Shared-use path proposed to protect Pine Island Rd cyclists, pedestrians

Reporter: Asha Patel Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Pine Island Road can be dangerous for Lee County pedestrians and bicyclists, but a proposal being studied by FDOT could change that.
Pine Island Road. Credit: WINK News

Pine Island Road is a major artery in Lee County, and it can be dangerous, especially for pedestrians and bicyclists—but a new proposal being studied by the Florida Department of Transportation could soon change that.

FDOT is studying a proposed shared-use path on Pine Island Road. It would be around 5.5 miles long and run along Pine Island Road from Stringfellow Road to Veterans Memorial Parkway. The main goal for the project is to provide more bike lanes.

Those extra lanes provided by a shared-use path would help people like Joseph Fasi, who says he rides his bike 30 to 40 miles each day. He says riding his bike through the area is something he doesn’t look forward to.

“This strip here, from Veterans all the way to Matlacha, and over Matlacha here to Pine Island, that’s the scariest drive that I have,” Fasi said. “It’s not comfortable, it’s dangerous. And sometimes I ask myself, ‘What is going through my head, riding out here?'”

WINK News spoke to other people who ride their bikes in the area, and they say they are concerned about their safety because the cars on Pine Island Road drive so close to bicycles and pedestrians.

“They’re really close to the road, and I know if they hit a rock or something… or sometimes they come in in the opposite lane, which they shouldn’t be, you know, towards you,” said a man who frequently travels on Pine Island Road. “I ride my bike a lot, so I avoid them pretty much, but maybe not other people.”

FDOT will meet with the project advisory group later on Tuesday to discuss the proposed shared-use path, and the public is welcome to attend.

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