Routes for controversial Fort Myers bike path narrowed down

Published: April 2, 2018 5:18 PM EDT

On Monday, proponents of a controversial bike path scored a big win.

The city of Fort Myers has been trying to come up with a pathway that would steer clear of neighborhoods while keeping bikers safe.

Right now, the city is looking to add a 10-foot shared bike path connecting US 41 and McGregor Boulevard.

“Connecting all the different paths is what they need to do so you can get around without being on the roads without bike paths,” said Bill Wallstedt.

The city looked at four options to build the path. On Monday, they clarified why options they’ve dismissed still showed up on the project study.

The four options for the path include Hill Avenue, Winkler Avenue and Jefferson Avenue.

The council already voted to take the fourth option—the Winkler Canal—out of the mix after neighbors voiced concerns about the path running by their backyards.

Consultants say the Hill Avenue option scored best in the study. This option takes advantage of publicly owned property and infrastructure already in place. It’s a huge relief for many people who were concerned about the Winkler Canal Option.

“A lot of corridors don’t have bike paths you know? You’re either on a sidewalk with pedestrians, or it’s not a dedicated bike path,” Wallstedt said.

Many bicyclists agree that more safe bike paths are needed.

The Hill Avenue option would run right along the Fort Myers Country Club.

“I think that’s a great idea because it’s so hard to ride without getting killed on the side of the road,” said Laury Snyderman.

The Hill Avenue option would cost more than $400,000. The council will officially decide in May.