Saturday, June 23, 2018

U.S. 41 Corridor Study


Johnson Engineering’s Director of Planning and Landscape Architecture, Laura DeJohn welcomes Collier County residents to the first public meeting. Photos by Jesus Calo

Johnson Engineering’s Director of Planning and Landscape Architecture, Laura DeJohn welcomes Collier County residents to the first public meeting. Photos by Jesus Calo

The city of Naples is conducting a U.S. 41 corridor study and is seeking the public’s input through two public meetings. The goal: Reflect the community’s view to make progress in the U.S. 41 corridor.

The study will focus on a stretch of about 6.8 miles, starting at the intersection of U.S 41 and Commercial Drive all the way to the intersection of U.S. 41 and Price Street. The purpose of the study is to find out what types of businesses and new developments residents would like to see approved for future permitting along the Tamiami Trail U.S. 41 East Corridor. The results of the public’s participation will help the county for future development decisions.

DeJohn and Bosi took time to answer the public’s questions and concerns before the image preference survey.

DeJohn and Bosi took time to answer the public’s questions and concerns before the image preference survey.

The first of the two meetings was held on October 3, 2017, and conducted by Johnson Engineering Inc.’s Director of Planning and Landscape Architecture, Laura DeJohn and Collier County’s Zoning Division Director, Mike Bosi.

The two-hour long meeting at the Eagle Lakes Community Center had about 75 people in attendance. The meeting allowed East Naples residents an opportunity to become familiar with what the county will consider for new development, and gave attendees the chance to voice any concerns.

“We’re trying to find the public’s preferences regarding types of commercial land use and vacant commercial buildings and trying to find the right packages and incentives to increase the likelihood to get the development that the community wants to see,” Bosi said.

New business and vacant buildings were not the only corridor issues examined. Traffic, a major concern of residents, was a significant point of discussion. Not only are traffic patterns heavier as season begins, but any new developments taking place during that time would worsen traffic conditions.

“You may focus on new development along the corridor, but that area’s already problematic as a roadway. In some cases, it’s our only way to go back and forth,” said one community resident, adding, “during the season it’s impossible to go out to lunch or attempt daily errands as it is. We are looking at one continuous road.”

In response, the city recognized the issue and stated that it will maintain efforts to ease traffic congestion. In addition to traffic patterns, the information gathered at the meetings will serve as a useful reference of how East Naples can move forward with a comprehensive plan.

The second portion of the public meeting involved an image preference survey, which consisted of 19 questions that the public could answer on a form or submit answers via cell phone.

“There are two main considerations in determining the likes and dislikes in the community,” DeJohn explained.

One is if the particular type of activity or business is useful and second is the aesthetic of the landscaping or building.”

The second meeting will be held on November 7, from 6-8 PM at the Eagle Lakes Community Park in Naples. After the information is gathered, there will be a follow-up meeting to present the results and implement the new businesses in the area.

For more information on the next public meeting, call Johnson Engineering, Inc. at 239-334-0046 or visit www.colliergov.net.

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