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By Staff | May 16, 2018

To the editor:

For the past few weeks, I’ve been reading articles and letters concerning the work in progress at the Bailey tract, and it got me to thinking about sustainability in general.

Doesn’t it seem strange that we, (the Feds actually), are willing to spend millions to re-create a sustainable environment for a rodent, and yet we, (our City Council this time), doesn’t seem to be able to spend any serious time or money to re-create what was once a sustainable environment for those of us who live here, but are not dependent upon tourists to make a living.

I mean, a roundabout? A few signs? Please. Brenda and I have owned a house on Sanibel since 2000 and have lived here full-time since 2005. Every year the traffic during “season” has become more and more outrageous. By my reckoning, we lost sustainability sometime around 2004 and have been putting up with overload ever since. One proof of unsustainability could be the number of people who every year finally throw up their hands, say “I give up” or “I’ve had it” or perhaps something more colorful but unprintable, and put their houses on the market. No one seems to be keeping count, but trust me there are lots of them. Probably a good reason why there are always so many houses for sale here.

I’ve always been a fan of our city council. These are people who in general do a good job of governing Sanibel, who do it out of the good of their hearts, for no pay, and who take an enormous amount of criticism with grace. However, it is hard to take seriously their attempts to control the traffic problem. Especially when they encourage, or at least don’t discourage, the placing of blinking electrified signs before the causeway encouraging even more folks to become festive with our shells and our art and food scenes.

So, who benefits here? Certainly merchants, restaurant owners, hotels, etc.

Who are the losers? The rest of us.

Something serious must be done. It is all well and good to try to control the traffic with roundabouts, but we need to eliminate the traffic jams. That can only be done by limiting the number of vehicles on the island at one time. Surely, we can find a way to do it. Sounds very harsh and discriminatory, but if we are to create an island that is sustainable not only for the rice rat, but also for us, the folks who live here, we must.

Sam Tishler