Businesses along McGregor Boulevard in south Fort Myers thought they’d go out of business after a proposal from the Florida Department of Transportation to make a roadway safer.
Now, instead of a very long median, there are more openings and some left turn lanes. FDOT argues the changes will help balance the safety needs of the corridor with the access business owners desire. But not everyone is buying that.
Business owners like Hal Taylor were not pleased with initial designs for the McGregor median. One big median on McGregor stretching from Edinburgh Dr. to Cypress Lake Dr. with no place for left turns. “It was a terrible idea,” Taylor said. “To make everyone U-turn at Cypress Lake Drive.”
When FDOT floated the proposal, its engineers made it clear, that the design was not a done deal. After more than 270 comments on the project, FDOT went back to the drawing board.
And, they’ve made significant changes to the proposal. For example, openings in the median and more left turn lanes. Also, having the median start south of West College Pointe Drive and not north gives more access to the Publix. Taylor admits the new plans are an improvement.
“Yeah, it is slightly better, because at least now you don’t have to go all the way down to Cypress Lake to make a U-turn,” Taylor said. But, Taylor does still worry he will lose out on business if the median goes up. “If you’re making it harder to get here, then you’re gonna lose business,” Taylor said.
Cameron Pelle of Mark Loren Designs believes the majority of crashes along McGregor happen near the Cape Coral Bridge. But, that may not be where the proposed median could go. “We’ve not had any accidents in front of the business. So we don’t understand why the whole, this whole sector of McGregor has to be sectioned off like this,” Pelle said.
“Seriously, rethink this plan. I mean, you’re spending taxpayer dollars on something that’s going to affect us, taxpayers, significantly. Not just business owners, but also homeowners as well,” Pelle said.
FDOT said the design is still not yet final. So, it still hopes people will offer their feedback. Click here to see and review what the current design looks like. You have until a week from Sunday to do that.