Improvements to First & Second Streets
One of the oldest neighborhoods in the City of Fort Myers will soon receive a face lift to enhance community safety, increase property values, incorporate green transportation alternatives, and eliminate confusing one-way traffic into and out of the downtown core.
The conversion of First and Second Street corridors from one-way to two-way streets will improve neighborhood safety, including lower speed limits, simplifying access points, and adding to downtown evacuation routes in case of hurricanes or other emergencies.
Numerous downtown Fort Myers redevelopment studies over the past 15 years unanimously recommend converting the First and Second Street corridors from one-way to two-way traffic, along with sidewalks and bike lanes for pedestrians and bicyclists, as well as multimodal elements for trolley users. For neighborhoods, the National Realtors Association reports that sidewalks and bike paths are the top amenities sought by homeowners, often resulting in roughly a 10% property value increase. For urban commuters, bicycling is fast becoming a trendy way to travel to and from the office, as more people realize the adverse effects of vehicles on the environment and demand greener alternatives.
First Street facing west
The First and Second Streets Improvements Project will occur in three phases. The first phase began construction in August 2021 and consists of converting the one-way pairs to two-way traffic. This phase will produce positive benefits quickly and efficiently, and at a relatively low cost. Improvements consist of new intersection traffic signals, lane configurations, pavement markings, and milling/resurfacing some intersections in the following areas:
- First Street from Fowler Street to Allen Street
- Second Street from Fowler Street to Seaboard Street
- Seaboard Street from Second Street to First Street
Ultimately, Phase I will provide improved accessibility for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians, enhance urban design facilities, and reduce the vehicular speed limit to 30 miles-per-hour.
Billy’s Creek bridge