Street navigation on Fort Myers Beach may become a safer bet due to an approved literature pamphlet.
The Fort Myers Beach Town Council granted the Public Safety Committee to publish and distribute a designed informational safety brochure, a six-page, tri-fold public education pamphlet that includes informational points on pedestrians, bicyclists, motor vehicles, trolley etiquette and specifics about the island.
"We trying to help our island become more pedestrian safe," said Barb Mezeske, a member of the Safety Committee and main author of the brochure.
The Town committee has been working diligently to remove excessive signage from the roadway, string "pedestrian aware" banners above the roadway, place shielded lights placed at three locations, relocated crosswalk at three sites to be better aligned with lighting from light poles, install a new crosswalk at Laguna Shores area, repaint crosswalks and install rapid rectangular flashing beacons and median refuges at the south end of Santini Marina Plaza across from Estero Beach & Tennis Club and at the Holiday Inn.
"To add to that, we have we want to send a pedestrian safety message to everyone," said Mezeske. "We feel this is appropriate information material for visitors.
An estimated 18,000 visitors come onto Estero Island a day, according to Lee County Department of Transportation numbers.
The brochure is expected to be distributed to Town Hall, Beach Chamber office, Times Square kiosk, condo associations and hotels, bicycle shops, RV parks, local newspaper offices, real estate welcoming guides and will be available for perusal on the Town website.
"I understand there is some thought about adding this to the back of a map of Fort Myers Beach to educate people," said Safety Committee Chair Bruce Butcher. "We would also use this for various educational opportunities, like distributing them at a tent at a sand sculpting event.
The brochure offers a "Be Safe, Be Seen, Be Smart" slogan. It offers bullet points for pedestrians (take time to cross safely; use designated crosswalks; make eye contact with drivers and that traffic has stopped before crossing; etc.), bicyclists (ride with traffic, not facing it; use bright lights; wear a helmet; use crosswalk when crossing street), and vehicles (stop for pedestrians in crosswalk; be alert; signal to pedestrians to cross; share the road with bicyclists; watch for trolley passengers). It also points out Beach specifics (limited sidewalks; no bike paths; no stop signs on main road; traffic congestion; distractions) and trolley facts.
Council had previously authorized funding for the brochure to hit the streets. Council members applauded the pamphlet and its advisory board members for the work the infant committee has accomplished.
"I will support this 100 percent," said Vice Mayor Joe Kosinski. "This tells us everything we wanted to know but were afraid to ask."
Two members of the greater Fort Myers Beach area have been appointed to serve on committees.
Ted Schindler was appointed to one of the two open positions on the Marine Resources Task Force.
Jim Wray was appointed to the one open spot on the Public Safety Committee.