Proposed speed zone study goes unsupported

NAPLES, Fla. – A proposal backed by the Marine Industries Association of Collier County, Fla., for a new study of whether slower boat speed zones are needed on Naples Bay, failed to receive support from the Naples City Council yesterday, according to a story in today’s Naples Daily News.

Collier County Commissioner Tom Henning proposed the idea during a joint meeting of the City Council and County Commission at City Hall, which the MIACC had requested before the vote on whether to enact the speed zones is taken on Wednesday, the Daily News reported.

The MIACC is leading the opposition to new boat speed zones, and was quick to back the study proposal and offer to help pay for it.

Henning proposed that the city and county agree to hire an unbiased consultant and then agree to abide by the consultant's findings, according to the newspaper.

The study would focus on what speed zones would be best to protect manatees and human safety and deter accidents on Naples Bay, Henning said.

"If we come forward with emotion, we'll never get anywhere," Henning was quoted as saying. "We have to base it on science."

However, Naples City Councilman John Nocera, a supporter of slower boat speed zones, called it "ridiculous" to spend more money on more studies, saying enough data to justify the zones had already been collected, the Daily News reported.

Wednesday’s vote would add a weekday slow speed zone where there are only weekend zones now and would create a new slow speed zone extending south into Dollar Bay, according to the newspaper.

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