A man fed up with a private road in poor condition near his southwest Florida business has a novel solution: plant a banana tree in a pothole to warn motorists away.
Last week, Bryan Raymond planted the tree in a stubborn pothole along Honda Drive just off U.S. 41 in south Fort Myers. Raymond, who owns Progress and Pride Fitness Group, said the idea of planting a banana tree ripened in his mind after having to fill holes in the street with cement multiple times.
Because Honda Drive is a private street, county officials said, it’s up to the business owners to maintain the street.
For Raymond, the banana tree is an attention-grabbing repair.
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“If we have to maintain it and make sure nobody gets hurt, we are going to put something obvious there to make sure nobody gets in the hole,” Raymond told NBC affiliate WBBH.
For some time, Raymond's security cameras have caputured problems along the street, including a pothole damaging cars and floodwaters causing his trash bin to float away.
Some who work along the road say anything is better than potholes.
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“I love it, I think it’s hilarious. We should have more of these,” said Scott Shein, who works at a nearby business, told WBBH. “I think it is sending a message.”
He's seen so many cars hit a pothole on the street and “bottom out” that it's a real concern.
Charlie Lopez, who lives in nearby Cape Coral, agrees.
“It messes up your tire, messes up the rim and then it basically messes up your day,” he said.
For some, though, the sight of a tree brings disbelief.
“I pulled up and I’m like, is that really a tree in the middle of the road?” said John Hulker, who lives in Fort Myers, speaking with WINK-TV.