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Residents hear intersection median plan

By Staff | Feb 25, 2012

Residents had a chance Thursday to look over proposed changes to two intersections located near where a teen was hit and killed in 2010.

A community meeting, held from 5-7 p.m. at Grace Methodist Church, focused on the county’s current plan for Del Prado Boulevard North and Northeast Third Terrace and Del Prado and Northeast Second Terrace.

The plan involves installing raised, concrete directional medians at both intersections that would prevent traffic on Third and Second from going straight across Del Prado and from making left hand turns to go north.

“This is not going to be anything for kids or adults,” resident Ron Sexton said of the proposal. “It’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard of.”

Sexton, who lives in the 1200 block of Third, learned of the meeting from flyers meeting organizers put up at nearby Burton Park. After talking to his neighbors, he decided to stop by to gather information to share with them.

None of the neighbors he spoke to were aware of the county’s plan.

“They’re not going to be happy,” Sexton said of the proposal.

The meeting was organized by the family and friends of the teen who died from injuries suffered in an accident there, as well as The Seyer Group, which is representing the RaceTrac at the corner of Del Prado and Third. They want a traffic signal at Third instead of medians.

RaceTrac has offered to cover the cost of the signal.

Kim Seyer, with The Seyer Group, spoke to residents Thursday.

“No one has had any details. People weren’t really following along,” she said of the county’s plan. “The whole idea was to stop by, take a look at it.”

Though the turnout was low, Seyer deemed the meeting a success. She explained that there is always that one person in a neighborhood who gets the information on what is going on and shares it with the neighborhood.

“I think we got a lot of those people, and we sent a lot of flyers and information home with them,” she said.

Asked about residents’ reactions after seeing the proposed changes, Seyer said they did not understand how adults or children will cross Del Prado.

“They’re not getting how this is enhancing pedestrian safety,” she said.

The county first began looking at the area after the fatality in 2010.

Ryan Michael Santos, 13, of 228 N.E. 16th Place, was struck in April by a vehicle when he attempted to cross Del Prado on his bicycle, just south of Third. Ryan, who was not wearing a helmet, was ejected from the bicycle.

The teen was transported to Lee Memorial Hospital, where he died.

After examining the area roadways, county staffers determined that a signal was not warranted because the side street traffic numbers do not meet the criteria for it. Traffic along Del Prado does meet the criteria.

So, the county created the current plan, which is ready to go to bid.

“We need a light here,” Sexton said of the intersection at Third.

He explained that he and his neighbors have been saying for years that a traffic light is needed. He said when pulling out from the side street, drivers can only see a little way down Del Prado, which can lend itself to crashes.

“I think a traffic light will do it,” Sexton said.

Last week, the city’s Transportation Advisory Commission recommended that the Cape Coral City Council further consider a signal at the intersection at its next meeting and that the council go on the record in support of it.

The council will meet Monday at 4:30 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall, at 1015 Cultural Park Blvd.

Seyer will provide council members with a presentation.

The meeting is open to the public; public input is permitted.