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Shell Shocked: Reducing Sanibel high season traffic

By Staff | May 17, 2017

I see where the Sanibel City Council is exploring ways to lighten the seasonal traffic load. It’s exploring such options as raising the causeway tolls and increasing beach parking rates.

Good for them. Any measures that would minimize the parking lot traffic effect during the winter months in Sanibel would be tonic to residents. Getting from Point A to Point B in season requires packing lunches to eat in the car while traffic crawls along like a turtle without a care in the world.

My ad hoc committee “Rip the Tires off those Cars” has come up with a more detailed program to limit day traffic in high season. Here are just a few ways to restore Sanibel to the kind of traffic we had before the automobile was invented.

1. Send every third car attempting to get onto the causeway back to Fort Myers.

2. Insist that each car carry nine people.

3. All non-resident passengers in every auto must pre-purchase meals at Sanibel restaurants, t-shirts and beach parking tolls. Anyone not purchasing a package for at least $50 cannot enter Sanibel.

4. Train dogs to sniff car passengers for dandruff. Those caught with dandruff would be denied entry to Sanibel.

5. Drivers must sing the Sanibel national anthem before passing through the toll booth.

6. The City Council should approve a motion to outsource the writing of the Sanibel national anthem before next winter. Here’s a sample of how it could start:

Sanibel, my Sanibel

Grace your shores

With lustrous sea shells

From West Gulf Drive

To West Wind Inn

From the Lighthouse

To Mad Hatter

Ding Dong Dell

My Shiny Sanibel

My Home in the Gulf

Not to be confused with Golf

Sanibel, my Sanibel

Of course, we could save time and turn this project over to Neil Diamond.

7. Frighten prospective Sanibel visitors by describing the growth epidemic of our alligator population.

8. Encourage mass protests to rid Sanibel of townies.

9. Encourage Sanibel police officers to make arrests for any infractions they consider alien to Sanibel culture, such as using dangling participles when speaking or failure to wear socks with shoes.

10. Announce a new sun tan tax for day visitors only.

11. Ban the use of beach blankets.

12. All visiting children are to be detained at the Sanibel Chamber of Commerce building where they will be taught to respect their elders and not speak unless spoken to.

13. All shells collected by day visitors are to be returned to beach security officers before being allowed to leave Sanibel.

14. A new sign saying “Detour to Miami Beach” will be placed on Summerlin two miles from the toll booth to the causeway.

15. And if that doesn’t work then another sign saying “Watch out for Dangerous Elitists” will be placed one mile from the toll booth.

This fifteen-point program should reduce traffic in Sanibel by a full 50 percent. And if by chance this package of social ostracism doesn’t work we can always fill up every non-resident’s car with noseeums.

-Art Stevens is a long-time columnist for The Islander. His tongue-in-cheek humor is always offered with a smile.