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Proposal would add bike lanes to 8th street in Naples

Posted at 10:21 PM, Feb 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-12 22:21:21-05

Developers want to narrow 8th Street North and add bike lanes and more cross walks.

"I would say west of US 41 is a reasonably safe place to ride," said Alan Ryker, of the Naples Pathway Coalition.

The group would support the project, which affects 8th Street from NCH south to 5th Avenue.

"I think no matter who you are, if you are a bicyclist, you're a vulnerable citizen," said Ryker.

But the Old Naples Association says the expansion would make the street more dangerous, walkways and bikeways would slow down traffic and cause drivers to get frustrated.

"Causing over time, people wanting to avoid the congestion, and use the neighborhoods to the west for thru traffic," said spokesperson Edwin Fryer.

Fryer is also worried the roadwork could led to more commercial development in the neighborhood and with it an uptick in crime.

"The people in these neighborhoods are looking to preserve what we have, quaintness, the quiet ness, the small town ambience, that characterizes Naples, and had made Naples famous."

Ryker sees those explanations as an excuse to put up a roadblock for the bicycle community in Naples.

"I like to think these people are CAVE people, that's an acronym for Citizens Against Virtually Everything."

A public meeting to discuss the proposal will take place at Naples City Hall on February 22nd at 4:00 p.m.