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Shell Shocked: Sanibel gets a new white line

By Staff | Nov 3, 2010

For those snowbirds who are presently planning their triumphant winter returns to Sanibel, there’s some fast-breaking news you should be aware of.

To begin with, a new white line has been painted down the center of Sanibel-Captiva Road. Yes, a new white line. The City Council deliberated long and hard over this one but, in the interests of sprucing up Sanibel, finally voted to proceed.

The new white line is part of a plan to make Sanibel more presentable to returning residents and visitors. It’s the equivalent of a beauty parlor visit for the ladies; and a shave and a haircut for the men. Sanibel wants to look its Sunday best.

The new white stripe down the center of the road has two purposes: to help motorists stay in lane and to demonstrate that tax dollars are being used wisely. Apparently, this new white line is state-of-the art. It’s luminous at night when it’s needed most and it’s highly visible during the day even with the sun shining its brightest.

Now there will be no excuse for any driver to straddle this line. That’s why it’s snidely referred to as the “white line of truth.” Any driver mumbling something like “But officer, I never did see that white line, it’s so faint” won’t carry any weight in a court of law.

When the line was being planned, some planners advised the City Council that the line should be orange. They said that an orange line down the middle of San-Cap Road would set a new standard in design and daring.

In fact, some other colors were also trotted out for consideration.

But the conservatives felt that any line down the center of the road that wasn’t white might suggest a sense of frivolity and free-spiritedness that wouldn’t meet the standards for safe and careful driving in Sanibel. They won out.

Snowbirds, be on the alert. There are other sprucing up activities being carried out before you return. Rare sea shells are being imported from exotic beaches throughout the world and planted on Sanibel beaches. The Chamber of Commerce requires that at least one out-of-state visitor a month have an opportunity to find a rare shell, be photographed by the local newspapers, and be given a hero’s welcome when he returns home.

Seven older, toothless alligators are being returned to Sanibel from an unknown alligator nursing home somewhere in Florida to titillate the

kids and the grandparents. They will be placed in strategic spots throughout the island. At night they will be given hormones, vitamins and baby food. If some aren’t up to the task they will be immediately returned to the nursing home.

And, finally, there will be the usual movement of Sanibel restaurants to other locations. Without naming names, Restaurant “A” will move to where Restaurant “B” was. And Restaurant “B” will move to where

Restaurant “C” was. The ultimate aim is to allow all of our restaurants to

package themselves as brand new. This huge transition requires the publication of brand new restaurant guides which will let returning visitors know where their favorite restaurants are now located.

For a fleeting moment, the Sanibel City Council toyed with the idea of renaming all our streets to create yet another wave of sprucing things up in time for the winter season. It was a close call, but Sanibel-Captiva Road won’t be replaced by Timbers-Doc Ford Lane.

There’s more sprucing up that’s been done, but returning families need to be surprised a little bit, don’t they?