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New Website Aims to Involve Residents in Estero Parkway Improvement Project

Jun 21, 2017 09:23PM ● Published by Kevin

The Village of Estero recently developed an information portal to keep residents informed about the Estero Parkway Improvement Project. The goal, according to the website, is to involve residents in the planning process.

"For several years, Estero Parkway has represented a point of concern for residents, as well as a point of inspiration, for what the newly incorporated Village of Estero might be able to accomplish," the site says. "The time has now come to begin to improve our Village, and Estero Parkway has been designated the first project in line."

This is the "first significant capital improvement project " for the Village, the site says.

The page can be used to fill out the Resident Input Survey, prioritizing individuals' selections for layout of the road, bike paths and landscaping; to read about previous meetings where the project was discussed; to see upcoming meeting dates; to review public presentations; and to review the timeline for project completion.

"Estero Parkway was selected as the Village’s first capital improvement project due to safety concerns with this heavily traveled road which has deteriorating pavement, missing sidewalks and a lack of bike paths," an introductory article about the website says.

Bonita & Estero Magazine had a change to catch up with assistant to the village manager Kyle Coleman to discuss the project and its current status.

Bonita & Estero Magazine: Tell us a little bit about the Estero Parkway Improvement Project. How long has it been in the works?

Kyle Coleman: The Estero parkway Improvement Project is a project to repair and enhance Estero Parkway. The road has been targeted, based on public feedback, as a top priority. The road surface needs to be repaired, and walkability and safety concerns can be addressed as well. This project has been discussed going back to the time of incorporation, but has really begun in earnest over the past several months.

BE: What are the goals for the project?

Coleman: The goal for the project is to address safety concerns (vehicle, bicyclist, & pedestrian), while enhancing the brand of the road and Village alike (via landscaping, benches, etc.).

BE: Tell us a little bit about yourself. What's your role there?

Coleman: I am the assistant to the village manager and currently oversee public works functions in the Village, though all of our staff touches this aspect and contributes to the improvement of the community.

BE: I saw that a website was created for the Estero Parkway Improvement Project encouraging the community to give feedback/put in their input as to how they want the project to go. Where did the idea for this come about?

Coleman: I don’t remember where the idea specifically came from, but the intent was to provide a “one stop shop” for residents interested in learning more about the project. It can oftentimes be difficult to follow all of the machinations of a project such as this, and this webpage is our staff’s best effort to address this issue.

BE: Can anyone contribute? How has the response been so far?

Coleman: Absolutely. We released a survey, on the dedicated webpage, for approximately 10 days and received nearly 200 responses. The next step is to begin to scope the entire project, and we will continue to solicit public input throughout the process (additional surveys on the webpage, public workshops, etc.). Above all, we want the community to have their voices heard, and for this project to reflect their priorities. Any interested residents are welcome to reach out to the Village.

BE: Is there a deadline?

Coleman: There is not a strict deadline yet, as plans have not yet been drawn and full public input has not yet been solicited, and therefore Council has not yet voted on the specific plans to go forward with. Once these steps are done, the project will be “bid out”, and a specific deadline will be created. At this point is just too early in the process to set a hard deadline.

BE: What are you looking/hoping for?

Coleman:
I hope that this project is done in the right way and leads to a good product. This is easier said than done, but I’m hopeful and confident that we can design this project process in a way that solicits public input, bases decisions on facts, and delivers a quality final product that the entire Village community can be proud of.

BE: Is there anything else we should know?

Coleman:
I just want to stress that residents continue to monitor the webpage, as we will post all of the information that we have there.

For more information, call 239-221-5035 or email publicworks@estero-fl.gov.
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