NAPLES, Fla. - City Council members call it the biggest decision that could forever change Naples, moving US 41 to Goodlette-Frank Road.
Right now, US 41 heads straight into downtown Naples and then curves east. According to traffic studies presented to council today, the best option is to move US 41 is on what’s now Golden Gate Parkway, near the mall the high school. Then head south on Goodlette-Frank Road, connecting at US 41’s current location.
The plan also includes downsizing from six to four lanes on what’s now US 41 heading south into downtown. The purpose would be to create a true downtown destination that would also connect to other Naples districts.
Recent traffic studies show Goodlette-Frank Road could handle the capacity of drivers expected for this type of change, but some who have businesses on the road disagree.
Having a large, pedestrian friendly downtown is expected to bring visitors and revenue. The cost to maintain and operate the part of the highway that would now become the city’s property is estimated at an additional $200,000 per year, a cost some think would be overcome by revenue gains.
The city decided they will work with the state over the next year to make minor changes with the end goal to move US 41, something that wouldn't happen for another few years. Plus, council members have additional question on traffic concerns pertaining to downtown Naples Community Hospital and Naples High School, which are on two of the roads that would change.
If you’d like more information about the plans and see all the variations go to page 10 of this city council agenda.