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Round and Round on Sanibel

By Staff | Jun 22, 2016

To the editor:

The City Council should visit Hilton Head Island to experience roundabouts. Hilton Head, a barrier island about twice the size of Sanibel has mega-multistory resorts, 24 golf courses, 250 restaurants and 350 tennis courts. A four-lane bridge connects Hilton Head to the mainland and the main roads are four lanes with roundabouts at intersections.

The unwary driver approaches an intersection expecting to make a right turn, but all of a sudden is caught in the dizzy whirl of a roundabout. Despite the roundabouts and four lane highways, there are still mind numbing traffic jams complete with carcinogenic exhaust fumes.

Does the City Council and the Chamber of Commerce want Sanibel to become another massively overcrowded island like Hilton Head? The Sanibel Plan, Section 1.3 Economic Assumptions, has a better solution.

“The most basic of all of the economic assumptions for Sanibel is directly related to the viability of its natural systems. Sanibel’s appeal is as a pleasant place to live or visit, it is based upon vital wildlife, open beaches and a tranquil ambiance. The wildlife needs to extend beyond the refuges, so that it is something people live with rather than visit. Sanibel must protect the environment. It must protect the environment because of the responsibility entrusted to the people of Sanibel to husband these resources, but also as a component of a sound economic policy. Perhaps no other component of demand is more critical than automobile traffic. Although difficult to, some would say impossible, means need to be pursued to reduce automobile traffic.”

When our bumbling politicians have installed the roundabout and the City Center to bring more tourists, the traffic will become much worse. They will then recommend four lanes for Periwinkle and will fulfill Lee County’s dream of mega resorts and 90,000 people on Sanibel.

John Raffensperger