Increase in vehicles crossing Causeway for July
The island had a 3.6 increase in vehicles during the month of July thanks to a long holiday weekend, and five Saturdays.
“Wherever we have the opportunity to kick off and lead the month on a Saturday, and having five, that is different than any other. We have more people coming over,” Mayor Kevin Ruane said.
There were 279,305 cars counted, resulting in 9,729 more cars than the July prior. According to the city, the number of vehicles is the highest crossing any July since the causeway opened.
When broken down, the five highest days in July were Saturday, July 1, with 11,431 cars counted; 10,185 vehicles on Monday, July 3; Saturday, July 8, resulted in 9,996 vehicles counted; 10,406 vehicles on Saturday, July 15, and 10,002 vehicles on Saturday, July 29.
Saturday is often a heavy trafficked time due to it being a traditional check-in date for weeklong accommodations and beach days for locals.
Last July there were 269,576 cars counted.
Ruane said when taking out the additional traffic with a long four-day Fourth of July weekend, the numbers appeared to be flat. He said it was easy for people to take Monday off with Tuesday being the Fourth of July.
“The data certainly is up 3.6 percent, up 9,000 cars. But, when you start to break down where that comes from . . . throw in another Saturday, and you go a long weekend, the 9,000 cars goes flat,” he said. “We always want to look at the numbers to see if there is anything we can do. It’s nothing other than the way the calendar broke. I’m not necessarily overly concerned about it. If it was something different, I would be a little more concerned.”
The increase, Ruane said, turned into a pretty basic July for the island.
He said the consensus he has heard from the community, in terms of how businesses and restaurants are doing this year, is they are either flat, or down.
“By and large the trend was flat to a little bit down,” Ruane said. “It’s really an economy thing. We are flat basically on our island with people coming over.”
Ruane said he believes the economy is sluggish, which the consumer feels. The demand, he currently thinks is the stock market because there is no other place to put your money.
The first six months of the calendar year revealed a .495 percent increase, or 1,820,734, in the number of vehicles crossing the Sanibel Causeway, compared to last year’s 1,811,759 cars during the first six months.