Some pedestrians fear for their lives while crossing Palm Beach Blvd.
Residents near downtown Fort Myers fear for their lives as they do not feel safe crossing Palm Beach Boulevard after three people have died there this year.
Following these deaths, there has been a calling for more crosswalks. Throughout the day, there have been numerous people dashing to the median and waiting to get to the other side.
While they illegally try to safely cross the road, cars will zip down Palm Beach Blvd. to and from Interstate 75 and these vehicles keep coming at all hours of the day.
“This is a dangerous place,” said pedestrian Joe Willeston.
“Yeah, not safe,” said pedestrian Brandon Harrington.
“State Road 80 is one of our biggest pedestrian corridors we have,” said Zac Burch, spokesperson at Florida Department of Transportation. “Certainly in Lee County and the area in general.”
Several pedestrians forgo the crosswalk and take their chances, including children like Harrington.
“I look at the cars,” Harrington said. “Make sure there’s no cars going and just go across the street.”
If you can believe it, these skinny medians were installed 10 years ago for people crossing.
“What the medians do, they provide that sort of safe refuge,” Burch said. “We know that the driver is not gonna likely drive on the median, so this provides them a place to wait and stop.”
But it is not legal. Florida Highway Patrol said pedestrians must use crosswalks. The problem is they are spread out pretty far on this busy stretch of road.
“It’s a long way between crosswalks,” Zurch said. “Expecting someone to walk a mile to get to a crosswalk may not be reasonable.”
But it is dangerous. Three people have been hit and killed on Palm Beach Blvd. so far this year, including one last night near Fairfax. In that instance, the driver did not even stop, something that does not surprise Joe Willeston.
“Drivers driving like fools, like they got a fire to go to,” Willeston said.