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A solution to the traffic problem

March 20, 2013
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

To the editor:

Once again, the Town has sponsored another study/workshop on what to do about the traffic problems on Estero Boulevard during the height of the tourist season.

To those of us who live here year-round, it seems as if these events take place about every other year. People come, whine, express unrealistic fantasies, feel good about having sounded off, and then nothing happens.

There are a couple of realities we need to face. The first is that Estero Island is a five-pound sack into which we try to cram ten pounds of (insert solid commodity of choice) in high season. Another is that without the tourists, the Town would cease to exist.

Suggestions of traffic lights, flyovers, pedestrian overpasses, roundabouts, express lanes, a third bridge and other ideas have floated around for years. As long as Estero Boulevard remains a two-lane thoroughfare, the only thing that these ideas will accomplish will be to expedite the flow of traffic to the bottleneck. I will grant that a third bridge would help get vehicles off the island, but the inbound flow would only compound the mess.

Realistically, the chances of a third bridge and/or widening the boulevard to four lanes are about the same as my chances are of becoming the Dolphins' quarterback.

Therefore, I have a new radical proposal for the Town Council to consider which would put the problem in a more realistic perspective and would at least eliminate the whining.

It is: Pass an ordinance that states that anyone heard complaining about traffic and congestion on Fort Myers Beach will be sentenced to drive their car to New York City, find a hotel in mid-town Manhattan, find a place to park their car, and spend a week there paying full price for everything. First-degree whining (the really severe kind) would have the added penalty of having to time their trip to go around the Washington Beltway at 4 p.m. on a Friday afternoon.

I promise you, bitching about traffic congestion or overcrowding on the Beach would come to a screeching halt and the quality of all our lives would improve.

Jay Light

Fort Myers Beach



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