Would widening Estero Blvd. on Fort Myers Beach to four lanes ease traffic?

Reporter: Samantha Johns Writer: Paul Dolan

People want more pedestrian access and faster traffic on Estero Boulevard and the town of Fort Myers Beach has a chance to make changes as they recover from Hurricane Ian.

Estero Blvd. was a busy road before the storm, and ever since the storm discussions have come up about widening the road.

While Daniel Allers, the new mayor, said no official talks have started to widen Estero Blvd., he’s willing to have that conversation.

Locals WINK News talked with said they’re not too fond of the idea.

The busy road is typically packed with cars making traffic miserable. But would widening Estero Blvd to four lanes help?

“Sometimes it’s taken me two hours just to get off the island and that’s crazy. An hour and 45 minutes to get to Mr. Tequila. And when you’re thirsty for a margarita, that’s a long time,” Cherie Dobroski, a Fort Myers Beach resident, said.

But, when it comes to expanding Estero Blvd. Dobroski is willing to wait.

“We’re already losing so many of our old Florida houses, and they’re just building bigger, stronger structures, which we understand, but that’s not why we all moved here,” Dobroski said.

Cherie isn’t the only one worried about the future feel of Fort Myers Beach.

“We’ve already lost so much at this point,” Kimberly Conley, a Fort Myers Beach resident said. “And we’re worried about it looking like Clearwater Beach or South Beach, you know, we really don’t, we’re hoping it doesn’t go that route.”

While they both admit traffic is a big problem, especially during the season, Conley might have a solution.

“We need parking, parking, just to have access to where if people are coming over, there’s places for them to park instead of having to go up and down the island looking for a place to park,” Conley said.

All of this helps keep the same quaint little town feel that Fort Myers Beach is known for.

Earlier this year the town opened new sidewalks on both sides of traffic.

During that project, Lee County and Fort Myers Beach decided they did not want to add additional lanes.

Although, that was before Hurricane Ian when the road was fully developed.

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