Tuesday, February 8, 2011

News-Press Editorial: Editorial: Mall must back new bus stop

News-Press Editorial: 2/8/11

Edison Mall is no longer the single shopping
colossus of Lee County, but the shopping
center remains a vital retail destination.

It is also the geographical center of
LeeTran's bus operations, according to the
agency's marketing manager, where the U.
S. 41 and Colonial Boulevard arteries
intersect, with 174 daily stops.

That's why it is so important that the mall
and its tenants sign off on a long-delayed
plan to build a transfer station at the mall,
a project that could lose a $1 million state
grant - half the cost - if it's delayed much

In 2007, LeeTran and the mall agreed to
have a secure, covered eight-bus station at
the county's busiest stop, in the mall's back
parking lot, where a temporary station
stands today. That's better than having
buses stop behind J.C. Penney's, as they
did in the old days, with buses stacking up
and passengers clogging the sidewalks and
store entrances, but it is nowhere near the
first-rate shelter needed at this central
stop, and promised in 2007.

Then, the job was supposed to take 18
months to complete, but still-unexplained
delays on the mall's end of things has
bogged the project down and jeopardized
its funding.

Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson wrote
last week urging the mall to approve the
project by this week, saying, "The tenants
of the mall all have to be in agreement,
and from what I understand, that's been an
arduous process. ... But ultimately, this
station is important because it creates a
safer environment, it will be well-lighted
and secure, have restrooms and be
sheltered from inclement weather."

Mall manager Robert Edelen declined to be
interviewed, but said in an e-mail,
"Although this process is taking more time
than anticipated, we remain committed to
all parties involved." He would not say what
caused the delay.

There is a danger now that the stop might
never be built if the state grant expires
Dec. 31. That would be a serious setback
for bus passengers from all over the

No comments:

Post a Comment

BikeWalkLee is not responsible for the validity of any comment posted at this site and has the right to remove any comment at any time.