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Parkway improvements hot topic at town hall

By Staff | Jun 30, 2011

Work was scheduled to begin on rebuilding Cape Coral Parkway in April, but now the official start date is eyed for mid-July.
City interim Transportation Director Persides Zambrano said curbing work will begin July 11, and paving of the road from Coronado Parkway to Del Prado is set for July 15.
Work will be done on nights and weekends, she said.
Cape Coral Parkway was one of several downtown topics discussed during Councilmember Marty McClain’s Wednesday town hall meeting, though McClain didn’t stick solely to the Community Redevelopment Agency district.
Asked what he thought about the possible privatization of Coral Oaks golf course, McClain said it could result in losing children’s programs, increased greens fees and a loss in the number of people who utilize the course. But he added it was irresponsible not take a look at outside proposals.
“I’d like to see it remain with the city … but can I tell you it’s the most cost-effective way of doing things? No,” he said.
The golf course within the CRA is still mired in litigation, according to CRA director John Jacobsen.
Although the property is in reverse condemnation, Jacobsen said there could be some resolution soon.
For long-time resident Harry Beeman, he just wants to see the golf course in the city’s downtown restored or the property used in some manner that accentuates outdoor activities.
He fears the property will be turned into high rise condominiums and traffic will snarl the Parkway and parts of the CRA.
“Let’s hope it doesn’t get developed,” he said.
McClain said the forthcoming beach at Four Freedoms Park could work in conjunction with the golf course, should it eventually be restored and a hotel or convention component be included.
Creating a sense of place is crucial, he said, and lends itself to those ideologies with the CRA’s new vision plan, which has been dubbed the “Zyscovich Plan” after Bernard Zyscovich, whose firm is currently handling that function for the CRA.
McClain said parking is not an issue at the forthcoming beach, as 75 combined spots surround the beach that will be available on weekends, when the sunning beach is most likely to be used.
No empty parking spaces would mean a substantial success for the beach.
“I wish that were to be the problem, that we ran out of parking,” he said.
Connecting the Rubicon Canal to the Bimini Basin is one of the more advanced components of the Zyscovich Plan, one that’s now being studied by Chandler French, an engineering intern working with the CRA.
McClain said that, realistically, there’s no funding for a proposal that would include building a tunnel or some advanced bridge, but, like the widening of SR 78, funds could be available in the future.
“It’s something we need to look at,” he said. “There may be some things available later, in terms of grant money, that’s not available now.”
About 60 people attended the town hall, which was held at the Cape Coral Association of Realtors in Club Square.