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Sanibel traffic problems, delays

By Staff | Jan 17, 2018

To the editor:

Let’s all get serious about an important issue for all Sanibelians, full time, part time, day trippers and tourists. Traffic on or off the island would be an appropriate question for your weekly Word On The Island opinion piece and the Web Poll questions. I would recommend the total number of respondents being included in your poll surveys. In addition, please reconsider your latest question (Jan. 3, 2018). Who is your favorite artist? Like, who really cares? Please give island residents a break and report on poll questions that are important to one and all.

After 3 p.m. forget about going to America. Traffic is at a standstill going off the island. Planning to go off island requires prudent planning to leave at least by 2 p.m. A terrible situation for all concerned. Islanders, et cetra are held captured with traffic congestion like New York City residents. Enough of city politics as usual. What is our city council doing about it? Nothing I can see as a full-time resident.

Oh, we have heard the mayor from one time or another espousing suggestions, such as his infamous words of wisdom: “Use a smartphone and download a traffic app,” as he does. His best one yet was that a roundabout (traffic circle) on Periwinkle Way and Causeway Blvd would solve the problem. Only thing is, Lee County owns both roadways and shot down the roundabout funding project. Any alteration to Periwinkle Way – the only ingress and or egress for the island – is a county-owned roadway. Moreover, they rule the roost, so to speak!

Here’s a novel idea: Have the city pay for a traffic study by traffic experts, not politicians, to determine if a third lane for turning on Periwinkle Way in either direction is feasible and beneficial for the driving public. Then, if the outcome is beneficial, have the city do a cost analysis to purchase Periwinkle Way from the county to own and maintain and install a third lane for left turning only. Sanibel city could then call for a referendum only for city taxpaying property owners on acquiring and constructing a third lane for turning purposes in both directions on Periwinkle Way.

It’s about time someone took the bull by the horns on traffic congestion on Periwinkle Way to heart and did something about it. If not yesterday or now, then when?

Gary Taibbi