Homemade street signs in Fort Myers Beach replace those Ian took

Reporter: Emma Heaton Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:

Homemade street signs are bringing color and joy to Fort Myers Beach as well as helping drivers and first responders find their way around the island.

The homemade posts started popping up after Hurricane Ian wiped out the official signs. Recently, there’s been a rumor that the town will take the makeshift signs down.

Homemade street signs in Fort Myers Beach. (Credit: WINK News)

Fort Myers Beach Mayor Dan Allers says the rumors are false. Those cute little street signs aren’t going anywhere. A sign ordinance prohibits certain signs from being in the right of way, so some residents have complained.

But Allers said these neat, uniquely designed ones are permitted. Beyond the post-Ian rubble and ruins on Fort Myers Beach, they are signs of hope.

“Someone took it upon themselves to put up one of those cool little signs, and then they just kind of grew from there,” Allers said.

Homemade street signs in Fort Myers Beach. (Credit: WINK News)

Two weeks ago, Allers first noticed one of the handmade street signs planted in place of ones knocked down by the storm. Now, there are more than 170 brightening up Fort Myers Beach.

“It just reminded me of why I moved here, you know?” Allers said. “It’s just a fun, eclectic, funky island.”

Nan Williams is one of the masterminds behind the art. She and a group of volunteers paint the signs every Saturday on Matanzas Pass.

“The beauty of the sign is you don’t need any talent to make the sign; I mean, if you just go up and down the boulevard, you’ll see so many wonderful, just creative signs,” Williams said. “We have some very talented artists that have put their magic on them. And you know, and then there’s something like this. This is me doodling in high school, not paying attention to the teacher lecturing.”

Homemade street signs in Fort Myers Beach. (Credit: WINK News)

Williams painted the sign to mark Jefferson Street, where she lives, a beautiful sparkly blue.
She did it to show that beauty, charm, and hope were never lost on Fort Myers Beach.

“The beauty of it is there’s been so many people that have just banded together and come together to really help one another out,” Williams said. “And that’s the beauty of our community.”

Allers says new, legal street signs have been ordered per FDOT requirements. But the town will not remove the ones currently in place.

Williams says her group is nearly finished painting the rest of the street signs. She invites anyone interested to join them at 9 a.m. on Saturday at Matanzas Pass Preserve—the more, the merrier.

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