Around Town: Improvements should help shopping center draw more customers

DONNA FIALA

Hopefully you have taken a ride through Naples “Towne Centre” (yes, that’s how they spell it) on U.S. 41 East on the side opposite Bealls department store. You might already know that there are eight owners in that shopping center.

The owner for the section from Auto Zone and Beef O’Brady’s through Pak Mail and Affordable Frames is doing a terrific job in updating and improving the appearance of his section. It’s really looking nice and he hasn’t even finished the parking lot yet. He’s painted the exterior, added decorative accoutrements, removed all the old trees and shrubs, fixed the car stops, and is now repairing the pot holes in the parking lot. When he finishes it will look like a place we’ll all want to shop. Hopefully even the movie theater improves the interior of the theater.

Every time I go to Pak Mail (I love that place, and I love the owners even more), there are new improvements to see. Bealls already looks nice at the other end, and although some of the other facilities could use a little face lift or upgrading, there are some great places to eat and shop. Have you ever noticed that Rib City is always busy? Yummm, they have the most wonderful ribs, cole slaw and beans around. And Pollo Tropical is likewise always busy – great pulled pork.

It was sad to see Blue Agave close its doors. The grapevine mentioned the owner was having some health problems. Hopefully with a little less stress she’ll improve soon. A wonderful lady, that Judy! Then there’s Sonic which also looks updated and seems to be quite busy as well.

Many of us are still working with the state to get a traffic light or some kind of safety feature installed quickly at the intersection of South West Boulevard and Trail Acres near Whistler’s Cove, where one person was recently hit by a car and died, and where an 11th grader was hit while riding his bike home from Lely High School. There have also been vehicle accidents at that intersection, and these are just recently. This is actually a federal highway (U.S. 41 East) but managed and controlled by the Florida Department of Transportation.

The county cannot make any decisions or add any adjustments to that highway without the state’s approval, so we are working with the state to try to make it a safer place for pedestrians. In that area you will find many people do not have cars. Instead they walk or ride bikes or use buses which they have to walk to. The only store in the area is a convenience store on the other side of 6 lanes of traffic, with cars going 55 mph, across from Whistler’s Cove.

Without a car the people run across that road — some even pushing a baby stroller — and it happens constantly. A traffic light has been approved by the state for a section of roadway a little further east between Hitching Post and Eagle Lakes Community Park, but that won’t slow traffic until they get to that light when the cars are going east.

Most of these people cannot fight for themselves, or don’t know how to approach anyone with their concerns — except Jan Jackson, the grandmother of the 11th grader who was hit and received serious head trauma injuries. She told me he will have about two years of therapy ahead of him. She said she will never give up until a light is installed to safeguard the children and adults in that area. I say yeah, I have someone to help me fight for it! Well, she has another helper now. It’s Laurie Miller, who has pledged her support as well. Together we can make a louder noise.

If anyone else wants to help this cause, just let me know, at donnafiala@colliergov.net. The larger the group, the louder we speak, the more our voice is heard.

With that dear friends, I wish you a very happy Valentine’s Day!

© 2012 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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