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In-season traffic remains issue on Sanibel

By Staff | Mar 19, 2019

To the editor:

When is enough enough? Like too many other Sanibelians, we are trapped in our homes too many hours a day too many days a week throughout the tourist season – about one-third of the entire year.

While we commend the Sanibel City Council for its recent emphasis on clean water, the traffic problem is not new. It has been a bane for Sanibel residents for years, long enough for the city council to have proposed and acted upon some solutions. Even the “back way” is no longer a “secret” alternative, sometimes trapping drivers both ways who give up trying to reach the Causeway and need Periwinkle to return home.

Sanibel has retirees who have been city planners and transportation officials. The city council could gain important insights by convening a committee of some of these experts. If some of the more obvious possibilities, such as staggered work hours, restrictions on tourist vehicles, public buses, better facilitation at backed-up intersections, have been explored by the city council and found not to work, the city should inform us why they are not feasible and tell us what other alternatives it is considering.

We certainly understand the importance of tourist traffic to the commercial interests of the city, but to what degree should it be at the expense of the enjoyment of the environment, atmosphere and mobility that prompted Sanibel residents to live here? Indeed, many business services lose important hours trying to reach homes and many tourists stalled on Periwinkle have expressed doubts about returning to Sanibel.

Robert and JoAnn Hilliard