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NFMHS gets crossing sign

January 17, 2018
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

For those who walk to North Fort Myers High School every morning, it can be a daunting experience. Beside Orange Grove Boulevard being very busy, it is also dark, with first bell at 7:05 a.m.

However, thanks to the work of principal Debbie Diggs and others, it has now become safer with the installation of a flashing school zone light to alert drivers that a school zone is approaching and that they must slow down.

Patrick Crissy, a parent at the school, and others have been lobbying to get this light for more than two years. One has been installed at Tropic Isles Elementary down the street, and those students go to school during daylight.

Article Photos

"It's pitch black out here as early as the kids have to come to school. There are multiple dark areas where the lighting is not good once you're past the other school, and there was also a palm tree in the median that was so tall it was blocking the light in the other direction," Diggs said.

The palm tree was removed and additional lighting installed, and Diggs has even sent a golf cart out with its lights on to provide still more light, especially at times before clocks move back in November and after clocks move ahead in March.

In the past, driving from Hancock Bridge Parkway there was no signal, which made it a dangerous situation, and though there had not been any serious incidents, past performance does not guarantee future results, Diggs said.

"We took a more proactive approach of trying to put something in place before something happens," Diggs said. "When it's that dark and you have that volume of traffic, it's an accident waiting to happen."

The process was a long one as it also involved the Department of Transportation.

The district was able to secure funds to purchase the equipment while the DOT then installed the second flashing school zone over the Christmas break.

Diggs said it took the hard work of parents and volunteers to get the flashing light.

"This is going to have a long-term safety value for North kids for years to come," Diggs said.

The light is at the corner of Gardenia and Orange Grove.



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