Sunday, September 23, 2018

Pedestrian Crossing at Bayside Court Nearing Completion


An aerial view of the Bayside Court and Collier Boulevard intersection. Photo by Steve Stefanides

An aerial view of the Bayside Court and Collier Boulevard intersection. Photo by Steve Stefanides

For residents along Seaview, Bayside and Amazon Courts their long wait for an improved, and hopefully safer, environment for walking and bicycling on Collier Boulevard may be shortly coming to fruition.

Residents in that area have requested relief for several years. In May of 2016 the Marco Island City Council approved a consultant’s recommendation that a signalized intersection be added to Collier Boulevard and Saturn Court. That recommendation had come under some scrutiny by neighbors in the area who did not see the rationale for the placement of that device. Their concerns centered around the fact that the proposed location was considerably south of the main crossing area and did not take into consideration the issues regarding the busy motor vehicle traffic patterns entering

Collier from Bayside.

Dr. Maurice Allard, President of the South Seas East Condo Association questioned the rationale regarding the consultant’s recommendation and suggested that Bayside Court be considered in lieu of the Saturn recommendation back in 2016. He was joined by then Councilman Kenneth Honecker at the time, who suggested that the intersection of Bayside be considered due to the merging of the adjacent properties on the east side of Collier Boulevard. That change in property ownership would now result in shared parking from 257 to 277 North Collier Boulevard, with future plans calling for a curb cut near the Bayside Court intersection on the opposite side of the boulevard. That suggestion died and council moved to adopt the recommendation of the consultant to have the signalized intersection placed at Saturn.

Almost one year later and after a redesign of the project due to Florida DOT objections, the signalized intersection was eliminated and the plans were redrawn for a crosswalk at the Bayside Court juncture. A pedestrian walkway with warning devices was approved and a week ago, construction began on the project. This new crosswalk would not utilize the in-pavement disc flashers, which have proven to be problematic in the rebuilt area of Collier Boulevard south of there, and just north near the Lutheran Church. It instead will utilize an activation podium with lighted flashing signs which will advise motorists of pedestrians seeking to traverse the busy roadway, especially in season when the area west of Collier is heavily populated with seasonal renters and fulltime residents in the condominium complexes seeking to utilize businesses on the east side of Collier Boulevard.

The crosswalk itself will be done with brick pavers and will have appropriate signage. The project should be completed sometime before the holidays, if not before.

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