Cape Coral locals share their hopes and asks for the city’s future

Reporter: Emma Heaton Writer: Emma Heaton
Published: Updated:

The City of Cape Coral is known for it’s many canals, manatees and mangroves.

To top it all off, pretty great people live there too, like always-cheerful Lynn Jerry. Her holiday wish is plain and simple.

“Just to see everyone happy and Santa arrive,” said Jerry.

Even when asked what she’d ask city leaders for this holiday season, Jerry said happiness is enough.

Meanwhile, frequent cape visitor Joy Wilson hopes to preserve Jaycee Park, despite the city council’s vote for changes.

“I heard they were going to tear this park down or do something else with it,” said Wilson, “and I just can’t see that happening.”

Newcomers Brad and Mary Beth just want to be more involved after their recent move.

“My wife and I are looking for things to connect to, you know, just club activities,” said Brad, “even little things like playing cards or just talking.”

“I agree with my husband,” said Mary. “I really want to go ahead with some community activities, and it’s kind of hard to find what’s going on.”

Zach Bryant simply wants to be on time for work and called traffic a significant challenge.

“It takes me about 45 minutes to get to work in the morning,” said Bryant, “and then coming home from work only takes about 20, so traffic in the morning is just terrible.”

“What do you think would make the issue better?” asked WINK News anchor Emma Heaton.

“Hard to say,” Bryant replied, “I’d say I guess making it bigger.”

Councilman Tom Hayden isn’t Santa Claus or a genie, but he does have answers on what the city plans to do about Jaycee Park, more events, and yes, even traffic.

“In a city that’s 92% residential and continues to grow,” said Hayden, “we know we’re always gonna have traffic issues.”

Hayden said the city is already working with the Florida Department of Transportation and the county to expand Pine Island road to six lanes and called it a “key” project due to the area’s development. Plus, it’s a major hurricane evacuation route.

Hayden’s hopeful the project will be complete within the next 10 years.

As for more ways for the Bacons to get involved…

“If you navigate to the events section, maybe parks and rec or special events, will show those events,” said Hayden.

The good news, Hayden said, the city’s added more events this year and hopes to add even more next.

Last but not least, the hot topic on changing Jaycee Park…

“We know people are upset, and we know that it’s on their — probably — their wish list to keep it the same,” said Hayden, “but as I told them at several council meetings, I’ve listened to you, I’ve responded to your emails. I just don’t agree with you on this one.”

Hayden said he expects the design to be 30% complete by the end of next year.

While he can’t grant Joy’s wish on that, he believes the change will be good.

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