The City of Fort Myers recently filed an appeal to add a roundabout on Virginia Ave. and McGregor Blvd. Members of the community say the new addition will make it easier for visitors to access the Edison Ford Estates.
“Adding a roundabout on Virginia Ave. and McGregor Blvd has been hot-button topic since 2009,” said Joanne Miller, who is a historian and works at the Southwest Florida Historical Society
But Joanne noted roundabout talks were shot down over the years because the City of Fort Myers isn’t allowed to change a thing. McGregor Blvd. is a designated historic highway, which means everything should be preserved and remain in place.
“McGregor Blvd. has been a focal part of tourism for many years,” Joanne said. “People come to see the palm trees, they’ve put it on their bucket list.”
There are several restrictions in place that prohibits altering the physical dimensions or location of the road.
Some of those restrictions include:
- You can’t cut down the palm trees
- You can’t widen the road
There is an active group of Fort Myers residents who are against adding the roundabout. Most of the discussion takes place in the Facebook Group, No Roundabouts on McGregor Blvd.
There are also some residents who don’t mind a roundabout and don’t see a problem with them.
Most of the neighbors said more and more communities are including roundabouts in their development plans because it helps to elevate traffic and its safer.
It will cost Fort Myers taxpayers roughly $500,000 to create the roundabout which includes widening the roads, realigning Virginia Ave, and removing more than a dozen palm trees.
But McGregor Blvd and Virginia Ave isn’t the only spot the city has its eyes on for a roundabout on the designated historic highway. There are also tentative plans to add a roundabout on McGregor Blvd and Barcelona and Alcazar . The cost for those locations range between $1,110,000 – $1,215,000.
Additional reporting by Allyssa Dickert