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Traffic, pedestrians, taxes and suggestions

February 26, 2014
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

To the editor:

Your recent poll on traffic reminder me that I have some additions, possibly, to alleviate the situation.

To decrease the cost of traffic control (a police officer) at the bend after coming over the bridge and on to the beach, modify the traffic signal. Install different electronic controls so that when a pedestrian activates the signal, after 10 seconds the crossing light turns from green to flashing yellow and a visual timer begins a 30-second countdown to show the pedestrians how much time they have to reach the curb on the far side. With 20 seconds left on the timer the crossing light turns red, and the vehicle traffic gets a flashing yellow light so drivers may proceed with caution.

Also the signal may not be reactivated for pedestrians for two minutes. The sheriff's office can now easily raise revenue by ticketing pedestrians who do not observe the signal. Not being a traffic engineer the times may be different.

As to the traffic jams we are now experiencing, the town council needs to rethink building permits and licenses. As I understand the taxing in Florida, Fort Myers Beach does not receive tax money from the county in proportion to the amount of revenue they collect. The distribution is based on permanent residents. It would follow that we have no incentive to generate revenue for the county. The county is doing nothing to alleviate the traffic problem, so why not reduce the number of businesses. I said reduce, not eliminate.

The council should just not renew certain licenses when the business closes or changes ownership. I don't mean all businesses. For example, bars and restaurants, there are too many. This can be seen by the turnover and repeated failure of some establishments. This turnover frequently causes an "eye-sore," which would be nice to eliminate. Another example might be hardware stores, there is one that is stable in Santini Plaza; however the other store is having a continuous "redo." Perhaps one is all we need.

Walter M. Sheldon, Jr.

Fort Myers Beach



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