Fort Myers is one of the smaller destinations that I’ve produced a travel guide for and the concern about sidewalk accessibility for tourists is limited to a few key areas. Downtown Fort Myers and Fort Myers Beach are the areas where tourists might want to walk/roll rather than rely on an automobile. As such, in considering the accessibility of sidewalks for this destination, I limited my critique to those areas.
The sidewalks in the major tourist areas of Fort Myers and Fort Myers Beach are generally wheelchair accessible. I rolled around these areas in my wheelchair, seeing many different sidewalks. The typical features of a sidewalk, such as curb cuts and crosswalks, were accessible and the city’s geography is largely flat.
What does sidewalk accessibility in Southwest Florida actually look like? Let’s take a peek!
Most street crossings are well defined, with the typical white markings across the street or a change in paving surface (i.e. cement crosswalk across a brick street). Intersections served by a stoplight also have signals for pedestrians.
Sidewalks in the city center and in most tourist areas are in a solid state of repair — I encountered few potholes and cracked pavements did not cause too much difficulty. Many of the sidewalks in the Fort Myers River District have been recently resurfaced, making for a smooth ride in a wheelchair.
In Fort Myers Beach, sidewalks are a bit older with cracks and potholes in the pavements being a bit more common. I still managed to get around easily with my power wheelchair, and even crossed the Matanzas Pass Bridge.
In summary, wheelchair users should have little difficulty navigating the streets and sidewalks of Fort Myers and Fort Myers Beach — in the tourist areas, at least. Most visitors travel via car or public transportation, but in areas where walking is generally preferred, rolling is also possible!