Some business owners want bike night back in downtown Fort Myers

There is a last-ditch effort underway to restore the roar of bike night in downtown Fort Myers. A small business owner started a petition after the city canceled the popular event over safety concerns.

Business and property owners are working to rally support to get bike night back downtown, and they hope to convince Fort Myers City Council to help make it happen during the regular meeting Monday.

“We’re definitely going to see a loss in revenue,” said Shanna Miller of Downtown Jewelry and Watch Company, who started the petition to get bike night back downtown.

Miller is a business owner downtown. She told us she is going to fight to bring bike night back to the city. She said the event meant more to the extra business.

“It’s the people that would not normally come into my store that are brought downtown because of the events,” Miller said. “Then, that business tends to provide revenue later on through repair work and other sales.”

But Lisa Sbuttoni, the president of River District Alliance, said there were reasons why the event was moved out of the city, and said there have to be new measures implemented to bring it back.

“There was just simply not enough room,” Sbuttoni aid  “It is a great venue for an event, but it has to be produced safely.”

Sbuttoni said the decision to move bike night out of downtown Fort Myers came down to safety.

“We had barricades getting moved. Safety issues became an issue. Fire hydrants were being block,” Sbuttoni said. “And bikes were lined up two or three sides of the street. They’re stationary bikes. And, in the event that a fire truck needs to get through, they can’t.”

Sbuttoni said the River Aliance District is constantly reviewing all of their events to ensure events are running as smoothly and safely as possible.

Miller and other downtown business owners plan to take their anger to city council during the regular meeting.

They want bikers back downtown. And Miller’s online petition has already accrued nearly 2,000 signatures.

“I know that there’s accommodations that we can make,” Miller said. “Even if it meant make another area for these bikes to park.”

Reporter:Taylor Petras
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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