out of Harlem Lakes, the scene of multiple shootings on one night last September.

WINK News asked Kazemi if he and Fort Myers police are disappointed at the delay.

“No, there is no disappointment, we have to go to the people and show, we are just trying to help. We want to hear their ideas and go from there,” Kazemi said.

The community meeting is not yet scheduled. Kazemi says it will be held after January 1.   Blocking off the intersection for a ‘trial’ period of a few months, would not require City Council approval, according to Kazemi. A permanent blocking would take the okay of the council.


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