Mayor Bill’s Corner of Wisdom
It is hard for me to realize that another great season in Naples is winding down. Yes, all of us grumble about the heavy traffic that we all have to endure and the crowded beaches, restaurants, grocery stores,etc, etc. But, I don’t hear many, if any complaints about the spectacular weather that we have had and continue to have so far in 2017. As you read this article we will have had our first joint City of Naples and Collier County Commission meeting that has not occurred in quite a few years.
The last time both governmental bodies met was nothing short of a disaster with nothing much accomplished other than a lot of hot air being bandied about. I have great expectations for this one as there are almost all new player sat the table and a list of items to discuss that will benefit the residents of both city and county. One of those items is traffic that I campaigned very hard for and although it might not have been noticeable this past season we are making progress in the city.
New technological equipment has been and will continue to be installed to make the flow of traffic smoother. We absolutely need the county to be on the same page with us when it comes to this issue and I know they are. We also need the State of Florida’s Department of Transportation help. I think all of us agree that whether it’s in the City of Naples or Collier County each of us can name at least one area that that we would choose to be on our list of the worst intersections or roads. Actually, more than just one!Our city has received and continues to receive National kudos about our many accomplishments that we have achieved. They include everything from one of the best small town food scenes to one of the top ten places to retire and many in between. The latest was Naples topped Realtor.com’s list of least polluted Cities in America,which is a huge positive for us. Perhaps the most nonpolitical of all of them in my opinion is something that I have briefly touched on in my prior articles and has had a great impact on myself, and our city. It is the Blue Zones Project and if you have never heard of it I would suggest it’s worth looking up! In August of 2016 our city became a Blue Zones Approved Worksite. It was a natural fit with our current employee wellness programs.
Two hundred employees attended Blue Zones Project presentations and Purpose Workshops. A health and well-being committee was established to enhance employee engagement. This committee helped launch various initiatives such as employee gardens, hydration stations and a newsletter dedicated to employee wellness. Plant based cooking demonstrations and healthy potlucks were organized and rotated to different locations to share recipes and ideas and the list goes on. Our Blue Zones Project journey continues in 2017 and currently has over one hundred employee are participating in walking groups that were launched in January. Our Central Avenue improvement project became Naples signature Blue Zones project as it provides continuous bicycle lanes, sidewalks, roundabouts, on street parking options and streetscape improvements to make biking and walking more desirable and also reduces the risk of flooding along the corridor. This project provides continuous connectivity between the Naples Beach, Baker Park, and the Gordon River Greenway and encourages walking and biking due to its safe and complete streets. The roundabout intersections are shown to improve safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists, while reducing delay and emissions from idling cars. Many local restaurants and grocery stores have signed on and continue to do so. Our Collier County Schools are involved as are many businesses. There is no downside to this Project, it is not political in any shape or form. I will emphatically tell you that the Blue Zones Project is NOT a diet, but it IS all about healthy choices so we can live healthier and longer lives. I couldn’t help but smile yesterday as I was walking past Mel’s Diner and glanced up at their sign. It read T-Bone .99 with meat 15.99. Clever! Have a great April and I do respond to e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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