Committee of the Islands

Keeping Sanibel Special Since 1975

COTI Traffic Workshop Report

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August 08, 2015

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Does Peak Season Traffic Annoy You?

Sanibel Traffic Workshops 2015

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The City of Sanibel has conducted two traffic management workshops, which revolved around the broad categories decided in the initial workshop:

  • Technology
  • Behavior Modifications
  • Hardscape Solutions

City staff is conducting preliminary study and research, including cost estimates where appropriate. Further discussion of these more detailed issues and action recommendations will occur at a future City Council meeting or traffic workshop. No schedule has been proposed.

Some ideas assigned for study include:

  • Real-time collection, dissemination of traffic congestion information.

Causeway entrance data currently exists, but additional information to include various island transit times, beach parking availability and causeway exit data may have to be collected.  The educational value to the public was discussed. Staff will investigate data collection feasibility and cost.   Cameras were also mentioned as real-time information sources.

  • Use of highway signage, website and digital apps to publish real-time traffic information.   

An existing digital app called "waze" (see www.waze.com) was mentioned as an example of an effective means of sharing traffic information.   The importance of Lee County relationships was emphasized.   

  • Construction of a new shared use path on the north side of Periwinkle and on the west side of Palm Ridge.
  • Construction of additional left-turn lanes along Periwinkle.
  • Relocation and/or rescheduling (off peak months) of large special events.
  • Peak period pricing as applicable to causeway tolls or beach parking.

The difficulty of actually changing causeway toll pricing given the debt financing structure was emphasized.

Roundabouts were frequently mentioned with some public speakers being strongly opposed and some being strongly in favor.  DPW Director Keith Williams, at the mayor's request, gave a brief status report on the Lee County MPO roundabout study.   

Such study will consider eighteen different intersections in the County, including Sanibel's "four-way", to determine suitability of the roundabout solution.  The study will take a year to complete and Council has indicated that any Sanibel consideration of roundabouts will not occur until the MPO study is finished.

COTI representatives pointed out the urgency of the traffic problem given that the County's population is expected to grow by 75,000 in the next five years and expressed concern that promotional spending by various organizations to attract more tourists to our area continues to increase.

Stay tuned...

Mike Miller, Chair, COTI Traffic Committee

 

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